A Collective Approach to Leadership

Improving leadership processes that focus on people.

ARTICLE | Apr 26, 2018

The old saying “what’s old is new again” can be applied to the May PM article “Launching a Collective Leadership Expedition.” Authors Phillip Messina and Ronald Wilde take a page from two expeditions undertaken in 1911—one successful and one not—and show how these leadership processes learned from both expeditions can be used today:

  • The goal and objective should be clear.
  • Success should be defined and precise measurements identified.
  • The process should be refined into smaller, achievable goals.
  • Selection and involvement of teams is fundamental to success.
  • The previous experience of other similar projects should be carefully reviewed.
  • Conventional wisdom should be challenged.
  • The ability to make adjustments based upon conditions encountered should be built into the process.

They maintain that leadership processes are important for long-term, successful organizational change and write about a collective approach that managers might find effective: “Organizations that are serious about undertaking leadership processes should consider establishing an overarching committee like a leadership council. The leadership council’s task is to plan and oversee leadership change efforts through what is called a collective leadership expedition (CLE).

The authors conclusion: "If it centers on the need to change behavior, a CLE may prove to be the better choice."

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