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December 13, 2018 @ 6:00 pm
Host: Michele McCormick To RSVP please email Susan Frazier at Please bring $10 to help cover the cost of food and a beverage to drink and/or share
December 14, 2018 @ 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
January 22 - 23, 2019
January 22 - 23, 2019
January 23, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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2016 Sr. Fellows' Ballast Series

Do you remember the network of support you experienced as an ALF First Year Fellow? The camaraderie, transformative relationships, expertise? We know you are an elite group of leaders driving change in your organizations. Twenty years of working with our Fellows means we also understand the unique challenges you face in centering yourselves and your organizations. Armed with this expertise, we created this program to help you continue to steer the ship in powerful ways.

ALF’s new Sr. Fellows program, the “Ballast Series,” brings back that support system of executive leaders like you – directly to you. The word “ballast” means the main centering point of a ship – it provides stability and control – and this program was specifically created to be your centering point. The Ballast Series is the only executive program that connects you exclusively with ALF’s network through a six-session curriculum addressing the unique experience of the C-suite leader. Curious what makes this so unique? Check out the information below. 

Program Policies and Attendance Requirements

Ballast Series - Full Tuition Agreement

Ballast Series - Scholarship Form and Agreement 


#1: The Personal Challenge of Leading Change

June 24, 2016 - 9am-3pm

Learning objective: 5 practices to increase your capacity to explore change

The study of leadership has moved away from personality (psychologic or relational) toward understanding of how leaders’ personal negotiation of change is transmitted to others. Through leading change comes the emotional challenge of not knowing enough to predict the future, yet knowing that a new path must be taken.

In this session, we explore how the psychological needs of leaders and followers can be embraced during the unknown crossing of change. You will learn the personal characteristics that leaders must demonstrate and transmit in successful change efforts.  


#2: Ambidextrous Leadership: Being Great at Something AND Something New

July 29, 2016 - 9am-3pm 

Learning objective: A model for how to assess and build disruptive change

Can success actually inhibit future growth and change? One core challenge of organizational change is how organizations can build new capacities while retaining their old products and services. This is an ongoing challenge facing leaders in healthcare, education, social services, and many other industries.

We investigate the competencies that provide reputation and financial stability while exploring strategies that produce new opportunities. How does one frame such challenges for boards or employees? How do you decide whether to split staff into separate teams or even separate divisions? You will come away with an understanding of leadership challenges to anticipate and how other leaders have successfully negotiated these challenges.


#3: How “Culture Eats Strategy” – and How to Keep it From Happening to YOU!

September 30, 2016 – 9am-3pm

Learning objective: Understanding of what is culture, what makes it so powerful, and specific steps for how to align culture in strategic change.

Perhaps the biggest surge in management writing has emerged from countless case studies of organizations that had great technical insight for change but were unable to shift their culture.  We will explore how to assess culture, how to build a case for culture change, and how leadership is essential in creating culture change.


#4: Spreading Excellence: Overcoming Obstacles to Change

October 28, 2016 – 9am-3pm

Learning objective: Understanding the best thinking on how to overcome obstacles to spreading great work.

Why are companies like Adobe and Netflix radically shifting their HR practices? In this session, we will examine how companies are looking to values-based organizations and organizational psychology to build new systems for hiring, assessment, compensation and development.

We will identify what is wrong with the old way of thinking (carrots and sticks) and discover the essential link between your HR practices and your organization’s culture. The session will also explore management challenges that come with implementing broad-based change and how to gain support to make it successful.


#5: Collaborative Leadership: Working Across Boundaries

November 18, 2016 – 9am-3pm

Learning objective: How to assess the critical challenges of working in collaborations (boundaries, identity, and dependencies) before you start taking action!

What happens when a leader’s work in an organization is influenced more heavily by the institution’s systems than its mission? With systems that may be complex and unnecessary, leaders of groups large and small struggle to get things done.  Furthermore, individual organizations or departments often do not have the resources or control to make the needed changes.

In this session, we look at the critical challenges of working in collaborations: boundaries, identities, and dependencies. You will discover how to assess these challenges, buck old systems, and create change by working across silos and organizational lines.


#6: Creating Dynamic Capabilities for Continuous Improvement

December 7, 2016 – 9am-3pm 

Learning objective: Understanding of leadership practices for continuous organizational improvement.

Some successful organizations create dynamism as a core competency in their organization. Fearful of becoming stagnant and unchangeable, leaders of these types of organizations create the conditions to be open to and excited by change.

What are the organizational tactics that make an organization more responsive to the dynamics of change? What are the unique challenges leaders of these types of organizations must address? What are best practices leaders can engage and is there a downside to these practices?  We will explore these questions during this session.



The Ballast Series is a sequence of six sessions over six months that build upon one another, and tuition for the full program is $2,500. This meets the costs per Sr. Fellow to produce the program. Sr. Fellows may apply for scholarship funds from ALF to offset the tuition.  However, scholarship funds are limited and finite, based upon the fundraising success of the organization through contributions by members and sponsorships by local corporations.  Please consider carefully the amount for which you wish to apply – each scholarship awarded lessens the amount available for others to participate.

The full tuition amount or first partial payment (arranged with the CEO) is due on June 1, 2016.  If a partial payment is arranged, a credit card must be provided for monthly payments.

To learn more, contact Cara Smith at (916) 920-5669 or  


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