Collective leadership
Collective leadership

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Collective leadership

3.3 Collective leadership is not easy!

Now watch the second part of the animation on the Collective Canyon. It demonstrates that just because you have put in the effort at the start, or rebuilt a bridge, it does not mean that your job as a leader is done. Maintaining these ‘bridges’, to keep the ‘space between’ as an effective collective space, takes continual effort by both the leaders and the followers.

Download this video clip.Video player: boc_cl_1_session3_section4_vid06_collectivenoteasy.mp4
Skip transcript

Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]
NARRATOR
Reading and understanding more about collective leadership and improving working relations all sounds wonderful. But building and maintaining the numerous bridges over the collective canyon requires constant work. People are all different. We have different personalities, values, varying outlooks, many different priorities and interests in our lives.
In organisations, they often forget that we have home lives, families, friends, carers, hobbies, volunteer work, and so on. Leaders sometimes have to make difficult decisions- redundancies, budget cuts, office closures. There is also a tendency that leaders spin an over positivity alongside this.
It's what Collinson has termed Prozac leadership. This is a warning that bosses do not have all the answers, with the word Prozac being used to symbolise the widespread social addiction to excessive positivity. Collinson's discussion around Prozac leadership, drawing on the metaphor of Prozac, suggests that leaders' excessive positivity is often characterised by a reluctance to consider alternative voices. Not listening to what the others in the organisation have to say and only focusing on positive rhetoric and not reality can leave organisations ill-prepared to deal with unexpected events.
In summary, Prozac leadership encourages leaders to believe their own narratives, that everything is going well, in turn discouraging followers from raising problems or admitting mistakes. The focus moving from the individual in leadership studies to the ideological of the collective often reads as if it's going to fix all the problems in organisations. This is far from reality.
However, more of a focus on the relational aspects of leadership, improving communication, establishing trust, and encouraging individuals to have an active voice can certainly help an organisation overcome complex problems and work more effectively. One final warning. Relationships and trust can take a long time to build and establish between individuals, but it can be destroyed in seconds. Being more aware of ourselves around others can make a huge difference when working as a collective.
End transcript
 
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

The next case study is going to bring these practices, and others, together. It is a real example of working collectively in a hospital in the USA.

B208_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371