Prof. Anne-Marie Slaughter of Princeton has a fascinating article on theoretical and practical notions collaborative power:
I will call it collaborative power and define it as the power of many to do together what no one can do alone. Consider the power of water. Each drop is harmless; enough drops together create a tsunami that can level a landscape.
Collaborative power can take many forms. The first is mobilization; to exercise collaborative power through not a command but a call to action. The second form is connection. In contrast to the relational power method of narrowing and controlling a specific set of choices, collaborative power is exercised by broadening access to the circle of power and connecting as many people to one another and to a common purpose as possible. A third form (many more dimensions of collaborative power will likely emerge) is adaptation. Instead of seeking to structure the preferences of others, those who would exercise collaborative power must be demonstrably willing to shift their own views enough to enter into meaningful dialogue with others. The first step toward persuading others is often an evident and sincere willingness to be persuaded yourself.