How can you use the Collective Leadership Compass ?

The Collective Leadership Compass is both a diagnosis tool and a planning methodology. It focuses on invigorating human interaction systems as core drivers of transformation processes and helps to assess, plan and enact the collaborative change required for sustainability. It supports individuals, teams, and organizations to strengthen leadership competencies and builds vibrant and robust “collaboration systems” that aim at transforming our world to sustainability.


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The Collective Leadership Compass is a meta-level guiding structure that

  1. Enlivens collaboration processes and helps identify collaboration challenges.
  2. Helps individuals rediscover and invigorate their human competencies for collective leadership.
  3. Reveals patterns of skills and helps teams and cross-sector groups of actors to enliven collaboration by recognizing when specific capabilities are called for, require building, or are out of balance.
  4. Recognizes that every context is unique and different dimensions and aspects may come into focus at different moments in every process.

The Art of Leading Collectively

“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.”

The compass can be applied as a multi-level methodology

  1. Individual level: Diagnosis and expansion of collective leadership skills; identifying and addressing collaborative leadership challenges; enhancing skills for better co-creation; planning collaborative change.
  2. Team-level: Diagnosing and improving team efficacy; refocusing team on sustainability strategies; integrating diverse competencies; integrating
  3. Level of collaboration systems: Diagnosing collaboration patterns, identifying success factors for collaboration initiatives; planning, implementation and monitoring of collaboration processes; enhancing community building for sustainability transformation; planning facilitation designs.
  4. Organizational level: Diagnosing collaboration culture; planning collaborative sustainability strategies; planning roadmaps collaborative change initiatives; designing cross-departmental collective action; increasing collaboration effectiveness; planning facilitation designs.
  5. Level of sustainability transformation networks: Diagnosing collaborative network patterns; increasing collaborative network effectiveness; sense-making diagnosis and solution finding with multiple actors; enhancing system’s vitality and resilience; invigorate constructively co-creative narratives.
  6. Level of complex systems change: Situational diagnosis; planning roadmaps for addressing complex sustainability challenges;

Finding the pattern that works ?

Complex change for sustainability transformation needs to be navigated in an iterative way. 

Firstly, you use the compass to observe what is already there, secondly, you use it to focus and create achievable goals, and, thirdly, you use it to plan and to enact your goals and evaluate their progress. These steps create a repeating cycle. They apply to all levels – collaborative change-maker, collaboration systems, and transformation network.

Navigating co-creative change with the Compass

The purpose of the Collective Leadership Compass is not theoretical, but practical. It guides thought and action toward patterns of successful human interaction. Take a deep dive into the six dimensions of leading collectively.

The Compass Dimensions

Future Possibilities

The dimension of future possibilities refers to the human competency to take responsibility and consciously shape reality towards a sustainable future by inspiring and empowering others, staying open-minded, observing trends, developments, and new knowledge, going beyond problem diagnose, sensing and enacting future possibilities, following through and taking a stand for sustainability.

Aspects and Attention

Future Orientation
Focus on potential or opportunities and drive change for the better Read more

Guiding questions

What is the impact we want to achieve?

Inspire, capacitate and awaken passion and options for change Read more

Guiding questions

What inspires us and how do we inspire others?

Commit, focus, follow-through, and measure progress Read more

Guiding questions

What do we focus on and how do we follow-though?


The dimension of innovation refers to the human competency to create novelty and find intelligent solutions. Innovation needs to take our shared humanity into account. Innovation means venturing into the unknown, driving excellence, fostering creativity, acknowledging diverse expertise, building a climate of trust-based co-creation and developing the potential to spot innovative solutions to sustainability challenges.

Aspects and Attention

Nourish sources of creative energy and collective generation of ideas Read more

Guiding questions

How do we nourish creativity?

Pursue mastery and grow knowledge Read more

Guiding questions

In what way do we strive for mastery?

Move through crises, stay open to change, and cultivate risk-taking Read more

Guiding questions

How do we deal with the unknown and turn crises into opportunities?


The dimension of humanity refers to the ability of each person to connect to their unique human competencies in order to reach out to each other’s shared humanity by acknowledging diversity in the world and in humanity, accessing our humanity in ourselves and in others, creating an atmosphere of mutual respect, cultivating reflection and attending to inner balance.

Aspects and Attention

Embrace the perspective of others and open gateways for reconciliation Read more

Guiding questions

How do we ritualize observation and reflection?

Integrate personal and professional aspirations Read more

Guiding questions

How do we get our generative energies into adequate balance?

Deepen your awareness of reality in all aspects Read more

Guiding questions

How do we develop empathy for others and ourselves?

Collective Intelligence

The dimension of collective intelligence refers to the human competency to harvest differences for progress by respecting difference, inviting diverse perspectives, experiences, and viewpoints for better solutions, fostering structured dialogue, valuing contributions and ensuring iterative learning.

Aspects and Attention

Dialogic Quality
Attend to the structure and quality of conversations Read more

Guiding questions

How do we cultivate listing skills and structure dialogic exchange?

Foster diversity in thought, viewpoints, background, and experiences Read more

Guiding questions

How do we acknowledge and leverage different perspectives?

Iterative Learning
Develop cycles of reflection into action Read more

Guiding questions

How do we ensure a continuous learning process?


The dimension of wholeness refers to the competency to see a larger picture and stay connected to the common good by opening up to seeing the bigger picture of a situation, acting in favor of the common good, continuously improving our contribution to sustainability and creating networks of mutual support.

Aspects and Attention

Explore the larger context and place your actions in it Read more

Guiding questions

How do we pay attention to the larger context?

Mutual support
Enhance one another’s strengths Read more

Guiding questions

How do we support and let us be supported?

Use your gifts, assets and capabilities to make a difference for a sustainable future Read more

Guiding questions

What is our contribution to a livable future?

Open Your Compass and navigate complex change by leading collectively

Open your compass and navigate

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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.”

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