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The Art of Leading Collectively

Co-Creating a Sustainable, Socially Just Future

By Petra Kuenkel
Foreword by Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker

A guide to collaborative impact for leaders in industry, government, and social change networks

Our world is facing unsustainable global trends—from climate change and water scarcity to energy insecurity, unfair labor practices, and growing inequality.  Tackling these crises effectively requires a new form of leadership—a collective one.  But, in a world of many silos, how do we get people to work together toward a common goal? That is one of the most important questions facing sustainability and social-change professionals around the world, and it is a question that Petra Kuenkel answers in The Art of Leading Collectively

Readers learn how to tackle system change for sustainable development, reimagine leadership as a collaborative endeavor, retrain leaders to work collectively, and manage diverse groups through a change process that has sustainability as a guiding focus. Drawing upon two decades of pioneering, internationally recognized work orchestrating multi-stakeholder initiatives, Kuenkel presents her chief tool, the Collective Leadership Compass, and shows others how to use it with large groups of diverse stakeholders to solve complex, urgent problems—particularly those that enmesh business activities, governance, human needs, and environmental impacts.

The book offers many examples of collective leadership efforts involving corporate, public, and nonprofit sectors around the world. Readers learn about the processes that led to a sustainable textile alliance and set standards for sustainable cocoa and coffee production and trade, as well as those that helped nations rebound from war, develop sustainable infrastructure, and tackle resource conflicts with global businesses, to name a few.

Kuenkel provides a clear roadmap for leaders from multinational companies involved in partnerships, international organizations engaged in cooperative development, public agencies, and interest groups—as well as for citizens seeking solutions to social and sustainability challenge

REVIEWS AND PRAISE

Choice-

"The philosophical premise of this work is that global stakeholder collaboration leads to a human rights–based world that is economically and environmentally sustainable.  Kuenkel (founder, Collective Leadership Institute) presents a simple four-step process for the complex activity of leading collectively: “Prepare for your journey into collaboration from the outset; Locate where you are, defining what is present and what’s missing; Map the path, adjust your strategies, and know what to shift, to strengthen, or to focus on; Convince your colleagues that leading collectively for sustainability can change the world.”  The underlying change-management theory explored in this book closely follows the eight-stage process for leading change as first presented in John Kotter's Leading Change (1996) and incorporates many disciplines of the learning organization presented in Peter Senge's The Fifth Discipline (CH, Jan'07, 44-2797).  References in this book to the three levels of the compass are reminiscent of Bill George's Finding Your True North (2008).  This book follows up the author's earlier book Working with Stakeholder Dialogues (2011).  It is an easy read and uses tables to guide readers through sometimes esoteric dialogue about collaborative endeavors. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers, undergraduates.”

Library Journal-

"Kuenkel, a full member of the Club of Rome as well as cofounder and executive director of the Collective Leadership ­Institute, an NGO (nongovernmental organization), has written extensively in the area of collective leadership in all sectors. With this title, the author attempts to alert people that the time for passive approaches to the many environmental problems besetting the world today is rapidly passing or has passed and explores how to make her way of thinking understood. She applies the shared actions that have led to a strengthening of the coffee production industry as her prime example. Her 'collective leadership compass' aims to design paths for society to follow and work together to implement unified strategies. The goal is to achieve knowledge in various fields using collaborative, sustainable, socially just methods that allow for corrective measures to assist leadership and stakeholder cooperation for the common good. VERDICT: This important book should be available in both academic and public venues.”

“If we are serious about taking on the pressing challenges of our time, we need fresh ideas about the art of leadership, new approaches to practicing it, and courageous minds willing to make that journey. In the Art of Leading Collectively, Petra Kuenkel has given us an inspiring book that is also a vital roadmap for any and all who feel called to accelerate the great transition our world so urgently needs.”--Alan AtKisson, author of Believing Cassandra and The Sustainability Transformation

“The Art of Leading Collectively is an amazing journey into taking diverse actors through collaborative change. Beautifully articulated with case studies in its implementation in individual to global change initiatives, this is an inspiring and invigorating read—most relevant to our complex, urgent, and interdependent world.”--Pavan Bakshi, CEO, Prime Meridian Consulting, India

“In our complex world, strategies for harnessing collective intelligence and mobilizing collective leadership will be critical to achieving transformative change. Kuenkel eloquently champions an approach to leadership that is surprisingly under-explored in the literature, offering a clear conceptual framework to underpin her argument.”--Danny Burns, coauthor of Navigating Complexity in International Development

“Corporations, governments, and NGOs alike will benefit from the shift in collaboration across sectors that will be opened with collective leadership. I highly recommend The Art of Leading Collectively to anyone interested in the future of leadership and anyone committed to systems transformation for sustainability and humanity.”--Kathrin Wieland, CEO, Save the Children Germany

“Unleashing the potential of multi-stakeholder collaboration is paramount for achieving the 2030 development agenda. The Art of Leading Collectively is a powerful guide for change agents, from those in business to those in international organizations, who want to make change happen and address global challenges at scale. The beauty of this book lies in its appeal to thinkers and practitioners alike to embrace systems change, organizational development, and individual daring as key ingredients to collectively and decisively acting on creating a better world.”--Arjan Schuthof, Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation

The Collective Leadership Compass is a fascinating multi-dimensional framework that has the potential to open up new perspectives on systemic change from a complex systems perspective. This book should be read critically, but it should be read.”--Dave Snowden, Chief Scientific Officer, Cognitive Edge; creator, The Cynefin Framework

"The Collective Leadership Compass, the tool elaborated on in The Art of Leading Collectively, enables people from very different backgrounds, perspectives, and beliefs to come together, meet as equals, and develop common ground and solutions that go beyond what each could have achieved individually. These solutions are truly carried by all members of the group and hence translated into action. Having had the privilege to experience the method  firsthand, I know that its effects are profound and just what is needed to bring forth the kind and level of innovation we urgently need today.”--Bettina von Stamm, author of The Innovation Wave and Managing Innovation, Design and Creativity;  founder, Innovation Leadership Forum 

“The complex challenges of our time call for systems-based, collaborative leadership. Petra Kuenkel shares her breadth of experience about developing this capacity, showing how leaders can use her approach to mobilize organizational, multinational, and multi-sectoral networks for sustainability. She reminds us that becoming a more effective collaborative leader is both an inner and outer journey, and that we can best realize our individual visions by accessing people’s collective humanity, power, and creativity.”--David Peter Stroh, author of Systems Thinking for Social Change

“Implementing the seventeen global sustainable development goals successfully will require us to take collaboration between institutions, stakeholders, and nations to the next level. The Art of Leading Collectively prepares us for this journey.”--Cornelia Richter, management board member, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) 

“The level of complexity in development challenges requires new approaches and new forms of leadership. Persuasively and vividly laid out through both storytelling and deep analysis, Kuenkel provides the tools and understanding that are essential to the science and art of leading collectively.”--Darian Stibbe, executive director, The Partnering Initiative

“Through rich examples of her own experience and that of others, Petra Kuenkel shows that co-creation is at the heart of our lives. Moreover, she gives invaluable material to help us co-create in more conscious, fulfilling, and effective ways. Her method is core to addressing critical challenges-come-opportunities that we face as individuals, in our work lives, and as increasingly interconnected citizens of planet Earth.”--Steve Waddell, author of Global Action Networks; principal, NetworkingAction

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Petra Kuenkel

Petra Kuenkel

Petra Kuenkel is a full member of the Club of Rome, a leading strategic advisor to pioneering international multi-stakeholder initiatives that tackle sustainability issues, and is the founder and executive director of the Collective Leadership Institute (CLI), an international not-for-profit organization building competence for collaborative change and advocating for high-quality dialogue and cooperation. As a lead faculty member, she designed and conducted high-potential international leadership programs in the United States and the United Kingdom. Based on successful change processes, she developed the Dialogic Change methodology and the Collective Leadership Compass, a guiding tool for navigating change in complex multi-actor settings. Kuenkel’s writing has appeared in the Guardian Sustainable Leadership hub, numerous professional journals, and on her blog, The Future of Leadership is Collective. For more information, please visit www.theartofleadingcollectively.net.

CONNECT WITH THIS AUTHOR

Petra Kuenkel's Website
Petra Kuenkel's Twitter
Collective Leadership Institute Website
Collective Leadership Institute Facebook

AUTHOR EVENTS

September 28, 2017

Petra Kuenkel at Women in Leadership International Conference

Swiss Hotel Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland | Petra Kuenkel
Themed “Step Up to the Next Level - Achieving Influence and Success through Effective Self-Leadership”, Petra will be a keynote speaker at the second edition of this conference for strategies and practical solutions for enhancing leadership effectiveness for women. May 18-19

See all Events by this Author

AUTHOR VIDEOS

The Future of Leadership is Collective - The Collective Leadership Compass

The Future of Leadership is Collective - The Collective Leadership Compass

The Collective Leadership Institute’s Approach

The Collective Leadership Institute’s Approach

The Art of Leading Collectively

Pages:304 pages
Book Art:Black-and-white illustrations throughout
Size: 6 x 9 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Hardcover: 9781603586269
Pub. Date January 20, 2016

Available In/Retail Price

Hardcover, 304 pages, $29.95