What We Do

Our mission is to build capacity for leadership in public life. We are committed to transforming
the leadership culture in the public square. Our workshops, consulting, coaching, and
professional development programs for individuals and organizations provide a safe space to

explore the art and craft of leadership.

We live in challenging times. Mobilizing people to confront tough problems, overcome
differences, and move beyond the natural resistance to change requires uncommon courage
and skill.  Learning leadership, like leadership itself, demands entering unknown territory. It
requires a willingness to experiment and improvise, and the will to risk dead ends and missteps.
The Collaborative’s experiential exercises and consulting invite you to expand your repertoire of
leadership skills and deepen your commitment to transformational leadership. Our community
of continuing learning and practice allows us to encourage and empower one another to
advance our shared goal of transformed and transforming public service.​

Our Flagship Workshop: LEADERSHIP FOR A CHANGE

LEADERSHIP FOR A CHANGE is a participatory workshop focusing on the practice of leadership
and exploring the qualities needed for a systemic and holistic approach to leading change.
Building on empowering teachings about the art and craft of leadership, participants
will enhance their own leadership skills even as they come to better understand leadership in
Exercises and discussions explore roadblocks to truly effective leadership, the roles of values,
purpose and goal setting, the distinction between authority and leadership, the difference
between technical and adaptive challenges, the inherent conflicts and difficulties attendant to
any effort to effect change, and enhancing skills of observation, interpretation, intervention,
and agility in the face of uncertainty.
Participants will use a structured protocol to develop a strategic plan to address a personal
leadership challenge and a powerful exercise to shed light on unconscious barriers to
change. Leadership for a Change includes a preliminary orientation and baseline assessment,
two days in a comfortable retreat setting (although the workshop may not always make you
comfortable and will be more of an advance than a retreat), three evening follow-up sessions
over a four-month period, and online exercises.


Mark Twain famously offered that “I’m all for progress; it’s change I can’t stand.” For all the talk
of change, it’s hard to achieve! Through the powerful, experiential “Immunity to Change”
workshop, you’ll have the chance to find out what stands in the way of your efforts to change
and to effect change. You’ll identify a plan and a support team to address your newly-
discovered “immunity.” This exercise can also serve teams and organizations facing a collective
resistance to change. We offer this team immunity workshop only after each member of the
team has identified and begun to address his or her personal challenge.


Our experienced faculty consults to teams, organizations and institutions. We work with you to
assess and diagnose challenges and opportunities, to undertake strategic planning, and to
support you to effect change, undertake succession planning, or launch new initiatives. Our
“Starting Right” program helps new initiatives build vitality, agility and renewal into your team
right from the beginning.

IDCL is a program to encourage and empower the next generation of leaders of color and other
"minority" communities committed to public service in Greater Boston. Through interactive
sessions led by government officials, academics practitioners and our leadership trainers, IDCL
participants experience a semester of training in leadership, public policy, politics and
campaigning. Program graduates, in turn, offer coaching, mentoring and networking
opportunities for participants in succeeding classes. Six classes have graduated from the
program and a seventh offering is anticipated. Aspiring candidates, those interested in
appointive office, campaign or community leaders, and all with an interest in enhancing their
ability to serve in the public sector are encouraged to participate.
Since it was launched in 2007, over 150 leaders have enrolled in the program and are now
making a strong impact in the Massachusetts political community. IDCL graduates include
current and past city councilors, heads of state agencies and leaders of community
organizations, and senior staff of both candidate and issue campaigns.
The Collaborative’s central goal is to build leadership capacity. Among the challenges we face is
the relative scarcity of those prepared to lead the kind of workshops the Collaborative offers. If
you have the desire and commitment to be a leadership trainer, we invite you to apply for this
intensive, nine-month program that includes course work, a personal development plan,
coaching, and an apprenticeship.

We are eager to work with you to develop a workshop tailored to your team and needs. We
have worked with legislative leaders and their leadership teams, majority and minority
caucuses, school superintendents and their senior staff, civil society, non-profit, and advocacy
organizations, religious organizations, school committees, governors, mayors and city
councilors, and many more, both in the U.S. and in many countries in Europe, Africa and Asia.
Contact us and let’s dream up something powerful and empowering.