In the 8 years since we founded Socia we have seen Politicians and Directors putting more and more reliance on new forms of cross-organisational structures – there are called many things PFI, business partnerships, joint ventures, multi agency initiatives. But they all involve delivering results across boundaries between organisations in long term relationships.

As a nation we are betting the future of our public services on the ability to make Public Private Partnerships work, international corporations are betting their reputation on their ability to collaborate with a worldwide network of suppliers, and increasingly we are betting the future of the planet on the ability of nations to work together to tackle global problems such as climate change, terrorist threats and international financial instability.

But throughout this change the qualities of leadership that are promoted has gone largely unchanged. There is still a widespread assumption that effective leadership is based on; controlling your resources, inspiring your people, delivering for your customers. The common theme is that the determinants of success are yours and you can control them. The truth is that in today’s interconnected world they aren’t and you can’t.

Through the last 8 years, under the radar, we’ve seen a new form of leadership emerging (and because you have chose to come here tonight I suspect many of you will have seen it too) – a collaborative form of leadership – un-showy often working behind the scenes to make connections and build relationships. And now with the scale of the global financial crisis biting we believe it’s time for this collaborative leadership to emerge.