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.

Your Body Chemistry and Professional Status – New Research from HKS MLD Professor Jennifer Lerner

Power and professional status are often associated with myriad environmental factors including education and upbringing, but a new research study provides compelling fresh evidence linking professional status attainment with the interaction of two biological hormones.

“Testosterone, Cortisol and Attained Status” is co-authored by five leading academics in the field of bio-behavioral science, including Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Professor Jennifer Lerner.

The paper is forthcoming in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.  

Complete story here:  http://www.hks.harvard.edu/news-events/news/articles/body-chemistry-and-professional-status