The Co-Leadership in the News

We’re thrilled to share three new podcasts featuring Nathalie Sabourin and Ron Cheshire from The Co-Leadership Group, discussing the significance of co-leadership practices in businesses.

 3 must-listen podcasts to fully understand co-leadership and the importance of building on each other’s strengths to create synergy and learn from each other.

Empowering your leaders by rediscovering their strengths

“The Thoughtful Talent Show”

Bill Beachy and Ron Cheshire share their insights on the CliftonStrengths® theme, Futuristic.

Do you embrace opportunities to envision and create new possibilities every day? For those with Futuristic talents, this is not a once-in-a-while exercise but a daily, continuous activity.

Follow the link below to listen to the podcast.

Entrepreneurship and codevelopment: Co-create. Accelerate. Grow.

“La Kanopy”

Marie-Josée Gagné hosts Nathalie Sabourin on her podcast “Game pas game”. Collaborators for 10 years, they discuss the power of co-development to help you evolve as an entrepreneur.

Nathalie Sabourin talks about updated and aligned codevelopment, which accelerates entrepreneurs’ leadership and the growth of their businesses.

Click on the link below to listen to this Podcast

Codevelopment Action Learning - CAL and Co-Leadership

“The Human Factor”

A live interview from Singapore with Marie-Laure Caille and Nathalie Sabourin on updated and aligned co-leadership and Codevelopment Action Learning – CAL  as practices for stimulating innovation, teamwork and skills today and tomorrow.

Marie-Laure and Nathalie will discuss the following questions:

  • What are Codevelopment Action Learning (CAL) and Co-Leadership?
  • What are their benefits at the individual, team and organisation levels?
  • How can Codevelopment Action Learning (CAL) be used by teams by following a 7-step process?

Working in Co-Leadership: Why and how?

Published by

Co-Founder. Strengths-based Coach for Teams and Leaders. Co-create. Activate. Grow. Elevate leaders and unite teams l (Gallup CliftonStrengths, CoachingOurselves, Codevelopment Action-Learning)

Ordre des conseiller en ressources humaines du Québec

Source : Coin de l’expertise, Nov 2, 2021

This article was published in French in Revue RH in 2021 and translation approved by l’Ordre des CRHA.

In French :  https://carrefourrh.org/ressources/developpement-organisationnel/2021/11/travailler-mode-coleadership

Summary: We can all agree that the pandemic has brought about a great many changes. However, it has also prompted many of us to rethink the way we work. The time has come to talk about Co-Leadership.

Nathalie Sabourin, CHRP

Catherine Bédard, CHRP

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people work, at both the individual and team level, prompting them to try and find working methods and practices that enable everyone to work to their full potential, both in person and remotely. Indeed, research has shown that remote work will become widespread in the workplace (Citrin & Derosa, 2021). To stimulate innovation, people will increasingly work in networks, in interdisciplinary teams, and on cross-disciplinary projects.

Daring to use a Co-leadership model

Still today, organizational charts tend to feature hierarchical structures showing which roles can influence interactions and connections (Rahnema & Van Durme, 2017; Autissier et al., 2018). Also, the very notion of leadership is usually associated with a senior position in a more vertical decision-making structure (Luc, 2010), despite that work is often organized in organic and complex networks that include interdisciplinary and cross-collaboration (Gallup, 2021).

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If you are responsible for managing teams today, you must be bold, think differently about leadership and collaboration, and choose a model that strengthens social connection and bonding. Innovative organizations that successfully succeed in complexity build on a collective vision of leadership (Gosselin, 2020). Furthermore, they encourage their teams to co-create a shared intention to move forward (Lavallée, 2021). This shared intention precedes and shapes a Team vision that may emerge later.

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To foster interdisciplinary work, team members must engage in crossover collaboration, while co-creating new solutions and opportunities (Austissier et al., 2018). Iterative, action-based learning will enable everyone to learn, unlearn, and relearn the skills that they will need both today and moving forward (Bedard & Sabourin 2021; Sabourin & Bedard, 2020; Whiting, 2020).

Working in Co-Leadership: successful capabilities and practices

Practically speaking, this means that managers must view leadership as each person’s ability to positively influence situations and people. Consequently, any person who takes on this role can become a Leader.

To adapt, progress, innovate and learn together, teams that decide to work in Co-Leadership build four key capabilities/practices:

1.    Activate the synergy of talents and expertise through cross-disciplinary partnerships that help teams reach their goals more quickly and stimulate innovative projects.

2.    Work together and learn to co-create new solutions to open new possibilities that challenge the status quo.

3.    Continuously learn from each other in action and help each other. (In fact, the ability to continuously innovate can only be amplified in a culture in which we are not afraid of making mistakes and we are encouraged to quickly learn from them).

4.    Co-create a shared intention and ways of working together to serves as the common Team path to motivate and guide future actions.

 Contexts for implementing Co-Leadership

Co-Leadership can be more easily implemented in three environments:

1.    Organizations that want to stimulate innovation and establish a collaborative, meaningful, learning culture.

2.    Teams that want to improve their group effectiveness and promote a more collective and interdisciplinary style of leadership.

3.    Cross-disciplinary projects that bring together people from various disciplines who want to dare to work differently.

 The Co-leadership model always entails a culture of openness, as this promotes positive relationships and a sense of unity among team members (Grutterink et al., 2011). This culture also enables them to learn from each other, to feel comfortable asking questions, to express differing opinions and, most importantly, to pool their knowledge to find new solutions together (Grutterink & coll., 2011; Sabourin & Lefebvre, 2017).

 Two concrete examples

  • An Executive Team agreed to establish a shared Team intention given that the current complex and unpredictable business environment made it difficult to develop a clear vision. To rally people around this initiative, various teams were invited to participate in the co-creation of this new intention, which was first articulated in three inspiring key words. Previously, only Executive Managers were responsible for developing a vision. In this time of uncertainty, this first collective intention enabled to ignite Team alignment, and engagement to move forward, together.
  • A senior leader in charge of a new team tasked with completing ambitious cross-disciplinary projects decided to allow the team members to rediscover their strengths beyond their technical abilities. Thereafter, Co-Leadership circles were set up every three months to continue spark the synergy of talents, which helped the team reach its new goals and complete projects more quickly. Thanks to this initiative, it was able to create new partnerships, and establish a more fluid, interdisciplinary way of working.

 Conclusion

Adopting Co-Leadership is an effective and participative way to build success together and change the way we think about leadership. This paradigm shift helps us adopt a more collective and interdisciplinary model that encourages cross-disciplinary collaboration, the co-creation of innovative solutions and intentions, and a new learning culture. What’s the best way to start? Begin with a simpler project. Make sure you have Co-Leaders who are prepared to guide the project which can then be leveraged throughout the organization.

About the authors

Nathalie Sabourin, M.Sc., CHRP. Strengths-based coach for Teams and Leaders. Expert in Codevelopment and Action-Learning Facilitation. Founder of Sabourin Consult Group Inc. I activate Co-Leadership in Teams to help them move forward, innovate together and reach their full potential. I have created the FlashCodev CoachingOurselves Module (in English) and co-authored: Le guide pratique pour implanter des groupes de codéveloppement professionnel : Collaborer et agir – Mieux et autrement (as yet available only in French), a practical guide to implementing codevelopment groups in organizations. www.sabourinconsult.com

Catherine Bédard, M. Ed., CHRP.

Coordinator, Continuing Education, the Union des Municipalités du Québec. Motivated by my commitment to skills development, I have worked for over twenty years to develop and coordinate training programs for various client groups. I have a Master’s degree in Training Management and, in 2017, with Mathieu Guénette, G.C. I co-authored Le candidat viscéral: un guide pratique en sélection pour un regard approfondi sur le candidat (Éditions Yvon Blais). In 2018 I won the Prix du Livre RH de l’Année (HR book of the year award) and, in 2017, the Prix professionnel de l’Ordre des conseillers et conseillères d’orientation du Québec.

Bibliography

Sabourin Consult Group becomes The Co-Leadership Group

Press release – for immediate release

Sabourin Consult Group becomes The Co-Leadership Group 

Looking to the future, Sabourin Consult Group, founded in 2005, is moving forward as “The Co-Leadership Group”, in response to overwhelming demand and with a vision to supporting leaders and their teams to be more united, collaborative and reach their full potential. 

Co-founded by Nathalie Sabourin, M.Sc., CHRP, and Ron Cheshire, MBA, ACC, both certified bilingual strength-based coaches, The Co-Leadership Group offers coaching journeys to elevate leaders and activate team synergy to reach new heights.

The strengths-based and collaborative coaching journeys for Leaders and Teams are rooted in the business reality and needs of clients to deliver concrete results.

“Co-leadership is more than just collaboration. Because these days, individual leadership is no longer enough. To innovate and thrive, we need to leverage co-leadership within teams. Our goal is to inspire and equip leaders and their teams to build a common vision, co-create solutions, and spark co-leadership, so they can move forward together in pursuit of new possibilities.” 

– Nathalie Sabourin, M.Sc., CHRP, and Ron Cheshire, MBA, ACC 

Co-founders – The Co-Leadership Group 

  

The Co-Leadership Group now includes a team of experienced bilingual coaches and a group of recognized expert partners. 

  

About The Co-Leadership Group 

Co-founded by Nathalie Sabourin and Ron Cheshire, The Co-Leadership Group is a continuation of Sabourin Consult Group inc., created in 2005. 

The company offers strengths-based and collaborative coaching journeys for leaders and their teams rooted in business reality and needs to deliver concrete results.

The Co-Leadership Group aims to co-create solutions to accelerate clients’ projects and objectives, unite teams, and elevate leaders to achieve their full potential.

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For an interview or more information, contact Nathalie Sabourin, M.Sc., CHRP, Cofounder, The Co-Leadership Group: 

Email: nsabourin@coleadershipgroup.com  

Telephone: 514-773-4591

Nathalie Sabourin is available to discuss with you on the following topics:

  • The main challenges for Leaders of Teams in today’s reality
  • Why leveraging co-leadership is valuable for your business
  • Tips and tricks to foster co-creation and co-leadership in a team
  • The skills and capabilities of tomorrow

Breaking Down Silos and Promoting Collaboration Through Co-leadership

Published by:

Summary: The complexity of the current environment has increased the need for specialized expertise. This requires changing the way we work, and switch to a Co-Leadership approach.

Sophie is an HR Leader in an organization that is going through a period of major upheaval. The situation calls for bold action. She needs to temporarily lay off staff, and is trying to help them find other job opportunities in order to stay connected to them. Being a creative person, she and the president decide to build strategic and innovative partnerships with companies facing a temporary work overload. Her objective: Together, turn a challenge into an opportunity.

Jasmine has worked as a municipal labor relations consultant for several years. She is responsible for training managers on the application of collective agreements. Aware of the significant HR impacts of the renewals, she asks Ricardo, the organizational development Leader to co-build the strategy to enable managers to better apply the new collective agreements. Together, working in the spirit of Co-Leadership, they dare to implement interdisciplinary codevelopment groups that help break down silos, enable the managers to learn from one another, and improve their team management on a day-to-day basis.

Co-Leadership: A Cross-Discipline Approach

Co-Leadership is a response to an ever-changing business environment that requires agility, creativity, ongoing learning, and collaboration (1,2,3,4). As illustrated by the two previous examples, complexity has increased the need for specialized expertise.

If we want to innovate, we must be able to connect different points of view, thereby enabling us to become more creative, develop our ideas, and be open to new possibilities. And this means working differently (5,6,7).

Switching to a Co-Leadership approach is more than simply collaborating with your colleagues or building cooperation between networks. It means:

  • To establish partnerships with people who have different areas of expertise and surrounding yourself with allies who have different points of view. The intention is to grow, improve and co-create more across silos. This will allow to achieve more cross-discipline results (8).
  • To break down the hierarchy by acknowledging that each person is a potential leader, who can influence situations and people regardless of their role, i.e., at centre stage, a supporting player or behind the scenes.
  • To build a new kind of collaborative, co-learning approach that will guide the intentions and actions of all team members.
  • To stimulate creativity by combining talents, developing synergy and a common vision, sharing responsibilities, and learning from each other.
  • To access resources and spaces to get more engaged, work together, be creative and co-learn with more varied, cross-discipline expertise. Now, the intersection of deep area of specialization, combined with more general capabilities is defined as “T skills” – for individuals and Teams (5,6,7)
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Co-Leadership speeds up projects and strengthens teams

The way we think about teamwork is changing. We are working more as agile teams, in networks, on cross-functional projects and collaborating with different areas of expertise, including full-time, consulting and contract resources, partners, etc., who combine their skills for a given period.

Unlike the humble leadership (10) and conscious leadership (11) models, which are geared more towards business leaders and executive committees, Co-Leadership is for everyone: directors, team managers, entrepreneurs, consultants, self-employed workers, and includes all professionals and associates working in an organization.

Co-leadership helps develop cross-discipline skills such as collaboration, communication – listening, questioning, feedback – learning together and building successful partnerships, all of which speeds up projects and builds teams.

Co-Leadership challenges people to change their attitude, to become humbler and more trusting, more co-creative and more involved. It also means they must work to stay focused on the common goal when differences of opinion arise.

Interested in Co-Leadership?

If you want to implement Co-Leadership in your organization, here are some questions you should ask yourself:

  • Would you describe your main decision-making style as hierarchical? Authoritative? Collaborative?
  • How often do reach out to team members, colleagues and contacts in other areas and ask them for ideas?
  • How do you react when someone who works in another field gives you advice and/or suggests ideas that are different from your own?
  • How well do you really know the strengths and abilities of each team member? Of your colleagues? Of each person in your network?
  • Do you draw inspiration from a variety of sources, some of them unconventional?
  • Do you create synergy by creatively aligning your strengths with those of others?
  • Do your team members really learn from one another? Are they challenged by a variety of internal and external educational resources?
  • What challenges do you face that require creative solutions and different areas of expertise
  • What initiatives are you implementing to encourage more cross-discipline, Co-Leadership projects?

Because collaboration and Co-Leadership encourage different points of view, team members are able to come up with more creative solutions, projects are more well-founded and have fewer blind spots (12,13,14). Team members become more agile, bold and courageous, as well as developing tomorrow’s skills (15), thereby enabling them to face tomorrow’s challenges, which will, in turn, lead to improved performance (16,17).

This is a real opportunity to make a real difference. In 2021, isn’t that what we’re all aiming for?

About the authors (in alphabetical order)

Catherine Bédard, M.Ed., CRHA.  Coordinator, Continuing Education, the Union des Municipalités du Québec.

Nathalie Sabourin, M.Sc, CRHA, Strengths-based Coach for Teams and Leaders. Expert et author in redevelopment and participative learning. Founder of Sabourin Consult Group inc. nathalie@sabourinconsult.com   www.sabourinconsult.com

Sources

  1. Guide des compétences des CRHA et CRIA : https://guide.ordrecrha.org/fr
  2. Gosselin, A. (2020). Le leg de la Covid19 : une culture de collaboration forte. RevueRH.org. Vol. 23-2. P.38-40.
  3. Grenier, S. et Gosselin, A. “Le leadership collectif” (2020). RevueRH.org vol.23-1, p.22-25.
  4. Slade, S. (2018). Going Horizontal. Boston : Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
  5. Oster, M. (2020). Level Up. Paper Ravens Books. P.194-195
  6. CFA Institute (2019) – Investment professional of the future https://futureprofessional.cfainstitute.org/executive-summary/
  7. Janaki Mythily Kumar (2015). Time for T? Leading a team of T shaped design professionals https://medium.com/sap-design/fitting-design-to-a-t-18465b105baf
  8. Sabourin, N. et Lemyre, C. (2017). Les 7 conditions pour réussir la transformation de la fonction RH en service culture et talentCoin de l’expert
  9. Site web de Harold Jarche : https://jarche.com/about/francais/
  10. Shein, E. et Schein P. (2018). Humble Leadership : The Power of Relationships, Openness, and Trust. Boston. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
  11. Cayer, M. et al. (2020). L’intelligence émotionnelle du futur : la compétence managériale du futur. RevueRhH.org. Hors série 2020. P.48-49.
  12. Gino, F (2019). Cracking the Code of sustained Collaboration. HBR. Nov-Déc 2019. https://hbr.org/2019/11/cracking-the-code-of-sustained-collaboration
  13. Kotter, J., (2017). 8 Steps To Accelerate Change (ebook). Kotter International.
  14. Garver Berger, J. (2019) : Unlocking Leadership Mindtraps, How to thrive in complexity. Stanford : Stanford Briefs, Stanford University Press, 145 p.
  15. Guénette, M. et Bédard, C. (2017). Le candidat viscéral : un guide pratique en sélection pour un regard approfondi sur le candidat. Montréal : Éditions Yvon Blais, 291 p.
  16. Gardner, H. (2017). Smart Collaboration : How Professionals and Their Firms Succeed by Breaking Down Silos. HBR Press.
  17. Sabourin, N. et Lefebvre, F. (2017). Collaborer et agir, mieux et autrement : le guide pratique pour implanter des groupes de codéveloppement. Montréal : Lulu. p.210