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MasterClass: The New Normal – Complexity and uncertainty on 20.4.2022

MasterClass: The New Normal – Complexity and uncertainty

Activating learning-informed leadership

The last two years have delivered a clear reminder that the world is uncertain and unpredictable. In the midst of complexity and constant change, managers and executives never have the full picture. Certainty only arrives with hindsight, when it is too late to be useful. So, we must act in uncertainty. But what does this mean for leadership?

In this MasterClass, Dr Sharon Varney will invite you to explore leadership in the midst of complexity and uncertainty. Drawing from her award-winning doctoral research, she will share new thinking and practical tools to help you in gaining insight from the leading edge of the here and now. As Sharon will explain, there is good news here. Traditional values of Finnish leadership, such as trust and mutual respect, offer a great cultural foundation to activate learning-informed leadership in complexity and uncertainty.

In conversation with Lilli Paasikivi, Artistic Director at the Finnish National Opera and Ballet, we aim to bring the challenges and opportunities of leadership in complexity and uncertainty to life. You will have the chance to explore how to use these tools and ideas in your world.


16:00Sign up and coffee
Welcome words
Annu Matula, Managing Director at Henley Business School Finland

The landscape for leadership in complexity and uncertainty
Dr Sharon Varney, Director in Practice for The Henley Forum at Henley Business School
Lilli Paasikivi, Artistic Director at the Finnish National Opera and Ballet
17:30Refreshments, reflections, networking

Application – activating leadership in complexity and uncertainty
Dr Sharon Varney, Director in Practice for The Henley Forum at Henley Business School
Lilli Paasikivi, Artistic Director at the Finnish National Opera and Ballet
19:00Panel discussion


Sharon Varney

Sharon Varney
Dr Sharon Varney began her career working in complex organisations with an international reach – manufacturing, utilities, travel, banking, oil and gas. In the early 2000s, she came across complexity theory. And so began her journey into academia as she explored what complexity theory meant for leadership and change practice. Now, Sharon brings those insights into her leadership and organisation development work in many different sectors and is constantly striving to advance the leading edge of informed practice. Sharon is Director in Practice for The Henley Forum and teaching on the Executive Certificate in Leadership. Her new book, ‘Leadership in Complexity and Change: For a world in constant motion’ addresses complexity straightforwardly without dumbing it down. It draws on her award-winning doctoral research and subsequent application of key ideas by a wide range of managers and professionals in diverse sectors from retail to healthcare, finance, charities and government bodies.

Lilli Paasikivi
Lilli Paasikivi has worked as Artistic Director of the Finnish National Opera since 2013. In her work, she has set out to reshape the structures of opera and to find ways to combine technology with opera. In 2019, she launched Opera Beyond – a project which aims to apply new technological possibilities and tools in opera and ballet. Lilli was engaged as a soloist at the Finnish National Opera from 1998 to 2013. Alongside, she has made a significant international career, performing on the leading opera and concert platforms of the world. Her repertoire varies from Mozart to Wagner side by side with symphonic and contemporary music. She was awarded the Pro Finlandia Medal in recognition of her artistic merits in 2008 and the Commander’s Badge by the Order of The Lion of Finland in 2017.

Registration to our MasterClass ‘The New Normal – Complexity and uncertainty’ on 20.4.2022

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