Exploring Collective Leadership

Exploring leadership


One of the key challenges for leadership in the modern world is that there has been too much management and not enough leadership.

This may be a provocative statement, but it is one that many organisations are now recognising.  There are many similarities between management and leadership, but the differences are also clear; leadership has been described as doing the right things whereas management can be viewed as doing things right.  There is a place for both, but it is critical to understand the purpose of each.  This paper addresses the need for collective leadership.

Having established the differences there is also another important statement that needs to be made in that a key skill of a leader in the twenty-first century is in balancing the head and the heart in encouraging the hand.  One of the key omissions in contemporary leadership is the inclusion of the heart in asking the question:

Are we doing the right things for the right reasons?

This question can be answered by collective leaders asking intelligent leadership questions as opposed to individual leaders who think that they need to provide the answer to the question/s.  The role of a collective leader is to ask the intelligent leadership question and then allow collective others to come up with the solutions.

This is a tough challenge, but it is one that can be achieved.  But what does ‘success’ look like? How can we assess the collective nature of leadership let alone trying to square the circle in assessing the effectiveness of individual leadership?  The Collective Leadership Inventory (CLI) seeks to do this, and this paper describes initially the background to the thinking on collective leadership and then provides the rationale for a research-based collective leadership framework and the practical nature of the model that underpins the CLI, which is the COMPASS360 model.  It then offers a full insight into the CLI and follows this with some example applications post evaluation.