In their Harvard Business Review article, ‘Embracing Agile’, authors Rigby, Sutherland and Takeuchi wrote “Agile as revolutionized the software industry…Now it is poised to transform nearly every other function in the industry. At this point, the greatest impediment is not the need for better methodologies, empirical evidence or significant benefits, or proof that agile can work outside IT. It is the behavior of executives.”

We often think that agility starts with a “C” for consultant or “F” for framework. Consultants and frameworks are useful, but if your organization is seeking the kind of change that challenges current behaviors, shifts the culture, or disrupts ‘business as usual’ then you have what Harvard Leadership Professor Ron Heifetz calls an “adaptive challenge”. Different from “technical challenges”, these problems require new learning, developing alternative habits, and engaging in different kinds of conversations.

Solving adaptive challenges is an inside job -- they cannot be outsourced. They require engaging leadership at all levels to hold courageous and contagious conversations that harness the internal intelligence that already exists within the organization. Finally, they require a mindset shift where leaders acknowledge that sustainable solutions come from within the organization.

This engaging talk will ask the questions, “What if you already have everything you need to make your business agile?” What if agility were as simple as starting with “I” in order to leverage your internal capabilities? What if you already have the answers to the most complex adaptive challenges you are facing and you just need to find a way to really hear them? I will cover the key leadership behaviors for getting started with “I”. The participants will learn how other leaders are successfully using a simple framework to take accountability for their conversations and the outcomes.


Outline/Structure of the Keynote

  • Introduction
  • A definition of leadership
  • Difference between technical solutions and adaptive challenges
  • Why solving adaptive challenges is an inside job
  • What you need to more of and less of
  • Learning to read the room
  • Closing

Learning Outcome

In this session, you will…

  • Understand the importance of reading the room and why it’s everyone’s job
  • Learn a language for reading the room and ho to model it for others
  • Understand the difference between technical problems and adaptive challenges
  • Gain a greater understanding of what leadership is and does
  • A new criteria for making a decision on when to hire someone versus when to access your own resources

Target Audience

Leaders at all levels seeking to make a difference in how they lead systemic and sustainable change.


schedule Submitted 3 years ago