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Sloan School of Management

Transforming Your Leadership Strategy

Deborah Ancona on Transforming Your Leadership Strategy

Next dates

Jun 11—12
2 days
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
USD 4100
USD 2050 per day
Oct 24—25
2 days
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
USD 4100
USD 2050 per day


As organizations move away from a “command and control” model to a more “cultivate and coordinate” model, executives can no longer rely on old ways of thinking about leadership strategies. This course introduces participants to a powerful new framework developed at MIT to help leaders at every level drive innovation, maximize team performance, and succeed in today’s complex world of fast-paced, dramatic change.

This program is built around MIT's unique Distributed Leadership Model―an innovative and impactful approach to executive leadership that lies at the core of leadership development at MIT, and the result of an intensive, four-year research project at the MIT Leadership Center to identify more effective strategies for leading in a networked economy. Tested in diverse, real-world settings, the model allows managers to succeed as leaders by being flexible and adaptive in new and unexpected ways through the application of two key concepts:

  • A 4 Capabilities Leadership Framework that makes it possible to harness, align, and leverage the leadership capabilities that exist throughout an organization.
  • X-Teams, a revolutionary approach to creating flexible, outwardly-focused project teams that enables managers to both keep current with shifts in markets, technologies, and competition, and accelerate the pace of innovation and change.

Upon completion of this program, participants will gain an understanding of how to:

  • Innovate and move quickly from generating ideas to executing and diffusing them throughout the organization
  • Unlock crucial information, expertise, and new ways of working together, wherever these qualities reside within or outside the company
  • Succeed in a competitive “flat world” of new organizational architectures; smart, orchestrated networks; and tiny firms that do not need huge capitalization to compete
  • Make their organizations more agile, responsive, and creative

Sample Schedule—Subject to Change


7:45AM - 8:30AM Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30AM - 12:00PM Introduction: What is Leadership? Overview of the 4 Capabilities Leadership Framework

  • Sensemaking
  • Relating
  • Visioning
  • Inventing

Sensemaking / Relating Exercises

12:00PM - 1:00PM Networking Lunch

1:00PM - 5:00PM Team Sensemaking Exercise

  • Using the 4 Capabilities for Change
  • Visioning Exercise I


7:45AM - 8:30AM Continental Breakfast

8:30AM - 12:30PM The Out and In of Successful Teaming

  • Inventing: The 4-Player Model & Too Big to Fail
  • Inventing: X-teams and Distributed Leadership

12:30PM - 1:15PM Networking Lunch

1:15PM - 4:00PM Assessment Exercise

  • Visioning Exercise II
  • Closing Exercise

4:00PM - 4:15PM Feedback and Adjournment

Who should attend

This program has been designed especially for senior general and technical executives whose organizations compete in an environment of rapidly changing markets, technologies, and cultures, including:

  • CEOs
  • Presidents
  • COOs
  • Executive VPs
  • Heads of R&D, Engineering, Manufacturing & IS
  • Chief Technologists
  • Corporate Planners and Strategists
  • VPs of Marketing and New Venture Development
  • Other senior managers with leadership responsibility


Deborah Ancona is the Seley Distinguished Professor of Management, a Professor of Organization Studies, and the Director of the MIT Leadership Center at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Her pioneering research into how successful teams operate has highlighted the critical importance of managi...


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