The Posner Center is excited to present the fourth year of Leading Sustainable Change. Based on the Adaptive Leadership model, the framework 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
  • Include and promote diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and decolonization as necessary components of good leadership

Intended Participants

Ideal program participants are committed to effecting 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 1 participant per organization and 8 total program participants. If more than one person in your organization wants to participate, please contact , as we may host multiple cohorts. Anyone in the Posner Center Community is welcome to apply, wherever you live. Not based in Denver? No problem! The program will be hosted via Zoom and members outside of the US are encouraged to apply.

Black, Indigenous, and people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQIA-identified people, and people with low incomes are strongly encouraged to apply and will be prioritized as participants in the program, as people with these identities typically have less access to leadership opportunities and have been excluded from leadership positions in global development.


A commitment to attend all eight sessions and complete pre-work is required. We also ask that participants respond to the surveys initially after the program, as well as those we will send yearly after program completion to understand the long-term impacts of the program.

Session 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?
  • Sessions 4 & 5: Leadership without easy answers
  • Session 6: Crafting conditions for change
  • Sessions 7 & 8: Case presentations and group consultations
  • Session 9: Series closure and follow up

Leadership Certificate

Leading Sustainable Change is one of the three programs included in the Posner Center’s Leadership Certificate. Learn more about the certificate and other included programs here.

Program Leaders

This program was created 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. Our intention is for this program to be sustained at the Posner Center, led by past program graduates, to more fully integrate these leadership practices into the community. This year, the program will be led by past program participants Reba Yount and Lauren Andraski.

Reba Yount, Employee Relations Consultant at Colorado University Denver, Participant in 2021 Leading Sustainable Change cohort, and Posner Center for International Development Board of Director Member at Large

Reba worked in the non-profit and international development sector for 15 years before transitioning into the higher education sector. Her experiences span transformational leadership, organizational development, and project management across Human Resources, Communications, Finance, and Operations. Throughout her career, Reba has sought out opportunities to grow and learn from people at all levels of organizations. Leading Sustainable Change gave her the language to coincide with this. She is looking forward to engaging these tools on the CU Denver campus and learning alongside the 2022 cohort.


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: Pay What You Can

The full value of the program is $1,500-$2,100 per participant, however, we will be using a sliding scale to honor the value participants receive from this program, pay our facilitators, and cover admin fees while maintaining accessibility to the Posner Center Community. You will be able to determine the amount you are able to pay when you apply for the program. Your organization may be willing to cover the cost, so let us know if you need help demonstrating the value to your organization.

Dates & Times

There will be nine, two-hour sessions, held remotely via Zoom. For participants in Denver, we may offer the opportunity for in-person attendance as well. The sessions will be scheduled with all participants’ input to ensure full participation. 

Thank you for your patience as we search for the Posner Center’s next Executive Director! Dates for the Leading Sustainable Change Program will be announced after the transition, likely in spring 2023.

January 12, 2023, 10:00am-11:00am MST






Leadership Certificate Information Session

Applications Due

Notification of Acceptance

Payment Due

Session 1

Sessions 2-8

To Apply

Applications will open in spring 2023. Join the Posner Community or sign up for our newsletter to be notified when applications open.


Contact our Program Director: