Adaptive Leadership for Results

Press Release
Press Release

Angela Hendrix Terry will deliver a NLC University Seminar titled "Adaptive Leadership: Tackling Your City’s Toughest Challenges” at the upcoming Congress of Cities and Exposition on Thursday, November 20th from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. in Austin, TX. . The NLC University seminars require pre-registration and have limited spaces, so act now to save your seat.

Leadership is about achieving results. Leaders seek to create alignment around a common result and then work with others to make aligned contributions to achieve the result. 

In this process both technical and adaptive challenges will emerge.  To achieve results a leader must know the difference between technical and adaptive challenge and be able to implement strategies addressing both. Often times, leaders are unable to push change because they are trying to bring a technical solution to an adaptive challenge.

Technical challenge can be solved with existing knowledge, skills and, or technologies. Adaptive challenges are those where there is no readily available technical solution and the exact nature of the challenge may be unknown. 

These are challenges that require leaders to enlist others, be they individual or organizations, in the effort toward results. Adaptive challenges are always present when striving for high alignment and high action because facing them involves challenges to existing modes of operating, examining deeply held, often unconscious, values and beliefs and exploring new ways of thinking or acting.

Leading effectively requires recognizing both the adaptive and technical aspects of a situation and tailoring your efforts accordingly. At the National League of Cities’ upcoming Congress of Cities, leaders will have an opportunity to learn the difference between technical and adaptive challenges in their work as well as the six principles of adaptive leadership.

Attendees will have an opportunity to think about how they lead through adaptive challenges and tips for holding themselves and others accountable for the results that lead to better outcomes for constituents. 

*Informed by Heiftez and Linsky, Leadership on the Line

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