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Ideas for Leaders
A Periodic Newsletter by Merryn Rutledge, Ed. D.,
Principal, ReVisions LLC
In this issue:
What’s New | Meta Leadership Across Organizations |
Coaching and Process Consulting Overlap |
Collaborative Leadership

What’s New
Merryn is now a member of the International Association of Coaching, a community of practitioners. From their website:

“The IAC is an independent, global coach certifying body.... Our rigorous certification process evaluates the demonstration of specific masteries...[We also set] high standards for the coach’s ethical, professional, and business behaviors .. [in order to] to provide the clients of coaches a valid measure of assurance that they will receive the best coaching.”

Read more at their website: http://www. certifiedcoach. org/ ethics/ principles. html


About Our Work
http://www.revisions. org/ about.php

Bridge The expansive leader cultivates many dimensions: an eagle’s ability to soar over a landscape while discerning important particulars, a beaver’s industriousness about follow up and accountability, and a human knack for reflection and self-change. In this issue we explore ways to expand the eagle dimension.

Eagles lead “beyond the walls.” The eagle’s leadership dimension has been called “meta-leadership,” that is, flying above one’s own organization high enough to see problems that your organization alone cannot solve. Meta-leaders connect people and ideas, as Leader to Leader Institute Chairwoman Frances Hesselbein says, by “leading beyond the walls.” Collaborating beyond the walls of your own organization requires discernment about which elements of collaboration make it successful. When I assist with collaborations, my first step is often to help collaborating partners to identify where the partnership is along a continuum.

Briefly, the four points along this so-called “strategic alliance continuum” are:

  • Cooperation, to share information and provide mutual support;
  • Coordination, to undertake common tasks because you identify compatible goals;
  • Collaboration, to achieve a collective purpose using integrated strategies;
  • Coadunation, to merge, unite or operate under one organizational umbrella (adapted from Bailey & Koney, 2000).

Understanding and agreeing upon where you are on the continuum requires partners to clarify purposes and expectations, and also face and reconcile differences that, left undiscussed, can drive a wedge among you. Once you identify where you are on the continuum, you need to make four sets of keystone agreements.

These four sets of agreements clarify:

  • Who convenes the group;
  • Who should be at the table and who kept informed;
  • The degree to which, how, with whom and with what frequency the partners communicate;
  • What decision-making processes you will use and who has input, who can recommend, and who is empowered to make decisions.

These keystone agreements address the how of the strategic alliance. Other agreements address the what: what your vision is, what you seek to achieve, what resources are needed, and so on. In my experience, what partners seek to do together is the more obvious business of alliance creation, but it will be stymied if the four agreements about how to conduct the alliance are not solidified. Leaders of one alliance I work with tell me it has achieved more in one year since setting the four keystone agreements than in the previous decade of affiliation.

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Coaching and Process Consulting Overlap
I often work with leaders one-on-one. This coaching builds on and derives from my approach to organizational development, which is called “process consulting.” Edgar Schein, MIT Sloan School of Management professor, the leading thinker in process consultation, calls coaching “a subset of consultation” because both begin with clients’ understanding of their challenges, needs and desires for growth.


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Collaborative Leadership
In a collaboration or strategic alliance, “the roles and responsibilities of each party must be very clear...Because the partnership is a whole new enterprise, it needs to be treated as a little start-up and allowed to build the internal systems and structure that it needs...” (p. 46)

Frances Hesselbein et al.
Leading Beyond the Walls

See reading list on leadership at bschools/ books/ recommenders/ hesselbein.htm

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Copyright (c) 2009 Dr. Merryn Rutledge.
Autumn 2009 • Volume 12 • Number 4

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ReVisions, LLC connecting leaders to plan strategy & facilitate change
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Dr. Merryn Rutledge, Principal
ReVisions LLC 233 Van Patten Parkway Burlington, Vermont 05408

Ph.: (802) 863-7084
Fax: (802) 860-7183

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