We begin every engagement with a conversation. What are the challenges you’re up against right now? What’s on the horizon? What have you tried? What’s the gap between today’s status quo and your deeper aspirations? From there, we seek to understand your larger context and in turn your measures for success. It’s this unfolding conversation that informs the design and delivery of the work we do together. From leadership development trainings to consultations on adaptive challenges, keynotes to train-the-trainer workshops, we work to build your own muscle for tackling the toughest, most entrenched challenges keeping you up at night, and from living into a larger purpose. Here’s an overview of the kinds of work we do. Every engagement is customized.
Our high-impact keynotes engage participants through a mix of experiential on-your-feet elements, leadership lessons, and story-telling, all framed through our expertise in adaptive leadership thought and action. Our keynotes are built within the client's context, and designed to meet the curiosity and appetite of those in the room. Some of our previous talks: This Is Leadership, and It's Your Work; The Perfect Storm: Adaptation and the Pressures that Drive Change; Fertile Ground: Creating the Foundation for Below-the-Neck Leadership Development; The Four Questions that Create Alignment and Drive the Work of Leadership.
This one-day offering covers the major concepts at the heart of the adaptive leadership framework: distinguishing technical from adaptive challenges; untangling leadership and authority; “getting on the balcony” to see the larger system; honing skills of observation-interpretation-intervention; understanding how to hold groups in a productive zone of disequilibrium; faction mapping; designing SMART experiments. Through a one-day immersion, participants learn and begin to engage with a common leadership language to help them think and act more purposefully within their organizational surround.
While this offering covers all of the core concepts included in the one-day sprint, the extra time allows for concentrated application of these concepts to participants’ own most vexing leadership challenges. Using a time-bound and widely tested case consultation model, participants form peer consulting groups designed to apply the adaptive concepts to their own live cases. Over the two days, participants both learn a leadership language and gain what countless say is invaluable counsel on their own most pressing leadership challenges. They leave poised to make progress thanks to disciplined execution of the consultation protocol alongside exposure to the adaptive framework of thought and action.
These offerings—often residential, providing participants a novel setting to entertain novel thinking—are built on a strong holding environment and a robust cohort to allow for increasingly provocative explorations of the key adaptive concepts, challenging case consultation rounds, and a complementary module designed to surface individual barriers to leadership success. Based on Kegan and Lahey’s work on adult learning and development, the Immunity to Change exercise helps individuals shine a light on the ways in which they are also a part of the very problems they’re aiming to solve. The longer timeframe allows use of the powerful case-in-point methodology, an experiential pedagogy that uses the dynamics alive in the room to explore the adaptive tenets. Case-in-point brings together intellectual and gut-level learning, solidifying leadership principles in ways that resonate and continue to impact participants’ thoughts and actions. Participants explore the adaptive framework, see themselves as a complex system in contradiction, engage in rigorous case consultations, and build a cohort of allies for the work they will begin as the program ends.
This one-day working meeting is one part sprint—trained on 3-4 key adaptive concepts—and one part strategy session. Designed for an intact team with an identified adaptive challenge, participants come together to untangle and reframe their challenge and identify a series of concrete experiments that will help solidify a diagnosis and generate a range of emergent interventions. This offering is especially well-positioned after a larger adaptive leadership training or as a practical tool for seeding the work on the ground and across an organization.
We offer both 1:1 and group coaching, designed to create measured opportunities for individual capacity development and making progress on adaptive challenges through structured, iterative experimentation. Built on your own core organizational leadership principles, coaching is offered: 1) on retainer over several months, in tandem with a comprehensive review of the client's performance evaluations, 360, and other relevant assessments and 2) as a concrete way of attenuating learning and growth in the months following a leadership development experience.
Adaptive work begets adaptive work; finding ways to perpetuate adaptive strategy is top of mind as we design engagements built for lasting impact. Our goal is generating capacity rather than perpetuating dependence. That said, we often build modules aimed at upskilling an internal group of champions, coaches, and partners in progress using, learning from, and continuing to seed adaptive thought and action. Case-in-point is an immersive, experiential methodology that generates deep leadership learning. With CIP as an area of deep expertise, we have solid experience in bringing others into a high-impact CIP practice through structured case-in-point learning lab-based workshops.
Quick Catalysts are often delivered through brief electronic messages that the client then shares across targeted pockets of the organization. These quick missives provide weekly or monthly prompts related to adaptive thought and action. The concrete purpose: to keep adaptive strategy alive and readily applicable in bite-sized ways throughout the months following an adaptive engagement.
Facilitated or self-guided book groups are one solution for driving adaptive leadership principles and practices beyond initial exposure to the concepts. We provide clear guides for how to use core resources, deepen sustained learning, and weave adaptive thinking into daily practice.
So are we. We have broad experience designing and delivering high-impact programming and framing powerful consultative sessions across the sectors and around the world. Let us be your partners in blue skying an array of possibilities built to grow your adaptive capacity and narrow the gap: between today’s hopes and those aspirations on your horizon.