Developing Your Capacity for Leadership Embracing Complexity

The need to develop leadership that is able to operate well in volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environments has been identified as amongst the most pressing challenges across the public, private and non-profit sectors. 

The need to develop leadership that is able to operate well in volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environments has been identified as amongst the most pressing challenges across the public, private and non-profit sectors. Developing your capacity for complexity is very different from acquiring a new skill or absorbing new information, knowledge or ideas. Taking a smart phone as an analogy: adding new skills, information, knowledge and ideas is like adding new apps, while ‘upgrading’ your capacity for complexity is the equivalent of updating the phone’s entire operating system. (Boston & Ellis, 2019).

Drawing on the latest research on adult development, this workshop will introduce you to four ‘capacities’ that you already possess the further development of which will enhance your leadership in complexity. The four capacities are: sense-making, perspective-shifting, self-relating and opposable thinking. You will have the opportunity to apply them to live challenges you are facing and learn how to make them a central part of the ongoing development of your leadership.

Learning objectives

  • Deepen your understanding of what hampers leadership in VUCA environments and how it can be develped.
  • Develop a working understanding of four key capacities that can be used to develop individual and group capacity for leadership in complexity.
  • Support your leadership development by applying the capacities to systems challenges you are facing.
  • Develop a personal leadership development plan building your capacity for complexity.

“The waters are rapidly rising and many leaders are finding they are in over their heads.”
Nick Petrie