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The Adaptive Leader - Taking Action


This workshop, delivered by an internationally renowned expert, assumes an introductory level of understanding of Adaptive Leadership theory and frameworks. This program will provide you as a leader, with the insight, tools and knowledge to take away sound and practical experience in implementing Adaptive Leadership. 

A one day workshop in an innovative and transformational leadership practice applicable to a diverse range of organisations, sectors and environments which are ever increasing in complexity and pace of change. It is action oriented having been designed to help individuals and organisations understand how to diagnose adaptive problems and to develop the leadership practices to begin to tackle them. Adaptive problems are tangled, complex, and involve multiple systems and threats in which the solution to one may exacerbate another. Solving them requires new learning, creativity, innovation and new patterns of behaviour.

The Adaptive Leader - Taking Action


Adaptive leadership capacity requires connecting to our purpose (clarifying the values that orient our lives and work); getting comfortable with ambiguity and chaos and being prepared to experiment and take risks, to speak up on issues and to make mistakes; engaging our hearts as well as our minds; releasing our dependence on authority; engaging voices of dissent; learning how to orchestrate conflict; understanding ourselves as a system – our loyalties, our strengths, our weaknesses, our triggers, the stories we tell ourselves; and developing our capacity to inspire others.

This workshop will challenge the traditional view of leadership and develop a new frame that is more real, honest and useful. It will equip you with the fundamental tools for analysing and interpreting challenges in a more systemic manner, exploring who the different stakeholders are, and help you to understand your role, how to intervene, take action and hold steady. It enables you as a leader to take action and lead in a complex and changing environment.

Program Outcomes

You will start working on adaptive challenges in your own system and learn how to apply practical tools to those challenges. The learning objectives of this program are for you to:

  • Confirm your understanding of the adaptive leadership model and theoretical framework.
  • Gain a very practical experience of the required analysis and diagnostic tools applied to your own adaptive challenge.
  • Learn to think and act in complex systems.
  • Evaluate your system and how it will respond to adaptive challenges.
  • Design a tailored intervention for your system and adaptive challenge.
  • Reflect on your leadership purpose and intention in taking action, consult to one another and learn from the interaction with other group members.
Program Facilitator

Robbie Macpherson

Robbie has been designing and delivering innovative, transformational leadership development programs for a diverse range of organisations, sectors and environments for well over a decade. His passion is helping individuals and organisations develop their capacity to solve their own problems and overcome the complex challenges they face, using their ingenuity, skill and innovation. The key to this is the ability to learn and adapt in real time, which requires openness, curiosity, experimentation, and resilience and he believes direct experience of challenging and uncertain environments fosters new thinking and engagement. He is known for working with skill, care and humour while also being challenging and provocative.

After growing up and studying in Scotland, Robbie migrated to Australia in 1989, where he gained extensive experience in both the corporate world and the NGO sector. From 2001-2011 Robbie was Director of Social Leadership Australia, where, in addition to his executive responsibilities, he was a senior program designer and facilitator on a broad range of leadership development programs. These programs include the award winning Sydney Leadership Program

Robbie has worked with senior leaders for many of Australia’s largest iconic organisations, including over 600 senior leaders at the National Australia Bank since 2007. He is currently working with the Australian Institute of Police Management, including with a group of Commissioner level police and senior international counter-terrorist agents. He also designed and facilitated a two-year program for emerging Indigenous leaders from across Australia.

Robbie is an experienced and creative Executive Coach; teaches senior Public Servants with the Australian and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) including their annual ‘Towards Strategic Leadership’ program; is a graduate of the ‘Art of Practice of Leadership Development’ at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; is an accredited facilitator of Team Management Systems; and an accredited facilitator of the Deep Democracy process. Each September Robbie delivers a program, ‘Solving Wicked Problems’, for the Netherlands School of Government in The Hague.

When he is not undertaking his work Robbie enjoys cycling, skipping, listening to his eclectic music collection, watching series of outstanding HBO television, and most importantly spending time with his wife and three daughters. On a good day he is able to cover all of these pursuits, and rest well.


Interested in the Adaptive Leader - Taking Action?

If you are interested in this Program and require more information, please contact us. This program is currently not being offered publicly, but can be delivered in-house on request.

Corporate Sponsors