Adaptive Leadership in an Educational Organization

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Adaptive leadership is a fundamental requirement for any organization, especially one operating in a challenging environment or a state of emergency. Many companies experience challenges that must be addressed by managerial staff within a reasonable timeframe to prevent the identified issues from developing further and substantially affecting the businesses’ performance. This essay will propose practical steps designed to implement adaptive leadership by managers in an educational organization.

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Adaptive leadership within university settings can be promoted in a managerial workshop focused on recognizing existing administrative problems and developing an action plan. Issues in the given company can be identified through an informal discussion with the managers (Obolensky, 2017). Such conversation is likely to reveal several current issues experienced by the institution, for example, the necessity to conduct learning online and design the curriculum accordingly. After the main issues are identified, the managers can undergo simulation exercises to establish what actions should be applied in the organization.

The third step is to utilizing adaptive leadership is to design a long-term plan of implementation of various measures with specific goals and set timelines (Heifetz et al., 2009). The experimental approach is necessary as it allows to determine what measures are effective in the specific educational institution and which should not be utilized.

For instance, as the current COVID-19 pandemic contributed to many educational establishments opting for a mix of on-campus and online education, the main challenges are developing a varied curriculum and enabling online learning. Thus, experiments and solutions that can be implemented are recording online lectures with facilitating on-campus seminars, discussion groups, and laboratory sessions. While certain subjects can be taught using a mixed approach, others can be offered as an online-only option. After a semester, students and teachers should be approached for their feedback to establish what approach is more effective.


In summary, adaptive leadership is necessary for all organizations in a state of emergency or seeking to enhance their performance. Schools, colleges, and universities must adapt to the growing need for distance learning and facilitate both the students who opt for online education and traditional, on-campus ones. Thus, a set of experiments can be designed with individual subjects being offered as online courses, while others are taught traditionally or utilizing a mixed approach.


Heifetz, R. A., Grashow, A., & Linsky, M. (2009). The practice of adaptive leadership: Tools and tactics for changing your organization and the world. Harvard Business Press.

Obolensky, N. (2017). Complex adaptive leadership: Embracing paradox and uncertainty. Routledge.

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"Adaptive Leadership in an Educational Organization." ChalkyPapers, 28 Apr. 2022,


ChalkyPapers. (2022) 'Adaptive Leadership in an Educational Organization'. 28 April.


ChalkyPapers. 2022. "Adaptive Leadership in an Educational Organization." April 28, 2022.

1. ChalkyPapers. "Adaptive Leadership in an Educational Organization." April 28, 2022.


ChalkyPapers. "Adaptive Leadership in an Educational Organization." April 28, 2022.