Friday Session Descriptions

View the new Friday format (use this to help pre-plan how you want to use the morning block!).  View the full conference booklet.

Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speaker 

David Rock, Ph.D.
Director, NeuroLeadership Institute
Friday Opening Keynote: The Neuroscience of Organizational Resilience

Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from set-backs and remain agile. In today’s competitive landscape, building organizational resilience is becoming increasingly important. It represents significant advantages for leaders and employees, enabling them to thrive during challenging and uncertain times.
Join Dr. David Rock (Director of the NeuroLeadership Institute) for a deep-dive into the hard science behind organizational resilience and brain-based ways talent leaders can inspire a more resilient culture. This session will draw on breakthrough neuroscience research to explore:

* Resilience through the lens of neuroscience
* How to build more resilient leaders
* How to build more resilient organizations

Arianna Huffington
Founder, The Huffington Post
Founder and CEO, Thrive Global
Friday Closing Keynote: The Third Metric That Can Benefit Your Bottom Line

Can you achieve true success through a relentless race to the top at the exclusion of all else? Arianna Huffington—president and editor-in-chief, Huffington Post Media Group—makes a compelling case for a different approach. By redefining success beyond money and power, she urges leaders to consider a third metric in measuring success—one which is “based on well-being, health, our ability to unplug and recharge and renew ourselves, and to find joy in both our job and the rest of our life.” Mounting evidence, both scientific and anecdotal, confirms that the practices that make us less stressed also make us more productive, and Huffington provides clear examples of how this is not only good for families' and employees’ health, but also good for a company’s bottom line. Eloquent and engaging, Huffington shares how ‘leaning back’ makes for wiser leaders and how ultimately, success is not just about money or position, but about living the life you want—not just the life for which you settle.
Closing Group Activity

Michael Nickens, Ph.D (DocNix) Director, Green Machine, George Mason University
Friday Closing Activity: Music as a Metaphor for Understanding Organizational Resilience

Research suggests that music can stimulate the body’s natural feel good chemicals such as endorphins and oxytocin. Music can also energize our mood, help us work through problems, and provide an outlet for us to take control of our feelings. The Green Machine, much like George Mason University, is breaking out of the mold of normal. Being a trail blazer often means encountering situations the could have never been imagined before that exact moment. The way we conquer those moments is through patience, teamwork, communication, and a little bit of free styling. 

Special Morning 90-Minute Mini-Intensives

* for the morning 10:45am-12:15pm time-slot, you may choose ONE 90-minute intensive OR two 40-minute morning breakout & special sessions (with a 10 minute break for transitions).

Presenter90-Minute Intensive Description

Bob Anderson
Director, Chairman & Chief Development Officer, The Leadership Circle
Leadership Mastery: A Street View on Leadership

After writing Mastering Leadership, we wanted to get a street-view on leadership. We wanted to learn about leadership from leaders. How do they speak about leadership as they provide feedback to each other on now to improve?

It is often said that the subject of leadership is the most studied and least understood. This is not true. Our research suggests that we all agree that leadership effectiveness matters and we all know what it looks like. In this session, we will chart the movement from Reactive to Creative Leadership in leaders’ own words. Leaders are far more precise in describing this shift, what makes for an effective leader, what works, and what does not, than we previously expected.

This session will report on a groundbreaking study concluding that leaders, when they provide feedback to each other, are remarkably precise about the entire journey from Reactive to Creative leadership.

We will explore:
• How leaders describe the fundamental differences between Reactive and Creative leadership—between effective and ineffective leadership
• How Reactive Leaders are cancelling themselves out
• How Creative Leaders get a multiple on their strengths.
• The top 10 strengths of Creative Leaders and the Top 10 liabilities of Reactive Leaders
• How leaders, without realizing it, describe, quite precisely the entire Leadership Circle Universal Model of leadership.
• Four Levels of Leadership—distinctly described by leaders
• The Pathway of Development from Reactive to Creative Leadership
• Principles for change: How to accelerate development individually and collectively

This presentation will give you a preview of Bob Anderson’s and Bill Adam’s forthcoming book, Leadership Mastery: A View From The Street (working title).

Erica Seville, Ph.D.
Co-Leader of the Resilient Organisations community and Director of ResOrgs Ltd.
Learning from Research: How to Create Organizations Able to Survive, Thrive and Find Opportunities Through Crisis and Change

Within the research community, excitement is building. We are starting to unlock the mysteries of what enables some organizations to thrive in the face of adversity, whilst others wilt and fail. There is still much work to do to build a complete picture of what drives an organization’s resilience, but the good news is that we now know any organization can become more resilient if it wants to.   

In this highly interactive session I will share what the latest research is telling us about what makes organizations resilient, and translate these into tangible, practical ways that you can improve the resilience of organizations you work with.

Morning 40-Minute Breakout & Special Sessions

* for the morning 10:45am-12:15pm time-slot, you may choose ONE 90-minute intensive OR two 40-minute morning breakout & special sessions (with a 10 minute break for transitions).

PresenterBreakout Session Description

Louis Alloro, M.Ed., MAPP
When Happiness Has A Bad Day or Worse: The Well-Being of Well-Being Practitioners

The efficacy of intervention depends in part on the internal condition of the interventionist. If stress is the number one predictor of depression, wellbeing practitioners must be particularly mindful in the work we do to tend to our own self-care. This paper presents preliminary data on stress, loneliness and wellbeing of change-agents working in positive psychology and related fields. It will offer a hypothesis on why this may be and some scientifically informed tools and strategies as solutions to this dilemma our work has in its sustainability.

Dr. Lindsey Godwin
Director, David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry
Building Resilient Organizations through Appreciative Inquiry

Everyone knows that change is the only constant in our organizations. Unfortunately, however, change is often a source of frustration in many of our workplaces – but perhaps it does not have to be. We focus so much of our energy on solving problems to get the ‘right’ answer, but perhaps we need to focus more on the nature of questions we ask. If what we ask in our organizations determines what we find, what new questions will help us create resilient and innovative organizations that help us flourish? Management Professor and Organizational Development specialist, Dr. Lindsey Godwin, will discuss the ways that questions can transform our perception of problems in order to uncover new possibilities for achieving positive results and cultivating resilient workplaces. This workshop will introduce you to the theoretical foundations and assumptions of Appreciative Inquiry, as well as practical tools and techniques to create positive change and resiliency in your own organization.

Session Type/PresenterSession Description
Each of the sessions below will repeat once, with a 10-minute break in-between for transitions.New in 2017, the Conference Planning Team invited executives, managers, leaders, coaches, researchers, human resource professionals, and practitioners to submit proposals for sharing their strengths, tips, tools, and expertise regarding building and cultivating resilience at the individual, team, and/or organizational level.
Chia-Chia Chang, Partnership and New Opportunity Coordinator, NIOSH Total Worker Health in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Opportunities in Worker Well-Being
10:45am-11:25am / 11:35am-12:15pm

New challenges face management and human resources as employment patterns change, new technologies are introduced, and workplaces evolve. A holistic, integrated approach is needed to comprehensively enhance worker well-being. Organizations can target upstream barriers by improving the nature and design of jobs and work itself. Looking at policies such as compensation and benefits, task scheduling, and autonomy can create innovative interventions. Because work is a social determinant of health, creating healthier jobs can create more resilient organizations. However, how will we know when we have improved worker well-being? NIOSH and RAND developed a model for worker well-being. This session presents the progress in this research. The session discusses the multidisciplinary literature review and key conceptual issues in the development of a worker well-being survey. Upon completion, the survey will allow organizations to understand the well-being of their employees and how to create a culture that will lead to well-being.

Kanu Kogod, Ph.D., MCC, President and Founder, Bridges in Organization, Inc.
Sheila Diggs, MSOD, PCC, Bridges Associate
How Resilient Leaders Handle Cultural Collisions
10:45am-11:25am / 11:35am-12:15pm

This session will be co-presented by Kanu Kogod and Sheila Diggs

To be a resilient leader is to be flexible enough to question opposing opinions and beliefs and to more skillfully take into account why others think the way think. When my idea of reality and yours conflict, that is a cultural collision. Differing notions about everyday reality and how the world, people, situations ought to be rather than what is, set the stage for cultural collisions. Unstated expectations and assumptions are often the basis for action, even though I, the assumer, cannot always articulate why I think the way I do. I might say, “It’s just the way it is.” In this best practices session, we present a model that describes why cultural collisions occur and the impact on social relations. To demonstrate how to mitigate the power of cultural collisions, we will lead activities that allow us to move into messy conversations with greater resilience, safety and respect.
Cathy Salit, CEO, Performance of a LifetimeDeveloping Resiliency – Building a Stage for Collaboration, Creativity, and Growth
10:45am-11:25am / 11:35am-12:15pm

As a leader in a stressful, uncertain, and constantly changing world, success depends on your ability to be flexible and responsive, build strong relationships with colleagues and customers, and support your team(s) to grow in new and collaborative ways. In other words, you need to be — and help others to be — resilient. And resiliency, Cathy Salit says, is a performance, one that you can learn, create, and develop with others. In this engaging and interactive presentation, Salit — CEO of Performance of a Lifetime and author of Performance Breakthrough: A Radical Approach to Success at Work — will share the approach to learning and change that has enhanced the resiliency and transformed the work of executives and teams from leading companies all over the world. Salit will show how tapping into your innate ability to improvise and perform — “being both who you are and who you are becoming” — can help you embrace change, handle stress, and jump-start collaboration and growth.
Dr. Nancy Freeborne, GMU Health Administration, Adjunct FacultySocial Support’s influence on Team Strength, Team Energy, and Team Creativity via enhancement of Team Members’ Neuroendocrine Biological Systems
10:45am-11:25am / 11:35am-12:15pm

Stress and stress hormones in individuals can detract from team creativity and productivity. Team leads and team members need to comprehend how affecting individual psychobiology can improve teamwork. Participants attending this session will learn about stress and non-stress hormones; how hormones are influenced by psychosocial factors such as “social support”; and how ignoring psychobiology can damage teams. In this session, the neuroendocrine system will be briefly described and research will be presented to show that enhancement of this system helps promote resiliency and creativity in team members, ultimately enhancing team energy and outcomes. Session participants will learn tools for strengthening their teams by focusing on social support; improving social integration; and by recognizing and improving individual team member’s social networks so as to increase team resiliency.
Special "Un-Conference" Table-Topics & Poster Session
10:45am-11:25am / 11:35am-12:15pm

Also new in 2017, conference attendees can choose to participate in a special "un-conference" session focused on attendee-driven 'big ideas,' discussion questions, and opportunities for sharing best-practices around building resilience at the individual, team, and/or organizational level. The morning session includes poster sessions on key topics around organizational and personal resilience and well-being.

This less formal session is meant to ignite conversation and knowledge-sharing among conference attendees and promote engagement.

Afternoon Breakout Session and Workshop Presenters

PresenterBreakout Session Description

Doug Hensch, MAOM, M.Ed., ACC
President, The DRH Group

Unconventional Ways to Build Resilient Organizations

How is it that the most resilient organizations bounce back, adapt and reinvent when markets shift, new technologies arrive and economic downturns become recessions while others languish? The answer is not in a corporate scorecard, strategies developed by MBA grads or technical skills. Resilient organizations develop flexible, adaptable people with innovative practices that are not always found in an employee handbook. Their resilience comes from a number of core practices that are ingrained in their cultures and any organization can learn from them. This session will explore strategies and tools leaders and teams can use to build resilient organizations.

Gloria H. Park, Ph.D., MAPP
Senior Mind Body Scientist, Consortium for Health and Military Performance (CHAMP) at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences
Doing Well and Being Well: At the Crossroads of Performance and


The modern emphasis on increasing organizational resilience is often closely tied to efforts to also increase individual performance, productivity, and achievement. Drawing on the science of sport and performance psychology, this session will explore the complex relationship between achievement and well-being. Approaches to thriving while striving toward success will be discussed.

Workshop attendees will have the opportunity to learn practical skills for goal-setting, enhancing somatic intelligence, and cultivating harmonious passion, all designed to enhance well-being and improve performance for individuals and organizations.
Beth A. Payne, J.D., M.S.
Director, U.S. Department of State’s Center of Excellence in Foreign Affairs Resilience
Ray S. Leki Director of the Transition Center, U.S. Department of State's Foreign Service Institute
Making Resilience Real

This session will be co-presented by Beth Payne and Ray Leki.

Over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in research into the study, research, and investigation of resilience. The U.S. Department of State’s new Center of Excellence in Foreign Affairs Resilience is adapting the cutting edge research and theories into practical, realistic, and enduring skills for the foreign affairs community. Our current challenge is to turn this research into skills we can teach, tools we can use, and principles that will change the cultures of our work places. Our goal is to create a supportive, inspired, and nimble work force that formulates and implements more creative and effective diplomatic solutions to advance complex U.S. foreign policy priorities. In this session, we will discuss how the U.S. Department of State is approaching this effort and review lessons learned from our recent experiences to date.

Mark Fernandes
Chief Executive Officer, Capitalism 2.0

Lynn Fernandes
Chief Financial Officer, Capitalism 2.0; CEO and Founder, Human Performance 2.0
Humanizing Business: Changing the Way We Live and Work for the Better

This session will be co-presented by Mark and Lynn Fernandes.

We believe the time has come for organizations to truly to embrace the idea that human capital is their most important resource and tapping into the unlimited potential of their workforce the highest order of business as they look to the future. The integration of work and life in the 24/7 workplace is putting extraordinary demands on employees, requiring leaders and their organizations to think differently about the precious lives placed in their care. Different in a sense that people are prioritized over profits with balanced attention paid to the physical, social and emotional, intellectual and spiritual well-being of the worforce - an approach that will truly actualize the extraordinary potential and performance capacity of each employee and, in turn, naturally impact the bottom line.

Christine Porath, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University
Mastering Civility: Creating a Resilient WorkPlace 

As employees exchange seemingly inconsequential inconsiderate words and deeds, productivity and collaboration plummets, and norms are shredded. If employees are behaving badly toward one another, it means that individuals and teams are losing time, effort, energy, focus, creativity, loyalty and commitment. The effects of incivility flow to clients and external stakeholders, damaging relationships and influence.  This session will also varied ways incivility wrecks performance and robs the bottom line and what civility in the workplace buys you. Recommendations will be shared for what leadership can do to enhance their resilience and effectiveness while crafting a more thriving work environment. 
Afternoon Un-Conference Session: Table-Topics

Also new in 2017, conference attendees can choose to participate in this special "un-conference" session focused on attendee-driven 'big ideas,' discussion questions, and opportunities for sharing best-practices around building resilience at the individual, team, and/or organizational level.

This less formal table-topics session is meant to ignite conversation and knowledge-sharing among conference attendees and promote engagement.