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.

Sohaila Noori, 29, owner of a sewing workshop, poses at her workshop in Kabul, Afghanistan January 15, 2022.

Engaging Global Policymakers Working to Support Women in Geographies of Conflict | MLD-236 – Continuing Conflict: Old Challenges and New Debates with Rangita de Silva de Alwis

Rangita de Silva de Alwis speaking into a microphoneThis fall HKS hosts Rangita de Silva de Alwis to teach a special new course, MLD-236 Continuing Conflict: Old Challenges and New Debates.  Rangita, a full-time faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania Law School with an S.J.D. from Harvard Law School, is a globally recognized international women’s rights expert with over 25 years of experience advocating for equal representation of women across the globe. On June 23, 2022 Rangita was elected to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) for the term 2023-2026.  The CEDAW Committee—consisting of 23 experts on women’s rights from around the world—is the body of independent experts that monitors the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Rangita’s new HKS course aims to meld her policymaking and advocacy role with learning in the classroom. MLD-236 will focus on two theaters of continuing conflict: Afghanistan and the Sahel region in Africa, the world’s most conflict heavy region. Collaborating with UN Security Council non-permanent members, this class will examine these recent conflicts, its impact on women, and the role of women as peace builders. From the denial of women’s and girl’s education in the recent Taliban takeover in Afghanistan to Africa’s Sahel region’s climate collapse which has impacted a gathering crisis in food security, access to water, migration, and the feminization of poverty, the class will analyze some of the root causes of recent conflict and provide new policy imperatives through a gender perspective. The confluence of the 3 Cs, conflict, climate change and COVID will continue to have a disproportionate impact on the lives and livelihoods of women.

This course will function as a lab to incubate new ideas and provide an opportunity for students to participate directly with important global changes on policy making. Through case studies in the two regions, students will learn an array of transformative policymaking tools to address the root causes of conflict and explore new approaches to peace building. Students will also engage with recent UN Security Council resolutions and directly connect with an amazing array of current global policymakers working in these geographies of conflict.

Policy makers expected to be guest speakers (virtually) in MLD-236 include:

From Africa’s Sahel Region:

    • E. Michel Biang, Gabon’s Ambassador to the UN (Security Council)
    • E. Cheikh Niang, Senegal’s Ambassador to the UN
    • E. Lang Yabon, The Gambia’s Ambassador to the UN
    • E. Ammo Baroud, Chad’s Ambassador to the UN
    • E. Fanday Turay, Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the UN
    • E. Konfourou, Mali’s Ambassador to the UN
    • Under Secretary General Zainab Bangura, Head of UN Africa
    • David Moininia Senge, Sierra Leone Minister of Education and Innovation; Fellow MIT Media Lab

From Afghanistan:

    • Simar Samar, first woman Vice President of Afghanistan; Fellow at HKS’s Carr Center for Human Rights
    • Shukriya Barakzai, founding Chair of the Parliamentary Commission on Human Rights, Civil Society, and Women’s Rights and former Ambassador to Norway
    • Naheed Fareed, youngest woman parliamentarian and most recent Chair of the Parliamentary Commission on Human Rights, Civil Society, and Women’s Rights
    • Maria Basheer, first woman prosecutor in Afghanistan
    • Fawzia Koofi, member of Afghan delegation to Doha peace talks
Niger_Malian-refugee-sisters
Niger_Malian refugee sisters. Credit: Louise-Donovan

MLD Area chair, Hannah Riley Bowles, who also serves as Co-Director of the Women and Public Policy Program at HKS, commended Rangita’s HKS appointment, stating: “We are honored and delighted that HKS will continue to benefit from Rangita’s intellectual energy and role model. In addition to her scholarship on gender in international law, Rangita brings direct experience working with governments and international institutions to bring a gender lens to peace and security.”

Martha Minow, the 300th Anniversary University Professor at Harvard University and former Dean of Harvard Law School, recently said of Rangita, “I know of no one with more expertise, tenacity, and devotion when it comes to advancing women’s rights . . . Rangita would be a stellar contributor to the efforts to protect against gender-based violence and to make human rights meaningful regardless of an individual’s gender.”

MLD-236 with Rangita de Silva de Alwis be offered at Harvard Kennedy School in the fall semester. This course makes an excellent complement to the following other AY23 HKS courses:

If you have any questions about this course, or any other in the MLD curriculum, email Greg Dorchak, MLD Area Administrator.

About feature photo above: Sohaila Noori, 29, owner of a sewing workshop, poses at her workshop in Kabul, Afghanistan January 15, 2022.
Source: REUTERS/Ali Khara  (https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/afghan-women-losing-jobs-fast-economy-shrinks-rights-curtailed-2022-01-20/ )

Congratulations to Jennifer Lerner and Hannah Riley Bowles

The Deans of the Harvard Kennedy School recently announced two honorary title designations for MLD Area faculty members. Warm congratulations to our two colleagues!

Jennifer S. Lerner will become the Thornton F. Bradshaw Professor in Public Management at Harvard Kennedy School.

The chair is named in honor of Thornton F. Bradshaw, president of the Atlantic-Richfield Company, chairman of RCA, the MacArthur Foundation and the Aspen Institute. A graduate of Harvard University, Bradshaw served the university in various capacities, including as a member of the Board of Overseers and member of the visiting committee for Harvard Kennedy School. Jenn Lerner is a social psychologist known for her research on emotion, judgment and decision making. She is the co-founder of the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory, chairs the Leadership Decision Making executive education program at Harvard Kennedy School and serves as the first chief decision scientist of the United States Navy. She helped develop a framework to predict the effects of emotions on judgment and choice, such as the perceptions of risk, economic decisions, and attributions of responsibility. She is the author of numerous academic articles and her work has also been featured in major news outlets. Jenn teaches courses on decision making, leadership and social psychology at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Hannah Riley Bowles will become the Roy E. Larsen Senior Lecturer in Public Policy and Management at Harvard Kennedy School.

This chair is named in honor of Roy E. Larsen, the long-time publisher of Time, Inc. A graduate of Harvard University, Larsen served his alma mater as a member of the Board of Overseers, and as a benefactor of Harvard Kennedy School and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, among other leadership roles at the university. Hannah Riley Bowles, an organizational behavior scholar, is known for research on women’s leadership and the role of gender in negotiation. She serves as area chair of Management, Leadership and Decision Sciences, co-directs the Women and Public Policy Program and chairs the Women and Power executive education program at Harvard Kennedy School. Her work focuses on negotiation as a micro-mechanism of inequality and women’s leadership advancement, examining both situational barriers and individual strategies. She is the author of numerous academic articles and her work has also been featured in major news outlets. Hannah teaches courses on management, leadership, negotiation and gender at HKS.

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.