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Hello friends…

I am involved in a project where we are bringing a very participatory, AoH/learning journey/Theory U approach to a complex set of problems here in BC.  The project team that is hosting this journey is definitely on board with trusting the process and trusting the people involved but they are really new to the whole idea of collaborative leadership.  One of our team leaders in particular is very young and has asked for a good overview of the differences between our approach and traditional views of leadership.  her challenge is that she is responsible for traditional outcomes and accountabilities while hosting an emergent process.

So I'm looking around for some good, simple, high level articles that discuss our way of working that would be suitable for a traditional manager who is wanting to enter into this dojo!

Any recommendations?



My favorite article right now is:

New Ways of
Developing Leadership in a Highly Connected World 

Hope you like it too!



Hi Chris,

The World Cafe book has a number of stories of the use of World Cafe as one approach to collaborative leadership in corporate and other settings with info on key results of these efforts.  I've also attached an article Tom Hurley and I wrote some time ago on Conversational Leadership: Thinking Together for a Change, from the Oxford Leadership Journal which helps to make some of these contrasts, and also contains real life stories. Hope these can be of support.
With warm regards,
Hi Chris 
You made me think of Thomas Johnson's work and he has a book out called Profit Beyond Measure with the Foreword by Peter Senge. Johnson uses allot of Demming's work as well. This book resonated with me as I was in an organization that lived and breathed outcomes, performance targets and much more that actually made physically react. After reading his book and listening to him talk I understood why I reacted as I did to a move away from more natural processes. He talks about Management by means however I would spend time reading more about the organizations moving away from a mechanistic view to a more whole world view which requires collaborative leadership as we know hero leadership the "I" alone cannot create the world we need whatever that looks like. Johnson's book does a good comparison of Management by results ( mechanistic) and Management by means (natural/systems view). I have seen articles he has written. I will have a look and see if I have any filed. 
I also thought of Adam Kahane's work on Solving Tough Problems. He tells his stories of collaborative work he did around the world which links well with the Theory U work you will be doing. Sometimes people have to experience the process to find the answers to their questions. I love the challenging questions that come from the young leaders. 
All the best
Sharon Faulds
Hi Chris,

No doubt you've thought of Meg's Hero to Host?

There's also Dee Hock's "Art of Chaordic Leadership" and Pascalle et al on "Surfing the Edge of Chaos" (HBR a while ago) which is good for the living systems perspective.

There's another one on collaboration but I can't recall it just now and I'm not in the office to look it up. If your timeframe allows the weekend let me know and I'll hunt it out for you.

Kind regards

This is an article on the public health work Tim and Sera were involved
with here in NS about participatory leadership and also Theory U:

Kathy Jourdain
One text that i love to pass over when introducing these new approches is 
Collaboration : the courage to step into a meaningful mess by Alycia Lee Tatiana Glad
It's simple and soooo inspiring, 
Hey mate,

Here's a few I put up a while ago - .... the one by Juanita and David may suit your purposes really well.

Here are some online sources on shared leadership that I recommend :

·       From the MIT Leadership Centre, Senge, Peter et al. 4 Capabilities of Leadership Framework

·       Doyle, M.E., Smith, Mark K. (2005) The Theory and Practice of Shared Leadership and the Significance of Ethical Practice, download from

Would be pleased to discuss in more depth at any time.

Diana M. Smith


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Hi Amanda,

I do think that every community or organisation can only advance stepwise towards higher level of cultures. This is well described in Spiral Dynamics and in the level of consciousness by Richard Barrett. So your team leader should be aware that she cannot stretch too much the people of her organisation ... unfortunately.



Forgot to propose an article from HBR presenting the Leadership Styles by Goleman.




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