The Open Organization: Igniting Passion and Performance

Harvard Business Review Press
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TODAY’S LEADERS KNOW THAT SPEED and agility are the keys to any company’s success, and yet many are frustrated that their organizations can’t move fast enough to stay competitive. The typical chain of command is too slow; internal resources are too limited; people are already executing beyond normal expectations. As the pace accelerates, how do you inspire people’s energy and creativity? How do you collaborate with customers, vendors, and partners to keep your organization on the cutting edge? What kind of organization matches the speed and complexity that businesses must master—and how do you build that organization?

Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat, one of the world’s most revolutionary companies, shows how open principles of management—based on transparency, participation, and community—reinvent the organization for the fast-paced connected era. Whitehurst gives readers an insider’s look into how an open and innovative organizational model works. He shows how to leverage it to build community, respond quickly to opportunities, harness resources and talent both inside and outside the organization, and inspire, motivate, and empower people at all levels to act with accountability.

The Open Organization is a must-read for leaders struggling to adapt their management practices to the values of the digital and social age. Brimming with Whitehurst’s personal stories and candid advice for leading an open organization, as well as with instructive examples from employees and managers at Red Hat and companies such as Google, The Body Shop, and Whole Foods, this book provides the blueprint for reinventing your organization.
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About the author

JIM WHITEHURST is CEO of Red Hat, the largest open source software company in the world. Before joining Red Hat, Whitehurst held various positions at Delta Air Lines, most recently as Chief Operating Officer, responsible for operations, sales and customer service, network and revenue management, marketing, and corporate strategy. Prior to joining Delta, he was a Partner at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and held various leadership roles in BCG’s Chicago, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Atlanta offices.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Harvard Business Review Press
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Published on
May 12, 2015
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9781625275288
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economics / General
Business & Economics / Information Management
Business & Economics / Leadership
Business & Economics / Workplace Culture
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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What if you could combine the agility, adaptability, and cohesion of a small team with the power and resources of a giant organization?

THE OLD RULES NO LONGER APPLY . . .
When General Stanley McChrystal took command of the Joint Special Operations Task Force in 2004, he quickly realized that conventional military tactics were failing. Al Qaeda in Iraq was a decentralized network that could move quickly, strike ruthlessly, then seemingly vanish into the local population. The allied forces had a huge advantage in numbers, equipment, and training—but none of that seemed to matter.

TEACHING A LEVIATHAN TO IMPROVISE
It’s no secret that in any field, small teams have many ad­vantages—they can respond quickly, communicate freely, and make decisions without layers of bureaucracy. But organizations taking on really big challenges can’t fit in a garage. They need management practices that can scale to thousands of people.
 
General McChrystal led a hierarchical, highly disci­plined machine of thousands of men and women. But to defeat Al Qaeda in Iraq, his Task Force would have to acquire the enemy’s speed and flexibility. Was there a way to combine the power of the world’s mightiest military with the agility of the world’s most fearsome terrorist network? If so, could the same principles apply in civilian organizations?

A NEW APPROACH FOR A NEW WORLD
McChrystal and his colleagues discarded a century of conventional wisdom and remade the Task Force, in the midst of a grueling war, into something new: a network that combined extremely transparent communication with decentralized decision-making authority. The walls between silos were torn down. Leaders looked at the best practices of the smallest units and found ways to ex­tend them to thousands of people on three continents, using technology to establish a oneness that would have been impossible even a decade earlier. The Task Force became a “team of teams”—faster, flatter, more flex­ible—and beat back Al Qaeda.

BEYOND THE BATTLEFIELD
In this powerful book, McChrystal and his colleagues show how the challenges they faced in Iraq can be rel­evant to countless businesses, nonprofits, and other or­ganizations. The world is changing faster than ever, and the smartest response for those in charge is to give small groups the freedom to experiment while driving every­one to share what they learn across the entire organiza­tion. As the authors argue through compelling examples, the team of teams strategy has worked everywhere from hospital emergency rooms to NASA. It has the potential to transform organizations large and small.


From the Hardcover edition.
NYT and WSJ bestselling author Charlene Li guides business leaders deeper than ever before into the uncomfortable and ever-changing terrain of the digital era

Technology has revolutionized the very idea and nature of relationships between leaders and their followers. Yet, many leaders remain stuck at arms-length from those they lead and serve, relying on specialized teams to interact with customers, their direct reports to keep tabs on how employees are doing, and on the digital natives in their organization to stay abreast of new technologies.

Now, in The Engaged Leader: A Strategy for Your Digital Transformation, Li helps leaders adapt to the demands, and opportunities of digital leadership. To be a true digital leader requires a metamorphosis: you must connect directly by listening, sharing, and engaging using digital technologies. This metamorphosis is not easy, comfortable, or painless—if your palms aren't sweaty or your stomach isn't churning, then you probably aren't really practicing digital leadership.

The Engaged Leader addresses why leaders need to master a new way of developing relationships, which begins by stepping out of traditional hierarchies; how to listen at scale, share to shape, and engage to transform; the art of making this transformative mind shift; and the science of applying the right tools to meet your strategic goals.

This transformation is not optional. Those who choose not to make this change will be abandoned for those who inspire people to follow them.

The Engaged Leader provides leaders with the skills and confidence they need to transform their leadership, and in turn, their organizations. The Engaged Leader also provides guidance to institutions—businesses, communities, and schools—on how to develop and nurture digital leadership. It is a must read for anyone who values a deeper connection between leaders and those they serve.
The New York Times bestseller by the acclaimed, bestselling author of Start With Why and Together is Better. Now with an expanded chapter and appendix on leading millennials, based on Simon Sinek's viral video "Millenials in the workplace" (150+ million views).

Imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued during the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled. This is not a crazy, idealized notion. Today, in many successful organizations, great leaders create environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things. 

In his work with organizations around the world, Simon Sinek noticed that some teams trust each other so deeply that they would literally put their lives on the line for each other. Other teams, no matter what incentives are offered, are doomed to infighting, fragmentation and failure. Why?

The answer became clear during a conversation with a Marine Corps general. "Officers eat last," he said. Sinek watched as the most junior Marines ate first while the most senior Marines took their place at the back of the line. What's symbolic in the chow hall is deadly serious on the battlefield: Great leaders sacrifice their own comfort--even their own survival--for the good of those in their care.
     
Too many workplaces are driven by cynicism, paranoia, and self-interest. But the best ones foster trust and cooperation because their leaders build what Sinek calls a "Circle of Safety" that separates the security inside the team from the challenges outside.

Sinek illustrates his ideas with fascinating true stories that range from the military to big business, from government to investment banking.
“One of the 12 best business books of all time…. Timeless principles of empowering leadership.” – USA Today

"The best how-to manual anywhere for managers on delegating, training, and driving flawless execution.” —FORTUNE

Since Turn the Ship Around! was published in 2013, hundreds of thousands of readers have been inspired by former Navy captain David Marquet’s true story. Many have applied his insights to their own organizations, creating workplaces where everyone takes responsibility for his or her actions, where followers grow to become leaders, and where happier teams drive dramatically better results.

Marquet was a Naval Academy graduate and an experienced officer when selected for submarine command. Trained to give orders in the traditional model of “know all–tell all” leadership, he faced a new wrinkle when he was shifted to the Santa Fe, a nuclear-powered submarine. Facing the high-stress environment of a sub where there’s little margin for error, he was determined to reverse the trends he found on the Santa Fe: poor morale, poor performance, and the worst retention rate in the fleet.

Almost immediately, Marquet ran into trouble when he unknowingly gave an impossible order, and his crew tried to follow it anyway. When he asked why, the answer was: “Because you told me to.” Marquet realized that while he had been trained for a different submarine, his crew had been trained to do what they were told—a deadly combination.

That’s when Marquet flipped the leadership model on its head and pushed for leadership at every level. Turn the Ship Around! reveals how the Santa Fe skyrocketed from worst to first in the fleet by challenging the U.S. Navy’s traditional leader-follower approach. Struggling against his own instincts to take control, he instead achieved the vastly more powerful model of giving control to his subordinates, and creating leaders.

Before long, each member of Marquet’s crew became a leader and assumed responsibility for everything he did, from clerical tasks to crucial combat decisions. The crew became completely engaged, contributing their full intellectual capacity every day. The Santa Fe set records for performance, morale, and retention. And over the next decade, a highly disproportionate number of the officers of the Santa Fe were selected to become submarine commanders.

Whether you need a major change of course or just a tweak of the rudder, you can apply Marquet’s methods to turn your own ship around.
Moving beyond the process of change

Why is change so hard? Because in order to make any transformation successful, you must change more than just the structure and operations of an organization—you need to change people’s behavior. And that is never easy.

The Heart of Change is your guide to helping people think and feel differently in order to meet your shared goals. According to bestselling author and renowned leadership expert John Kotter and coauthor Dan Cohen, this focus on connecting with people’s emotions is what will spark the behavior change and actions that lead to success. Now freshly designed, The Heart of Change is the engaging and essential complement to Kotter’s worldwide bestseller Leading Change.

Building off of Kotter’s revolutionary eight-step process, this book vividly illustrates how large-scale change can work. With real-life stories of people in organizations, the authors show how teams and individuals get motivated and activated to overcome obstacles to change—and produce spectacular results. Kotter and Cohen argue that change initiatives often fail because leaders rely too exclusively on data and analysis to get buy-in from their teams instead of creatively showing or doing something that appeals to their emotions and inspires them to spring into action. They call this the see-feel-change dynamic, and it is crucial for the success of any true organizational transformation.

Refreshingly clear and eminently practical, The Heart of Change is required reading for anyone facing the challenges inherent in leading change.

The most trusted source of leadership wisdom, updated to address today's realities

The Leadership Challenge is the gold-standard manual for effective leadership, grounded in research and written by the premier authorities in the field. With deep insight into the complex interpersonal dynamics of the workplace, this book positions leadership both as a skill to be learned, and as a relationship that must be nurtured to reach its full potential. This new sixth edition has been revised to address current challenges, and includes more international examples and a laser focus on business issues; you'll learn how extraordinary leaders accomplish extraordinary things, and how to develop your leadership skills and style to deliver quality results every time. Engaging stories delve into the fundamental roles that great leaders fulfill, and simple frameworks provide a primer for those who seek continuous improvement; by internalizing key insights and putting concepts into action, you'll become a more effective, more impactful leader.

A good leader gets things done; a great leader aspires, inspires, and achieves more. This book highlights the differences between good and great, and shows you how to bridge the chasm between getting things done and making things happen.Gain deep insight into leadership's critical role in organizational healthNavigate the shift toward team-oriented work relationshipsMotivate and inspire to break through the pervasive new cynicismLeverage the electronic global village to deliver better results

Business is evolving at an increasingly rapid rate, and leaders must keep pace with the changes or risk stagnation. People work differently, are motivated differently, and have different expectations today—business as usual is quickly losing its effectiveness. The Leadership Challenge helps you stay current, relevant, and effective in the modern workplace.

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