Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
As the twentieth century comes to a close a shift in paradigm is taking place in civic life. The feeling of anomie and disaggregation is slowly giving way to the belief that citizens do indeed have the capability and desire to invest in and take responsibility for their communities. Past attempts in problem solving have seen repeated failures and an increase in the frustration of communities as the same problems plague their lives. In hopes of eliminating this cycle of despair, the citizens of today's society are turning more and more to the benefits of collaborative efforts.
After five months of observing the efforts of the planning team, seeing the results they were or were not able to achieve, inquiring through literature research, and participating in Suzanne Morse's class on collaborative leadership, it is obvious that there are several key areas in this effort that should have been reevaluated. Ideally, the planning team should have gone through the same process that we were developing for the Leadership Development Training Seminar. However, we were too busy planing for others to be successful in collaboration to see that we were failing as a group ourselves. The Leadership Development Training Seminar was seen as the collaborative effort rather than including the planning team in that process as well. The team members needed to become more trusting of one another, develop a better understanding of one another's' goals, and set in place a collective vision. This could have been accomplished through the same process of two team-building workshops and one vision retreat.
Collaborative leadership is not a style of leadership, it is a process. Without careful care of that process the outcome is sure to be slighted. James MacGregor Bums outlines his idea of an initiator. This is the person who "takes the first step toward change, out of a state of equilibrium in the web. She breaks the ice. And what is this act? To communicate with other potential actors to gain a positive response" (3). The first half of this quote occurred in Highland Park. An initiator did break the ice and decide that the status quo was not acceptable. That person was Art. With the addition of more diverse voices or "potential actors" and the presence of stronger accountability a more positive response and a higher level of commitment to the collaborative process would have been achieved.
Sikes, Lindsay, "The impact of collaborative leadership on community building" (1998). Honors Theses. 1176.