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IIBA Toronto Speaker Series - Adaptive Leadership

  • 28 Jun 2023
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Zoom Online Meeting Event (not a webinar)


  • The event fee is waived for this event.

Registration is closed

The following is both an article and a description for the event.

IIBA Toronto

Speaker Series

Wednesday, June 28, 2022  7:00 pm


More and more we are expected to apply Adaptive Leadership In Our Practices

There is confusion between the roles of manager and leader. Manager too often devolves into managing an endless list of chores, using a sense of authority to get people to do what they want, and at all costs avoid failure. Many see this as leadership.

There is confusion as to what is leadership, who is a leader, when to exercise leadership, and when the team or initiative needs a leadership moment. Business analysis practitioners more and more often find the need to appreciate these nuances and flex their leadership muscles.

Leadership is not a title or position but rather an activity. Analysis, business analysis, requirement analysis, product, agile practices, business analysis practices, and in fact everyone on a team needs to exercise leadership to complete processes, innovate, and contribute to the outcome.

The IIBA Product Ownership Analysis (POA) Guide articulates the need for leadership to be exercised often at various points in the Guide. Design Thinking, one of the eight sources of the IIBA POA Guide, assumes leadership in its methodology. The IIBA BABOK v3 Guide is more often interpreted as requiring adaptive leadership in current practices. SAFe (Scaled Agile for Enterprises) requires more adaptive leadership from its analysis. For some this can be scary.

Adaptive leadership is leadership that involves addressing the complex challenges in today's volatile world allowing learning new skills and adapting to changing circumstances.

Our challenges can be seen as technical and adaptive. Technical challenges are problems that can be solved with existing knowledge and expertise, while adaptive challenges are those that require new learning and behavioral change. This means that command and control will fail while in the moment we are hoping it will rescue us.

Adaptive challenges are more complex and can't be solved with the current ways of doing things. They often require new learning, behavioral changes, and shifts in attitudes or values. Addressing systemic discrimination within an organization or changing a company's culture are examples of adaptive challenges. They require deep understanding, innovative solutions, and often necessitate changes in people's habits, beliefs, and attitudes.

When a problem arises, understanding its nature is vital. Misdiagnosing an adaptive challenge as a technical one can lead to ineffective solutions. A leader might apply an existing solution or expertise to an issue that really requires innovative thinking and behavioral change, leading to poor results.

Adaptive leadership is baked into the IIBA Product Owner Guide, into Design Thinking and the other sources that are contributing to the Business Analysis practice’s evolution. To be effective in this leadership, the focus shifts to

  • Personal growth and development
  • Innovation and creativity
  • Empowerment and engagement
  • Adaptation and resilience
  • Sustainability
  • Access to ground level insights
  • Promotion of open communication
  • Encouragement of innovation
  • Avoidance of Yes-Men culture

An Adaptive leader must change their approach to problem solving, testing, communicating, and executing. These individuals must understand the implications of their work on the overall system, and they must constantly filter their work based on the value of the outcomes produced.

Innovation professionals are beginning to find themselves asked to support the development of the “future state,” and be the trusted advisors to ensure the value of that “future state” is properly defined. Adaptive Leadership skills have proven to be a critical tool in ensuring success for innovation professionals.

Attend Free!

Meeting fees are waived.

Building Clarity and Cohesion

Come join us for an evening of business analysis community and networking as you learn and review parts of the IIBA BABOK 

This 1 1/2 hour session delivers

1.5 CDU credit hours for IIBA Re-certification

David Mantica

David Mantica serves as Vice President and General Manager for SoftEd US. Fueled by his passion for developing empowered knowledge workers, he helps companies develop their teams through training and coaching, equipping them with today’s critical skills needed to work effectively in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world.

David’s home base is Raleigh-Durham, NC. With over 30 years of experience and more than 700 speaking engagements, he inspires better work practices in marketing, product management, project management, software development, executive management, and other key areas of technology and business operations.

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