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PlexusCalls - Surprise and Resilience: Seize the Unexpected
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When: Friday, December 14, 2012
From 1:00 PM until 2:00 PM
Contact: Prucia Buscell

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Friday, December 14, 2012 - 1-2pm ET
Surprise and Resilience: Seize the Unexpected
Guests: Martha Johnson, Kristin von Donop, and Sharon Benjamin

MP3 File

When hope, hurt, disruption, and fatigue converge, mindfulness and the unexpected are allies. These three accomplished organizational leaders know that when we are bombarded with systemic shocks, finding more surprise in the system can light the way to resilience, and they’ve experienced how to help that happen.. And resilience isn’t just bouncing back with harder work and greater zeal. It’s about mindfulness, proportionality, the things we see, and the nexus between leadership and creativity, compassion and hope. Join this provocative conversation and share your own experiences and questions about resilience and surprise.

Martha Johnson is an executive with a more than 30 year career in public and private organizations. She was nominated by President Obama and confirmed unanimously by the US Senate to be the Administrator of the General Services Administration, a position she held for two years. She served eight years with the Clinton Administrations and was appointed to two commissions with the British Government. Her private sector career has spanned the IT, architecture, strategic consulting, and the auto industry. She served as Vice President at both Touchstone, SRA and at the global Computer Sciences Corporation. Johnson has delivered over 50 public speeches on topics including sustainability, leadership, and government effectiveness. She has been featured repeatedly in the press and has testified before the US Congress. She is a writer and has recently published her first novel, In Our Midst. Shewas graduated with a BA from Oberlin College and an MBA from the Yale University School of Management. Johnson was born in New Haven, CT, raised in California and North Dakota. She is married, has two adult children, and lives in Annapolis, MD.

Kristin von Donop, consultant, author and educator, has helped people achieve change in private, public and nonprofit organizations. Her clients have included IBM, Microsoft, BP, SAP, and the International Rescue Committee, the Judicial council of California and the Scottish Government, and the New York Center for Carter School Excellence. She was a member of the senior management team at the Teleos Leadership Institute, before that was a principle at Cambridge Leadership Associates, the consulting firm founded by Ron Heifitz and Mary Linsky, both faculty at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Kristin taught leadership for Harvard's Executive Education programs. She has developed change plans for large scale IT infrastructure implementation, and has been involved in business process design, organizational design and financial and performance management solutions. She earned a BS degree in nternational Business from Northeastern University in Boston, where she graduated cum laude, and a masters
of science in organizational psychology from Rensselaer in Troy NY.

Sharon Benjamin is principal of Alchemy, a Washington DC based management consulting practice. She consults with multi-lateral, NGO and healthcare organizations. An adjunct at NYU, she teaches the leadership capstone course for MPA students. Her work supports leaders seeking to effect profound transformation -- within themselves and their organizations, pioneering innovative methods such as Positive Deviance. Previous positions have included Vice President for Marketing for the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy in Washington, DC and Director for Major Gifts for the Union of Concerned Scientists in Cambridge MA. She earned her doctorate in organizational behavior from the Union Institute and University in Cincinnati OH, where she has co-taught three leadership seminars. She has been active in the non-profit community, serving as Treasurer of the Board Earthworks, chair of the Board of Directors of, and a member of Oceana's Board of Governors and the Plexus Institute Board of Trustees.


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