In September 2005, the Connected Leadership Project Team at the Center for Creative Leadership undertook to design and implement a case study research project to better understand “interdependent” leadership in organizations. Our assumption was that for organizations to deal effectively with increasing complexity in their environments, new approaches to leadership are needed-approaches that are themselves more complex than current approaches. This report outlines the theoretical frameworks and the research questions that guided our inquiry, then describes our methods and results.

Additional Contributing Author:

Wilfred H. Drath is a former faculty member at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina. He has worked with people in organizations on their development and has participated in leadership development design over the last twenty years. His current research focuses on the evolution of leadership and leadership development toward more inclusive and collective forms. His publications include Making Common Sense: Leadership as MeaningMaking in a Community of Practice and The Deep Blue Sea: Rethinking the Source of Leadership. Bill graduated from the University of Georgia and attended graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Richard L. Hughes is Transformation Chair at the U.S. Air Force Academy. In that role he works with other senior leaders at the Academy to transform its educational practices and culture to better support its mission of producing leaders of character. Rich also served as a professor and department chair at the Air Force Academy earlier in his career. At CCL from 1995 to 2007, Rich worked in a variety of roles in research, program design and delivery, and management. Rich is the senior author of the textbook Leadership: Enhancing the Lessons of Experience and coauthor of Becoming a Strategic Leader: Your Role in Your Organization’s Enduring Success. Rich received his Ph.D. from the University of Wyoming.

Patricia M. G. O’Connor is a faculty member at the Center for Creative Leadership in Singapore. Her research and innovation work focuses on developing leadership practices required to address complex global challenges. She has served as CCL’s director of business development and has designed and delivered multiyear leadership development initiatives. She created the Action Learning Leadership Process, a customized approach to action learning for CCL clients. Patricia speaks and publishes on a variety of topics, including strategies for developing organizational capacity for leadership and coaching teams to engage across organizational boundaries. She holds an M.B.A. in management and organizational behavior from Baruch College (CUNY).

Published: April 2008
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