Adaptive Leadership Intensive

The course was unlike any other. It was a real experience in self-learning which challenged how I see myself and how I understand and reflect on the challenge of leadership.
— Liz Stockley - CEO, Health Hawkes Bay

The three-day Introduction to Adaptive Leadership (A1) intensive combines the Adaptive Leadership insights of Ron Heifetz and Marty Linsky with the immediacy of improvisational theatre and immersive groupwork. The training takes participants through a series of exercises and demonstrations designed to bring characteristic (automatic) behaviours into focus. Via frank dialogue with other participants, some of these behaviours become exposed as impediments to leadership effectiveness.

Fundamental to the training is the view that a person’s leadership effectiveness is tied directly to their reflective skill. Participants focus reflective attention on themselves - both individually and as a group - using their own behaviours and reactions as source material to investigate the Adaptive framework. Armed with this empirical data, participants can then explore alternative ways of responding that might enhance their leadership capability.

Polykala’s Adaptive Leadership training is facilitated by Simon Nette, Tom Henderson and Ananth Gopal, trained by Ron Hiefetz at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Simon has worked closely with Polykala for a number of years to develop a truly experiential, creative Adaptive Leadership training.

 2018 Introduction to Adaptive Leadership (A1)


To enquire about the Adaptive Leadership Intensives, contact

What they're saying...

The Polykala Adaptive Leadership course is a must for anyone who wants to experience what it takes to engage in genuine leadership action
— Chris Porter - Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victorian Government
My strength in myself grew throughout the course of the weekend as I not only uncovered my weaknesses but also my strengths. This was very powerful for me
— Jo Baker - Director, Youth Food Movement
It was one of the most thought-provoking and emotional experiences I have been through in recent times. I have regularly reflected on the experience since. Thanks to all.
— Kim Aitken - Principal Consultant, People Measures

The Facilitators 

Alongside the core Polykala team outlined in the 'Who we are' section we will have the following guests:

Simon Nette - Head Facilitator

Simon is one of Australia's most innovative and effective facilitators of experiential training. His style of facilitation places the trainee as their own case study and emphasises practical, action-oriented reflection. His work asks participants to go beyond self-imposed constraints, and, lean into their capacity to make a difference - even in the toughest of situations.

Simon has had many lives from teacher, playwright, actor, business coach and leadership consultant. He studied at Harvard University and has trained people for over three decades in Australia and Asia.

AG Profile

Ananth Gopal - Facilitator

Ananth delivers the voice and body component of the Adaptive Leadership intensive. He has worked as a performer in the U.K, New Zealand and Australia over the last decade. Ananth is a student of Julia Biermann and Ruth Wiemar’s Functional Voice. He has also trained with Glynn MacDonald in Alexander Technique at the Globe Theatre, London. He's worked primarily in independent theatre, T.V and is a member of the Melbourne Playback Theatre Company.

His session draws particularly on improvisational theatre and Functional Voice so that participants can experiment with creative modes that enhancetheir leadership effectiveness.