Cultivate a Collaborative Enterprise Culture

Over the last month we have explored cultivating collaborative leadership by developing individual CQ (Cultural Intelligence – What’s your CQ & Cultural Intelligence – Raise your CQ).  Now we will take a look at developing your organizations CQ in order to cultivate a collaborative enterprise culture.

Mary Stacey, founder and Managing Director of Context Management Consulting Inc. in Toronto held a workshop to explore this topic yesterday December 3, 2009 at MaRS Discovery District.

To offer a summary of the interactive session, Stacey suggests that cultivating a collaborative enterprise culture requires that as a leader you must:

1. Pay attention to the culture of your enterprise at every phase of it’s development
2. Develop your individual leadership capacity
3. Develop CQ through leadership DAC
                                                                      Direction: each individual knows the
                                                                      goals and aims of the collective.
                                                                      Alignment: coordination of knowledge
                                                                      and work in the collective.
                                                                      Commitment: willingness of 
                                                                      individuals to expend effort towards the
                                                                      needs of the collective.
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DAC is directly proportional to CQ, that is to say it is a scale where an organization’s DAC can be anywhere on the spectrum between high and low and generally the higher your organizations DAC the higher its CQ.  Therefore, since higher CQ is an indicator of collaborative culture where you sit on that spectrum defines the type of enterprise culture you have.

 CQ 2.0

Where is your organization on this spectrum?

For more detailed information on cultivating collaborative cultures both “Action Inquiry” by Bill Torbert and “Leadership Agility” by Bill Joiner are excellent resources.

Developing Collaborative Leadership

Whether you’re an entrepreneur in the start-up phase or the CEO of a mature business, it’s the right time to pay attention to the culture of your enterprise.

Yesterday (October 8, 2009) Mary Stacey of Context Management Consulting Inc. with the Kingbridge Collaboration Institute delivered the first of a 2 part series dedicated to collaborative leadership at MaRS Discovery District.  Drawing from Torbert and Rooke’s award winning article The Seven Transformations of Leadership (Harvard Business Review, 2005), the attendees explored their own leadership methods and the potential for evolution towards a more collaborative style.

According to Torbert and Rooke there are 7 key ‘Action Logics’ or categories that define “how a leader interprets their surroundings and reacts when their power or safety is challenged'”(Torbert & Rooke, 2005).  Rather than being autonomous groups however Torbert and Rooke propose that there is a developmental progression from the least ‘effective’ style to the most ‘effective’.  So, the style you fall into when you begin your leadership development journey can evolve with time, practice, and changes in your external environment.  Great news for those leaders trying to figure out how to transform themselves and their organizations!

One example of leadership progression cited in the Torbert & Rooke article is that of Larry Ellison (now CEO of Oracle).  At the start of his career Ellison was at the bottom of the leadership development spectrum as an ‘Opportunist’ where he lead by ridiculing and out-witting his team.  Few opportunists can sustain leadership roles for long as their style leads to high turnover and the absence of respect from their employees.  No doubt after experiencing some of these repercussions Ellison was able to recognize his own need for development and began his journey towards the well evolved leader he is today.

The workshop explored the identification of ‘Action Logics’ and the characteristics of each as well as the potential for progression along the continuum.  The next session ‘Leading in a Collaborative Culture’ scheduled for December 3, 2009 at MaRS will address the question ‘Now that I am here, what do I do now?” With discussions around cultivating cultural intelligence and collaborative inquiry, leaders and future leaders will gain insight on the connection between your leadership and the culture of your organization.

For more information on the series or the ‘Action Logic’ framework please contact