Event Details


Leading in Uncertainty

Tuesday, September 26, 10:00 AM - Tuesday, September 26, 2023, 11:30 AM
Tuesday, September 26, 2023, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
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. 

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

This course will focus on how to lead organizations, networks, and communities in these uncertain times.

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.

The registration fee includes all six sessions. When you register, reserve all six dates on your calendar from 10 am to 11:30 am Central each day: September 26, October 10, October 24, November 8, November 21, and December 5.

Session One: Making decisions in chaos
The world is changing, and you and your organization and team must change, too. Learn a new way of thinking about this turbulent context and to see beyond the immediate chaos to find simple and useful leadership actions. 

Session Two: Balancing order and chaos
Understanding how change happens can provide insight on how to lead in chaotic change.  This session offers a framework for understanding change. Also, in times of uncertainty, answers also have a very short shelf-life. You have to rely on questions (rather than answers) to balance order and chaos. Your power as a leader, will be measured by the quality of the questions that you ask. Dive into inquiry and discover untapped resources for leading others.

Session Three: Finding your agility: continuous learning in a time of rapid change
In chaos and uncertainty, there are often multiple truths at play. Learn how to decide, adapt and take action when you are not in control, multiple truths are emerging and the rules change everyday. 

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 sense of things when it seems like everything is coming to you at once? You will learn to identify patterns, 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.

Technology Requirements

You will need a computer with a reliable high-speed internet connection to participate in this training. We do not recommend using a smartphone or tablet to participate in this training as the functionality of the mobile version is limited and does not support all the engagement tools used throughout the 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. 

Event Details

These sessions will be recorded.

Accommodation information is available on our Registration Policies page.

Visit our Event & Registration FAQ page for general events information.

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 positions in several international and U.S.-based nonprofit organizations. Lisa has an MBA 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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