The collective leadership journey

kerrygrace-2014 Inspiring your community, Leading change

Kerry here…

Over the next week I’m going to share my learning about collective leadership. As one of our treasured readers you may have tuned into the fact that I’m currently studying a Bachelor of Business, Honours in the topic of collective leadership.

So what?

After working in social change for most of my adult life I’ve formed a theory that leadership is the most critical component of sustainable social change.


Throughout my career I’ve tried and tested so many different types of interventions to create change. From accredited education to non accredited workshops, coaching and mentoring, public events, strategies, plans and facilitated group chats. I’ve been involved in programs that address business development, personal development, economic development, health and fitness, healing and wellbeing.

The underpinning goal of each and every one of these projects has been about creating social change that sticks. And did they work?

Sometimes. But never often enough.

I don’t want to discount the small, incremental changes – it’s the little things that really count right – nor do I want to discount just how important change in the life of just one person can be.

But there’s one thing that always leaves me gobsmacked – how can an abundant country have such high levels of disadvantage? How can kids go hungry at night? And why are our levels of domestic violence beyond outrageous proportions… These are the things that really bug me about social change. It’s when the money is invested but the change just doesn’t stick.

So I started to look for the key to sustaining social change. And it dawned on me that that key actually relates to leadership and (more specifically) how any project is led.

It is in this thinking that I stumbled upon the notion of collective leadership. That is, leading together to create action surrounding a social outcome – rather than one person (the heroic leader) leading others towards whatever it is that person is doing at the time…

On that note I invite you to join me as I unpack the literature on this topic. Feel free to make comment and share your knowledge along the way.  Let’s go…