Learning Lab: Visionary Leadership in Uncertain Times with David Sibbet & Gisela Wendling


The Grove is offering a creative, lab-type online course for organizational leaders, process leaders, and facilitators who want to connect with their own leadership vision and deeply rethink what it means to be a leader during times of uncertainty and rapid change. It introduces an archetypal change model and explores how opening to the uncertainty and cultivating empathy for themselves and the people they serve can transform responses to change. The laboratory environment also provides opportunities for participants to learn about how to creatively frame the change challenges they face, pivot to being learning leaders, and learn to hold a visionary direction while being open to co-creation and emergent solutions. As an additional benefit, the experience of working on these issues virtually better equips participants to create special, exploratory spaces online.

This workshop is being led by Gisela Wendling, Ph.D., and David Sibbet, who bring more than seven decades of combined experience working with leaders to support organizational, social and environmental change. During the past six years, they have been incorporating virtual approaches to complement their project work. David and Gisela also have been developing practices to support the self-efficacy of process leaders in times of transformational change. Originally focused on virtual leadership at the beginning of the pandemic, this workshop has evolved to address deeper issues of leadership and transformation, such as finding orientation and direction in times of disruption and turbulence.

The workshop is offered in three parts:

  1. Session 1 focuses on activating engagement and how moving through crises can be supported as rites of passages, in which truly new insights, empathy and innovation can emerge.
  2. Session 2 explores the learning leadership and how guiding metaphors and stories can provide direction for a real discovery process when the path forward is unclear.
  3. Session 3 focuses on moving from uncertainty to vision and action within and across organizations and communities.

The learning curve for all of us, especially leaders, right now is extremely high as the prolonged pandemic is challenging us in unexpected ways. The combination of extensive virtual work and prolonged stress is asking us to rethink leadership in new ways. The lab format will allow us to share best practices that The Grove has developed in its organization- and community-change work and will provide ample opportunities for participants to tap into each other’s intelligence and perspectives. We will use robust and visually accessible online tools for a direct experience with learning and leading successfully in the virtual space.

This workshop assumes a basic understanding of video conferencing.


Learning Outcomes:

Embracing Uncertainty:

  • Learn a framework that helps you quickly understand the arc of change, assess where you are located on that arc, and how to anticipate what is needed next.
  • Tune into the predictable inner dynamics and the personal feelings of being in a “liminal” in-between space.
  • Appreciate your own responses to uncertainty through the lenses of the neuropsychology of collaboration.
  • Connect to a north-star vision to identify and guide plans while holding space for contribution and evolution of ideas.
  • Avoid “copy and pasting” the past, and shift into a true learning mode.
  • Learn practices for listening, transparency, empathy, honesty, and other affirming qualities.
  • Practice skills for self-grounding, “framing” opportunities, asking for help, and normalizing uncertainty.
  • Learn practices for tapping collective intelligence in emergent spaces.

Leading Others:

  • How to invite others into the transformational opportunities at the heart of severe disruption.
  • Guide generative conversations that support insight and alignment.
  • Use powerful visual and verbal metaphors to frame topics and guide activities.
  • Support big-picture, systemic ways of thinking.
  • Use your voice and presence to project confidence in virtual environments.
  • Initiate virtual visual visioning and planning activities.
  • Understand the role of communication as a stabilizing force.
  • Use basic online tools to support group connection and mutuality.
  • Experience Zoom web conferencing, Google Docs, and PowerPoint and Google Slides in a rich visual and interactive online environment.


Dates Format
TBD Online, 8:30am-1:00pm (PT)


$1,440 (with nonprofit discount)

To register: email workshops@thegrove.com

* = If workshop date is in red, please email workshops@thegrove.com to be added to the waitlist.

Your facilitation was a role model of consideration and calm and challenged us to dig deeper within ourselves to explore who we need to be in this time. And the cohort that came together was powerful and enlightening, a testament to the people that your great work attracts.

Tricia Conyers
VP Learning and Development

Additional Information

Related Books

NEW: Visual Consulting: Designing & Leading Change, by David Sibbet & Gisela Wendling, Ph.D.

Additional helpful how-to books can be found on our store.

We Also Offer Custom Workshops

Your Challenges, Your Skill Sets, Your Goals

Our custom online workshops are ideal if you have specific needs or want to build on previous Grove training.


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