The Repair and Renewal of Our Families, Communities, and Workplaces

As we approach our workshop on gender roles and power dynamics at the Kennedy School later in October, I want to share some thoughts with you about the importance of the theme and why I very much hope you will attend and be part of the conversation. Continue reading

Our Inaugural Advanced Leadership Retreat

In 2018 we launched our first Advanced Adaptive Leadership Retreat. One of our participants, Eddie Turner, shares his insights on the experience.  Continue reading

Sex and Power: Interviews with Hugh O'Doherty and Dannielle Kennedy

As we gear up for our innovative Sex and Power Workshop, we wanted to take the time to share some insights from the lead facilitators on these timely topics. From "toxic masculinity" to the unusual learning style favored by group relations. A fascinating interview well worth reading! Continue reading

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Successes and Failures in Adaptive Leadership

How do you convince your team to support a goal they see as leading to their own loss of power and influence? You have to go beyond your cohort, says Tamar Chugoshvili, First Deputy Chairperson of Georgia’s Parliament, as she shares her successful efforts to get cross-party support for a more gender-balanced Parliament.  But bringing people back together requires finding a common middle-ground – easier said than done in a polarized political environment where all parties fear losing out, acknowledges Tom Perez, Chair of the Democratic National Committee.  Continue reading

The Art of Leading in a Crazy World

Where are today's leaders, asks Professor Dean Williams as he tries to shed light on what makes for true leadership in today's crazy interconnected world. With populism and division on the rise, traditional tribal authority dynamics cannot solve today's shared problems. We need to respect and engage with what is different and that requires us to cross boundaries and build bridges. That is the key challenge for successful adaptive leaders who need to help bring people along by inspiring them to imagine a better world, looking beyond the short-termism of day-to-day politics. Leadership should not be left to economists or technocrats; it requires imagination, poetry and artistry.  Continue reading

Be inspired by Governor Jennifer Granholm

Communicating hard truths about permanent job losses and badly needed structural changes to the economy during a downturn is never easy. Even more so when you come into office thinking the economy is about to recover and you’ll get the credit for it. But this is what Governor Jennifer Granholm had to navigate as her state of Michigan plummeted into economic recession in 2003. Tapping into her knowledge of adaptive leadership, she reached beyond her cohort and used technology to help communicate her message directly to people so they could appreciate the magnitude of the task ahead.  Continue reading

Ron Heifetz on the Getting to Yes, And… Podcast

Ron Heifetz was recently a guest on the “Getting to Yes, And…” podcast, hosted by Kelly Leonard and produced by The Second City. The podcast interviews visionaries, authors, and leaders who work at the intersection of creativity and other fields. Kelly and Ron discussed the relationship between leadership and improvisation, our current political moment, and the importance of trust.  Continue reading

Q&A with Professor Dean Williams

As the 2017 Adaptive Leadership Conference takes shape and spots continue to fill up, we’d like to share this conversation between the head of conference communications, Andy Cahill, and Professor Dean Williams. Dean has been a faculty member at Harvard Kennedy School since 1999 and was a student at Harvard in the 1980s and 90s. He has just published a new book Leadership for a Fractured World. He is also the author of Real Leadership, a text widely used in adaptive leadership courses.   Continue reading

Colombian President Reflects on Adaptive Leadership in Nobel Prize Speech

Juan Manuel Santos is the latest alumni of Harvard's Adaptive Leadership curriculum to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. The President of Colombia received the honor for his part in brokering peace in Colombia and ending over fifty years of armed conflict.  In his speech, Santos described the difficulty in negotiating with FARC as well as those who demanded retribution instead of amnesty, and reflected on advice from Ronald Heifetz as crucial in helping him to keep going. Continue reading

Ron heifetz on the election

The day after the US Presidential Election, Ronald Heifetz explored the challenges ahead in a live interview at the Harvard Kennedy School. Here are excerpts from his opening remarks reflecting on the dynamic of distrust in politics.   Continue reading