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How to master the art of creating the ‘Adaptive Spaces’ that enable innovations to spread – with Prof Mary Uhl-Bien

Deepen your skills for enabling change and innovation to flourish in your organisation.

4 Dec 2019

Zoom video call - online/phone (all welcome) *4-5pm*

In this webinar we welcomed back Prof Mary Uhl-Bien, a leading pioneer internationally in complexity thinking and practice.

Mary focused on the practical steps we need to take to effectively initiate and support ‘Adaptive Spaces’, as well as the new ‘Enabling Leadership’ needed to help them function effectively, complementing current leadership approaches.

Watch the webinar

Download the presentation slides

Watch Mary’s first webinar for Q: How ‘Adaptive Spaces’ enable innovation in healthcare and beyond

More information and resources from the webinar

Mary’s decade-long research program focused on uncovering the key sources and mechanisms that enable innovation, transformation and change – including in hospitals and across health systems. A framework was developed from these lessons for how best to support new forms of leadership for adaptability and organisational agility.

This research found that successful innovations emerge from informal/entrepreneurial networks but must be supported and developed in temporary ‘Adaptive spaces’ if they are to fulfil their potential for transforming formal bureaucratic organisations like the NHS, as well as other public and private sector organisations.

Tools including Labs, Liberating Structures, Design Thinking, Adaptive Salons and Summits and Positive Deviance can help us create these vital ‘Adaptive spaces’.

Further reading

Great short (5 pg.) article: ‘Complexity Leadership Theory: Shifting from Human Capital to Social Capital‘ (People + Strategy, 2016) – open access.

If you have more time: ‘How to Catalyse Innovation in Your Organisation’ (Sloan Management Review, 2017 – open), co-authored with organisational network analysis pioneer Prof Rob Cross and others, highlights the three network roles that are key to catalysing emergent innovation.

Also recommended: ‘Complexity leadership: Enabling people and organizations for adaptability‘ appears in Organizational Dynamics (2017) – closed access.

Mary Uhl-Bien’s bio
Mary Uhl-Bien is the BNSF Railway Endowed Professor of Leadership at the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University. She is an expert on complexity leadership, relational leadership, and followership. She is active in executive education nationally and internationally and has taught for the Brookings Institute and the Gallup Organization.