What is the Connected Community of Practice?

Our shared topic is relational leadership and its development in the face of complex challenges across society.

This community is comprised of a group of faculty and staff at the Center for Creative Leadership, plus a wider community of scholars and practitioners sharing similar interests.

The initial structure of the community will be:

  1. A website with three layers of access: Public (no registration); Member (registration by invitation, with some vetting); CCL Faculty & Staff (CCL firewall?)
  2. Community webinars at two levels: CCL only; and CCL + Members
  3. Face to face meeting for CCL plus a few invited guests

Our mission as a community of practice is to advance the field and serve society through innovative research and practice on the topic of relational leadership and similar ideas about leadership as a collective social process.

We have a passion for knowledge and innovation in service of positive human development across all of society, in the face of enormous challenges. We wish to foster a diverse and lively community of colleagues and friends who share this passion.

There are a variety of different ways the term relational leadership is used. We at CCL advocate for a particular way of framing relational leadership, and we welcome others in the spirit of dialogue and inquiry. Many of these differences are semantic. Other differences point to important issues for research and practice. We wish to explore within and beyond these various ways of framing our subject, while at the same time not getting bogged down in terminology and recognizing that language in this area is fluid and evolving. This is a big tent and all are welcome.

Goals of the Community:

  • Share and further develop “best ideas” at the cutting edge of relational leadership development
  • Help guide a robust research agenda
  • Foster innovation
  • Meet people and have fun

CCL is sponsoring this Community. A core group are CCL faculty and staff. We want to further coalesce and mobilize this Community inside CCL as our home institution. At the same time we are boundary spanners and our network extends far beyond CCL. We wish to activate this network in the spirit of interdependence.

What is relational leadership and why is it important?

Relational leadership is a way of understanding the sources of leadership that support more purposeful, collective action. It is not a “type” of leadership. Rather relational leadership is a set of underlying assumptions which offer new possibilities for innovation.

Lately there has been confusion in differentiating among a number of important ideas, namely the following: Collective leadership. Relational leadership. Interdependent leadership. Leadership in networks. Holocratic and other “teal” ways of organizing. Shared leadership. Distributed leadership. The term “leadership” itself is used in diverse ways and often seems like excess baggage. There is quite a bit of overlap in the underlying ideas and yet proponents of each term are trying to capture important features. Effective research depends on further clarifying what we know in a way that opens to new possibilities. A number of us at CCL have developed our own ways of understanding these ideas and we wish to “put them in the middle” of dialogue with our colleagues.



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