Collective Leadership and Circles: Not Invented Here

2018-06-27T00:00:00Z (GMT) by M Mattaini C Holtschneider
Issues like police-community relations, violencefrom neighborhood to global levels, economic inequality, and climate change have been only minimally addressed within behavior analysis, despite the oft repeated mantra that they are all at root behavioral. Disciplines determine the scope of their interests; behavior analysis and behavioral systems analysis have long claimed at least potential expertise in changing not only individual behavior, but also the collective and interlocking functioning of larger institutions and systems. In this paper we note that standard organizational behavior management (OBM) practices primarily emphasizing centralized leadership are unlikely to be adequate for such work. We therefore argue that collective leadership, a strategy that has not been emphasized in OBM, will be required to operationalize behavioral systems interventions in situations where centralized leadership is impossible or dangerous, and suggest circle processes as one behaviorally specifiable approach to constructing collective leadership, an approach that behavioral systems analysts are well-positioned to test and refine.