Collaborative Leadership: How to Succeed in an Interconnected World

  • 4h 33m
  • Alex Cameron, David Archer
  • Taylor and Francis
  • 2009

Collaborative leadership is about delivering results across boundaries. The nature of that boundary is important, whether it's a formal contract or an informal agreement between two parties to work together for a common aim. And leaders need to be clear about where the boundary lies and how to use the different capabilities on either side of it to build a positive and efficient relationship. As the poet Robert Frost once put it, 'Good fences make good neighbours'.

Getting value from difference is at the heart of the collaborative leader's task. But that is not without its challenges. As in many marriages, it is often this difference in skills, experience, resources or culture that attracts organisations to work together in the first place. Then, as time goes by, people start to rail against that very difference and try to remove it wherever it causes frustration in the joint operation. An often-heard criticism is 'Why can’t they be more like us?'. But of course the truth is that if they were, you'd have lost the very reason that brought the two of you together.

So, collaborative leaders have to pull off a tricky balancing act on the one hand, respecting and valuing the differences of a partner, while on the other, smoothing out some of those differences in the interests of making the relationship work more efficiently. At the same time, leaders have to learn to share control, and to trust a partner to deliver, even though that partner may operate very differently from themselves. Collaborative leadership is a sophisticated art but mastering this complexity lies at the heart of business success now and in the future.

  • Covers a growing area of importance for HR professionals and leaders, especially within public sector organizations
  • The book's authors are highly experienced in working at the leading edge of many complex partnership projects
  • Gives managers and HR professionals practical advice on how to manage sensitive collaborative relationships

About the Authors

David Archer and Alex Cameron are founding Directors of Socia Ltd, a consultancy company which advises leaders of large organisations across the public and private sector on how to make partnerships work.

Before working as a management consultant David was a lecturer in Electrical & Electronic Systems at the University of Hertfordshire where he also led a British Library funded research program into the future of electronic publishing. Passionate about the ability of people to solve their own collaboration problems – he works to help groups create the right environment of governance, working practices and behaviours which will allow creative solutions to emerge.

Alex trained as a zoologist and taught in schools and in industry before progressing to a career in management consultancy and executive development. He coaches individual leaders and executive teams. He sees the possibility of avoiding the waste of effort and resources that can often occur in conflict situations – between individuals and organisations. He cares about the added value that can be achieved through the exploitation of difference.

Together they believe that collaboration can deliver business success in the twenty-first century and that it’s the actions of leaders that will make this possible.

In this Book

  • Collaborative Leadership—How to Succeed in an Interconnected World
  • Foreword
  • The Rise of Collaborative Working
  • To Collaborate or Not to Collaborate?
  • The Partnership Roadmap
  • The Three-Legged Stool
  • The Octagonal Tape Measure
  • The Grit in the Oyster
  • The Secrets of Successful Leaders
  • Why Some Collaborative Leaders Fail
  • Risk and Opportunity
  • Conflict and the Collaborative Leader
  • The Future of Collaboration


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