The Art of Adaptive Leadership


A Workshop by:

Dr.  Harriette Thurber Rasmussen

Target Audience

School Principals

Heads of Schools



September 28 - 29, 2018

Le Meridien Hotel

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Workshop Fee

Baht 24,500

per participant

Register by

September 18, 2018



Workshop participants can check workshop related updates here


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This workshop was designed because ....

There is almost nothing more personal than the decision to lead – and almost nothing more challenging than leading schools, the recipients of society’s increasingly complex challenges.


Educational leaders who navigate this complex terrain juggle decisions around where to hold steady, how and when to adapt, and how to leverage sometimes limited authority toward student performance.


Enter the world of adaptive leadership, where authority is limited in its effectiveness and where relational skills outweigh the advantages of position. 

An overview of the workshop

The Art of Adaptive Leadership will examine the differences between positional authority and relational leadership, moving from the traditional leadership advantages of “power over” to today’s more nuanced needs of “power to do.”


Participants will become immersed in a set of understandings and skills that engage the head and the heart of leaders who must respond rapidly to external demands and with increasing impact. We will draw on the experiences of workshop participants, using those persistent challenges that just don’t seem to go away as living case studies in which to examine and apply adaptive leadership strategies.


Attendees will leave this workshop with a fresh set of eyes on their role and the systems they're leading, the ability to ask different questions, and consideration of alternate perspectives, essential tools for for surviving and thriving in complex systems.

Knowledge - Theory the workshop will cover

Adaptive leadership (Heifetz, 2009, 2017) is the primary framework around which this workshop is organized.


Heifetz’ theories have been instrumental to leaders globally across all industries and integrate additional foundations of collaborative and relationship leadership theory, including leadership-as-practice, complexity leadership, transformational leadership, and distributed leadership.


Participants will also be exposed to foundations of complex systems, psychological safety, subject-object perspective, and metacognition as they relate to leadership.

Skills - Practical skills participants will gain

Participants will leave this workshop with the knowledge and skills to:

• Use authority productively, understanding its role and challenges
• Identify the politics of leadership, including how to work with inevitable factions 
• Navigate change, with deliberate attention to pacing difficult work and resistance
• Analyze and see the system in which one practices and leads 
• Make progress on difficult issues specific to each participant

Practice - Methodology used during the workshop

This workshop utilizes collaboration, inquiry, and reflection as its key drivers of learning. Through a combination of text study, video case study, and participant consultancies, workshop attendees will use their own leadership challenges as living cases in which to learn how to see systems, analyze their leadership challenges, and consider how adaptive leadership strategies might contribute to their resolution.


Participants will be asked to arrive with a leadership challenge and will have opportunity to collaborate with the facilitator/presenter prior to the workshop.


Day 1

Session 1    Orientation to Adaptive Leadership; Reflection; Study Group Formation; Text Study
Session 2    Seeing Systems    
Session 3    The Politics of Power
Session 4    Applying Adaptive Principles; Preparation for Case Consultancies

Intersession:    Refining Consultancy Cases


Day 2

Session 1    Resistance and Work Avoidance
Session 2    Model Case Consultancy
Session 3    Case Consultancies
Session 4    Case Consultancies

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Workshop Leader

Harriette Thurber Rasmussen, Ed.D. has spent the last two decades coaching educational leaders and their systems toward greater capacity. A member of the consultant cohort piloting an integration of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, Harvard Business School, and the Kennedy School of Government for educational leaders, her practice is strongly influenced by by frameworks and perspective from each institution and embodies cutting edge research around student learning, organizational effectiveness, and the socio-political aspects of executive leadership.


Her research interests include teacher efficacy, instructional coherence, adaptive leadership, strategic authority and accountability, organizational complexity, and adult development with an emphasis on learning networks. She is widely published in trade journals and and was a contributing author to Change Leadership: A Practical Guide to Transforming Our Schools.

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