CLA co-founder Ron Heifetz, is also the founding director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is renowned worldwide for his seminal work on the practice and teaching of leadership; he speaks and consults extensively in the United States and abroad with leaders in business, government, and nonprofit organizations.
Dr. Heifetz’s research at Harvard focuses on how to build adaptive capacity in societies, businesses, and nonprofits. His courses on leadership and authority are among the most popular in the university, and his widely acclaimed book, Leadership Without Easy Answers has been translated into many languages and is currently in its twelfth printing. Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive through the Dangers of Leading, written with Marty Linsky, was published in 2002, and his newest book, The Practice of Adaptive Leadership – Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World, written with Marty Linsky and Alexander Grashow, published in May 2009.
A graduate of Columbia University, Harvard Medical School, and the Harvard Kennedy School, Heifetz is also a physician and a cellist, having studied with the Russian virtuoso, Gregor Piatigorsky.
The CLA logo honors the challenge that exercising true leadership entails.
The large dot in the center represents an opportunity for change, what we call an adaptive challenge. It is surrounded by the individuals and coalitions, represented by the small purple dots, which have a stake in tackling—or avoiding—the problem you face.
Individuals representing divergent views, yet actively engaged in working on the challenge “in the room,” are depicted in the inner circle. These outside dots represent constituents and their specific loyalties, values, and losses that will be affected when a progress is taken toward an adaptive challenge. These outside forces, are what those are “inside the room” represent and are managing and whether aware of them or not, the invested constituents can derail a solution.
The leadership opportunity lies in recognizing these competing commitments and helping the various members work through their articulation and potential losses. This adaptive stakeholder analysis needs to involve those both inside and outside the room. Acknowledging what might be lost or may have to be given up to make progress is critical. Without this first step, the loyalties and values to those outside responsibilities can make the Adaptive Challenge intractable.
By understanding the key factions around an Adaptive Challenge, you are more likely to develop strategies for recruiting allies, working with the opposition, and preparing for the casualties of the process. The diagnostic work is to observe the system by seeing the multiple relationships to the issue.
CLA engagements are only delivered by master practitioners.