What is a Co-Active Approach?
The phrase ‘co-active’ comes from ‘co’ – meaning a state of being – and ‘active’ – meaning, of course, a state of action. Combined, it means being together in a state of action. It’s a different way of saying ‘working well together’.
In practice, the co-active approach draws resources from all levels of an organization. It’s a collaborative approach that makes teams and organizations more agile, faster to pivot, and better able to meet challenges head-on. With a co-active approach, decisions are not reactive, which tends to create a hamster wheel effect. Instead, they are responsive, meaning they’re made in alignment with where the company wants to be.
Contrary to traditional top-down approaches, co-active leadership recognizes the value of different perspectives, is inherently curious about new ways of doing things, and sees leaders as guides, facilitators and collaborators, rather than dictators.
Central to co-active leadership is the understanding that leaders accept unconditional responsibility for their world, meaning the onus is on them to fully accept their own strengths and areas for growth, and to take 100% responsibility for how they show up, no matter the situation around them.