These Leadership Development Programmes were so successful they were expanded to the whole Natural Resources sector in collaboration with these agencies. This was the most innovative and successful leadership and culture change programme I have been involved with or seen in 17 years of developing leaders in organisations. Working with Jennifer and Keith, I learned a great deal about the field of Adult Development and changed and expanded my traditional preconceptions of how to develop the leaders we need for the future. More than skill development the programmes we implemented shifted mindsets of leaders and enabled them to manage their own views of the world.
Jennifer believes that leadership is one of the most vital renewable resources in the world. This might be more true than ever as organizations across sectors and around the world are facing an unprecedented amount of volatility and change. Leaders can see these swirling currents of change as a threatening force to be survived, an inconvenience to be managed, or an opportunity to be harnessed. Harnessing the opportunities in this time of complexity, though, requires a new form of leadership with new approaches to leading people and crafting solutions. If we want organisations where people are thriving and bringing their best, we need leaders who are learning.
To that end, Jennifer designs and teaches leadership programs, coaches senior teams, and supports new ways of thinking about strategy and people with clients facing these dramatic shifts in complexity, volatility, and change in their workplaces and markets. She blends deep theoretical knowledge with a driving quest for practical ways to make leaders’ lives better. Reviewers have said that her most recent book, Simple habits for complex times: Powerful practices for leaders (co-authored with Keith Johnston) “…is a superb exploration of the ways that complexity calls on leaders to think, act, and engage differently.” Jennifer has worked with senior leaders in the private, non-profit, and government sectors around the world, in (like Google, KPMG, Lion, Microsoft, Wikimedia, and the New Zealand Department of Conservation).
Jennifer also supports leaders one-on-one as a leadership coach. Over the last decade, Jennifer has developed The Growth Edge Coaching approach, which she describes in her book, Changing on the job: Developing leaders for a complex world (Stanford Business Books 2012). She supports clients to find their current growing edge and then make choices about how they want to grow, and she teaches coaches around the world transformational and developmental coaching approaches in her Growth Edge Coaching certification series. Jennifer speaks at leadership and coaching conferences, and she offers occasional courses for coaches at universities all over the world like Harvard University, the University of Sydney, and Oxford Brookes University.
Jennifer has a masters and a doctorate from Harvard University. Eschewing work/life balance for a life that feels like fun across the board, Jennifer loves to write, to walk her dog through the New Zealand bush, to scuba dive, to travel with her husband and their nearly-adult children, and figure out how to make whole organizations work better. Formerly an associate professor at George Mason University, Jennifer learned about deep change a decade ago when she turned down the tenure offer and moved to a small seaside village in New Zealand with her husband, two kids, and the family dog. Jennifer loves that her life is a blend of watching the sun set over the Tasman sea and having conversations that make a difference for clients all around the world.