The Posner Center partners with Alexander & Associates LLC to present Leading Sustainable Change–a training series based on the Adaptive Leadership model. The Adaptive Leadership model is a framework that helps individuals and organizations adapt and thrive in challenging environments.


Learning Objectives

  • Gain a deeper knowledge of style and personality to better understand individual and group behaviors
  • Reach a common understanding of “leadership” based on the Ron Heifetz model of adaptive leadership as informed by Sharon Parks’ work on leadership in turbulent times
  • Experience how to engage peers in order to deepen understanding of personal and organizational challenges
  • Model and practice learning from failure through individual case studies and group consultations

Intended Participants

Ideal program participants are committed to affecting sustainable change within their organization. Participants should be open to self-evaluation, candid dialogue, and new paradigms for interacting with others. Applicants may come from any level within an organization, and need not have supervisory responsibilities. This program could be for you if you are asking:

  • I thought they agreed, but now all I get is pushback. What am I doing wrong?
  • How can we get to the real issues instead of just scratching the surface?
  • I don’t have the authority to direct change, so how can I be a leader?
  • What do I need to know about myself and others to be an effective leader?

For group cohesion and confidentiality, we will accept just one participant per organization, and eight total program participants. If more than one person in your organization wants to participate, please contact Lauren Andraski at , as we may host multiple cohorts.

Dates & Times

There will be eight, two-hour sessions, held remotely via Zoom or, if we can reopen the building, at the Posner Center during business hours. The sessions will be scheduled with all participant input to ensure full participation. Sessions will be approximately every other week starting on July 20 from 1pm-3pm through October. A commitment to attend all eight sessions is required.

Program Outline

The program is structured as a series of group learning engagements with short assignments between sessions.

  • Session 1:  What is leadership?
  • Session 2:  How does my style affect my relationships?
  • Session 3:  How can I meet everybody’s expectations?
  • Session 4:  Leadership without easy answers
  • Session 5:  Crafting conditions for change
  • Sessions 6 & 7:  Case presentations and group consultations
  • Session 8:  Series closure & follow up

Program Leaders

This program will be led by Joan H. Alexander & Barton Alexander from Alexander & Associates, LLC. They have led this program with mid-career graduate students at DU’s Daniels College of Business, at the Posner Center, and use this approach in their consulting and coaching practices.

Joan H. Alexander, Change Leadership Consultant and Certified Executive Coach

Joan has successfully provided consulting and executive coaching on leadership development, leading change and effective teaming for 30 years. She’s worked with leaders and their teams in corporations, federal and local government agencies, public school districts, and NGOs. Joan founded and led a 501c3 that provided coaching to at-risk high school students, proving her theory that, when supported, at-risk students can overcome their challenges and succeed. She has lived and worked in various parts of the US, and also in the UK. For more information, click here.

Barton Alexander, Change Leadership and Corporate Responsibility Consultant

Bart has served in leadership positions in government and industry for more than 40 years. His career is marked by leading positive change in diverse areas including social services, employment and training, economic development and corporate responsibility. He has served as chair and board member in numerous local, national and international NGOs. He is convinced that sustainable change requires intention, connection with all affected stakeholders and learning from failures big and small. Bart was introduced to Adaptive Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and continues to be active in the Adaptive Leadership Network. For more information, click here.

What Past Participants Said

  • I had a wonderful and transformative experience through this program. Bart & Joan created a safe environment in which I could explore my different facets and the ways I interact with others. These sessions planted seeds of new pathways for approaching challenging situations in more fluid, adaptive and creative ways.
  • In the past, I might have chosen to shy away from facing challenging situations or remain stuck in unproductive patterns. I now have the ability to step back and see situations from different angles.
  • I’ve learned to understand what is a technical problem vs. an adaptive leadership problem. Sometimes we have to ask the bigger question, and what is the “real” problem.

Program Cost

The cost of Leading Sustainable Change is $150 per person.

Program Application

Complete this application by June 15th. Applicants will be notified by June 26th.

Note: If you are interested in the program but the timing of this offering will not work for you, please complete the application and note your interest in a future session.