Organizational Leadership & Strategy in Uncertain Times

Strategic Thinking • Leadership • Change Management

Jeremi Suri, PhD
June 4, 2019

We live in uncertain times, magnified by the speed and reach of communications. Leaders are called upon to be transformative, empathetic, and visionary. They are also expected to be humble, restrained, and error-free. These are impossible expectations. Leaders cannot keep asking themselves and others do more with less. Leadership today requires selectivity, focus, and risk-taking. Leaders must be strategic in their behavior, and they must infuse their organizations with a strategic culture that matches their priorities.

How do we do this? The answer begins with history. Thinking historically means looking to the past for a clearer understanding of the long-term trends shaping our current conditions, and the opportunities for possible change. The “centers of gravity” where historical trends come together to allow change are only evident when we look beyond the immediate crises of the moment. Data is important, but it can only tell us so much. Leaders must understand deeper patterns of behavior and thinking to create alternatives. Historical thinking, in this mode, means asking the right questions and listening for experience, more than simple “solutions.”

Historical thinking empowers imaginative leadership when we look back to open possibilities for change in the present. Much of what our organizations do is historically conditioned, reflecting decisions and habits of another time. Inspiring ourselves to see what we have inherited in our current behaviors, and thinking about alternatives that would better serve our current moment — that is the great potential of historically aware leadership. We can see this approach in the successes of various leaders in the past, and we can adapt best practices today. History and strategy go hand-in-hand, and they are learned behaviors.

Jeremi’s seminar, Organizational Leadership & Strategy in Uncertain Times, will be running this fall on November 7, 2019 and November 13, 2019. See what past participants have to say below!


This seminar inspired me. I was feeling stuck and unheard, but now I’m motivated to communicate more clearly with empathy and purpose.

– Bethaney Watson, Senior Research Program Coordinator, Neurology, Dell Medical School


Dr. Suri is an outstanding speaker as well as a subject matter expert on the topic. The blending in of a historical analysis approach really worked well for this subject.

– Jay T. Norcross, President, Kiewit OGC Engineering


Jerimi Suri utilizes his knowledge of presidency and history to explain the real and ever-changing landscape of work life as a modern executive. I am walking away from this course with applicable skills and mindsets from the past to apply to the future.

– Andrew Chong, Technical Director, Canadian General Tower


Phenomenal course. Great discussions. Great storytelling. I gained valuable skills in strategic planning and I will be recommending it to others.

– Carlos Meza, MD, Chief, Division of Hospital Medicine, Dell Medical School