Navigating with the Compass means paying attention to the six dimensions

Using the Compass, you learn to design and implement a pattern of competencies by keeping the six dimensions in an appropriately balanced composition and by ensuring that not one dimension gets lost.

Each dimension has its own dynamic and can be fostered and developed in many ways. With sufficient attention to each dimension, and ultimately to their togetherness, they mutually reinforce each others' strengths.

The purpose of the Collective Leadership Compass is not theoretical, but practical. It guides thought and action toward patterns of successful human interaction.

Each dimension is furthered deepened through three ‘Aspects’.

Future Possibilities

Challenging the impossible and always seeing new possibilities is a faculty that we can cultivate. Inspiring others to access their creative potential then naturally follows.

The dimension of FUTURE POSSIBILITIES refers to the human competency to take responsibility and consciously shape reality towards a sustainable future.

Leading collectively requires sensing into the future. New pathways open when we go beyond problem diagnosis and focus on how to improve a situation or endeavor. This means

  1. Developing our competency to inspire and empower (ourselves and) others
  2. Shifting into taking responsibility
  3. Staying open-minded, observing trends and acquiring new knowledge
  4. Exposing ourselves to multiple approaches and shifting habitual mindsets
  5. Setting goals and targets, finding a cause larger than ourselves, and taking a stance for sustainability


Even the best of solutions and the greatest visions are futile if not enough people take them up. Change comes about fastest in a web of relationships between people who shape future collectively. If we are committed to making a difference, we need to engage. We can learn to make our co-creation more consciously sustainable.

The dimension of ENGAGEMENT refers to the human competency to create step-by-step engagement towards building effective collaboration systems.

Once people start supporting, support grows further and collective impact is possible. We have mastered the art of engagement when people commit. When they actively drive implementation new people ask to join the journey. This means:

  1. Building meaningful stakeholder engagement processes which create trust and cohesion
  2. Invigorating network connections
  3. Fostering collective action that leads to tangible outcomes
  4. Creating a balance between formal agreements, plans, rules of participation, and human-to-human encounters


Sustainability requires innovation on a large scale – we cannot walk into the future with our minds focused on problems. We need to learn from the past, but if we limit ourselves to variations of existing solutions we try to overcome the challenges of sustainability with the very solutions that have led to these challenges.

The dimension of INNOVATION refers to the human competency to create novelty and find intelligent solutions

The challenges ahead cannot be addressed by singular solutions, territorial claims, and individual intelligence alone. Innovation is the successful implementation of new ideas in a collaborative approach; it turns our vision into reality. This means:

  1. Moving beyond the known and beyond our comfort zones
  2. Reaching deeply into our own and our collective creativity
  3. Opening ourselves to collaboration with other minds
  4. Persisting even if our vision of the future is not recognized immediately
  5. Turning crises into opportunities


We need to create the capacity to access our own humanity with all potentials and limitations. Only then can we open up to the underlying humanity that connects us all in the world. No matter how much we differ in approach, opinion, culture, skincolor, skills or wealth.

The dimension of HUMANITY refers to the ability of people to connect to their unique human competence and reach out to our shared humanity.

Once we recognize our shared humanity, our collaborative journey becomes a process of unearthing our true nature in response to what needs doing in the world. This means:

  1. Encouraging individual and collective reflection
  2. Seeing the person behind the task and the story behind something inexplicable
  3. Suspending our prejudices or our frame of reference when encountering another
  4. Developing a culture of mutual respect in organizational and collaboration efforts

Collective Intelligence

Grasping the web of relationships leads us to the realization, that we cannot travel the path towards sustainability alone. No matter how important our contribution may be, opening it up to collective intelligence is what will help make the difference.

The dimension of COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE refers to the human competency to harvest diversity and differences for progress.

Life thrives on diversity, and so do human societies. Progress also comes from the human ability to differ. We enhance our competency in harvesting collective intelligence when we respect difference as well as invite diverse perspectives, experiences, and viewpoints. This means:

  1. Allowing all voices to be heard even when they oppose our perspective
  2. Actively encouraging, acknowledging, and suspending judgment about others
  3. Developing the art of collective, outcome-oriented dialogue and of listening
  4. Establishing cycles of iterative learning


Building our capacity to sense the whole and look at a the larger system our transformation efforts are embedded in, leads us to not only conceptually understand the fact that there is interdependence in the world, but to grasp the web of interdependent relationships.

The dimension of WHOLENESS refers to the human competency to see a larger picture and stay connected to the common good.

Attending to wholeness is more than seeing a collection of parts. The globalized world invites us to place our action for sustainability in a larger context. We can gradually understand that everything on our planet is interconnected and relax into the complexity, while navigating transformation collectively. This means:

  1. Understanding the multi-faceted context of our transformation efforts well enough
  2. Looking beyond differences to the underlying coherence
  3. Developing our perception beyond the limited scope of our own worldview and becoming aware of the dynamic interactions in transformation systems
  4. Making a commitment to contributing to sustainability transformation in complementarity and collaboration.

Open Your Compass and navigate complex change by leading collectively


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“Reading books can change our lives. Petra Kuenkel’s ground-breaking publications takes you onto a collaboration journey that will convince you that it is possible to shape our future collectively.”