Master of International Affairs   Master of Public Policy  

Adaptive leadership in times of crises

We live in an increasingly complex, pluralistic world. These times call for individuals from all levels of hierarchy to practice leadership: That is, to mobilize people, communities, and organizations, to confront the tough challenges they face and to make the changes necessary to thrive. In a crisis facing tough challenges might be too overwhelming so exercising leadership in times of crisis will be more targeted at keeping people safe, managing intensive emotions and ambiguity. At the same time it is essential to support people in learning and make progress on challenges that are underlying the imminent dangers of a crisis.

This workshop introduces students to the diagnostic distinction between leadership and authority. Leadership is an activity that can be exercised irrespective of authority. This generates the potential for exercising leadership from any position within a group or organization. Students also learn to distinguish between technical problems and adaptive challenges – those challenges that cannot be solved by expertise and management alone, but that require innovation and learning. They reflect on and experiment with intervention strategies for adaptive challenges.

Leadership in times of crisis requires a different set of strategies. Students learn to distinguish between imminent dangers and underlying issues and develop ideas how to deal with emotions, uncertainty and ambiguity.

This course is for first year MIA & MPP students only.