Conceptual FrameworkNetwork Capacity Building → Collaborative Leadership & Engagement

Collaborative Leadership & Engagement

Collaborative leadership is grounded in a belief that we are wiser and more effective when we lead and act together. Unlike some approaches to leadership where one person or a small group of people takes on the leadership role, collaborative leadership is the right and responsibility of all who participate in the Network. With collaborative leadership, each person contributes his or her insights, talents and leadership for generating collective impact.

The complex, ever-changing nature of systems-building work requires the active engagement of a diverse group of stakeholders who make up the system. Because the system is so large and complex, it can only be understood and influenced when this diverse group works together to change it. This includes engaging parents as collaborative partners rather than consumers of services. And given the ever-changing nature of communities, families and programs, the strength of the relationships and depth of commitments among Network members enhances long-term sustainability. Beyond information sharing or general agreements to cooperation, collaborative leaders intentionally create organizational linkages, often through Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs), that strengthen their commitments and ability to work together.

Key Elements

  • Membership Recruitment and Engagement: Engaging a broad and diverse group of stakeholders who actively contribute to the success of Network initiatives
  • Collaborative Leadership: Discerning and engaging in wise action together rather than relying on a few to lead and act
  • Parents as Partners: Engaging parent leaders from parent groups as full partners in planning, implementing and evaluating Network initiatives
  • Linkages and Collaborations: Strengthening connections and deepening levels of cooperation, coordination, and collaboration among Network members and their organizations to advance the Network shared agenda