Managing Chronic Tensions in Your Organization


Managing Chronic Tensions in Your Organization

Thursday, April 26, 2018
9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Presented by: P. Stewart Lanier
Training Fee: $89 (half-day, lunch is not provided)

Workshop Description

One of the most fundamental roles of nonprofit leaders and managers is to “hold” tensions in ways that are creative, constructive, and ultimately contribute to organizational growth and development. It is a balancing act. In this workshop, you will learn to distinguish between problems to solve and tensions to manage. Tensions can include things like fostering a participatory culture and strong leadership, autonomy and centralization, planning and action, stability and disruption. These are not mutually exclusive opposites: they are actually complementary opposites and our organizations require both sides of these equations.

The training is based on the work of Barry Johnson’s Polarity Management. We will explore how to graphically map 'polarities' in ways that support communication, shared understanding and leadership; and identify specific issues in your organization and develop a communication and management strategy to move beyond the chronic tension to creative movement forward.

Each participant should come with a few real-world tensions that are impacting your organization, so we can identify a polarity to work with. 

About the Presenter

P. Stewart Lanier is Senior Associate for Consulting and Executive Transitions at TSNE MissionWorks.With over 20 years of experience supporting and guiding nonprofit organizations through developmental and transformational change, Stewart has made an impact in a variety of nonprofit sectors including community organizing, education, faith-based, healthcare, state government, and networks/coalitions. He has a special interest in guiding nonprofits through executive and organizational transitions, and has served as interim executive in nine organizations, including director and deputy director positions. He served as Interim Director of Consulting at TSNE MissionWorks prior to his current position. He has long been active in supporting anti-racism efforts in nonprofit leadership and raising awareness of racism in the community. He is the 2017 recipient of the Drylongso Award for anti-racism work. An ordained United Methodist minister, he began his professional career as a pastor. In addition to holding a M. Div. from Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Stewart received experiential training in inclusion and whole systems processes from American University, earning an M.S. with distinction in Organizational Development.


* If your organization is a tenant of the NonProfit Center, or a fiscally sponsored project/grantee of TSNE MissionWorks, please contact before registering to request a scholarship rate of $25.00. Scholarships are limited, and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis; maximum 1 per organization per workshop.