The premise of collaborative leadership says: If you bring the appropriate people together in constructive ways with good 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:
You must bring the appropriate people together – the collaboration must be broadly inclusive
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
Good information is critical to good decision-making – Involve experts in the process as informers, rather than drivers of the process
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 simply by saying that if we bring good people together in constructive ways, we will be able to make conscious, inclusive decisions. We need to remember that how we decide is as important as what we decide. We often choose to focus on a solution rather than a process that brings us to a solution. Collaboration is more than a tool in a toolbox. When collaboration works, it reproduces and builds the characteristics of civic community, allowing us to deal with future issues in constructive ways. Collaboration builds social capital. Collaboration is the new leadership.
This resource, from David Chrislip's Collaborative Leadership Fieldbook, details the premises and assumptions that inform the practice of collaboration and presents collaboration as an alternative strategy for addressing public concerns and adapting to shifting challenges.
Business people today are working more collaboratively than ever before, not just inside companies but also with suppliers, customers, governments, and universities. Global virtual teams are the norm, not the exception. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, videoconferencing, and a host of other technologies have put connectivity on steroids and enabled new forms of collaboration that would have been impossible a short while ago.
In this article, David Chrislip writes that we need a new form of leadership for the civic arena. This leadership must come from new and diverse sources, and its practice must take a radically different form.
What is the fundamental nature of community leadership and its applicability for communities today? These questions lead to a study of three interrelated, though distinct, themes. 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.
This article, adapted from Edgeware: Lessons From Complexity Science for Health Care Leaders proposes principles of management that are consistent with an understanding of organizations as CASs. In the spirit of the subject matter, there is nothing sacred or permanent about this list. However, these principles do begin to give us a new way of thinking about and approaching our roles as leaders in organizations.
This article argues that leaders cannot lead those who choose not to follow. As such, to be effective, leaders must first appreciate the importance of their role in guiding their teams; second, have the qualities and attitudes essential to work in a group setting; third, exercise the political, interpersonal and process skills that will facilitate a successful outcome to the group’s work; and fourth, make the deliberate choice to take productive advantage of their span of influence.
To achieve large scale impact, leaders must learn to navigate complex systems that are continually shifting and changing. Diagnosing the nature of the problem, understanding the components that make up the complex system and determining how you, as a leader, might effectively influence the system are key components of adaptive leadership.
This spring, Tamarack partnered up with Collaboration for Impact to offer an Adaptive Leadership Masterclass series exploring these issues as well as the connections between leadership, authority and power. Explore some of the key resources.