What is an Adaptive Action Lab?

An Adaptive Action Lab (AA Lab) brings the best of consulting and training into a single event. It is a work session, as opposed to a training session. As a participant, you define and work on your most intractable challenge. Then you learn about human systems dynamics (HSD) as you apply your new learning to frame your challenge in a way that points to your best next wise action. You leave the session with two tangible outcomes. First, you have a clear plan for moving forward in your challenge. Second, you carry with you a new perspective and effective models and methods that help you address your next challenge.

Join us in an AA Lab to learn how HSD can help you leverage the complexity of your challenges to create powerful energy for change.

Upcoming Adaptive Action Labs

Self-Care and Adaptive Action: Build Patterns of Balance and Self-Care

11a - 1p (central time) - January 23, 24, 26, 2018

In the rush of life, we spend time taking care of others at work, at home, and at play. You interrupt the balance your body needs. Human systems dynamics (HSD) offers a path to find this balance.

  • Identify patterns that limit your health and well-being
  • See how your busy and chaotic life shapes those patterns
  • Build capacity to choose patterns of health and wellness
  • Create a practical action plan for building those patterns in your life

Facilitation and Adaptive Action: Leverage the Power of Groups

11a – 1p (central time) - February 20, 21, 28, 2018

Today’s challenges demand collaboration. We face larger and more complex issues than ever before. Human systems dynamics (HSD) supports decision makers in finding new, generative patterns.

  • Learn and practice new approaches that help you set conditions for others to be productive
  • Understand the role of inquiry and adaptation in bringing groups together
  • Set conditions for shared deep learning and decision making
  • Create a practical action plan for facilitating groups through difficult times

Adaptive Action Laboratory: Plan for Uncertainty in Complexity

09:00 - 16:30 (sast) - March 19 - 20, 2018

Don’t be a victim of complexity and uncertainty. In this Adaptive Action Lab, you will prepare for a future you cannot predict or control. Bring your own wicked problem. Learn new ways to see, understand, and influence change in uncertain times. Leave with a plan that prepares you and your organization to thrive in a uncertain future.

  • Learn principles and tools to see, understand, and influence decision making and action in complex environments
  • Find a new, more agile, approach to all kinds of planning, including projects, strategy, operations, personal growth, and community development 
  • Practice what you learn as you respond to your own wicked problems
  • Give and receive peer coaching to ensure that your learning is sustainable
  • Discover a network of people who also seek simplicity in complexity

Conflict and Adaptive Action: Break Destructive Patterns

12n – 2p (central time) - March 21, 23, 28, 30, 2018

Conflict is never simple. In fact, conflict becomes complex anytime risks are high and outcomes are unknown—and this is almost always the case. Complex conflict can cause ripple effects in all areas of your life. Human systems dynamics (HSD) helps you cope with your most complex conflicts. In an HSD Conflict Adaptive Action Lab, you will:

  • Focus on a real conflict
  • See how conflict limits performance
  • Build capacity (yours and others’) to deal with conflict
  • Create a practical action plan for a current conflict you’re experiencing

Adaptive Action Laboratory: Agile, Collaborative Change in Complexity

09:00 - 16:30 (sast) - March 22-23, 2018

Change is changing. The pace is faster. Your circle of partners is expanding. Interdependencies and uncertainties are unavoidable. In this complex environment, you are expected to manage systemic change for yourself, your team, organization, and community.

Planning and Adaptive Action: Build Adaptive Capacity

11a – 1p (central time) - April 24, 25, 27, 2018

Planning used to be simple: 1) Describe a future you want. 2) Plan progressive steps to get there. 3) Follow those steps. 4) Look at results. Those steps informed planning in personal, organization, and community challenges. Life today is too complex for such simple planning to work. Real change today requires constant adaptation. Human systems dynamics (HSD) offers a path through the complexities of change. In an HSD Planning and Adaptive Action Lab, you will use your most intractable issues to:

  • Build your ability to prepare for and respond to uncertain futures
  • Experience the value of good questions
  • Learn to develop and measure meaningful outcomes in complex systems
  • Identify your next wise action to address your most complex planning challenge

Learning Ecologies and Adaptive Action: Engage in Generative Teaching and Learning

11a – 1p (central time) - May 7, 9, 15, 2018

Individuals and groups can keep up with today’s complex change only when they operate in an ecology that supports continuous learning. As one solution, systems have established professional learning communities (PLCs). However, people often struggle to maintain effective and lively PLCs. Human systems dynamics (HSD) addresses four challenges we face in shaping PLCs. In an HSD Learning Ecology Adaptive Action Lab, you will:

  • Set conditions for collaborative learning communities
  • Connect professional learning to desired outcomes
  • Sustain engagement and productivity over time
  • Support organizational and system change
  • Develop a plan to create a learning ecology in your community or classroom

Leadership and Adaptive Action: Set Conditions for Success

12n – 2p (central time) - Jun 22, 26, 27, 2018

Leaders set conditions for others to be successful. In HSD, we know this kind of leadership happens anywhere in the system. Formal and informal leaders set conditions for success for those around them. Anyone in the system can deal with multiple forces that drive their work. They address increasing diversity. They use what they know about the past to inform today’s actions to shape the future. Human systems dynamics (HSD) offers models and methods for leaders who want to shape success for themselves and others. In an HSD Leadership Adaptive Action Lab, you will:

  • Define your role as leader in your complex adaptive system
  • Understand and use competing forces to make wise decisions
  • Use Adaptive Action to set conditions for success for yourself and others
  • Develop a plan for setting conditions for success in your world

Diversity and Inclusion and Adaptive Action: Leverage Difference for Meaningful Engagement

12n – 2p (central time) - August 24, 31, September 7, 2018

In the 21st century, diversity is a given. Diversity of ideas, culture, experience, and information contributes to the complexity of your world. Individuals and groups stretch to the breaking point. They work to accommodate, respond to, and integrate this diversity into the fabric of their systems. Human systems dynamics (HSD) offers an approach for leveraging difference to create more meaningful engagements. In an HSD Diversity and Inclusion Adaptive Action Lab, you will:

  • Explore identity, power, and voice to understand human interactions across difference
  • Leverage tensions across those differences
  • Create cultures of inclusion
  • Build your own plan for dealing with issues you face today

Networks and Adaptive Action: Connect to Create

12n – 2p (central time) - September 25, 27, 28, 2018

Your clients’ lives are busier and more complex than ever. The chaos they feel limits their possibilities and momentum. They want to make choices that move them forward. Human systems dynamics (HSD) offers a powerful coaching model to help your clients find a path through their most challenging situations. In an HSD Adaptive Action Coaching Lab, you will:

  • Explore tensions that drive clients’ choices
  • Convert those tensions into energy for change
  • Support clients in navigating their worlds in productive and generative ways
  • Strengthen your own coaching skills and insights to support your clients’ use of HSD
  • Use HSD to explore your own challenges and sticky professional issues

Adaptive Action Coaching: Build Patterns for Success

10a – 12n (central time) - October 3, 4, 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2, 2018

Your clients’ lives are busier and more complex than ever. The chaos they feel limits their possibilities and momentum. They want to make choices that move them forward. Human systems dynamics (HSD) offers a powerful coaching model to help your clients find a path through their most challenging situations. In an HSD Adaptive Action Coaching Lab, you will:

  • Explore tensions that drive clients’ choices
  • Convert those tensions into energy for change
  • Support clients in navigating their worlds in productive and generative ways
  • Strengthen your own coaching skills and insights to support your clients’ use of HSD
  • Use HSD to explore your own challenges and sticky professional issues

Collaboration and Adaptive Action: Build Connections for Powerful Action

In the diversity of the 21st century, it is easy to allow differences that define us to become the dividing lines that separate us. Groups, teams, communities become insular and find it difficult to work together. And yet, in such a diverse world, it’s critical that we learn to share resources, perspectives, and talents in ways that enrich all our opportunities. Human systems dynamics (HSD) offers models and methods for supporting deep collaboration that leverages all contributions. In an HSD Collaboration Adaptive Action Lab, you will learn to:

  • Build common purpose and focus in diverse communities
  • Leverage tensions in the system to generate energy for change
  • Develop commonly shared goals and outcomes across institutional lines
  • Develop your own plan for collaborating to address a sticky issue you face
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