Collaborative Leadership Overview

What is Collaborative Leadership?

In its simplest form, Collaborative Leadership is about helping group members and leaders to better facilitate team processesto achieve greater outcomes.  Collaborative leadership requires the active recognition that one profession cannot solely address the needs of a client, patient, or community.  What makes Collaborative Leadership distinct from general leadership practices is its interdisciplinary approach to problem solving (Chrislip, D. D. and Larson, C.E., 1994).

Collaborative Leadership delivers results across boundaries by:

  • Sharing resources and control
  • Handling conflict
  • Employing a consensus approach to creative problem solving
  • Understanding complexity

Collaborative leadership is identified as a critical skill for educators, health professionals and social service providers, especially with the increasing complexity of our educational, health and social service networks. (Chrislip, D. D. and Larson, C.E., 1994).    The mission of the Fresno State Collaborative Leadership Project is to prepare professionals who can work collaboratively and integrate their expertise with other human service providers to more effectively serve children, families and communities.

How did Fresno State’s Collaborative Leadership Program start?

In 1995 a cohort of concerned faculty from a variety of disciplines developed a program called the Interprofessional Collaboration Project (IPC).  Recognizing the importance of students and practitioners working together with all stakeholders, the IPC was created to assist in addressing the needs of children and families in the Central Valley.  Through the IPC, several initiatives were implemented including nine regional conferences, published curriculum on Interprofessional Collaboration, in-service training throughout Central California, and the creation of the graduate certificate in Interprofessional Collaboration.

Under the auspices of the College of Health and Human Services, the Collaborative Leadership program continues to reach out across campus to all disciplines.