The Collective Leadership Compass
What is the Collective Leadership Compass?

The Collective Leadership Compass was developed by the Collective Leadership Institute’s Executive Director Dr. Petra Kuenkel. Combining over 20 years of practice in complex multi-stakeholder settings around systems change for sustainability with scientific exploration, Dr. Petra Kuenkel identified the various dimensions and aspects that comprise the Compass.It can be used both as a diagnostic tool and a process methodology. It focuses on invigorating human interaction systems as core drivers of transition processes to assess, plan, and enact the collaborative change required for sustainability. It helps navigate complex challenges by introducing a meta-level guiding structure, which becomes a fractal of the competence and collaboration pattern that needs to emerge for the transition envisaged.

The Collective Leadership Compass is a tool for supporting individuals, teams, and organizations to strengthen leadership dimensions and build vibrant and robust “collaboration ecosystems” in change processes. The Compass is designed to assist process competence throughout any initiative.

  • It has the potential to enliven collaboration processes and help identify collaboration challenges.
  • It helps individuals rediscover and invigorate their human competencies for collective leadership.
  • It reveals patterns of skills and helps teams enliven collaboration by recognizing when specific capabilities are called for, require building, or are out of balance.
  • It recognizes that every context is unique and different ‘Aspects’ may come into focus at different moments in every process.


The Art of Leading Collectively
Co-Creating a Sustainable, Socially Just Future

The new book by Dr. Petra Kuenkel with foreword by Ernst Ulrich von Weizsaecker, is a guide to collaborative impact for leaders in industry, government, and social change networks.

Learn more Order here
How does the Compass work?

An iterative navigation process

The Collective Leadership Compass can be used to learn more about yourself, your perspectives, strengths, and areas for development, and what motivated you to undertake your collaboration journey. It can also be used to plan your actions and evaluate the results.

  • Firstly, you can use the Compass to observe what is already there; secondly, you can use it to focus and create achievable goals; and thirdly, you can use it to enact your goals and evaluate their progress
  • These steps, each with three actions, create a repeating cycle.
  • The steps apply to all levels – individual leaders, groups, or a system of collaborating actors.


As a multi-level methodology, the compass can be implemented at:

  • the Individual level: Assessment and expansion of personal skills with the purpose of augmenting individual capabilities for better co-creation, capacity to lead in conjunction with others, increase self- efficacy.
  • the Team-level: Monitoring and continuous improvement of collaboration for the purpose of collaborative group/team efficacy, refocusing team on sustainability issues, increasing awareness of interface between hard and soft skills to improve the impact of the action.
  • the Organisational level: Planning and implementation of collaborative change.
  • the Level of collaboration systems: planning, implementation, and monitoring of collaboration process for the purpose of building communities for change: Organization/ department or cross-sector network for sustainability goals, collaboration results, collective action, increase collaborative impact.
  • and at the level of Complex change: Situational diagnoses and planning for addressing complex challenges for the purpose of a wide range of actors, sense-making diagnoses and solution finding, enhance system vitality and resilience, invigorate constructively, and  co-creative narratives.


To use the compass in your daily life, we developed an online compass tool to navigate complex change. The beta version is already accessible here: More news and updates on this tool coming soon.

The Art of Leading Collectively

- 3 days of online-training
- core methodology: CLI Collective Leadership Compass
- tuition fee: € 467 per online presence day
Registration status: OPEN

11 November — 16 November 2020
Collective Leadership Institute gGmbH, Kurfürstenstraße, Potsdam, Germany
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The Compass Dimensions

Navigating with the Compass

The Compass’ six dimensions of human competencies are:

Future Possibilities – Engagement – Innovation – Humanity – Collective Intelligence – Wholeness

Each dimension is further deepened through three ‘Aspects’ (see below).

  • Using the Compass, you learn a pattern of human competencies that when balanced in yourself, your team, your organization, or your stakeholder system can lead to collaboration that achieves sustainable outcomes.
  • 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.

Future Possibilities

The dimension of future possibilities refers to the human competence 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 Attention
Future Orientation The way we focus on potential or opportunities and drive change for the better.
Empowerment The way we inspire, capacitate and awaken passion and options for change.
Decisiveness The way we commit, focus, follow-through, and measure progress.

The dimension of engagement refers to the human competence to create step-by-step engagement towards building effective and meaningful collaboration eco-systems, that create trust and cohesion, invigorating network connections, fostering collective action that leads to tangible outcomes and enhanced collective impact.

Aspects Attention
Process Quality The way we build step-by-step and structured engagement.
Connectivity The way we foster cohesion and build networks.
Collective Action The way we drive joint implementation and delivery of results.

The dimension of innovation refers to the human competence 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 Attention
Creativity The way we nourish sources of creative energy and collective generation of ideas.
Excellence The way we pursue mastery and grow knowledge.
Agility The way we move through crises, stay open to change, and cultivate risk-taking.

The dimension of humanity refers to the ability of each person to connect to their unique human competence 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 Attention
Mindfulness The way we deepen our awareness of reality in all aspects.
Balance The way we integrate personal and professional aspirations.
Empathy The way we embrace the perspective of others and open gateways for reconciliation.
Collective Intelligence

The dimension of collective intelligence refers to the human competence 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 Attention
Dialogic Quality The way we attend to the structure and quality of conversations.
Diversity The way we foster diversity in thought, viewpoints, background, and experiences.
Iterative Learning The way we develop cycles of reflection into action.

The dimension of wholeness refers to the competence 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 favour of the common good, continuously improving our contribution to sustainability and creating networks of mutual support.

Aspects Attention
Contextuality The way we connect with ourselves, each other, and a larger context.

The way we explore the larger context and place our action in it.

Mutual support/ Vitality The way we enhance each other’s strengths.
Contribution The way we use our gifts, assets, and capacity to make a difference toward a sustainable future.
Collective Leadership Compass Tool

To use the compass in your daily life, we developed an online compass tool to navigate complex change. The beta version is already accessible here:

Collective Leadership Compass Tool

Now you can use our online compass tool to navigate complex change.
The beta version is already accessible here:

Learn more
More information about implementing the Compass in reality