Join us for the MLD Shopping and Welcome Event on August 28th!

The HKS Management, Leadership, and Decision Sciences Faculty (The MLD Area) invite all HKS degree program students to join us for our Shopping and Welcome Event on Monday, August 28th from 5:00 – 6:15pm in the Allison Dining Room, (Taubman Building 5th floor).

The purpose of this event is to provide students with a centralized opportunity to hear about courses in Management, Leadership and Decision Sciences, to meet the faculty, as well as to hear about the numerous related co-currcular activities in the MLD space. Examples of the latter include the Behavioral Insights Group (BIG)Social Innovation and Social Change (SICI) Studio, and the Kennedy School Negotiation Project (KSNP). Faculty in attendance will provide detailed overviews of our course offerings, and will introduce the MLD Certificate program. Plus… there’ll be cupcakes!

Should you have questions, please contact  MLD Area Administrator, Greg Dorchak at greg_dorchak@hks.harvard.edu  We hope you will join us on August 28th!

Please note: This event is not meant to be a substitute for the regularly scheduled MLD course shopping sessions taking place during the day on 8/28 and 8/29 at which you will hear in much greater detail about the fall and January courses.

Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative Launches Mayoral Program

The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative has launched the pilot of its year-long Mayors Program on City Leadership.  Program Faculty Director Jorrit de Jong of the HKS MLD Area says, “We have a great cohort of 40 mayors who are excited about the opportunities we are offering them and have high expectations. This year will be a pilot year and we put systems in place to enable rapid learning, in depth evaluation as well as ongoing impact assessment.”  In the course of this year-long program, mayors will be asked to identify a single priority to apply their learning to: a problem to be solved in the city, an opportunity to realize, or an organizational capability to improve.

Harvard's Jorrit de DeJong addresses city mayors
“Local government is close to the people. Mayors are most immediately held accountable when something goes wrong,” said Harvard Kennedy School Lecturer Jorrit de Jong, the initiative’s faculty director. © Bloomberg Philanthropies

For example, a mayor may choose to make her approach to reduce homelessness more data-driven, run experiments in the city’s effort to reduce obesity, or create a multi-sector approach to creating jobs. The priority may also pertain to organizational development: strengthen teaming efforts across city hall, engage front-line staff in innovation, or introduce a new performance leadership strategy. In the closing session later this year mayors will reflect on what they learned and how they would like to apply that going forward.  A subsequent program for the mayors’ senior staff will build on this innovation priority and will zoom in on the challenges of making change and delivering on the mayor’s agenda. BHCLI will follow up with several supports, including HBX Live sessions on topics that are most relevant and helpful to the greatest number of mayors, and bespoke assistance in the form of research, coaching or regional or thematic workshops.

After the Mayors Program, mayors will meet with the senior staff participating in the Senior Staff program and discuss their innovation priority. As the Senior Staff program focuses on making organizational change and strategy within and across organizational boundaries, program faculty will learn where the cities are coming from and what they are working on. Participating mayors and their staffs will benefit from this model by anchoring their learning in – and applying it to – concrete challenges in their work. Finally, the priority serves as a reference point for faculty follow ups and impact assessment. Our hope and expectation is that cities will be working on an innovation priority of their choice during their year-long engagement with the City Leadership Program.

For further details on the program launch, also read the Harvard Gazette article linked here.

Congratulations to the HKS Class of 2017!

We congratulate all of the Harvard Kennedy School masters and Ph.D. students who will be receiving their degrees today. We also specially recognize all of the students who have earned the Certificate in Management, Leadership, and Decision Sciences. While at HKS, these 223 students have shown a sustained commitment to enhancing their leadership potential,  and now they are poised to excel in their future public service endeavors.
The MLD Area faculty and staff wish our graduates all the best for the summer ahead and into the future.

For a closer look at the Harvard Kennedy School Class of 2017, read the HKS press release. HKS Commencement details, including the schedule of events and live stream links, can be found on the HKS website. Information on Harvard University’s 366th Commencement events and activities can be found on the university’s website.

Williams’s New Book Offers Guidance for Boundary Spanning Leaders

Photo of Dean WilliamsLeaders today—whether in corporations or associations, nonprofits or nations—face massive, messy, multidimensional problems. No one person or group can possibly solve them—they require the broadest possible cooperation. However, in his recent book Leadership for a Fractured World (2015, Berrett-Koehler Publishers), HKS MLD Area scholar Dean Williams argues that our leadership models are still essentially tribal: individuals with formal authority leading in the interest of their own group. Williams goes on to outline an approach that enables leaders to transcend internal and external boundaries and help people to collaborate, even people over whom they technically have no power.

Drawing on what he’s learned from years of working in countries and organizations around the world, Williams shows leaders how to approach the delicate and creative work of boundary spanning, whether those boundaries are cultural, organizational, political, geographic, religious, or structural. Sometimes leaders themselves have to be the ones who cross the boundaries between groups. Other times, a leader’s job is to build relational bridges between divided groups or even to completely break down the boundaries that block collaborative problem solving. By thinking about power and authority in a different way, leaders will become genuine change agents, able to heal wounds, resolve conflicts, and bring a fractured world together.

The book features a forward by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Book Cover of Leadership for a Fractured World by Dean Williams