Think Outside the Building: How Advanced Leaders Can Change the World One Smart Innovation at a Time

PublicAffairs. Jan. 2020. 352p. ISBN 9781541742710. $30. BUS
Kanter’s (Harvard Business Sch.) latest book deals with what she calls advanced leadership, involving experienced business leaders addressing intractable systemic problems—social, environmental, or institutional—by forming coalitions across organizational boundaries and providing innovative solutions. As Kanter notes, this is a complex task that involves attempting to make long-term systemic changes. The author is quite clear that advanced leadership is demanding, and requires great skill and persistence. This guidebook combines concrete advice with real-life examples. A strength of the book is the refusal to oversimplify real-world problems. For example, Kanter advises, anyone launching a pilot project should start small and only do what’s necessary to get the project under way. While this is sensible advice, it is not always easy to stick to manage goals.
VERDICT A useful book for those aspiring to lead organizations, especially managers wishing to enact social change.

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