About Us

About Us

If you’ve spent some time reviewing www.Collaborative-Leaders.org and had a chance to skim through the second edition of Collaborative Leadership: Developing Effective Partnerships for Communities and Schools, then you know that the work of the Institute has been aimed at developing a science of collaboration. While I’m confident we have a way to go before learned societies and academic degrees start cropping up in the field of Collaborative Leadership, we’ve made significant contributions by developing a Conceptual Framework, tools, and rational models to guide research, assessment, planning, interventions and training.

Several years ago, a small group of educators founded the Institute for Collaborative Leadership to help public leaders become effective collaborative leaders. In August 2008, our Board revised the Institute’s mission to establish ICL as “ … a public charity dedicated to advancing knowledge, skills and effective practice of collaborative leadership in all sectors through research, training, advocacy and best practice with particular emphasis on developing productive collaborations and collaborative leaders for 21st-century public education.”

For a number of years, the Institute served as a research, advocacy and publications center based in Chicago. Last year, we inaugurated operations in Washington DC in order to introduce our work and offer our focus and resources to national partners. Our aim is to influence and help improve education practice and policy by helping existing national education entities improve their capacity to build, manage, encourage and support successful collaborations. As you’ve gathered, I am the Institute’s DC office! This means that, despite our history, we are – in a practical sense – a start-up operation here in Washington. As an educator with nearly thirty years of leadership experience, I know that in order to make the contribution we are hoping to make in DC, the Institute needs to develop a reputation of excellence, value added, and collegiality among existing education leaders. This is why I’m so enthused to explore marketing ideas and relationships that can help stabilize revenue and establish the reputation of the Institute.

So, here’s what we can bring to the table:

  • Leadership Coaching & Partnership Planning: Sometimes Coaching is all that’s needed and exactly what’s called for; quiet counsel, a sounding board, an experienced and objective perspective that introduces the tools, rigors, and benefits of Collaborative Leadership into the reflection, planning and action of leaders and leadership teams.

Sometimes Coaching may call for a more formal and expansive process of Partnership Planning, including strategic targeting of professional development for staff and colleagues, Collaboration Audits, or Retreats for new or existing collaborative partners and a structured protocol that moves your collaboration to intended outcomes through reflection, decision-making, planning, action and assessment.

  • Collaboration Audit: Based on Collaboration’s Life Cycle, ICL’s Collaboration Audit is an assessment and planning tool for existing collaborations and a design and planning tool for new collaborations. [A process tool that guides the development of new – and helps to pinpoint where and how to intervene to strengthen existing – collaborations.]

  • Self-Assessment for Collaborative Leadership: Based on the Dimensions of Collaborative Leadership, ICL’s Self-Assessment helps leaders evaluate their strengths and weaknesses as collaborative leaders and develop professional development strategies. [A People tool to help guide recruitment and professional development of collaborative partners and reflection on the skills, values and climate that contribute to effective Collaborative Leadership.]

  • Professional Development Workshops: ICL PD Workshops are 2-4 hour sessions designed to build a baseline of common knowledge, vocabulary, skills, vision of the power and limitations of collaboration, and capacity as collaborative leaders among the staff or partners in a client organization.

  • Collaboration Retreats: ICL Retreats engage collaborative partners (participants in new or existing collaborations) in developing or strengthening their collaboration. Generally, Retreats entail an inaugural session of one or two full days plus at least one subsequent full-day session some 6-10 weeks later. They employ our Audit and Assessment (plus other tools and exercises including Constellations of Relationships***). There are two types of Collaboration Retreats:

    • Retreats to Launch New Collaborations

      Working with individuals and groups at the very beginning: ICL helps new partners do it right, right from the start.

    • Retreats to Renew Existing Collaborations

      ICL works with partners and stakeholders within existing collaborations to assess, strengthen and renew their collaboration’s productive capacity.

All ICL Retreats begin with a focus on mission: What are the important purposes of the collaboration?

We’ve kept the costs modest, to conform to our mission and reflect the economic environment of nonprofits and public agencies.

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