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Community Series | Leading Through Crisis & Change

When the organization faces a crisis, your ability to navigate it successfully – to stabilize, adapt, and come out on the other side set to thrive – frequently comes down to one thing: leadership. 

No one could have foretold the cascading series of crises that we’ve had to face, encompassing health, economic disruption, and social justice. Dealing with any one of these would be difficult; addressing all three simultaneously has left many leaders struggling to keep up with the pace of new developments and emerging needs, compounded by the unknowable (like the duration of pandemic and recession conditions) and the everyday demands of their jobs, teams, and personal lives.

Now is the time for leaders to invest time in reflecting, regrouping, and resetting. That’s why we’ve established the new Leading Through Crisis & Change series

If you, like many nonprofit leaders, are grappling with the pressure of leadership in these unprecedented times, we invite you to reserve your seat today.


This highly interactive three-part series, designed for CEO- and COO-level staff, is built around 

  • case discussions
  • small-group conversations
  • expert-led presentations, and
  • engagement with veterans of crisis leadership on the international, organizational, and personal level.

In live, online, 90-minute sessions, we’ll dig into three leadership dimensions critical for dealing effectively with any crisis: setting the vision, leading the culture, and exhibiting resilience and empathy.


Each session is 90 minutes and will be held live via Zoom. Participants or an organizational designee are expected to attend all three sessions. Please note that some sessions may require a pre-reading assignment.

Session 1 | Crisis Leadership Essentials: Lessons From the Haiti Earthquake to the COVID Pandemic
December 3 | 9:30 am - 11:00 am 

This session will provide a framework and guiding principles for crisis leadership that will help you prioritize concrete actions.

Though prior experience may have given you some useful guideposts, the confluence of crises we face presents unique challenges. As leaders, we need to draw upon more than our wisdom: We must learn, in real time, the lessons of right now. Using his experience commanding the multinational and humanitarian response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Lieutenant General Ken Keen (a Goizueta Business School Associate Dean and Senior Lecturer) will distill insights from that experience and share specific strategies and tactics that have proven effective in our present moment.

Session 2 | When the Cape Comes Off: Nonprofit Leaders are Human Too
December 7 | 9:30 am - 11:00 am 

No matter what we’ve overcome as nonprofit leaders, crisis conditions – whether it’s the inability to fully serve all who need us, the need to lay off staff or shutter operations, the guilt of neglected home-life demands, or the pressures of high-stakes decision making – take a toll on our all-too-human abilities. A crisis mindset will always influence our decision-making capabilities and our performance as leaders; taking time to examine your own vulnerabilities and needs is therefore worth the time, both for you and everyone depending on you.

In showing our “leader-selves” empathy, we can renew our leadership capability and open the door to greater connection with others. Facilitator Karen Hardwick (executive coach, therapist, and consultant) will teach you the methods of empathy-centered leadership using real-world cases and facilitated small-group peer discussions, providing insight and tactics you can use and share with others to navigate this unprecedented time.

Session 3 | Inside & Out: The Key to Crisis Leadership is Communication
December 10 | 9:30 am - 11:00 am 

When a crisis hits, communication is essential. In an ideal world, leaders would begin rolling out a pre-designed crisis communication plan. In the world where we live, however, most of us were caught off guard by the speed and breadth of the COVID pandemic. The scale of the communication challenge – including many channels, both internal and external, plus an unprecedented level of confusion and ambiguity – has been a stretch for even the best-laid plans. Thankfully, effective crisis communications, even in this complex time, don’t have to be costly or resource intensive. 

Facilitator Conroy Boxhill (Managing Director at Porter Novelli) has spent his career focused on crisis communications. Conroy has executed countless PR engagements for nonprofits as both a consultant and a board member, giving him a unique understanding of the resource limitations that nonprofits face, and how to overcome them. Using case studies, participants will role-play their way through crisis scenarios, examine their reactions, and measure those reactions against guideposts for communicating effectively in a crisis. Leaders will learn simple tactics for meaningful, empathetic, consistent, and factual communications that will generate trust and continued engagement.



This series is free to attend, but is limited to a total of 50 leaders (CEO- and COO-level staff). Admittance will be largely decided on a first-come, first-served basis, but preference will be given to those who can attend all three sessions.

Reservation Deadline: November 27th

Questions? Contact GCN support at [email protected] or (678) 916-3059 to learn more about the program.