Leiderschap: Collaborative Leadership Theory

Collaborative Leadership Theory

What is the leadership theory: A Collaborative Leadership Theory was developed by David Chrislip and Carl Larson through their research on civic leadership and collaboration in the 1980s and early 90s. In their book, Collaborative Leadership (1994) they define collaboration as: A mutually beneficial relationship between two or more parties who work toward common goals by sharing responsibility, authority and accountability for achieving results.

Collaboration is seen as more than sharing knowledge and information. The Collaborative Leadership Theory assumes that by cooperating and coordinating their efforts, groups of people collaborate when they transcend personal interests to pursue common goals.
In a leadership context, the purpose of collaboration is to create a shared vision and joint strategies to address public concerns that go beyond the purview of any particular party.

What is the implication of this theory for leadership development?

In Collaborative Leadership, Chrislip and Larson test the following hypothesis:

If you bring the appropriate people together in constructive ways with good information, they will create authentic visions and strategies for addressing the shared concerns of the organization or community.

This hypothesis shifts attention away from a vision of leadership as “heroes who tell us what to do” to a vision of leadership as “servants who help us do the work ourselves.” Implicit in this hypothesis is a belief that diverse people can solve their most pressing problems and address their needs if they have the information they need and are brought together in constructive ways. Leadership development becomes the means by which people are brought together with constructive processes, and the information that will enable them to do the collective visioning and planning to act on their shared concern.

Successful collaborations meet four conditions.

1 They are broadly inclusive of all stakeholders (including those who may be “troublesome”).

2 They provide a credible and open collaborative process that gives participants the confidence that their views will be heard and considered without predetermined outcomes.

3 They have visible support from high-level, well-known and trustworthy leaders in the community to provide the credibility necessary to assure participants that their efforts may lead to tangible results.

4 They gain the support or acquiescence of “established authorities” or institutions either at the beginning or as a result of the collaborations success.

In short, successful collaboration efforts are able to:

  • Produce tangible results,
  •  Empower participants,
  •  Lead to revolutionary changes in civic culture, and
  •  Create a renewed sense of community.

The focus on results is critical. Chrislip and Larson acknowledge that “getting results” is too often where collaborative efforts fail, and that there needs to be a shift from a focus on planning to a focus on getting results. Action plans are a tool that help leaders turn collaborative agreements into action. Within a successful collaboration a “steering” group is responsible for moving strategy to action.

Collaborative initiatives get results because participants take deliberate actions to achieve them. Specific actions that produce results in groups include:

  • Consciously shifting focus from planning to results
  •  Establishing a management structure and review process to oversee implementation
  •  Establish detailed action plans for each implementation initiative that include clear time lines and assignments of roles and responsibilities
  •  Finding champions and creating implementation teams with the capacity and commitment to initiate and sustain action
  •  Spinning off implementation tasks to existing organizations (or creating new ones, if necessary)
  •  Securing agreement of implementing organizations to goals, strategies and implementation tasks

Leiderschap: Theory U


Theory U

What is the Theory U?
The basic hypothesis of the Theory U is that in order to creatively solve significant problems we need a new collective leadership with the capacity to observe the present with a new openness, sense the future and actively learn by prototyping solutions.

What is the implication for Leadership Development? The Theory U or U Process, as it has been referred to, is a process through which a group enters into a collective relationship that supports participants in collectively sensing and producing innovations. Successful participation in this process requires leadership competencies which are cultivated through a number of exercises and activities that include journaling, listening tools, modeling, solo experiences in nature and introduction to creative processes for prototyping. The Theory U describes a process with 5 movements

1 Co-Initiating: This is the phase of building a common intent and requires deep listening to what others want to do and connecting deeply to ones own source of meaning, motivation and internal knowing. This is the process by which a group coalesces around an area that matters to them where they would like to make a difference.

2 Co-sensing: This phase has been described as observe, observe, observe by going to the places with the most potential for learning and listening, with an open mind and heart. In this phase, it is important to have direct contact with the context of a situation. Most of our organizations do not support this type of deep, collective sensing and perception collectively and across boundaries.

3 Presencing: Connect to the source of inspiration and common will. Go to the place of silence and allow the inner knowledge to emerge. This process requires letting go of everything that is not essential. At this threshold the new is embraced and transforms the old such that the participants are changed and will never see things in the same way again.

4 Co-Creating: Prototyping the new in living examples that explore by doing. Prototyping is not the solution but part of the discovery process in which the future is explored by doing and not thinking and reflecting. Innovation can be stalled by analysis paralysis. Change makers leverage their learning across prototypes.

5 Co-Evolving: Embody the new in ecosystems that facilitate seeing and acting from the whole. This step is to learn from what has worked and not worked in the prototyping and decide which prototypes has the greatest impact on the system. The prototyping involves institutions and players who can pilot and take the prototype initiatives to scale.

Leadership competencies – The successful implementation of the Theory U process requires seven leadership competencies to deliver results:

Holding the Space: Listening to what life calls you to do. The key to holding space is to listen, to yourself and what you are called to do, to others and their calling, and to what is emerging in the collective space.  

  • Observing: Attend with your mind wide open. Suspend judgments based on your own experience and listen with an open mind.
  • Sensing: Connect with your heart. This type of knowledge is developed through interconnected wholes and not isolated, contingent parts. This type of knowing is open, based on an unconditional sense of value rather than conditional usefulness.
  • Presencing: Connect to the deepest source of your self and will. This involves a sense of deep connection to the whole and ability to act from the whole instead of from the self. There is an intuitive knowing what to do.
  • Crystalizing: Access the Power of Intuition: A committed core group with an intention goes out into the world and creates and energy field that begins to attract people, opportunities and resources to make things happen.
  • Prototyping: Integrating heart, head and hand. This integration occurs in the context of practical application. In this process the new usually begins with a feeling that morphs into a new idea or insight, that is applied to the problem or challenge to produce an breakthrough.
  • Performing: Playing the macro violin. Moving beyond one’s self to act from the whole.



De naakte waarheid: stof tot nadenken


Wellicht is je aandacht getrokken door bovenstaande foto. We kunnen zowat voorspellen wat je ziet… of wat je eigenlijk niet ziet.

Wat zien we eigenlijk?

We zien in ieder geval maar een deel van wat er zou kunnen staan.

En we zien zeker wat  we graag zouden willen dat er staat.
En bovendien zijn we niet zo vrij als we denken in wat we willen dat er staat …
Je buurman denkt hetzelfde.


Dit is de ‘naakte waarheid’

Maar er is nog meer.
Nu je de ‘naakte waarheid’ gezien hebt. Scroll even terug naar boven.
Wat zie je? Het is sterker dan jezelf…





De kunst van het anticiperen vanuit passie


Je krijgt geen passie als je jezelf geen grote doelen stelt, als je genoegen neemt met een leven dat minder is dan het leven waartoe je in staat bent.

Nelson Mandela


Corporate futuring gaat over:

  • Het vermogen om de dynamiek en de complexiteit van uw bedrijf en de omgeving in te zien én de verleding te weerstaan er een gok mee te nemen.
  • De durf om de angst voor de onomkoombare toekomst liever nu te ondergaan dan op het moment dat er geen ontkomen meer aan is.
  • Anticiperen en vooruitlopen op wat nog niet gebeurd is – en misschien nooit zal gebeuren – maar er acties voor bedenken als het toch zou gebeuren.
  • Het vermogen om mensen te inspireren. Hen het gevoel geven bij een groep te horen die iets bijzonders beleeft, iets om naar uit te zien, te ondersteunen en te laten groeien.

 Bibliografie: Futuring – Herman J. Th. Rottingenhuis








alles van waarde is weerloos
wordt van aanraakbaarheid rijk
en aan alles gelijk



 10 redenen waarom een veranderingstraject binnen een bedrijf kan mislukken (bron Vlerick)

  • Het project is niet het juiste
  • Het project is te groot aangepakt
  • Het project is  een eenmalige operatie
  • De processen zijn niet of slecht in kaart gebracht
  • IT is de drijfveer van de verandering
  • Er is geen methodologie, er is gewoon aan begonnen
  • De betrokken medewerkers zijn de verkeerde
  • Geen betrokkenheid van de vloer
  • Er worden voorbarige conclusies getrokken zonder onderzoek
  • Er worden voorbarige oplossingen naar voor geschoven zonder methodisch werk 

Hebt u net een project achter de rug of wilt u een project opstarten, dan is het goed even stil te staan bij dit 10 punten programma.

De eerste vijf punten gaan over de procesachtergrond van het project.
De laatste vijf over de menselijke betrokkenheid.

De scope van de eerste vijf punten (procesmanagement) is te groot om hier in z’n geheel te behandelen. We komen er zeker in volgende nieuwsbrieven op terug.

Over de scope van de menselijke betrokkenheid geven we u graag volgende gedachte mee:
Bij procesmanagement verwacht men meestal dat ‘de situatie’ of ‘de mensen’ zullen veranderen.
De ontgoocheling hierover is dikwijls groot. Hoe verloopt verandering echt?

  1. Mensen veranderen niet a priori.
  2. Leidinggevenden veranderen de situatie met een nieuwe aangeboden proces.
  3. Mensen passen zich aan, aan de door leidinggevenden aangeboden proces.

Dit impliceert 3 vragen:

1.       Wie zijn de echte leidende individuen?
Orchestri helpt u en uw management in de leidende situatie te treden, anders zit u in de lijdende positie.

 2.       Hoe veranderen we de huidige situatie naar een beter proces?
Orchestri helpt u met de uitvoering van veranderingstrajecten (Business Process Management + Human Organisation)

 3.       Waarom veranderen we de situatie?
Doorgaans verandert een bedrijfsproces onbewust maar grondig omdat de (klant)omgeving
verandert, maar de leidinggevenden het bedrijfsproces NIET mee veranderen. Dit maakt dat het
interne proces wel degelijk veranderd is ten opzichte van de (klant)omgeving en uw
medewerkers  zich onbewust aanpassen aan die scheefgetrokken situatie.
Orchestri helpt u om uw bedrijfsprocessen vanuit hun context te veranderen.

Dit brengt ons bij waarom het werkelijk draait: uw klanten.

“All of this helped me come to the conclusion that … if we wanted to be wildly successful,
we had to change our methods and become Relationship Architects.”