To meet your need for expert guidance on facilitation and collaboration, I offer services to:
- Facilitate through innovation, engage conflict or develop more ease and collaboration with your team – I design and navigate participants from where they are toward their desired impact
- Facilitate stakeholder engagement — I uncover interests and concerns, build coalitions and mediate toward a desired impact or outcome
- Consulting to develop partnerships, structure and negotiate deals, and/or support a collective impact initiative (link – include the info below) by working directly with backbone leaders
Effective Collective Impact & Developing Backbone Leaders
Corporations, Non-Profits and Foundations are recognizing that to accomplish broad and sustainable initiatives toward a shared goal, collaboration among multiple entities is necessary. In the most effective of these collaborations, there is often a primary organization, or Backbone Leader, driving the collaboration. According to research by FSG, there are six characteristics necessary for backbone leaders (or more generally, leaders in emerging situations) to be effective: 1) results oriented, 2) collaborative relationship builder, 3) focused but adaptive, 4) charismatic and influential, 5) politically astute, and 6) humble/servant leader focused.
The real opportunity is that – while each of these 6 characteristics is necessary for a Backbone Leader to be effective, they are not fixed traits to dictate hiring decisions, but learnable skills that can be developed. However, simply reading or listening to presentations on these topics are unlikely to make a measurable difference. Why? The characteristics relate to automatic interpersonal patterns that we have already established and our defaults, especially under stress are set. For example, relying on a collaborative approach to conflict as a preferred response, is just one of 5 potential responses that may be habitually used. (The other 4 responses to conflict are to compete, compromise, avoid or accommodate.)
Neuroscience and applied psychology teach us that to break our current habits or more fully develop new ones – an analytical framework is helpful – but the real change in behavior comes when we are aware of our automatic responses in the moment and have developed the facility to consciously choose our behavior.
Therefore, what is needed is training that incorporates analytical frameworks, interpersonal experiential practices and awareness exercises.
That critical combination is the catalyst for real growth in each of the necessary six elements for effective backbone leadership.