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, advanced global seafood sustainability, 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 challenges.
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.