Effective leadership disrupts the status quo, navigates resistance and creates growth and new possibilities.
This introductory course helps you identify and make progress on a leadership challenge in your own life, team or community. You’ll apply the tools and techniques of Adaptive Leadership, a practical framework developed at Harvard Kennedy School of Government for leading change, particularly during times of uncertainty or when there are no easy answers.
At Acumen we believe that Adaptive Leadership is critical to drive systemic change. We’re pleased to offer this course in partnership with Eric Martin of Adaptive Change Advisors (ACA) who trains Acumen Fellows in leadership.
YOU'LL LOVE THIS COURSE IF
- You’re currently or expect to be leading an organization or initiative that is likely to challenge prevailing and entrenched values and beliefs
- You’re part of an organization, team or community facing a complex or seemingly intractable challenge, but you’re not in a position of power to solve it
- You’re a social entrepreneur or intrapreneur and need to mobilize collaboration and co-learning with competing stakeholders
- You’re interested in a somewhat unconventional and provocative form of leadership
What You'll Learn
By the end of this four-module course, you’ll better be able to:
- Partner with those who have authority and power, and better leverage your own power for change
- Understand and break through a persistent, recurring challenge that keeps surfacing in your organization, team or community
- Strengthen your ability to lead adaptively in multi-stakeholder environments rife with issues of trust, political sensitivities, resistance, conflict and distress
- Experiment with new ways of operating and partnering to address complex challenges
- Deepen your own leadership capacity for creating lasting change, personal risk-taking and learning
Our Course Partner
Adaptive Change Advisors (ACA) emerged from the experience of its founder, Eric Martin, and a select cadre of leadership and change practitioners who stewarded adaptive leadership from Harvard Kennedy School to real-world application and scale.
ACA’s mission is to “democratize leadership” – making it possible for anyone, anywhere to improve their livelihood by more effectively mobilizing people in their organizations, communities and in their own lives.
ACA seeks to exponentially grow leadership to tackle pressing challenges — such as transitioning to a low-carbon economy, reducing poverty and inequity, improving health equity and access, supporting the growth of social enterprises, and evolving the role of advanced information and technology in our daily lives.
Module 1: Getting on the Balcony to identify your leadership challenge
- Understand the concept of “getting on the balcony” and how it relates to the exercise of adaptive leadership
- Brainstorm your real life challenge to bring into this course
Get to know how the course works on the NovoEd platform
Module 2: Think Politically to mobilize the support of others
Understand why people support, resist, benefit or lose when you lead adaptive change, particularly so-called ‘leaders’
Identify stakeholders, factions and other groups who are critical to making progress on your adaptive challenge
Module 3: Distinguish Technical and Adaptive Problems so you don’t waste time and resources along the way
- Understand the difference between the technical and adaptive work when leading change
- Diagnose your own leadership challenge to identify which elements are best suited for an adaptive or technical approach
Module 4: Experiment with Productive Tension to make more progress than you have to date
- Understand how to design and implement adaptive experimentation
- Design and run an actual experiment to create ‘productive disequilibrium’ in service of progress on your leadership challenge (it’s okay if your experiment runs past the end of the course)
Frequently Asked Questions
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO TAKE THIS COURSE?
WILL A CERTIFICATE BE AWARDED UPON COMPLETION OF THE COURSE?
We will provide a Statement of Accomplishment for individuals that complete all requirements.
WOULD THERE BE A TEACHER OR A FACILITATOR FOR THIS COURSE?
No, there will be no in-person teachers or facilitators for this course, but you can ask questions in the course discussion forum.
WHAT ARE THE TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS?
This course will be provided by a platform called NovoEd. Please review ‘NovoEd Technical Requirements and Browser Compatibility’. They have additional information on Mobile Compatibility and Low-Bandwidth Support.
You need a computer that allows you to watch videos through this platform, download our course materials (PDF reading) and the ability to upload your assignments.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY 'TEAM'?
You can take this course either in a team or on your own. +Acumen course is designed to facilitate peer based learning experience and you can review more in this ‘Guide to Getting Started with Your +Acumen Course Team’.
If you are interested in taking this course in a team, you can either (1) invite your friends/colleagues to take this course with you or (2) Join and participate in the course platform to find other learners to be in your team (we will provide instructions on the day course starts)
IF I TAKE THIS COURSE IN A TEAM DO MY TEAM MEMBERS NEED TO BE IN THE SAME LOCATION?
We recommend signing up with a team that is all physically located in the same place. Much of the value of this course derives from the in-person, peer-to-peer learning that happens between team members. With that said, we have had teams cover many of the team discussions over Skype or Google+ hangouts so it is possible to have a remote team.
Remember, all members of your team need to individually register for this course.
WHAT IS THE IDEAL SIZE FOR MY TEAM?
We generally recommend a team of 3 to 6 individuals. If your team is too big, it can be more difficult to coordinate schedules and conduct team sessions together (to work on the assignment together) for all of the modules.
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