Collaborative Leadership



Collaborative Leadership

The collaborative leadership premise is: If you bring the appropriate people together as peers, in constructive ways with good context and content information, they will create authentic visions and strategies for addressing the shared concerns of the organization and community.

Each component of the premise is important:

1. You must bring the appropriate people together as peers – the collaboration must be broadly inclusive

2. You must bring people together in constructive ways – design the process so that it can deal with different understandings of the issues, varying degrees of trust, and so that the process encourages people to work together

3. Good context and content information is critical to good decision-making – Involve citizens and experts to co-create solutions

The traditional concept of leadership is that of the heroic leader – they have a vision, they assert it, they persuade us, and they gain followers. Collaborative leadership turns that concept upside down. When collaborative leadership works, it builds civic cohesion, addresses complex issues constructively and achieves impact.

Collaborative Leadership

Foundations of Community Engagement

Through video lessons, case studies, readings, and activities, you'll dig into the role of community, who should be engaged, community engagement techniques, how to overcome challenges, and how to evaluate your engagement activities.


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Getting Started

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Making Sense of the Multiple Faces of Leadership

This paper explores the multiple faces of leadership and draws from Weaver's years of experience in both implementing and supporting an array of community change efforts.
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Review of Supporting Literature on Community Leadership

This review examines the Literature of Community, the Literature of Leadership and the Literature of Community Leadership. The literature in all these areas is extensive; the review below is not meant to be exhaustive but rather representational.

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Leadership Styles for Success in Collaborative Work

This paper explores the challenges and traits of successful non-profit collaborative partnerships. The paper includes a literature review; methods; findings; and, recommendations for further research.

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Leadership for Navigating Uncertainty

Given the scale of disruptive forces unleashed by the global pandemic, the social movements which inspired action to respond to racial justice and the economic shockwaves that have followed, the need for effective leadership has risen to the forefront in profound ways.

Featured Resources 

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Solving the Puzzle of Collaborative Governance

By: Liz Weaver

There is a substantive amount of literature about collaboration and collaborative work but relatively little that identifies the nuts and bolts of collaborative governance including process, structure, accountability, engagement, and effectiveness. This article is for changemakers encountering challenges with collaborative governance within their work.


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Turf, Trust, Co-Creation & Collective Impact

By: Liz Weaver

Authentic community change moves at the speed of trust. And yet, we spend so little time and focus on intentionally building trust amongst partners. This paper explores the intricacies of trust, how to build it and what to do when trust is broken.

It includes stories, research, and a plethora of helpful tips to equip you and your colleagues to focus on building trust with each other and with your partners.

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Disruptive Times Require Skilled Changemakers
Community Change

By: Liz Weaver

As individual or organizational changemakers, we are often better at deploying program-based or focused strategies to solve simple problems than we are at shifting the systems which are holding the problem in place. Achieving deeper and more robust systems change, especially within communities, requires a new set of skills and mindsets that results in a different way of approaching and working through change.

Meet the Director

Liz Weaver is the Co-CEO of Tamarack Institute and leading the Tamarack Learning Centre. The Tamarack Learning Centre advances community change efforts by focusing on five strategic areas including collective impact, collaborative leadership, community engagement, community innovation and evaluating community impact. Liz is well-known for her thought leadership on collective impact and is the author of several popular and academic papers on the topic. She is a co-catalyst partner with the Collective Impact Forum.   

Learn more about Liz

Book a 15-minute session with Liz

Current Collaborative Leadership Themes Being Explored:

  • Collaborative Leadership / Collaborative Governance 
  • Building your Adaptive Leadership Capacity / Navigating in a Post Pandemic World
  • The Human Side of Collaborative Leadership:  Exploring Power, Courage and Love