The Art and Danger of Adaptive Leadership

Lead­ing effec­tive­ly and inclu­sive­ly in today’s increas­ing­ly polar­ized world requires both head and heart. Build­ing your team’s — and your — abil­i­ty to adapt to unfore­seen real­i­ties also requires you to hold steady dur­ing peri­ods of intense change. This course uses an adap­tive lead­er­ship frame­work to strength­en your abil­i­ty to tack­le com­plex prob­lems in your pro­fes­sion­al and per­son­al worlds. Adap­tive lead­er­ship is a crit­i­cal tool and skill set for those look­ing to dri­ve sys­temic change while being account­able to their own val­ues and goals. 

Par­tic­i­pants will engage in pub­lic learn­ing to test the adap­tive diag­nos­tic process togeth­er. Pub­lic learn­ing is a col­lab­o­ra­tive process where we use the class itself as a case study, pay­ing atten­tion to how author­i­ty and lead­er­ship are alive in the class­room, and using class­room engage­ment itself as a test­ing ground for these new lead­er­ship approaches. 

Course at a glance

This course is offered in partnership with

Participants will receive a badge from PLLC on completion of the course and also become eligible for 21 hours of elective credit* towards the Advanced Certificate in Leadership program.

* email or phone 780 492-3027 to receive the credit.

Students can expect a very "hands-on" approach to learning, with plenty of in-class and small group participation. To begin the course, students will dive into the adaptive work with a weekend intensive that will introduce them to the adaptive framework, peer groups, and experiential learning. The weekend blends the best of active learning with dedicated time for peer groups and reflection.

After this initial weekend intensive, each student will meet with their leadership coach and peer group on Tuesdays to work a real, pressing leadership challenge. Instead of abstract case studies, each student will prepare their own leadership challenge (or failure). In the peer group meetings, coaches will lead the group through a diagnostic of each student's case.

Finally, Thursdays classes will blend seminar discussion, lecture, and experiential activities to bring adaptive leadership concepts to life. At the end of the month-long course, you'll have learned critical tools and gained a new perspective on your own leadership challenges.

Your instructor

Dr. Cristina Stasia is an award-winning university lecturer and the Director of Instruction at the University of Alberta’s Peter Lougheed Leadership College. She is currently completing an executive certificate in Public Leadership, with a focus on adaptive leadership, at the Kennedy School of Government. In recognition of her teaching excellence and innovative pedagogy in the Faculty of Arts, she received the William Hardy Award for Excellence in University Teaching and, via the Last Lecture competition, was voted by students as one of the top three most inspiring instructors at the University of Alberta.

Cristina’s commitment to experiential learning and putting theory into practice via community engagement led to her being recognized as one of Edmonton’s “Top 40 Under 40” by Avenue magazine. Cristina is the founder of Level Consulting; as a consultant and leadership trainer, she has worked with clients in Canada and China, including the City of Edmonton, government ministries, schools, and private businesses. She has served on numerous boards including SAVE (Sexual Assault Voices of Edmonton) and ETSAB (Edmonton Transit Service Advisory Board), and was a founding member of WAVE (Women’s Advocacy Voice of Edmonton, chair of the policy subcommittee).

What you will learn

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Distinguish between technical problems and adaptive challenges.
  • Apply an adaptive leadership diagnostic to a leadership challenge or failure.
  • Understand the role of disequilibrium in mobilizing systems to change.
  • Reflect on their own leadership competencies by “getting on the balcony.”
  • Identify their loyalties and how it impacts their leadership and decision-making.
This course has no prerequisites

Students from all educational backgrounds welcome. You can register for this course without applying and enrolling in a program.

Take note:

  • This course will start with a weekend of intensive learning and then meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays for four consecutive weeks.
  • Students will be placed in peer groups and be responsible for holding weekly one-hour peer group consultations through the duration of the course; each group will schedule their own peer group time.
  • In each class, roughly two-thirds of the time will be allocated to discussing a previously assigned reading; the last third will be allocated to a group diagnosis of a student's case.
When will
this course be offered?

New course schedules are released each June and November.

Course not yet scheduled

This course is not currently scheduled, but may be offered in an upcoming term.

New course schedules are announced each June and November.

Sign up for updates

Interested in future offerings of this course? We can let you know when this course becomes available.