- A collaborative leadership culture is more than merely leading a scheduled meeting, sharing lessons, or sitting through common planning-time sessions taking notes. Collaborative leadership requires transparency, honesty, integrity, dependability, accountability, and educators’ commitment to shared goals.
- Researchers at i4cp studied the collaborative practices of more than 1,100 organizations in partnership with Rob Cross, an associate professor of global leadership at Babson College in Babson Park.
- Planning for changes in leadership. Another element of collaborative leadership that your team should seriously consider is the process your team will use to select new leaders when there is a change in internal leadership. You should diligently seek to incorporate what you decide in your autonomy agreement and, if it makes sense, in your bylaws.
- Collaborative leadership is a way of managing people across functional and organizational boundaries. In collaborative working environments, managers aren’t simply there to oversee projects and make sure goals are met; rather, they work alongside employees and in collaboration with other teams and departments to accomplish shared goals.
When the word “collaboration” is spoken in a school, it is not always welcomed with open arms. Educators or leaders who have had success or are comfortable working solo may feel they are being encroached on or that their ideas are being invaded. However, when your school community respects each other and acknowledges individual skills and participation, all staff can move forward in a positive environment while also becoming learners. Effective collaborative leadership provides teachers opportunities for improved practices through increased leadership opportunities and a feeling of being valued in a school environment.
The benefits of collaborative leadership
A collaborative leadership culture is more than merely leading a scheduled meeting, sharing lessons, or sitting through common planning-time sessions taking notes. Collaborative leadership requires transparency, honesty, integrity, dependability, accountability, and educators’ commitment to shared goals. A school or district that supports collaborative leadership must be fostered and supported by administration for lasting success.
COLLABORATIVE LEADERSHIP A collaborative approach won’t wholly supplant command-and-control leadership in most companies. Yet a multitude of forces are driving the growing need for collaborative leadership in today’s organisations, most notably globalisation and the ICT revolution. Companies must align strategy, coordinate operations.
Collaboration is a mitigating condition for teachers to grow in the profession and to accept and implement change effectively. Having leadership opportunities will provide teachers with workplace relationships that allow them to develop individual potential. When principals or superintendents support collaboration by seeking teacher input in decision making, offer sufficient teacher support, and create a community that fosters collaboration, teachers are more prone to remain in those schools.
As a principal for 11 years and a district leader for two years, I define collaborative leadership as the presence of opportunities for shared leadership, educator ownership, and sharing of instructional and pedagogical ideas. Collaboration is a talent and skill developed through humility, patience, and vision.
As Michael Jordan said, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” My best years as a leader were the years when we had collaborative leadership present in the school.
(Next page: 7 steps to becoming a collaborative leader)
Social media and technologies have put connectivity on steroids and made collaboration more integral to business than ever. But without the right leadership, collaboration can go astray. Employees who try to collaborate on everything may wind up stuck in endless meetings, struggling to reach agreement. On the other side of the coin, executives who came of age during the heyday of “command and control” management can have trouble adjusting their style to fit the new realities.
Collaborative Leadership Strategies
In their research on top-performing CEOs, Insead professors Ibarra and Hansen have examined what it takes to be a collaborative leader. They’ve found that it requires connecting people and ideas outside an organization to those inside it, leveraging diverse talent, modeling collaborative behavior at the top, and showing a strong hand to keep teams from getting mired in debate. In this article, they describe tactics that executives from Akamai, GE, Reckitt Benckiser, and other firms use in those four areas and how they foster high-performance collaborative cultures in their organizations.