Leading by Convening: A Blueprint for Authentic Engagement

Leading by Convening (LbC): A Blueprint for Authentic Engagement is a resource on how to effectively engage and lead through applied essential habits – such as coalescing around issues, ensuring relevant participating and doing work together – to achieve overall goals. Effective leaders faced with urgent challenges understand the need to cultivate habits that widen their area of impact across roles and levels of system to support sustainable change.

A variety of stake holders nationwide worked together to develop a “blueprint for authentic engagement” – a process for stakeholders to work through together to turn participants into partners and to move teams to deeper levels of collaboration. The result is Leading by Convening, a resource of interactive modules with a user guide and tools that can be used for individual professional development or for training of groups.

LbC was developed by the IDEA Partnership, U.S. Dept. of Education/Office of Special Education Programs funding.


Serving on Groups, although similar to Leading by Convening, is intended to be a useful tool for anyone who is currently serving, or wants to serve, on a decision-making group. The creation of Serving on Groups came from an identified need to support families in serving on decision-making groups, but the information and structure of the the resource is intended to support anyone serving on those groups. The result is a guide that focuses on developing specific skill sets using research-based strategies while being broadly applicable to a diverse audience for a more effective and robust decision-making group.

Serving on Groups and Leading by Convening are considered ‘two sides of the same coin.’ Although it is not necessary to use both resources when serving on a group, it is highly recommended to utilize both resources for producing the most positive and efficient outcomes when making decisions in a group setting.

serving on groups coin flip animation

The Leading by Convening modules, rubrics and tools are listed below:

LBC Modules and Resources

The National Center for Systemic Improvement developed these Leading by Convening self-study modules and resources to help states increase stakeholder participation and build active engagement.


The WI Dept. of Public Instruction partnered with WI FACETS, through its State Personnel Development Grant, to develop a Wisconsin-specific learning series grounded in the Leading by Convening Blueprint. These archived sessions aim to scale up families’ capacities to serve on groups and school teams’ capacities to integrate families as equal partners in creating positive outcomes for children.