Governance and leadership discussions at the Better Boards Conference


Perhaps We Need to Rethink ‘Leadership”?

Dr Ruth Knight

Lecturer and researcher at QUT's Australian Centre of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies

Following a 25 year career in health and community services, Dr Ruth Knight now works with the Australian Centre of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies at QUT as a lecturer and researcher specialising in the fields of managing social sector organisations and social enterprise.

She has been researching and teaching about leadership and recently published a Discussion Paper that provides an overview of the theory and practical implications of Systems Leadership for philanthropic and nonprofit organisations. Download here:

Dr Ruth Knight will explain why organisations are integrating the discipline of systems thinking into their leadership approach, because we need a different approach from the traditional leadership and change models.

Systems leadership is about helping organisations foster the insight and collaboration required to solve complex and challenging problems. The role of ‘leadership’ is to facilitate inquiry, learning, and collaboration with new partners, enable reflection and generative conversations to examine underlying assumptions, and shift from reactive responses to the co-creation of innovative solutions that make real and lasting change.

This session is sponsored by the Better Boards Conference Academic Partner, QUT's Australian Centre of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies.


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