The Adaptive Capacity Workshop

Operational effectiveness and strategy are both essential
to superior performance.
— Michael Porter

Focus, Alignment, Discipline, and Agility

The purpose of this workshop can be described in four words: Focus, Alignment, Discipline, and Agility. In this companion to the famous Conversational Capacity Workshop you and your team will generate a clearer understanding of the teamwork – both within teams and between them – necessary to meet your big challenges and implement your strategy. The goal is to help you create greater fit between patterns of behavior in the organization and purpose of your organization.

What Kind of Leadership does Your Organization Need?

What kind of leadership does your organization need right now? There is no way to answer that question unless you’re clear on what you’re up to – your organization’s purpose and strategy – and what you’re up against – the challenges you’ll face along the way. The kind of leadership your organization needs depends on the nature of the work you need it to do.

Adaptive Challenges

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.
— John F. Kennedy

All our difficulties fall somewhere on a spectrum; at one end of this spectrum we find familiar, routine problems, and, at the other end, unfamiliar, adaptive challenges. In a routine situation, skilled action is the path to success. When facing an adaptive challenge, however, learning is the key to progress.

Adaptive learning refers to the ability to shift patterns of thinking and behavior to fit a new challenge rather than interpret a new challenge so it fits your current patterns of thinking and behavior. In today’s fast-paced, increasingly complex world the ability to facilitate adaptive learning is a game-changing competence.

Effective leadership focuses the team on the right challenge, and then mobilizes the team to engage it in the most effective way. A core task of leadership, therefore, is capacity building – both the conversational capacity and the adaptive capacity of your organization – so your people across the organization can align their strategic objectives and the work they’re doing to achieve them.

This workshop will help you build both. 

Learning Outcomes:

In this one-of-a-kind workshop – which serves as the backbone of many leadership development programs, organizational development projects, and change initiatives – participants will learn to

  • Clarify strategic objectives and identify the challenges you’ll face in making it happen.
  • Properly diagnose the nature of those challenges and the work required to address them.
  • Mobilize people and teams to engage their challenges in the most focused and effective way
  • Build a more adaptive, agile, learning-focused team that can shift its thinking to fit a new problem rather than interpret a new problem to fit its old thinking.
  • Create greater strategic alignment by orchestrating more collaborative and purposeful action across the organization.
  • Create a disciplined culture in which people balance candor and courage with curiosity and humility as they pursue team and organizational goals.
  • Reinforce core organizational values – and the behaviors that make them active.
  • Generate not just greater clarity, but also higher internal commitment to the organization and its’ goals and values.
  • Promote teamwork characterized by more focus and discipline and less friction and dysfunction.
  • Identify the personal work each individual needs to do to contribute to that teamwork in a consistent and competent way.
  • Build your collective conversational capacity (C3) in the process

Patterns and Purpose

“The framework this workshop provides will change how you lead forever. I will never look at my organization, my strategy, my team, or my own behavior the same way again.” 

The concepts and skills in this interactive workshop are rigorous, research-based, and highly actionable. They’ll help you connect patterns of conversational behavior with organizational purpose and strategy, and adopt practices that elevate the management and leadership acumen of your team in an ongoing way.

Both strategic and tactical, the workshop is designed to create alignment from top to bottom – from purpose and strategy, to teamwork and personal work. Better still, they’ll have a shared language, concepts, and skills for how to make that teamwork and personal work a reality.

Complementary Advanced Workshops

Length: 3 – 4 hours

Format: Virtual or in-person