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Public Program - About


This train-the-trainer program builds on and extends the leadership development framework and methodology of Adaptive Leadership (TM), which was developed by Ron Heifetz and his Harvard Kennedy School colleagues over the past thirty-five years. It provides a framework, shared language and set of tools and techniques for leading individuals and teams through challenging and uncertain environments.

As the premier mission-based Adaptive Leadership organization worldwide, ACA is the only provider of Adaptive Leadership trademarked certification. ​Our experts have run similar programs at Google, Microsoft, Acumen, and elsewhere, helping them build in-house capacity. We also designed the first online course in Adaptive Leadership, have run it continuously for the last 10 years—reaching hundreds of thousand of people. We continually evolve Adaptive Leadership content, while preserving its core elements and pedagogy, to stay relevant to the adaptive challenges of today's world.


The need for effective leadership facilitation is increasing as our global community and organizational challenges get more complex, less certain and simply harder to manage. “Facilitation” in these contexts often extends beyond simple training facilitation to holding—and even leading—competing stakeholders through a process of creative disequilibrium to undergo a deep experiential learning process. 


For the facilitator, as for a leadership practitioner, a guiding question is therefore how do I prepare people to tolerate the pressures, heat and ambiguity that develops as we work toward resolving tough and seemingly intractable (adaptive) challenges?  Facilitators take part in a well-tested and refined onsite and offsite development process that includes a range of experiential, didactic and results-oriented activities based on established adult-learning principles. Specific consideration will be given to differing levels of experience and perspectives.

What is Adaptive Leadership Facilitation?

Adaptive Leadership facilitation builds facilitator capacity by shifting the training “classroom” to become a space to practice leadership rather than to simply study it. The cornerstone of Adaptive Leadership facilitation is a belief that, to facilitate well, the facilitator needs to internalize the very capacities that they seek to create in the individuals and teams they’re facilitating. This includes managing self and role, understanding their relationship to authority, surfacing factions, managing frustration and discomfort in the face of intractable challenges, navigating disappointment and orchestrating productive conflict. To do that, facilitators must develop a keen eye for seeing the system as it reveals itself, generating multiple interpretations of “data” in the room, and then crafting activities and interventions to help people engage purposefully. 

Specific, practical skills the facilitator can expect to learn include:

  • Reading dynamic situations and designing interventions in the moment

  • Making hidden issues, assumptions and interpretations transparent and testable

  • Depersonalizing conflict

  • Directing attention to systemic, rather than personal, interpretations

  • Resisting the urge to provide premature closure to conversations

  • Holding steady when participants express discomfort or hostility

  • Making conscious choices about which lines of inquiry to pursue and which to let pass

  • Refashioning participants' expectations that they can rely on the facilitator for answers

Overall Structure

This Adaptive Leadership Train-the-Trainer program will take place over four days. The program consists of a field and forum design. Facilitators choose from amongst a standard 2-day Adaptive Leadership format, shorter form trainings, longitudinal immersive trainings, peer-supported action learning activities, and other formats that fit the needs of their organizations or clients. 


Upon successful completion of the program, facilitators receive ACA certification and access to trademarked materials and other trainer assets.


A $500 deposit holds your seat. Rates: Corporate $5,000, Nonprofit/Govt $2,500 ; limited scholarships available


The program takes place over four intensive 1/2 day workshops. After the course, participants become members of the Gather community of leadership practitioners worldwide.

[Eastern Time]

November 9: Noon - 4pm

November 10: 8am - Noon

November 13: Noon - 4pm

November 14: 8am - Noon


Eric R. Martin is a renown Adaptive Leadership trainer, advisor and speaker at places such as: The White House Executive Office of Presidential Personnel, Google, Rockefeller Foundation, Microsoft, Verizon, US Business Council for Sustainable Development, United Nations Innovation Network, World Bank, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, Aspen Institute, Cornell University, and Acumen.  Eric's work to "democratize leadership" has put the powerful framework, tools and techniques of Adaptive Leadership into the hands of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.

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