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Leading through adaptive challenges

Cohort-based Course

Disruptions are inevitable. Learn what it takes to prepare yourself and your team to weather disruptions in your organization.

Hosted by

Jim Dowling, Amber Román, Rich Lynch, and Marie Deveaux

Field tested experts, authors and innovators developing leaders at all levels.

Course overview

Focus, align and activate the work of leaders

How prepared were you to lead your team through the Covid-19 disruption? Like many leaders, you were probably caught by surprise. A good deal of what you learned as leader was not helpful to you or your team. Even the best operators found that the skills that got them there were not enough to meet what we call adaptive challenges: how to win in a new domain, where the solution is not clear. And we all know there will be more disruptions.


We believe that a response to disruptions requires a mindset change to set aside old ways of working and envision life on the other side of the disruption; then work backwards to the capabilities required to realize your vision. This course navigates that process. 

In this leadership development course, you will apply methods and tools to address a disruption you face or one that we will provide. You will have more than 6 hours of direct access to the faculty, plus the opportunity to engage members of the cohort and learn from them.


Following the course, you and your team will be prepared to adapt thinking and actions to address disruptions in the future.

Who is this course for


Leaders in the middle who want learning that helps them bring order, achieve goals, and deliver on promises with less energy.


Business leaders facing large-scale complex transitions such as "Going Public", "Going Digital" and "Creating a Growth Platform."


Sole proprietors & entrepreneurs who want a structured way of thinking about and explaining their business.

What you’ll get out of this course

Learn how to develop a response to any adaptive challenge
  • Let go of old habits
  • Reframe disruptions as opportunities  
  • Identify new solutions to novel challenges
A method to rapidly focus, align and activate teams
  • Develop common language to create shared mindset
  • Apply shared methods to accelerate decision-making and aligned action; even when working apart
  • Frame “big questions” to manage up and move forward 
Model collaboration and the value of diverse and broad engagement
  • Learn how and when to bring others onto your "response team"
  • Build a coalition for successful response to any adaptive challenge
A framework that connects the dots from Purpose and Vision to Processes and Results
  • Explain to others how key premade decisions guide leaders’ actions
  • Relate Projects and Processes to the Capabilities required by Vision
  • Integrate key statements – Purpose, Value and Vision – into the daily work of leaders

What people are saying

        I was impressed with the quality of the class; the breath of the subject material, and quality of artifacts and examples … Good mix of framework, practical activities and incorporating examples with the tools. I can immediately put them into practice.” 
Operations Manager

Operations Manager

        Wildly exceeded my expectations. Helps connect the dots. I wish we had this kind of leadership development before we started our business transformation."
Project Business Sponsor

Project Business Sponsor

        It was Inspirational … I was inspired ... Liked faculty’s ability to teach complex material in a simple and understandable way.”
Quality Manager

Quality Manager

Meet your faculty

Jim Dowling

Jim Dowling

Co-founder, Capable Company

A business maker, learner, and coach with a keen interest in helping individuals, teams and organizations realize their performance aspirations. After leaving Engineering and Information Technology, Jim found his work/playground in a place where people, process, technology, and business can align to produce amazing results. Jim has led Teaming, Leadership Alignment, Leader Development, Organization Design, Business Transformation, Strategy Clarification programs for organizations in Europe, The Americas, and Asia.

Amber Román

Amber Román

Founder, Sensata Consulting

Amber is an outcome-orientated pragmatic leader with a steady track record helping teams, leadership, and organizations grow, scale, and transform. 20+ years of expertise in Business Architecture, Information Technology, and Data Architecture, Business Analysis, Agile Project Management and Change Management allows Amber to contribute to many functional areas of organizations because she truly understands how they work. She brings a culturally diverse perspective and insights to address individual leader needs and takes delight in making others shine.

Rich Lynch

Rich Lynch

Co-founder, Capable Company

Curiosity has led Rich into some exciting business innovations such as the balanced scorecard, capability-based planning, and new growth platforms. Along the way, he has collaborated with some great people from academia, consulting and client companies. He has authored three books: Measure Up! Corporate Renaissance, and The Capable Company. In the field, he has led numerous business transformation projects and has been running Strategy to Execution workshops for leaders at all levels.

Marie Deveaux

Marie Deveaux

Founder, High Tides Consulting

Marie brings deep experience in Business Model Analysis. In addition, she is a coach and small business consultant. Marie is an experienced and highly skilled training developer and facilitator, having assumed these roles for numerous organizations, leading trainings for groups of leaders as small as 6 to over 1500 people at a time and has lent her expertise both in the U.S. as well as abroad. Her passion for seeing emerging leaders grow and expand led to her founding of High Tides in 2016.

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Leading through adaptive challenges

Course syllabus


Adaptive Organizations Need Adaptive Leaders

  • Appreciate the difference between Technical and Adaptive Challenges
  • Analyze a case study highlighting Purpose, Values, Vision and Capabilities
  • Take away methods and tools that you can share to accelerate strategy execution and business transformation


Connecting the Dots for Better Alignment

  • Appreciate the value of being able to connect the dots from Vision to Projects and Processes
  • Understand that the pathway from strategy to results depends on your operational context and dominant practices
  • Take away pratical examples, templates and methods that you can tailor to your language and your organization's preferences


Optional Deep Dives

  • Deeper dive into the Framework for Adaptive Organizations
  • Integrate Adaptive Leadership into your Leadership Development programs.

Course schedule

6-7 hours
  • Prework

    Independent orientation and preparation

  • Tuesday, June 13 - Module 1

    1:00 -3:00 PM

    Live Session: Adaptive Organizations Need Adaptive Leaders

  • Wednesday, June 14

    • Independent study
    • Optional Live Deep Dives
  • Thursday, June 15 - Module 2

    1:00 -3:00 PM

    Live Session: Connecting the Dots for Better Alignment

  • Friday, June 16

    Optional Live Deep Dives

Learning is better with cohorts

Learning is better with cohorts

Active hands-on learning

This course builds on interactive courseware, live workshops, and hands-on projects. Bring a challenge. Join in the dialogue and take back solutions

Adopt a common framework for meeting leader challenges

Learn to approach both technical (you've seen these before) and adaptive (unexpected and never seen before) challenges

Build an Adaptive Leadership learning community

Create a community of leaders who want to learn and grow together. Provide them with a framework for productive conversations that prepares and aligns them to respond as a leadership team to disruption

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any course prerequisites or work experience required?
How does Adaptive Leadership development accelerate strategy execution?
How do I apply what I will learn in my daily work?
Can my company schedule a private cohort to address a specific business challenge that we are facing?
What’s the refund policy?

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Leading through adaptive challenges