Collaboration Campfire™ is a ten-month leadership academy, accessed online

Leading academic collaborations can be exceptionally rewarding

…and deeply frustrating.

Every collaborator wants to be part of a brilliant shared endeavor, making breakthroughs that no one can achieve alone.

How will you lead yours?

Your greatest challenge isn’t the intellectual one. Your greatest challenge is how to bring brilliant minds together with shared commitment, understanding and synergy. If you don’t attend to how your collaborators connect as human beings your project will be uphill and never achieve its potential impact.

Let’s face it.  Things are stacked against true collaboration.

We ask our best and brightest minds to share their intellectual capital most often in a vacuum of trust and genuine relationships. That’s why the collaborations that get started between friends in the conference bar so often succeed. But how do we get all the others to succeed?

It’s unrealistic to expect people to “just be collegiate”.

We ask people to share their best thinking, their intellectual capital, unsure of how it will be received or treated by others. We ask people to open up their thought processes so that, together, they can fuse new connections that lead to new understanding. But we do so with insufficient attention to the human considerations of working this way.

Collaborative leaders are often…

Frustrated with the time and energy taken by:

  • Chasing people for contributions they said they’d make but haven’t.
  • Dealing with in-fighting, game-playing, political posturing, ego-aggrandisement, cliques and people on verge of burn-out.

Struggling to stay motivated because they:

  • Can’t see how to move things forward in this big, messy, amorphous project.
  • Don’t have the time or headspace to keep perspective about where it’s going.

At a loss about how to engage collaborators when:

  • Some are not convinced the project is going to be a success.
  • Others are unsure that they will get credit where it’s due.

Suffering with overwhelm and burnout due to:

  • Anxiety and stress from too many competing pressures.
  • Isolation from not feeling part of a positive group of colleagues.

Collaborative projects often…

Get stuck or derailed

Waste intellectual capital, time, energy and funding

End up ‘fudged’ to produce an outcome that is far from its true potential

The world needs your breakthroughs.
We can do this together!

Collaboration Campfire™ gives you ten months of expert development so that you can excel as a collaborative leader.

Collaboration Campfire™ has been designed by Kate Tapper. For ten years Kate worked alongside academic collaborators to develop their leadership, their projects and their collaborative relationships. Kate’s extensive research and practice identified why some groups evolve to become a truly collaborative team, while others remain tenuously connected.

Collaboration Campfire™ provides answers using the MEABA™ framework for collaborative leadership. The MEABA™ framework is based on the five core needs that all collaborators bring to every collaboration. When collaborators’ needs are met, collaborations thrive. When they go unmet they just about survive.

What is Collaboration Campfire™?

Collaboration Campfire™ is a very different approach to leadership development. It is a ten-month academy programme that supports you to meet your real collaboration challenges, both present and future. We use a Solutions Focused approach that empowers you to take action and grow your confidence and competence as a leader.

What’s an academy?

A blended learning programme that gives answers as well as asking questions to accelerate understanding, spark insight and initiate action. Designed for time-pressured collaborators with all content and face-to-face coaching delivered online.

Collaboration Campfire™ combines:

A one-to-one coaching session to focus in on your own leadership practice

Monthly drop-in “surgery hours” for support with ad-hoc issues

SOS toolkits provide immediate advice and guidance on key topics

Guided self-coaching to reflect and plan next actions

Live face-to-face group coaching each month to explore real, current challenges

Succinct, thought- provoking content released online each month

By the end of the programme you will have:

  • Increased the success of your current collaborative project
  • Developed a stong and authentic collaborative leadership approach that responds to the needs of your collaborators, your project and your stakeholders
  • Built confidence using coaching skills to engage and develop collaborators
  • Gained fluency using collaborative technology to bring collaborators together
  • Increased opportunities to secure funding and to succeed in promotion and progression
  • Developed a network of trusted collaborative leaders for ongoing support

Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it.

– Marian Anderson

What we’ll work on

You will refine your own leadership practice through six modules:

Module One:

Lead with Meaning

  • Understand how motivation is fired up by work that has meaning to us 

  • Fire up your motivation to meet your leadership challenges 

  • Identify what matters to your collaborators and stakeholders 

Module Two:

Leverage your Expertise

  • Understand your collaborators needs for their expertise to be seen, valued and grown 

  • Be clear and confident when communicating your own expertise 

  • Strengthen your connection with collaborators with practices that recognise their expertise 

Module Three:

Nurture Appreciation

  • Understand our human need for appreciation and respect

  • Nurture respectful relationships between collaborators 

  • Maintain good relationships while asserting yourself and setting boundaries 

Module Four:

Create Belonging

  • Understand the need we share to belong to strong and positive groups 

  • Define the unique identity of your group and raise its profile 

  • Include diverse collaborators by creating an inclusive culture 

Module Five:

Empower with Agency

  • Understand the need all collaborators have for autonomy and agency 

  • Lead with confidence, overcome doubt and overwhelm with energy and focus 

  • Empower collaborators to progress their own unique contribution 

Module Six:

Inspire with your Unique Collaborative Leadership Practice

  • Articulate how your leadership practice takes account of collaborators’ needs 

  • Talk confidently about your own leadership style, processes and practices 

  • Inspire confidence in your ability to lead from collaborators, funders and stakeholders

Join Collaboration Campfire™!


We have places open on Collaboration Campfire™ starting June 2019. Places are limited to ensure personal attention. Register now to secure a place.

To speak to us first about whether Campfire™ is for you or your organisation, book a discovery call with Kate here:

Who is it for?
Collaboration Campfire™ has been designed for people leading academics at all levels. Your role title is not important, but you do need to be leading something. Every participant brings unique and valuable expertise and perspective to the programme.
What will it do for me as a collaborative leader?

Collaboration Campfire™ provides clarity for collaborative leaders, cutting through the noise of projects so that you can:

  • Lead with confidence, clear about your collaboration’s mission and unique identity
  • Be courageous and clear in your conversations and talk about what really matters
  • Inspire the engagement and commitment of every collaborator
  • Increase your visibility and influence and raise the profile of your group
  • Assert yourself, set boundaries and disagree whilst maintaining good relationships
  • Create a spirit of collaboration between collaborators and nurture intellectual curiosity and respectful relationships
  • Work with focus and energy on the challenges you care most about
  • Connect with your tribe: other academic leaders like you
What will it do for my organisation and stakeholders?

By focusing on and developing the collaborative leaders:

  • Projects leap forward as leaders find new ways to bring collaborators together with synergy and purpose
  • The intellectual capital in the group is unlocked
  • Return on investment (of funding, intellect, emotion, time and energy) are dramatically increased
  • A research culture based on intellectual curiosity can blossom
  • A network of brilliant collaborators across the world expands
What is the investment?
The ten-month Collaboration Campfire™ programme costs £220 (+VAT) per person, per month. A discount of 10% is made for advance payments, making the total investment £1980 (+VAT) per person.
Is the coaching you provide accredited?

Yes. One to one coaching is provided by me, Kate Tapper. I am an accredited Executive Coach, accredited by the Association of Executive Coaches. My rigorous training met the core competencies of the International Coach Federation (ICF), European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) and the Association for Coaching (AC). I work with an ICF accredited supervisor and am committed to on-going professional development with the ICF.

What is included?
Collaboration Campfire™ combines succinct new content released each month, with monthly group coaching calls, SOS toolkits, face to face support through live drop-in surgeries and a one-to-one coaching session for every participant.
How does it differ from other leadership programmes?

No artificial exercises, no unnecessary assignments, no complicated technology. You are going to establish your own leadership practices and processes that will create a culture of collaboration in your own unique situation, leading in your own style.

What is the time commitment?
Collaboration Campfire™ is delivered online so that you can access it flexibly. The only fixed times will be your monthly group coaching sessions and optional drop-in surgery hours. Even these will be recorded so you can watch them later if you can’t make it. The rest you can access when you like. The amount of time you spend on it is entirely determined by what is most pertinent and helpful to you; from 3 to 10 hours a month. No travel, no conference rooms, connect from anywhere on any device.
Who will be our Collaboration Campfire™ coach?
Kate Tapper will lead all coaching sessions, tutorials and drop-in surgeries. Kate is an accredited Executive Coach and has over ten years’ experience developing academic leaders across the UK.
I'm not a leader yet, can I join?
Collaboration Campfire™ is designed for anyone who is leading academics in some kind of collaborative endeavor. It doesn’t matter what your role is called, but if you are not leading anything yet, our other services will be a better fit for you.
Can we have Collaboration Campfire™ just for our organisation?

Yes. Collaboration Campfire™ exclusively for your organisation is a great way to build an internal network of capable, confident collaborative leaders. You can also share a Collaboration Campfire™ with your partner organisations to build relationships between leaders. Book a discovery call to find out more.

Register now or book a discovery call with Kate