Practical Leadership 3.0: Leading in Uncertainty

Wednesday, September 30, 10:00 AM - Wednesday, September 30, 2020, 11:30 AM
Wednesday, September 30, 2020, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Monthly from September 2020 through February 2021
Fee: $189 for MCN members / $269 for nonmembers
We are living in turbulent, chaotic, and complex times. Right now, every hour seems to bring a new challenge, and change feels more and more radical. Resources are short, and expectations are high. People who are under great stress can become defensive and erratic, or passive and helpless. Novel problems demand creative solutions, at the same time that our organizations and teams are stretching to the breaking point. 

Whether or not you are a frontline supervisor or an executive director, you are likely feeling the pressures of this context. This is like no other time, and it requires adaptive leadership.

Lisa Negstad has trained hundreds of supervisors to respond to normal challenges of day-to-day change. Now, she is partnering with Glenda Eoyang of Human Systems Dynamics Institute, to help you cope with this VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) environment.
During this training, which is offered as a series of six monthly 90-minute sessions, Lisa and Glenda will provide you with frameworks and tools to improve your ability to supervise others in a constantly changing, uncertain context.

Through these six sessions, you will:
  • Relieve stress for yourself and your staff when you feel more competent to manage in this context,
  • Analyze what types of problems you're facing and adapt your leadership accordingly,
  • Prepare for a future you can't predict or control,
  • Build your own story about change and how your team will survive (and even thrive) through it, and
  • Practice tools and models and join a community of people who share your challenges and opportunities.

Event Details

The registration fee includes all six sessions. When you register, reserve all six dates on your calendar from 10 -11:30 a.m. CT each day: September 30, October 14, November 18, December 15, January 20, and February 17.

Session One: How to make decisions in a lot of uncertainty - Part 1
The world is changing, and you and your organization and team must change, too. Today's disruptions pose social, personal, policy, financial, resource and technological challenges for you as a nonprofit leader. Learn how to see beyond the immediate chaos and find simple, powerful options for action.

Session Two: How to make decisions in a lot of uncertainty - Part 2
You know how to make ordinary decisions, but today is extraordinary. Learn to decide and take action when you have incomplete information,  when you are not in control, and when the rules change every day. Learn the difference between the challenges of usual change and  VUCA transformation.
Session Three: Finding your agility: continuous learning in a time of rapid change
In times of uncertainty, answers have a very short shelf-life. You have to rely on questions to guide you and your team through turbulent times. Your power as a leader, in the world of the future, will be measured by the quality of the questions you ask. Dive into inquiry and discover untapped resources at the edge of your known world.
Session Four: Responding in "real time:"  knowing what to do when and when to wait
How do you set priorities when everything seems urgent? How do you make time to reflect and respond, when everything comes at you at once? You will learn to triage and cluster problems, dive deep when needed and step back to get a bigger perspective.   
Session Five: Leveraging the energy in conflict
In times of change, challenge and surprise bring opportunity. It also brings conflict and frustration. We think of conflict as a kind of tension, and tension as a source for energy. See what it means to surface and use the energy in conflict, rather than ignoring it or finding some false peace.  
Session Six: Open format - bring your own dilemmas to workshop together
Throughout the program, you will learn new concepts, skills, language, and practices to help you thrive as a leader in a complex environment. In this session, you will apply your learnings to your real life challenges and those of your colleagues. Bring your most complicated dilemmas and leave with practical steps to shift your team and organization toward greater health and productivity.
This workshop is done in partnership with Common Good Vermont, the Maine Association of Nonprofits, and the North Dakota Association of Nonprofit Organizations.

Technology Requirements

This training is hosted in Zoom. You will need a computer with a reliable high-speed internet connection to participate in this training. (While Zoom does have a mobile app, its functionality is limited and does not support all the engagement tools that we use during virtual trainings. Therefore, we do not recommend using a smartphone or tablet to participate in this training.)

You will be interacting with the trainer and other participants via voice. You can either use your computer's microphone and speaker or a phone to speak and hear. 

Please note: Using your computer for audio can sometimes negatively affect your experience, particularly if your Wi-Fi signal is not strong or your broadband connection is slow. Therefore, we highly recommend that you have access to a phone which can serve as a back-up audio method during the training. We cannot issue refund or reschedule a training for you if you are not prepared with a back-up audio method (phone).

Information about how to log into this training will emailed to you prior to the start of the training.


Can registrations be shared? To achieve the best possible learning outcomes during this training, each participant needs to have their own connection to the virtual classroom, which means registrations can't be shared. Participants will be actively engaging with the trainer via chat and polls, and thus each needs to have their own keyboard, computer, and connection to the training. 

How does this offering relate to Practical Leadership 1.0 and 2.0?  While the curriculum of Practical Leadership 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 complement each other, each one of them can be taken as a stand alone training. 

Speaker Information

Lisa NegstadLisa Negstad consults with a diverse clientele of nonprofits, philanthropies, and government in leadership and organizational development. Believing anyone can be a leader, Lisa lives in two worlds: traditional hierarchies, where she helps managers excel in their role, and collective teams, where she helps groups think systemically and improve their shared leadership skills. Before starting her own consulting firm, Lisa held senior leadership and management position in several international and US-based nonprofit organizations. Lisa has an M.B.A. from Yale and a B.A. in psychology from Luther College and is certified as a Human Systems Dynamics professional. Lisa, an ongoing learner of cultural agility, brings a strong value of inclusion and participatory processes to her training. 
glenda eoyangDr. Glenda Eoyang works with public, nonprofit and private organizations to help them thrive in the face of overwhelming complexity and uncertainty. She is a pioneer in the field of human systems dynamics (HSD), which she founded. Through Human Systems Dynamic Institute, Glenda uses her models and methods to help others see patterns in the chaos that surrounds them, understand the patterns in simple and powerful ways, and take practical steps to shift chaos into order. Her clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Oxfam International, Canada School of Public Service, Cargill, Fraser Health Authority (BC), and Roche/Genentech.  Glenda’s latest book, with co-author Royce Holladay, is Adaptive Action: Leveraging Uncertainty in Your Organization (Stanford University Press, April 2013).

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