Leadership Labs

Our Leadership Labs develop leaders and solutions by integrating learning by doing, designing thinking principles, and leadership development. The intent is to convene a group of committed stakeholders to better understand a leadership challenge, incubate solutions, and share insights. Through this process individuals expand their networks, deepen their understanding of a leadership challenge, and produce insights and solutions… creating ripples of learning into workplaces and communities.


Lab participants explore a topic more deeply, seek to expand their insights and develop new ideas and possible solutions. The outcomes of Leadership Labs might be a new tool, training program, an online course, a whitepaper, or even a book. Through these groups, participants develop strong professional connections that promote growth and mutual support.


Most often the Leadership Labs grow out of our Community Summit events but they can also be launched by a group of individuals, sponsoring organization, grant, or other interested stakeholder. All it takes is an interested group, someone to take the lead, and form a team. The Leadership Forum provides support to these groups and with a safe space to share their progress with the community, to try out ideas, get feedback, or share their end results.
Most labs are open to additional members. Contact us at inbox@leadershipforumcommunity.org if you have an interest in a lab group or if you have an interest in starting a new Leadership Lab.


Have a look through the different Leadership Labs throughout the years!


Women in Leadership
All members were reading the book “The End of Bias” by Jessica Nordell. It explores how the human brain creates bias, and how changing our habits at a different level can help. It explores many forms of bias including Gender, Race, Police and more. The group plans to identify key components of what they find in the book.

Unlearning Racism
This lab led to LFC’s first hybrid event, the NYC Summit, which was held on November 3, 2022. It was a half-day event titled, Leadership Challenge: Empowering Equitable & Engaging Work Cultures. It featured a fishbowl discussion with a panel of higher level leaders, namely Ken Judy (CEO of Stride), Dr. Anna Tavis (Professor and Academic Director, NYU), Peter Doliber (CEO, Silver Bay YMCA), Jonathan Holifield (Senior Vice President of New Economies, Bitwise Industries), and Martha Adeline (Director, Financial Institution at Standard Chartered Bank, NYC). This was followed by a session led by LaTonya Wilkins (Author, Organizational Change Maker, and Coach).

Dialogue, Creating Common Meaning
This Lab has created a Workshop at the request of the Democratizing Leadership Lab on Dialogue. The experience of this Lab has been an increasing sense of cohesiveness, trust as well as individual self awareness and personal growth.

Democratizing Leadership in Education ~ Sue Covelli-Buntley, Co-lead
This lab is led by Sue Covelli Buntley and Susan Waterhouse with the purpose of creating leadership development materials for schools to teach students through peer to peer learning.


Courageous Community Dialog
This team focused the need for courageous dialogue and introduced a new tool named “I See You” that fosters broader connections and a shared understanding in online conversations. The courageous dialogue approach involves listening, storytelling, perspective taking, and co-creation. It can be used in communities and organizations to build a shared understanding, unite, heal, repair, and cultivate more authentic and collaborative cultures. The team piloted their tool with the Leadership Forum Community on January 14, 2021 and continues to refine its use.

Unlearning Racism
Post-2020 Summit, a group of participants acknowledged how discussions suggested one of the most pressing leadership challenges of our times is understanding racism and how it exists and impacts organizations, communities, and the fabric of a civil society. As a way to increase their understanding they convened and explored how racism impacts the Leadership Forum Community.

Leading During COVID-19
Following the 2020 Leadership Forum Community Summit, a Leadership Lab team was established to address the challenge of Leadership through COVID-19. The exploration included interviewing over 100 leaders that spanned multiple industries, generations, and geographies to learn what it took to lead during 2020 year. The findings of this team was presented as an Incubating Leadership Conversation on 12/9/2020 and was repeated on 1/27/2021 due to increased demand. CLICK HERE to see the full results available in a whitepaper on Participate.

Total Rewards
The challenge for leaders in this organization is to determine what will keep their employees engaged and motivated. Today’s employees are looking for different types of rewards and are looking at how organizations can satisfy their quality of life goals. Through a series of podcasts called “Who’s There”, this team is exploring the subject of total rewards.

Democratizing Leadership Exchange
This Leadership Lab is a continuation of the SLOPE Leadership Framework for Education lab from 2019. It has incorporated two new groups from the 2020 Summit: Courageous Leading Self and 16,00 Disengaged Students. As a combined effort this team is pursuing an initiative to integrate leadership into education, enabling all students to learn and grow as leaders. This group is running multiple pilots in the U.S. and foreign countries, where students partner with teachers to develop and deliver leadership training sessions to their peers. LEARN MORE on Participate.


Creativity Scars
The 2019 LFC Summit focused on Growth Through Failure. As part of the experience participants went through a creative exercise that pushed people out of their comfort zones and into an activity that might set them up for failure. Creativity Scars was the topic of one of these experiences. After a session on Creativity Scars, a group created a training program for people to explore their own creativity scars and how a scarred or wounded self-image limits personal and professional development. The program also addresses the need for leaders to promote a healthier work environment to enhance the value employees bring to the workplace. This training program was also adapted to be an online course available on the Participate Community platform. CLICK HERE to check out this on-demand course, called The Working Wounded.

SLOPE Leadership Framework for Education
At the100th LFC Anniversary Summit, one challenge the community focused on was how to integrate leadership development into education. Following this, Chris Rehm and Joel Wright partnered to continue advancing this work. Through extensive research and writing, Chris and Joel moved their concept of democratizing leadership in education into a defined framework ready for piloting. This initiative carried forward to the 2020 Community Summit where it was incorporated into a broader team that is exploring how to help students lead with courage and confidence during a disruptive pandemic.