Essential Adaptive Leadership

Course description

This transformative two-day Adaptive Leadership program is designed to empower participants with essential leadership skills to influence others and lead effective change within the system.  This immersive and practical experience will equip participants with a robust understanding of the Adaptive Leadership framework (underpinned by Ronald Heifetz, Professor, Harvard Kennedy School of Government and expanded upon by my PhD research and practice in living systems).

Throughout this program, participants will learn how to elevate their perspective to encompass the complexity of people within the complexity of the organisational context. It will help them act more strategically to enable emergent and planned change where needed, whether this is within their teams, college or university-wide. We will delve into being 'on the dance floor' versus being 'on the balcony', helping participants discern when and how to employ each mode effectively.

By examining their own real-world examples, participants will discover the keys to unlocking the importance of being self-aware, recognising the systemic and psychologically adaptive nature of most changes, and understanding how to influence people.

Moreover, we will scrutinise the hero leader model, engaging in thoughtful discussions about when this approach might be suitable.

As part of this program, participants will engage in processes that promote self-awareness and enhance their interpersonal relationships, giving them practical tools to manage themselves and their teams more effectively.

Our two-day experience will conclude with a reflection session, encouraging participants to journal their insights and experiences and a thoughtful checkout.

Type of course



Josie McLean

Who should attend

This workshop is funded through the Professional Staff Development Fund and is available to continuing and fixed term professional staff members only. 

This workshop forms part of the ‘Leads the Organisation’ learning stream, which is designed for staff at levels HEO8 and above – who lead a team as part of their role and/or lead projects across the organisation.

It is recommended that you speak with your manager prior to enrolling in this workshop as there are late cancellation fees.

What you will learn

Learning outcomes for this 2-day workshop participants will include:

  • Differentiating between technical and adaptive challenges.
  • Gaining a better understanding of the nature of change and a framework to diagnose change so that actions are more effective.
  • Recognising the influence of the larger system and the ‘tools’ to develop a strategic approach to influencing that system.
  • Identifying values, needs and mental models that may be implicated in an adaptive change for people.
  • Understanding the dynamic of ‘work avoidance’ and how to counter it.
  • Understanding how to listen and ask questions to sow the seeds of and liberate change.
  • Identifying basic facilitation skills to lead group discussions that enable adaptive change to emerge.
  • Identifying the personal leadership qualities required to ‘hold the space’ for adaptive change and manage the emotions in the conversations.
  • Employing self-reflection as a process to enable self-adaptation.


Upcoming events

No upcoming events

Please remember if you can't attend a course anymore please unenrol yourself or move to the waiting list so others can attend.

Waiting list

To be notified of upcoming events, you can add your name to the waiting list.