PDPOnline: Leading Through Uncertain Times

This new online professional development series offers 2-hour live web conferences in an intensive and highly interactive format. The especially relevant programming is designed to help professionals at all levels in their organization lead more effectively in times of uncertainty.

Sessions consist of high-impact lectures, breakouts, discussions, and activities that foster networking among participants and offer tools immediately applicable to your work. All participants receive a digital certificate of attendance from PDPOnline.


Teams Under Pressure: Maintaining High Performance During Times of Crisis

Added Date: Tuesday, June 2, 2020 (1:00 – 3:00 pm EDT)
Filled: May 5, 2020; May 13, 2020

Instructor: Pamela Rucker

Even in the best of times, the challenge to build high-performance teams can be daunting, but managing in a crisis can make us feel like the ground is shifting beneath us. Leaders must help their teams create a culture of confidence, quick collaboration, and accelerated innovation. This web conference will provide practical ways to help leaders analyze their current environment and explore best practices for working together while adapting to increasing levels of pressure.

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Leading Effective Virtual Teams

Added Date: Friday, May 29, 2020 (12:00 – 2:00 pm EDT)
Filled: May 7, 2020; May 15, 2020

Instructor: Margaret Andrews

This highly interactive two-hour web conference has a variety of discussions, vignettes, and exercises to address the important questions leaders face in managing virtual teams, including: How can we increase the benefits of remote teamwork – and minimize the downsides? How can we build trust remotely – and avoid the behaviors that destroy that trust? This program goes beyond team basics and focuses on issues more advanced teams confront, including how to have productive discussions—and even conflict—in a virtual environment.

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Adjusting Your Strategy in Chaotic Times

Added: Thursday, June 4, 2020  (12:00 – 2:00 pm EDT)
Filled: May 12, 2020

Instructor: David McIntosh

When the external environment shifts dramatically, which parts of your strategy should change, and which should remain the same? How can you maximize your organization’s upside and mitigate the downside? This web conference explores these questions and identifies ways to approach strategy-making to outsmart competitors, serve customers in new ways, and make decisions now to build long-term value.

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Selling in Uncertain Times

Added Date: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 (2:00 – 4:00 pm EDT)
Filled: May 14, 2020

Instructors: John Westman and Michael McCarthy

Virtual-only communications is the new normal, so how can we best help our customers given current circumstances? In this highly interactive web conference designed to aid sales professionals in continuing their mission to help their customers in new and innovative ways, participants will take away fresh ideas to build deeper customer relationships and develop virtual selling strategies.

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Creative Problem Solving for the New Reality

Added Date: Thursday, May 28, 2020 (1:00 – 3 pm EDT)
Filled: Tuesday, May 19, 2020 

Instructors: Anne Manning & Susan Robertson

Intentional creativity provides a framework for finding more useful solutions, focusing our thinking and unlocking our ability to discover, develop, and implement new possibilities. In this session, participants learn a simple yet powerful tool that will jump-start creative problem-solving capability. You’ll leave with a tangible strategy that you and your team can immediately apply, to uncover possibilities and control uncertainty.

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Fostering Business Continuity During a Crisis

Thursday, May 21, 2020 (12:00 – 2:00 pm EDT)

Instructor: Mark Esposito

The current pressure on the world order is pushing systems to change and alter at a pace never seen before. But while a systemic challenge unfolds in front of our eyes, new business formations, resilient organizations, and innovative business models are emerging out of the crisis. The ability to see through this maze of uncertainty is a focus of the session as well as how to actively engage in building new business opportunities as novel pockets of growth become available. We will discuss possible implications of the current climate, reflect on strategic foresights, and work on futurized trends, with the intention of casting light on the Phoenix rising from the ashes of this unprecedented time in our lives.

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Program Information


John Westman is a practitioner and teacher of strategic sales management. Westman has led commercial efforts—including strategy, sales management, marketing, business development, and strategic partnerships—and is a co-founder of Novellus Inc., a biotech startup. Prior positions include general manager and vice president of marketing and sales for companies in dermatology, pharmaceutical information, dialysis equipment, and dialysis services. John led U.S. and global marketing and sales training at Baxter Healthcare's Renal division and started his career at a Bain Consulting & Baxter consulting firm.

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Michael McCarthy is a serial entrepreneur and international public speaker who focuses on teaching entrepreneurship, blockchain, sales, and innovation. From 1994–2004, he was the #1 Stock Market Timer in the United States and raised 100% of client assets with an inbound marketing referral program he developed. Michael founded Budi Products in 2010, a food company designing brain-healthy gourmet snacks which was acquired in 2015. He developed the Leadership Sailing Program for MIT Sloan Executive Education in 2016 and is the founder of Power Speaking Coach, a Boston based consulting firm.

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Mark Esposito, Ph.D, is recognized internationally as a top global thought leader in matters relating to The Fourth Industrial Revolution, the changes and opportunities that technology will bring to industry. He co-founded Nexus FrontierTech, a firm dedicated to the productions of AI solutions. He was inducted in 2016 in the radar of Thinkers50 as one of the 30 most prominent business thinkers.

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Anne Manning is a founding partner of Drumcircle and an Innovation Fellow with Encore.org. She brings over 25 years of experience working with senior executives at Fortune 500 firms, providing counsel in strategy, marketing insights, communications, innovation, and creativity. Manning is also an experienced and successful facilitator, who integrates the tools and techniques of creative problem solving and design-thinking tools and techniques into her engagements. She holds an MS degree from the Center for Creativity and Change Leadership at Buffalo State College.

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Susan Robertson is an innovation strategist, facilitator, trainer, and keynoter. Some of the world’s largest corporations call on Susan to consult with them on innovation initiatives, strategy, and culture. Her work includes designing innovation discovery processes, facilitating ideation sessions, customer insight and co-creation, and leading strategic meetings.
Susan was a keynote speaker at the NASA Innovation Expo and is a senior faculty member at the Creative Problem Solving Institute. She has spoken in places as diverse as South Africa, Italy, South Korea, Sweden, the United Kingdom, China, France, Brazil, Mexico, and Greece. Prior to her consulting career, she created new products for Gatorade, the Batman and Star Wars toy lines, Sunbeam Appliances, Fruit of the Loom, Quaker Rice Cakes, and Calgon.

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Margaret Andrews is a highly rated instructor with over 20 years of experience in higher education, business, and consulting. She served as associate dean at Harvard University’s Division of Continuing Education and as executive director of the MBA program at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Andrews is the coauthor of the StratEDgy blog on Inside Higher Ed, and reports on the worldwide management education market for University World News. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a graduate degree from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

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David McIntosh is the founder and president of Creative Business Breakthroughs, where he designs and leads strategic planning sessions and management development programs for businesses and nonprofits. Before that, he was a futurist at Ernst Young Center for Business Innovation. 

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Pamela Rucker brings more than 25 years of experience helping executives to understand their business drivers, and to develop solutions that increase their bottom line. She has worked in diverse industries, and her expertise and leadership philosophy have been instrumental in providing solutions that add significant value to corporate profitability.

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