What we do
Our work is typically complex and often crazy and disorientating, but that's the nature of working with systems and it does all link together. This is what we're currently involved in and how we think we see the links.
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The issues we care about are complex – tangled, interdependent, and messy.
The outcomes we care about are not produced by any one organisation, programme, or person because they are too complex to be within the power of any one actor.
Outcomes are produced by systems – networks of interconnected actors. In order to produce positive outcomes, we need to create healthy systems in which people and organisations are able to co-ordinate and collaborate effectively.
Since all the actors in a system are playing their part, it is important that someone take responsibility for ensuring the health of the system by helping to create the conditions in which others can work effectively. This activity is called ‘System Stewardship’.
We believe that alliances, partnerships, coalitions and collaborations are essential to improving lives by changing the system.
By creating diverse coalitions of voluntary and community organisations, local authorities, social enterprises, unions, universities, funders, schools and other, we can build the peer support, shared power, and ‘collective bravery’ needed to change the system.
Inspired by the Sydney Alliance, we bring together partner organisations, provide a structure and environment that enables everyone to have a voice, to trust each other enough to disagree and debate, and to work together to tackle the problems that are bigger than any one organisation can solve.
We believe that 'the thing we call leadership' is at heart about enabling a group to achieve a shared purpose. It's about the group. And it's about the shared goal.
However, much modern leadership practice continues to place too much focus on 'the leader' - the person in a position of authority. And this proves to be detrimental, both to the overall group and to the group's ability to achieve its shared purpose.
We offer a different kind of approach, so we call it 'anti-leadership.' We work fundamentally with groups, rather than with individuals. Our training does not focus on ‘the person at the top’ but on helping entire groups (teams, organisations) become more effective at achieving their shared purpose.
Our training is fundamentally about the doing - it is about the what, where, when, how, and most importantly why. Anti-leadership is about collective action and shared processes, not formal roles. Who does it is of secondary importance.