Building transformative collaboration ecosystems

The Dialogic Change Model is a practical guide for the structured planning and implementation of collaborative change with multiple stakeholders in four distinct phases. The model is the basis for developing process architectures that support stakeholders to operate as a coherent and well-functioning collaboration ecosystem.

  1. Distinguishing between four phases has proven helpful in taking all demands and requirements of the different stages of a collaborative change process into account. It helps to build collaboration ecosystems that can deliver.
  2. Paying attention to the Compass Dimensions helps to enact a spirit of collective leadership throughout all phases. It enhances the quality of the collaboration in each phase and leads to better and more sustainable outcomes.
  3. Using the Collaboration Catalysts for process monitoring enables you to improve the collaboration pattern.
  4. The guiding principles of the model are based on the Dialogic Practices of voice, listen, respect, and suspend. By using structured dialogue to create a space for collective intelligence, the model facilitates a process architecture that can be owned by all stakeholders.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, its the only thing that ever has.”

– Margaret Mead

How to use the Dialogic Change Model

  1. Understand the requirements of each phase in a collaborative change process and move swiftly from phase to phase to create the best possible outcomes.
  2. Design high quality collaborative change processes using the hints and guiding questions for each of the phases of the Dialogic Change Model.
  3. Design change process and collaborative roadmaps that enhance all stakeholders’ commitment to implement.

Stewarding Sustainability Transformations

This Report to the Club of Rome 2019 serves as a guidebook for decision-makers, researchers and activists who need to navigate collaborative and transformative change towards sustainable development.

A short history of the Dialogic Change Model

The Collective Leadership Institute has supported more than 40 local, national and international collaborative change projects for SDG implementation towards success. More than 4000 change agents gained process competence through capacity building programs. We began to systematically observe the success factors for collaboration and discovered how the quality of collaboration patterns had an impact on the results. Dysfunctional collaboration patterns such as continuously lingering mistrust, a lack of a sense of ownership, unilateral control and power dynamics, or all talk no action symptoms, always severely compromised results and impact. It turned out that paying attention to building human competencies for collaboration around the Collective Leadership Compass in the four phases of the Dialogic Change Model was the single most important factor for successful change. The application of both methodologies shows the pathway to making collaborative change truly transformative.

Learn more about the Collective Leadership Institute

Navigating transformative change in four phases


Phase 1 is focused on raising the energy for collaborative change and dialogue.

  • Creating resonance and building the case for change
  • Understanding the context and stakeholders’ different viewpoints
  • Engaging stakeholders into preparatory conversations
  • Building a good container and raising energy for collective action

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Phase 3 is about implementing planned activities, ensures joint learning and focuses on tangible results.

  • Implementing agreed-upon activities
  • Ensuring transparency and communication
  • Creating tangible results and showcases for change
  • Celebrating jointly achieved success
  • Evaluating progress and learning together

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Phase 4 is about bringing the collaboration ecosystem to the next level of impact and creating long-term structures for transformative change.

  • Involving new stakeholders and build new containers
  • Establishing adequate management structures
  • Creating governance mechanisms and long-lasting structures for change
  • Ensuring continuous learning systems

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Start your process monitoring with the Compass

Get your e-guide to applying the Compass to making multi-stakeholder collaboration ecosystems transformative


The Art of Leading Collectively

Reading books can change our lives. Petra Kuenkel ground-breaking book “The Art of Leading Collectively” and the management book “Führen mit Sinn” (in German) are the latest of several insightful publications we offer.

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