ILA Podcast

Ron Heifetz on Adaptive Leadership and His Journey

Maureen Metcalf Podcast Cover

Guest: Dr. Ron Heifetz


In times of change, people often try to hold onto the values of their culture that have had personal meaning and significance to them. When dominant cultures are confronted with stresses, they are called to examine their values and take on very difficult integrative work. The leadership required must point out values their cultural values; in the United States, for example, one would be: We stand for freedom and respect for all people, and our policy does not align with what we say we stand for.

How do we make space for this evolution? What are the “gives” and “gets” required to evolve cultures? How can we hold steady to our cultural DNA and still evolve? In nature, when an organism adapts, it builds on its old capacity and generates radically new functionality. Heifetz suggests that “God didn’t do zero-based budgeting in evolution.” We honor our past, yet determine what parts of the past we can release.

ILA Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Ronald Heifetz, is among the world’s foremost authorities on the practice and teaching of leadership. His best-selling Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive Through the Dangers of Leading, The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World, and Leadership Without Easy Answers are go-to guides for organizations and societies looking to build their adaptive leadership capacity.

Host Maureen Metcalf

Maureen Metcalf

Maureen Metcalf, Founder and CEO of the Innovative Leadership Institute, is a highly sought-after expert in anticipating and leveraging future business trends to transform organizations. She has captured 30 years of experience in an award-winning series of books used by public, private, and academic organizations to align company-wide strategy, systems, and culture using Innovative Leadership techniques. 

Maureen shares her hard-won insights through public speaking, industry publications, interviews, and video presentations. She is a regular contributor to, host of the top international radio show, Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, and author of the award-winning Innovative Leadership book series. The series includes: Innovative Leadership FieldbookInnovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations; Innovative Leadership Workbook for Global Leaders; and Innovative Leadership for Health Care, among others.

She is a Fellow of the International Leadership Association.

About Innovating Leadership: Co-Creating Our Future

The pace of change in the world is increasing exponentially. Leadership must evolve. And that gets to the heart of our mission: To bring you the latest thoughts on leadership so you can innovate, learn, and evolve…growing your team, your business, and yourself! This series features a new interview every week. Host Maureen Metcalf interviews world leaders, global business and NPO executives, thought leaders, and researchers in a wide range of industries. It’s a breadth of perspectives unavailable anywhere else. Become an innovative leader in your own right! 

Innovating Leadership is proud to partner with the International Leadership Association on a yearly series of episodes on global leadership with special ILA speakers, members, and guests. 

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