Jul 9 / The Collaborwocky Team

Collaborwocky Ep011 - Agency-Based Leadership

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Redefining Leadership: Empowering Collaboration and Agency

In this thought-provoking discussion on Collaborwocky, the panelists explore a paradigm shift in leadership, moving away from traditional notions of charisma and authority vested in a few individuals. Instead, they advocate for a more inclusive and collaborative approach, where leadership is viewed as a collective endeavor. 

Key Takeaways

  • Visualizing work processes for better collaboration
  • Providing contextual information about customers, strategies, and value propositions
  • The concept of "bounded autonomy" for structured agency• Creating systems that foster clarity, certainty, and psychological safety
  • Moving beyond heroic leadership narratives


The conversation highlights the importance of visualizing work processes and understanding how people interact with information. By doing so, organizations can identify opportunities for interventions that foster effective collaboration and enhance the agency of team members.

Esther Derby emphasizes providing broader organizational context for individuals to exercise their agency effectively. The notion of "bounded autonomy" defines a scope for autonomous operation while allowing collaborative conversations at the boundaries.

The panelists stress creating systems that provide:

  • Clarity on roles and responsibilities
  • A sense of certainty
  • Genuine agency for team members
  • Psychological safety

The Collaborwocky Experience

The Podcast

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The Team

  • Jim Benson: Founder of Modus Institute and co-author of Personal Kanban and the NEW Course, Toxic Waste.
  • Tonianne DeMaria: Co-founder of Modus Institute, co-author of Personal Kanban, and an expert in the psychology and neuroscience behind work.
  • Dave Prior: Certified Scrum Trainer and a faculty member at Modus Institute. His new course is 'Art of War for Collaboration' on ModusInstitute.com.
  • Mark Kilby: Co-author of the book, From Chaos to Successful Distributed Agile Teams, and a co-instructor for the new Successful Distributed Teams course on Modus Institute.
  • Thushyanthan A.: An education industry professional and a Modus Institute faculty member with a love for documentation. His newest course is Confluence Training