August 3


Rosabeth Moss Kanter on Improving Business Culture

  1. Leaders must wake people out of inertia. They must get people excited about something they’ve never seen before, something that does not yet exist.

  2. People often resist change for reasons that make good sense to them, even if those reasons don’t correspond to organizational goals. So it is crucial to recognize, reward, and celebrate accomplishments.

  3. Mindless habitual behavior is the enemy of innovation.

  4. Companies used to be able to function with autocratic bosses. We don’t live in that world anymore.

  5. Boards and bosses may say they want change, but in fact they don’t want too much disruption, controversy or agitation. It’s not enough to be hired by the board and told shake things up. You still need to have a team inside that believes in you.

  6. Leaders deliver confidence, that’s what they do. They make decisions, they set strategy, they do all the technical stuff, but they also have to make people feel confident that their efforts will pay off.

  7. I’ve found that small wins, small projects, small differences often make huge differences.

  8. Cheap labor is not going to be the way we compete in the United States. It’s going to be brain power.

  9. Confidence is the bridge connecting expectations and performance, investment and results.

  10. People who believe they are likely to win are also likely to put in the extra effort at difficult moments to ensure that victory.

  11. Resistance is always greatest when change is inflicted on people without their involvement, making the change effort feel oppressive or constraining. If it is possible to tie change to things people already want, and give them a chance to act on their own goals and aspirations, then it is met with more enthusiasm and commitment.

  12. To change behavior requires a campaign, with constant communication, tools and materials, milestones, reminders, and rewards.

  13. Empowerment doesn’t mean stepping aside and abdicating responsibility. Leaders must excercise good judgment about what is appropriate, even if that makes some group members uncomfortable.

  14. Leaders are more powerful role models when they learn than when they teach.


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