Power and Leadership for Collaborative Change

Leading in these increasingly urgent times we now find ourselves in requires leadership which is adaptive and power intelligent. Responding to increasingly complex challenges whilst navigating conflicting and diverse positions and viewpoints is the domain we now need to lead in. 

When we work openly and productively with power and difference we can collectively transform systems. More commonly power dynamics are left alone, viewed negatively and personally, often resulting in conflict which stops us from progressing. Power and conflict play a crucial role in complex challenges. As a leader or facilitator in collaborative change, it is vital to be aware of how you view your own and others’ power and understand your own and others’ responses to differences or conflict. Learning how to work with power and conflict productively will enable you and your collaboration/organisation to identify ways to enable change and tackle complex challenges.

Designed and delivered by Liz Skelton – Co-Founder & Chair, Collaboration for Impact with co-facilitator Kate Williams – Collaborative Change Practitioner, CFI. 

Download the Course PDF here 

Throughout the workshop series you will

  • Deepen your understanding and awareness of how to tackle your organisation or your initiative’s adaptive leadership challenges
  • Develop your personal and positional sense of power to use it more effectively. 
  • Deepen awareness to be able to work effectively with diverse stakeholders 
  • Learn how to build authorising conditions for collaborative change, so you have the people and power needed to effect change
  • Learn how to work with power tensions as they arise

Who is it for?

Anyone working on place-based change and/or systems change collaborations: backbone teams, managers, facilitators, funders, community change makers. This is also of relevance to consultants, advisors, and researchers, of collaborations/ organisations/ systems change initiatives working across different purposes, agendas, interests and power.


3 x 5-hour facilitated workshop series & self-directed learning including videos, readings, and reflective exercises between sessions.


9am – 11am & 2pm – 5pm AEST x 3 days
Online workshop (split session days with 2-hour screen break & offline reflection work)

Thursday 1 September
Thursday 8 September
Thursday 15  September

Theory provided through self-directed learning – Participants will be required to set aside approximately 1.5-2 hours between sessions for personal reflection and pre-reading.

Accessibility and technology

Participants will be required to download Zoom and Chrome in order to be able to participate. Internet access is required to participate.

We recommend participants use a desktop whilst participating (rather than a mobile phone). We also encourage all participants to use their video throughout the course.

Participants will also be given access to CFIs Learning Management Systems where workshop materials and resources will be made available.



Price per person (+ GST):

Standard $ 800
Not-for-profit $ 690
Group discount (bookings of 3+) $ 600

A 10% discount is available when you purchase 3 or more events in CFI’s Systems Change Learning Program 2021-22. Get in touch for package offers, large group discounts and tailored sessions for your organisation.

For queries, contact learning@collaborationforimpact.com

Liz Skelton

Liz Skelton - Co-Director, Collaboration for Impact

Liz is Director and co-founder of Collaboration for Impact (CFI). CFI builds capacity in systems change and adaptive leadership for social change, systems change and social innovation working with and advising Government, Not for Profit, Community, philanthropy sectors on how to create the conditions for social change. Liz brings unique specialist experience, skills and knowledge in leadership development to building collaborations to enable cross sector stakeholders to change the way their systems work to create positive social change.

With over 25 years’ experience leading social change, Liz began her career leading NGOS’s in Scotland and Australia before co-leading the establishment and growth of a national social leadership learning organisation Social Leadership Australia. As Principal Consultant she spent eight years working with leaders in community, government and businesses across Australia developing the theory and applying the practice of Adaptive Leadership to tackle their toughest challenges. Since 2014 she has been applying the practice of Adaptive Leadership to place and issue-based systems change working with First Nations leaders and other Australians to change their relationship with deep collaboration, extending this innovative practice to communities working collaboratively across Australia to achieve better outcomes.

Liz is an author and teacher of leadership for systems change, and has co-authored two books: "The Australian Leadership Paradox: What it takes to lead in the Lucky Country", with Geoff Aigner, published by Allen & Unwin in 2013, and “Lost conversations: Finding new ways for black and white Australians to lead together” launched in November 2014 co-authored with a group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders. Liz is also a Lecturer with UNSW’s Centre for Social Impact's Masters and Graduate Certificate in Social Impact.

Kate Williams – Collaborative Change Practitioner, Collaboration for Impact

Kate’s experience spans diverse populations and geographies, centring on social and community-led change.

Skilled in facilitation, design and stakeholder engagement, Kate has led complex multinational projects through to nuanced, place-based initiatives. This has included building collaborations across multi-lateral institutions, government, not-for-profits, enterprise and community, and guiding processes that explore and enable new ways to respond to social challenges together.

Kate started her career in the international development field, leading World Vision International’s work in the youth livelihood space. Over six years she contributed to strategy, thought leadership, capability building, and the codification of practice. Her work in economic participation and climate-smart agriculture internationally led to her co-founding The Global Women’s Project in 2013 and the Foundation for Ecological Education and Design in 2019. Most recently Kate has been living in the West Kimberley Region of Australia convening First Nations Australians around community aspirations and community-led change, with a particular focus on community wealth building and women’s cultural leadership.

Kate’s approach to place-based social change is participatory, strength-based, adaptive, and highly relational. She is committed to walking alongside initiatives, ensuring that they are shaped by diverse perspectives and are community-driven and owned.

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Our calendar for the 2023 Learning Program is evolving so keep checking for more details.