In Dr. John F. Kucia’s 2004 University of Pennsylvania doctoral dissertation, Leadership in Balance: The Role of Collaboration in Leading Change in a Living Organization , he looked across two organizations, Procter & Gamble and Xavier University, to see beyond traditional thinking, concepts, boundaries and disciplines and discovered important common ground from which each leader and organization might learn from the other. This led to the development of The DNA of Collaboration: The Kucia Balance Framework, which brings order and a deeper understanding of the complex and sometimes paradoxical challenges of leadership. These challenges are best met by a powerful, new model of collaborative leader who can balance the competing forces of continuity and change, of competition and collaboration, as driven by the external forces of market and guided by the internal values of mission and purpose.

Dr. Linda Gravett joined with Kucia to develop an assessment that captures a leader’s balance across Eight Ways of Thinking related to Strategy (head), Culture (heart) and Leadership (hand). This instrument offers an image, a structure and purpose for leadership which creates the opportunity for individual learning and growth and for deeper and richer coaching conversations.

After extensive interviews with executives of successful international and global organizations, the authors conclude that the Kucia Balance Framework and Eight Ways of Thinking are legitimate, useful approaches that lead towards organizational resiliency in a global marketplace. The leaders interviewed by the authors embody the Eight Ways of Thinking and concurred with the viability of the Kucia Balance Framework.

Some companies featured in this as case studies include: The Procter & Gamble Company; The Boeing Company, Parker Hannifin; Eli Lilly and Company; Cintas Corporation; and Macy’s Inc.

Recent books like Friedman’s The World is Flat and most recent Wikinomics strongly suggest that individual and organizational capabilities to collaborate are essential to be successful today. And Wikinomics calls for leaders: “to think differently” and “to master the art and science of collaboration.” The “ability to integrate the talents of dispersed individuals and organizations is the defining competency for managers and firms.” The last chapter of Wikinomics, The Power of Thinking Differently, asks: “How do we rewire the brain and develop a collaborative mind?” Leadership in Balance will complement much that has been published, and then take a next step toward discovering new ways of thinking and developing the collaborative mind.

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