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the power lab

The Power Lab is like no other leadership development program. 

It is an intensive, six-day exploration of power and leadership that provides you with the perfect practice field for intelligent risk-taking and personal growth. It’s challenging. It’s inspiring. It’s energizing. It’s more than a case study or a simulation. You’ll find yourself living in a multi-class community divided by dramatic differences in resources, authority, and power. You’ll be faced repeatedly with the core questions of leadership: What is your vision for this organization? How can you implement change? How do you create and sustain productive partnerships? What is your power? Do you use it or run from it?

During your experience, you’ll come face-to-face with the issues and challenges of power and leadership that you grapple with every day in your professional and personal life. Past participants tell us it’s like having years of decision making and valuable new experiences condensed into six days.

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Participants find themselves immersed in this new world – The Society of New Hope - a three-class community with sharp differences in wealth and power. The Elite own and control much of the society’s resources, the Immigrants enter the society with few resources, and the Managers need to navigate between these contrasting worlds of wealth and power

In this setting, all the critical issues of power and leadership emerge clearly, and participants are confronted with these head on. You don’t just talk about power and leadership, you live it daily moment by moment.       

Participants find themselves confronting many of the same issues and choices they face in daily life, yet here they are able to take a hard look at their usual ways of handling these issues, explore new approaches, and test their limits. It is this visceral, total immersion experience that plays a key role in creating the lasting learning of The Power Lab.


All great athletes benefit from expert coaching. In the Power Lab, participants have their own personal coaches. Coaches work with participants before, during, and after the lab. Coaches help participants stay alert to their choices, explore strategies, test new behaviors, and remain focused on their learning agendas. They provide feedback that is both insightful and challenging.


A team of anthropologists document the society’s history, capturing the interactions throughout. A total system story emerges, and when the society ends the anthropologists feed that story back to participants. Through unravelling the system’s story, participants develop a deep understanding of total system dynamics, the unique challenges and opportunities they and others face at different levels and positions. The Power Lab story also sheds valuable light on your own organization’s dynamics – strengths and limitations.

This experience of seeing the total system is a dramatic example of the power of transforming system blindness into system sight. “Seeing the whole” has lasting impact on participants' understanding of system life in the organization as well as in community and world affairs. It generates invaluable strategic thinking as participants turn their attention to the complexities of the back-home projects they are facing.


It’s for line managers and CEO’s, school board members and mental health specialists, university faculty and human resource professionals. In fact, it’s the diverse mix of backgrounds and experiences that makes the Power Lab more enriching for all. It’s for leaders at all levels who want to be more effective influencing the future direction of their organizations.

  • Leaders who are taking on increasing responsibilities and want to be successful
  • Leaders seeking to work across boundaries more productively and break down barriers
  • High potentials and fast-trackers who want to accelerate learning about their personal power, their personal barriers, and their system power potential
  • Leaders looking for the skills and courage to take their organizations to the next level
  • Leaders who are adventurous learners
  • Executive coaches seeking to develop system leaders

Anyone who wants to more clearly see and understand human systems. System sight opens up powerful possibilities for managing complexity and maximizing your personal power and influence. This unique program is powerful opportunity to increase your effectiveness and the impact you have in your organization as well as all the other roles you play in life.


Organizations at the forefront of change require dynamic leadership - leaders with a deep understanding of how human systems operate along with the courage and skills to navigate the complexities of today’s world. The Power Lab, like no other program, is the practice field for the development of such leaders at all levels of an organization.

All great athletes need a challenging practice field, a place that supports them in moving past their limits and rising to new levels of performance. The Power Lab is exactly the practice field needed to get ready for the challenges ahead.


The interactions in the Power Lab provide participants with real-life opportunities to test and develop themselves in areas such as:

  • deeper understanding of how complex systems work
  • more prepared to take on challenging projects
  • more politically savvy
  • more adept at working across boundaries
  • more comfortable dealing with authority–their own and others’
  • more willing to take needed risks
  • move past their previous limits, and to take their organizations past theirprevious limits.

When we think back on words we’ve been told, however important, it’s often hard to remember. But when we think back on any important experience in our life, it’s usually hard to forget. Participants really value and use the experience they gain in the Power Lab. They report that they leave with skills and resources that they continue to put into action long after the Power Lab is over.


The interactions in the Power Lab provide participants with real-life opportunities to test and develop themselves. In a survey of Power Lab graduates from 1983 to 2007, results show:

  • 92% of Power Lab graduates reported making a significant impact on their organization as a result of attending
  • 97% said The Power Lab was a good or excellent use of their time and money
  • 100% reported significant learning and growth


“Leading Systems: Lessons From The Power Lab”

“Seeing Systems: Unlocking The Mysteries Of Organization Life”

"The Power Lab: Living in New Hope," an award-winning documentary

Explore it all for FREE.

Understand what’s behind our methodology in our free Organization Workshop e-book. Or get a free sneak peek of a live workshop.

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