One of the key challenges for leadership in the modern world is that there has been too much management and not enough leadership.
This may be a provocative statement, but it is one that many organisations are now recognising. There are many similarities between management and leadership, but the differences are also clear; leadership has been described by Warren Bennis as “doing the right things whereas management can be viewed as doing things right”. There is a place for both, but it is critical to understand the purpose of each. This paper addresses the need for collective leadership.
Having established the differences there is also another important statement that needs to be made in that a key skill of a leader in the twenty-first century is in balancing the head and the heart in encouraging the hand. One of the key omissions in contemporary leadership is the inclusion of the heart in asking the question:
Are we doing the right things for the right reasons?
This question can be answered by collective leaders asking intelligent leadership questions as opposed to individual leaders who think that they need to provide the answer to the question/s. The role of a collective leader is to ask the intelligent leadership question and then allow collective others to come up with the solutions.
This is a tough challenge, but it is one that can be achieved.
- But what does ‘success’ look like?
- How can we assess the collective nature of leadership let alone trying to square the circle in assessing the effectiveness of individual leadership?
The Collective Leadership Inventory (CLI) seeks to do this, and this paper describes initially the background to the thinking on collective leadership and then provides the rationale for a research-based collective leadership framework and the practical nature of the model that underpins the CLI, which is the COMPASS360 model. It then offers a full insight into the CLI and follows this with some example applications post evaluation.
Exploring Public Value
There are three key elements to the concept of public value (Moore,1995). The first is what is described as social goals, the second relates to the way in which those goals are secured through organisational capability and the third relies upon this delivery building both trust and legitimacy.
Public value appears to be a wider framework for considering the outcomes of leading in the public interest and it is argued that social value is one of three values that underpin the overarching public value framework, alongside both political and economic value. A brief explanation is given below but these underpinning values will also be explored further in a separate section on public value including the three elements in the illustration above.
Economic value is created by taking a resource or set of inputs, providing additional inputs or processes that increase the value of those inputs, and thereby generate a product or service that has greater market value at the next level of the value chain.
Examples of economic value creation may be seen in the activities of most for-profit corporations, whether small business, regional or global. These principles also apply in public leadership contexts.
Social value, as described above, is created when resources, inputs, processes or policies are combined to generate improvements in the lives of individuals or society as a whole. It is in this arena that most non-profit organisations justify their existence, and unfortunately it is at this level that one has the most difficulty measuring the true value created.
Examples of social value creation may include such “products” as cultural arts performances, the pleasure of enjoying a hike in the woods or the benefit of living in a more just society.
This is the least understood of the three public values. Politicians fulfill a different role to those of organizational or institutional actors. Within a democracy, political value also has importance.
Moore argues strongly for political management in mitigating the various wants and needs within the resources available and in securing delivery that is perceived as legitimate and trusted by the public.
Values and behaviours can have a significant impact on leading in the public interest.
We can draw these three values together with the three public value elements illustrated earlier. This is further illustrated as follows:
The key challenge is to create the conditions in which selfless
behaviour is encouraged …
We can ask, “why are leaders motivated to lead (whether for selfish or selfless reasons)” and “why do others either co-produce that leadership or simply follow?”
It is about context and realism in its many forms and selfless leadership holds some promise in being able to unpack the black box of leadership within this complex social world of interacting contexts. It is a fact of life that selfish behaviour will often predominate over selfless behaviour and working to a sense of shared values and shared purpose can be very difficult.
Selfless leadership is about putting the wider public interests over and above a leaders own. personal interests. The same applies at an organiational level. Individuals have ego’s and so do organisations, and it is often ego’s that act against selfless and public interests.