Demystifying Power. Enabling Empowerment. | MLD-340 Power and Influence for Positive Impact with Julie Battilana

Having just been awarded the Academy of Management’s George R. Terry Book Award* for her book Power, for All, Julie Battilana returns to the Harvard classroom this fall to teach MLD-340 Power and Influence for Positive Impact.

In Power, for All, Battilana and her co-author Tiziana Casciaro offer a new vision of power – what they define as the ability to influence someone else’s behavior – as deriving from having access to valued resources. Understanding what those resources are, people can take action to plan for, create, and sustain organizational and systems change. Drawing upon lessons derived from their rich research, and conveying lessons through wide-ranging case narratives, Battilana and Casciaro reveal the insights into power and influence that come from understanding (1) the two basic needs all human beings share—safety and self-esteem—and (2) the resources people seek to satisfy those needs: obvious ones, like money and status, but also less obvious and less tangible resources, like autonomy, achievement, affiliation, and morality. In sum Power, for All demystifies the essential mechanisms for acquiring and using power, showing that it is available to ALL people, not just those with personality, money, or, indeed, those willing to use intimidation, threats, or worse.

Split picture: At left: Tiziana Cascario and Julie Battilana seated together at a table. At right: book cover of their book, Power, for All.Pictured
Tiziana Casciaro and Julie Battilana with their award-winning book, Power, for All.

Building on these empowering ideas…,

…and designed for individuals at any stage of their career, Battilana’s fall course MLD-340 Power and Influence for Positive Impact will debunk the fallacies that many have about power and explore the fundamentals of power in interpersonal relationships, in organizations, and in society. In doing so, it will lift the veil on power, revealing to students what it really is, and how it works, ultimately unleashing their potential to build and use power to effect change at home, at work, and in society.

MLD-340 is ideal for students who want to make things happen, despite the obstacles that might stand in the way. Students will walk away prepared to exercise power positively to challenge the status quo in order to address the pressing social and environmental problems of our time. Students will learn conceptual models, tactical approaches, and assessment tools to develop their personal influence style and understand the political dynamics surrounding them. The subject matter in the course also specifically encourages students to use power responsibly, resist its corruptive perils, and challenges students to develop their own sense of what constitutes the ethical exercise of power and influence in their lives.  Partnering with Battilana will be a stellar array of in-class guests, each an eminent and effective changemaker in their field. Expected to join the class are:

MLD-340 is jointly listed at the Harvard Business School as HBS MBA2057 and will convene class meetings both at HBS and the Harvard Kennedy School campuses on Tuesday evenings from 4:45PM – 6:45PM. The unique, dual-classroom meeting framework intends to mirror the necessary collaboration across sectors that organizations and industries must adopt in order to address the multidimensional crises we face today and successfully effect change.  The course is a useful complement to other MLD course offerings in the areas of LeadershipNegotiationOrganizing Civic, Political, and Social Action, and even Social Enterprise. If you have any questions about this course, or any other in the MLD curriculum, email Greg Dorchak, MLD Area Administrator.

*The Academy of Management’s George R. Terry Book Award is granted annually to the book judged to have made the most outstanding contribution to the global advancement of management knowledge during the last two years. Books that contribute to the advancement of management theory, conceptualization, research, or practice are eligible for this prestigious award. Battilana and Casciaro were presented the award at the 82nd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management on August 7, 2022.

The New World Social Enterprise Fellows Program launches

The New World Social Enterprise Fellows Program is an innovative, “next-generation” incubator for highly effective social change. It draws upon the insights and expertise of the world’s top social enterprise practitioners, and the research and teaching strengths of Harvard University to home in on what works—and leave out what doesn’t—to train students to launch and figure out plans to scale-up new social ventures, propose new innovations for existing programs and organizations, and, ultimately, create far-reaching solutions for the world’s most pressing social problems.

The incubator will include HKS course work, intensive co-curricular workshops, and a strong experiential component.

Full details on the program here.

2015-16 ACADEMIC YEAR: PILOT PROGRAM BEGINS

The pilot cohort will be comprised of up to ten exceptional second year and mid-career Harvard Kennedy School students with an established commitment and desire to change the world through social enterprise. The core objective of the program is to arm students with the theoretical and practical knowledge to succeed in and strengthen the field of social enterprise.

In addition to HKS curricular studies, participants will:

  • Attend regular co-curricular sessions focused on mastery topics throughout the school year;
  • Interface with a cadre of international social entrepreneurs, major foundations, and sector leaders;
  • On a needs-basis, be eligible for an award of up to $5,000 during the academic year; and
  • Be eligible for a post-graduate job placement with a major institution, city, or social enterprise stakeholder or post-graduate funding of a start-up based on satisfactory completion of the program requirements and a competitive awards process.

The Fellows Program and Incubator has an exceptional capacity to give students the skills, experiences, peer networks, and operating knowledge needed to effectively tackle society’s most complex issues and lead social change in new and existing ventures across the nonprofit, government, and business sectors.