Adaptive Leadership program

Adaptive Leadership

Leading in times of disruptive change


Developing Leaders that can mobilize people to tackle tough

challenges and thrive in a changing world

The challenges of a VUCA world

In a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous world, business is in a constant state of flux. It’s important that leaders and organisations today can change, flex and adapt to the VUCA world around them to succeed.

The increasingly speedy, rocky and complicated l andscape in which we operate, one with the new challenges of changing workplace demographics, globalisation and disruptive technology, leave more unknowns than ever before and moves at continued pace, changing the playing field altogether.

Every organisation is confronted with persistent, recurring problems. They often fall back on obvious solutions such as applying new technologies, recruiting experts or improving communication processes. In most cases, this is done in a hierarchical way with the top layer of management being responsible for finding the right solutions. An adaptive challenge allows problems to be identified more accurately and involves the entire organisation in the search for possible solutions.

Adaptive Leadership can help when there are no easy solutions available. It’s a critical skill for anyone looking for systematic changes in an increasingly complex world. Adaptive leaders learn to control the context through experiments. They cultivate a diversity of viewpoints to generate many options. They lead with empathy, reward their employees’ performance with autonomy and independence and find winning solutions for all stakeholders.

Leaders today require a new set of adaptive competencies to thrive in the 2020’s.

Learning Outcomes

Gain an underst anding of the Adaptive Leadership framework

Apply lessons from evolutionary biology to lead and adapt more effectively in a VUCA world

Gain a greater level of self-awareness and better underst and the behavioural and attitudinal drivers that influence others

Learn how to successfully orchestrate conflict and encourage courageous conversations to build better relationships

Learn to lead through the art of asking effective questions

Become a more future focused leader by underst anding the disruptive forces that are influencing the world of work

Distinguish between Technical challenges and Adaptive challenges. Learn how to solve adaptive challenges.

How to successfully design and run adaptive experiments for continous innovation

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one most responsive to change”

- Charles Darwin -

Course content

Course One: The adaptive Leadership Framework
  1. Getting on the balcony
    • Develop the mental activity of stepping back from the "fog of war" and seeing things in a clearer perspective.
  2. Thinking Politically
    • Underst and why people support, resist, benefit and lose when you lead adaptive change. Identify the stakeholders, factions and other groups critical to your making progress on your adaptive challenge.
  3. Adaptive vs Technical challenges
    • How to distinguish between adaptive challenges and technical challenges - Identify your Leadership challenge.
  4.  Adaptive experimentation
    • Underst and how to design and run effective adaptive experiments for continuing innovation.


  1. Lessons from evolutionary biology
    • What to keep, what to discard and how to experiment, innovate and create to stay relevant.
  2. Orchestrate Conflict
    • Great change leaders know how to create a safe place for dissenting voices to be heard. How to effectively surface relevant conflict when your organisation is falling short of its aspirations.
  3. Diagnose the system
    • The current system rewards what exists today. Are your people reluctant to change what is, for what may be needed tomorrow?
  4. Learn, Unlearn and Relearn
    • The need to constantly rejuvenate and innovate organizations requires leaders to adopt the Learn, Unlearn, Relearn model.

“When the rate of change on the outside exceeds the amount of change on the inside, the end is near.”

- Jack Welch -
Course Two: Self Awareness - Becoming a more conscious, self-aware leader
  1. Meta-Cognition
    • The ability to think about what you are thinking about. How your thinking influences your emotions and how that influences your behaviour. Underst anding how your behaviour influences other people.
  2. The delusional leader
    • The surprising correlation between positions of power, our experience and self-awareness.
  3. Unconscious Bias
    • We don't see the world the way it is. We see the world the way we are. This radically influences our decision making and judgement.
  4.  The practice of mindfulness
    • Awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non judgementally.
  5. Reframing
    • The ability to look at a person or situation from a different perspective and thereby change the meaning we associate with it.
  1. The life story approach
    • Authentic leaders derive a great level of self knowledge and their self-concept from an underst anding of their life experiences.
  2. Solutions Mining
    • The ability to focus our attention on solutions as opposed to problems can help us think less and underst and more.
  3. Growth Mindset vs Fixed mindset
    • How to develop the mindset of world class performers. Underst and your dominant mindset.
  4. The power of Grit
    • Do you have the courage, resilience, conscientiousness, excellence and endurance required to stick to very long term goals? Underst and your Grit score.
  5. External self-awareness
    • Great leaders underst and themselves well, but the also have an accurate underst anding of how they are seen by others. This can be done in conjunction with a 360 degree feedback assessment.

"Self awareness is our capacity to st and apart from ourselves and examine our thinking, our motives, our history, our scripts, our actions, and our habits and tendencies."

- Stephen Covey -
course three: The future focused leader
  1. Courageous conversations
    • These are the difficult conversations that leaders and staff members do not want to deal with, but that will have a dramatic influence on relationships and performance if they are not dealt with. We share a practical methodology of how to overcome our fears and the skills needed to have these conversations.
  2. Leading through the art of asking the right questions
    • Adaptive leaders don't give the right answers. They ask the right questions. This is a practical exercise on how to become the leader that asks questions that are difficult to answer as opposed to giving answers that are difficult to question.
  3. The future focused Leader
    • If we are going to respond to change effectively it is essential that your whole team underst and the global forces that are disrupting the world of work and particularly your industry. From Technology and Demographics to Globalisation, Urbanisation and Shifting Societal Values there are seismic shifts taking place that will side swipe our business if we are not paying attention. This is a practical session where we teach Leaders how to think like futurists by effectively learning the skills to constantly scan the horison. This is a guaranteed paradigm shifter that every team member needs to be part of.
  4. leadership and the art of story telling
    • When leaders tell the right stories at the right time and in the right way, they help create clarity and resolve in the people who follow them. To achieve meaningful outcomes in business people need to be inspired. They need to be connected to purpose. Great leaders have mastered the art of story telling to achieve this and to entrench organisational culture.

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn."

- Alvin Toffler -

Our Methodology

Every section has a head component and a h ands component and frequently a heart component. For learning to be effective we must underst and the theory, implement a practical component and connect with the material



Case studies


Group exercises

Experiential learning





Group projects

Who should attend?

This workshop is designed for anybody who wants to learn more about being an adaptive leader. You do not need to be in a position of formal authority or high up in the organizational hierarchy to attend. Every organization faces adaptive challenges. The principles studied and applied will be helpful to anyone looking to learn more about the frameworks and tools that help individuals, teams and organizations adapt to dynamic environments.

Why use MCA Training International?

We have been in the business for almost 30 years

We have serviced clients in 54 countries in various industries

We have representation in over 6 countries

Most of our clients do repeat business with us over years

We have a team of highly skilled facilitators

We get results!