The workplace landscape is changing. As businesses compete to stay relevant, they're constantly in search of innovative solutions to increase productivity and engage workers. The traditional leadership style is changing and the future is moving to a collaborative approach.

But what does that mean in practice. And where do you fit in?

A new infographic from collaborative leadership expert Stacey Olsen illustrates how the two styles differ:

Traditional leaders approach power as a singular authority. They retain ownership of information and deliver approved solutions. They adhere to certain roles and responsibilities.

Collaborative leaders, on the other hand, recognize that the power is greatest in a collective team. This thought process facilitates brainstorming and encourages the sharing of ideas and suggestions.

Business experts are encouraging companies to start getting on board and embracing a collaborative approach as traditional models of leadership simply do not work in our increasingly diverse and complex society.

How you lead your people has a direct impact on your business model and how it functions smoothly or struggles to get along. If you aren't already, now might be the time to adopt a collaborative approach.

The five qualities of a collaborative leader, as defined by Madeleine Carter (writing for the Center for Effective Public Policy as part of a research project that was funded by the United States Department of Justice) are:

  • Eager listeners
  • Optimistic about the future
  • Willingness to take risks
  • Passion for the cause
  • Able to share knowledge, power and credit

The workplace is changing. Leadership is changing. The future is collaborative.