Adaptive Leadership training

The adaptive demands of our time require leaders who take responsibility without waiting for revelation or request. One can lead with no more than a question in hand
— Ron Heifetz, Founder, Centre for Public Leadership - Harvard Kennedy School

Adaptive Leadership is a practice not a theory. Ron Heifetz and his colleagues at Harvard University define it as the "practice of mobilizing people to tackle tough challenges and thrive". It is a 'distributed leadership' model, which means leadership can be displayed across an organization or a group of people, not only by those in senior positions or management roles. Leadership is therefore defined as actions that catalyse change.

Polykala's training is designed using the principles of experiential learning. Through a series of carefully facilitated exercises, participants not only learn core adaptive principles they also gain insights, from first hand experience, on how the principles can be applied to make a difference.



Polykala delivered three sessions to over 450 students at the Melbourne Medical Students Conference called Beyond Answers: Adaptive Leadership for Medical Practitioners. The sessions were an experiential introduction to Adaptive Leadership aimed to enhance their ability to make a difference as medical professionals.

Polykala provided a fascinating insight on the application of Adaptive Leadership and emotional intelligence. This is invaluable in the development of leadership skills for the young doctors of the future.
— Nigel Sutherland, Medical Student, University of Melbourne


This 6-week Adaptive Leadership program was delivered as part of the Refugee Action Plan. It focussed on a  range of leadership skills including Team Building, Negotiation, Engaging in Difficult Conversations, Public Speaking and Storytelling. The project was a collaboration between the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre and the City of Whittlesea. The Program concluded with a Graduation night involving musical performances, poetry and speeches from the participants.

Polykala work in a real and transformative way. They connect very well with the participants, making them feel at ease which creates an environment for growth. They were flexible, easy, professional and bring a human and refreshing approach to the work - great to work with!
— Anna Hutchens - Community Engagement Coordinator - Brotherhood of St Laurence