Navigating Complexity and Paradox to Lead with Resilience and Clarity

How we support you

Are you asking yourself how you might lead as well as enable others to act more effectively in the face of competing demands and uncertainty? The accelerated rate of change and the complexity of our organizations demand greater leadership capacity to realize sustained success, development, innovation, and performance. 

Drawing from a deep understanding of paradox, adult stage (vertical) development, and complex adaptive systems, we have defined approaches and tools to help you and enable you to support your clients and colleagues in finding clarity to act effectively in the unpredictable, ambiguous and complex reality we face every day.

Join a diversity of leaders in business, non-profits, and government who have benefitted from the approaches and tools Fenix integrates to build capacity of individual leaders, teams and organizations that draw on the latest advancements in our understanding of how to effectively lead in complex, uncertain and ambiguous environment.
We have developed approaches and programs that especially focus on stimulating Innovation, leveraging Diversity & Inclusion and Supporting High-Achieving Women.

Effective Leadership For a Complex World

Our services and programs gives you the opportunity to:


Experiential Learning

  • Experience two days of highly interactive immersion into the complexity and paradox of three critical challenges: Diversity & Inclusion, Supporting High-Achieving Women and Cultivating Innovation
  • Learn to identify the paradoxes at play in situations presenting competing demands and values

Sensing And Leveraging Leadership Paradoxes

·      Populate the Polarity Maps® of salient tensions to better ‘see’ the interrelated dynamics and broaden choices for effective action

·      Practice tools and approaches that account for the complexity and ambiguity of challenges in moving toward greater clarity and effective action


Improvising to design action

  • Through jazz improvisation, learn to act in the midst of uncertainty and change
  • Expand your network of leaders seeking to develop their capacity and grow in their awareness of their own perspectives, assumptions, and worldview

Conversations to build trust and awareness

  • Develop a deeper awareness of your own ambivalence and defense mechanism
  • Expand your capacity to communicate in difficult and complex situations


“Dr. Martinez’s thoughtful, insightful approach of blending jazz improvisation with leadership tools I can use in complex adaptive systems created a powerful environment in which to learn. My excitement and enthusiasm are heightened and I am actively noticing paradoxes and polarities in discussions I have with my team members and leaders.”

Senior Leader

National Security

“With Sandra’s support as my executive coach, I made significant progress in my leadership development and I am much more confident about my leadership capacity. This coaching experience positively impacted my day-to-day operations. I am experiencing different patterns of thinking and behavior on a daily basis, in particular I now recognize and step back from my immediate and more primitive reactions to a crisis to consider other options and the impact of different options on the outcome of dealing with a difficult situation. I examine how my behavior might be contributing to the outcome. I empathize with people who are probably not acting in their best or the team’s best interest and have a greater appreciation of where they are in their development.”

“I enjoyed the way Dr. Martinez referred to evidence-based knowledge and behavioral insights and also provided me with materials that helped me to make sense of situations we were discussing. She has an innate ability to translate the conversation in a way that pushes one to consider the whole picture, and even see points of views one had not explored beforehand. I am now committed to continue to nurture this side of my professional life, as much as I nurture the scientific and content expert side. I would work with Sandra again and highly recommend her to others, especially those who seek to be challenged to accelerate their leadership capacity.”

Senior Leader, Research and Public Health administration

“Experiencing Sandra’s coaching led to a transformational change in my leadership style. Creating an open environment for discussion, reflection and positive challenge, Sandra has taken my leadership performance to new heights and enabled me to engage with greater influence and positive outcomes across all organizational levels.”

Senior Leader

Multinational Consumer and Industrial Business

“It has been a real privilege and treat to work with Dr. Sandra Martinez. She researches, understands and shares concepts of leadership and leader development in a highly integrative and interconnected way. Her research is deep and thorough-going. Her ability to diagnose and focus in on organizational, institutional and cultural issues that affect the abilities of leaders is unusual and goes well beyond just surface problems and conditions. She is highly professional in her coaching and consulting practice and authentic and genuine in her desire to assist clients. ”        

Dr. Cathy Downes

Professor, National Defense University

Founder & Associates

Sandra M. Martínez, Ph.D

For 25 years, SANDRA M. MARTINEZ, Ph.D. has supported leaders and organizations globally, first as a researcher, then as a consultant and executive coach. Responding to a mandate of the office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense, she was named the Defense Transformation Chair at the US Army War College where she introduced adult stage (vertical) development to the Professional Military Education curriculum to develop the capacity of senior leaders facing complex and ambiguous environments. Also, as a certified Master Practitioner in Polarities, she works with entrepreneurs and leaders in business, government and non-profit organizations to create understanding and clarify effective action in the face of complex challenges. Early in her career, she served as an adjunct faculty member at the Wharton School. She has presented and consulted in the U.S., Latin America, and Europe and published on the subject of complexity and adult stage development. She earned a B.A. in Music at Colorado Women’s College, a master’s degree in International Management at University of New Mexico and a Ph.D. in Business Administration at New Mexico State University. She is certified as an executive coach and to score and debrief the Maturity Assessment Profile (MAP). As a pianist, she draws on her experience in both the arts and science to enrich and expand the personal mastery and capacity of leaders and organizations.

Jeffrey Chappell

Pianist JEFFREY CHAPPELL is a gifted, innovative teacher who is renowned for his ability to connect with every student. He has performed throughout the United States and internationally with major symphony orchestras and at venues including Carnegie Hall. He has appeared at jazz festivals such as the East Coast Jazz Festival and Key West International. Recently he was invited to inaugurate and lead the Jazz Studies Program of the Alba Music Festival in Alba, Italy. There he performed as an orchestral pianist and in chamber music and jazz concerts. A recording artist, award-winning composer, and bestselling author, he is the Director of Jazz Studies at Goucher College and is on the faculty of Levine Music. He is also the founder of Music Everybody and composes and performs as part of a jazz quartet he formed with three other musicians, Otherworld ( He studied with Leon Fleisher, Rudolf Serkin, Eleanor Sokoloff, and Jane Allen. Jeffrey works with students of all ages and different levels of musical ability to encourage their creative expression through improvisation.

Our blog

How Culturally Aware are You?
Don’t dismiss it as PC posturing. Recognizing the varied backgrounds of your team and accommodating those differences in positive ways can help maximize any group’s output. You’re a Dane leading a new product introduction…

For more information



Email Address:

Social Media: