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Collective Leadership

In collective leadership, Petra Kuenkel created a compass that houses the competencies of being a collective leader or executing collective leadership. The six competencies include shaping future possibilities, creating engagement, developing innovation, seeing humanity, harvesting intelligence for progress and seeing “wholeness” or the big picture which is connected to common good.

Collectivism being the ideology of group or community interests over the interests of the

individual. It involves an emphasis on collaboration, shared responsibility, collective decision making, communal ownership, collective goals and connectedness.

Our mindset in western culture is toward individualism, not collective in nature. When we lean into these new academic theories of collectivism we can add value to our organizational cultures and increase engagement and motivation for employees.

  • Future possibilities – employees like to know how their work each day feeds the whole and adds to the future. They want to know how they can grow and learn, not just advance in a company.

  • Engagement – yearly reviews are not enough. Speaking to direct reports and teams weekly, monthly and quarterly in varying depth engages the employee in the process of the work and integrates the big picture.

  • Innovation – creativity is an important part of collective leadership. Ideas are not created in the boardroom or a closed door room. Innovation is co-created all the way to the front line worker.

  • Humanity - almost my favorite part of collective leadership, humanity is acceptance of the individual and a mutual respect that is evidenced from our treatment of others. Humanity dignifies each person’s strength and positionality in life and in the company. Hearing from unusual voices, from the margins and even from introverts allows for radical diversity and inclusion in an organization.

  • Collective intelligence – assumes that knowledge is its highest form when it comes from all. Knowledge is actually co-created as a group, discussed and understood as a group. That is where it is strongest.

  • Wholeness – the mindset that we are better as a group. We succeed when we pool resources together. We rely and depend on each other to succeed. That is the definition of wholeness.

Utilizing these things in the workplace will transform a culture for the better.

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