Julie Wolpers

Essential secrets to building a strong relationship with your boss

What is one of the essential secrets to building a strong relationship with your boss? Dr. Linda Hill, Harvard professor and co-founder of Paradox Strategies, explains value creation and game changing in this compelling podcast.

Episode summary: Great leadership requires being both a value creator and a game changer. In this episode of The Parlor Room, host Chris Linnane sits down with HBS Professor Linda Hill to explore what that means through the lens of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine development. They also discuss the paradoxes of management and the three roles leaders must play to innovate and meet customers’ needs in the digital age.

The Parlor Room is an official podcast of Harvard Business School Online.

See the episode details and related resources on HBS.

Being the Boss learning journey earns 2023 Brandon Hall Group Gold Award in DEI for initiative at Reprise Digital

With Paradox Strategies’ Being the Boss learning journey at its core, elevateHER, a strategic women’s leadership development initiative at Reprise Digital, has won a 2023 Brandon Hall Group Gold HCM Excellence Award in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Best Advance in Leadership Development for Women, organizers of the highly esteemed awards program have announced.

Reprise Digital, a division of The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (IPG) and a global digital marketing agency, teamed up with our partners at Advantage Performance Group to deploy Paradox Strategies’ Being the Boss, a mobile app and an accompanying learning journey, as part of the initiative to increase representation of women leaders in senior leadership ranks across the globe.

Best Advance in Leadership Development for Women

The Being the Boss learning journey, combined with internal mentorship and custom curated workshops, has effectively advanced the company’s need to support and develop women leaders globally. This program targeted specific development needs of women leaders at mid-level management and promoted a culture of diversity, helping to support women in their wholistic needs for advancing in leadership roles.

“It is exciting to have our work recognized and celebrated. It was a pleasure sharing the Being the Boss journey with these inspiring women,” said Paradox Strategies Founding Partner Dr. Linda Hill. who is also a Harvard leadership professor and author of the widely acclaimed book on which the app and learning journey are based. “Our combined approach of self-paced content and reinforcement sessions had a powerful effect on participants. Their impressive work in the program led to promotions and increased responsibility. We see women thrive after completing the program, and I am eager to see where their careers take them.”

“As a senior female HR leader, I see first-hand that the need for programs and resources which support rising female leaders in passing the plateau of mid-level leadership is particularly evident and vital for the overall diversity and success of the organization.” said Michelle Crenshaw, Global Chief Talent Officer for Reprise and executive sponsor for the program.

“At Reprise, we made a commitment to further the careers of our high-potential female talent, through our elevateHER program and a key partnership with Advantage Performance utilizing the Being the Boss curriculum. Moreover, we are proud of the growth and success of this program across two cohort cycles so far and are compelled to renew that commitment and investment year over year, as we collectively work toward the betterment of the agency as a whole,” Michelle said.

Reprise has seen steady gains in female retention, new hires, and promotions.

The program included a powerful combination of self-paced content, via the leadership development app Being the Boss, and reinforcement sessions, including talks by Dr. Hill. Participants were high potential women from four markets: Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the U.S. These participants experienced promotions and increased responsibility following the program.

The camaraderie between the participants is an important component of the Being the Boss journey. One participant said, “It feels like we are not alone.”

“We are delighted with our partnership with a client that values leadership development and invests in the advancement of women leaders,” said Selva Blum, senior leadership development consultant at Advantage. “Through this program, they have made significant progress in building a strong diverse pipeline of leaders at a global level.”

“Dr. Linda Hill’s timeless imperatives for becoming a great leader resonate profoundly, particularly in the context of the challenges that women often navigate on their journey to leadership excellence,” she said. “I am personally grateful and honored to have met the remarkable women leaders in the program and witnessed their dedication to their resilience, growth, and development.”

About the award

Now entering its 30th year, the Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards is among the most prestigious awards program in the industry. Often called the “Academy Awards” by learning, talent and business executives, the program was one of the first of its kind when it debuted in 1993. The awards recognize the best organizations that have successfully developed and deployed programs, strategies, modalities, processes, systems, and tools that have achieved measurable results. We are honored to receive applications from organizations around the world ranging from small, medium, large, and global enterprises, to government, not-for-profits, and associations.

The 2023 Brandon Hall Group HCM Excellence Awards™ recognize best practices for initiatives in Learning and Development, Talent Management, Leadership Development, Talent Acquisition, Human Resources, Sales Performance, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and the Future of Work.

“Excellence Award winners are shown to be organizations that truly value their employees and invest in them through their human capital management programs. These HCM programs have been validated as best in class for business value and the impact on the employees themselves,” said Brandon Hall Group Chief Operating Officer Rachel Cooke, HCM Excellence Awards program leader.

Entries were evaluated by a panel of veteran, independent senior industry experts, Brandon Hall Group analysts, and executives based on these criteria:

  • Excellence Award winners will continue to be honored at Brandon Hall Group’s HCM Excellence Conference, February 13-15, 2024, at the Hilton West Palm Beach, Florida. Select winners also will serve as presenters in breakout sessions, sharing their leading practices during the conference.

“Our award winners are relentless in their pursuit of excellence,” said Brandon Hall Group Chief Executive Officer Mike Cooke. “We have received some of the most innovative use of HCM strategy that we have seen in the last 30 years, and in most cases, technology and collaboration across departments have helped them achieve amazing business results.”


Brandon Hall Group™ is a professional development company that offers data, research, insights, and certification to learning and talent executives and organizations. For over 30 years, they have empowered, recognized, and certified excellence in organizations worldwide, influencing the development of over 10 million employees and executives. The HCM Excellence Awards program was the first to recognize organizations for learning and talent and is the gold standard, known as the “Academy Awards of Human Capital Management.”

The awards recognize the best organizations that have successfully developed and deployed programs, strategies, modalities, processes, systems, and tools that have achieved measurable results. They are honored to receive applications from organizations worldwide ranging from small, medium, large, and global enterprises to government, not-for-profits, and associations.

View the complete list of award winners on their website.

To learn more about Being the Boss or how to bring it to your organization, contact us via the form below. We’d love to share more!

What makes a great leader?

Leaders of the future must master 3 key roles to drive impact and innovation: architect, bridger, and catalyst

Writing in Harvard Business Review, Paradox Strategies Founding Partner Linda Hill (with Emily Tedards, Jason Wild, and Karl Weber) describes how great leaders of the future must master 3 key roles – architect, bridger, and catalyst – to drive innovation and impact.

As architects, they build the culture and capabilities for co-creation.

As bridgers, they curate and enable networks of talent inside and outside their organizations to co-create.

And as catalysts, they lead beyond their organizational boundaries to energize and activate co-creation across entire ecosystems.

These ABCs require leaders to stop relying on formal authority as their source of power and shift to a style that enables diverse talent to collaborate, experiment, and learn together — a challenging yet essential personal transformation.

Transforming healthcare: Linda Hill shares insights on digital transformation

Dr. Linda Hill joins Maria Whitman on the Transforming Biopharma podcast

Appearing on the Transforming Biopharma podcast with Maria Whitman, Paradox Strategies Founding Partner Linda Hill shares innovation strategies that can help biopharma leaders embrace and guide their organizations through digital transformation.

Dr. Hill brings concepts from her award-winning, research-based book on innovation, Collective Genius, to bear on some of the biggest challenges in the biopharma and healthcare industries today.

Highlights from the episode:

Listen to the full episode here:

Harvard Business Review chooses articles by Paradox Strategies authors for exclusive book collections

Writing by Linda Hill and Taran Swan featured in 'HBR at 100' and 'HBR's 10 Must Reads 2023'

Articles by Linda Hill and Taran Swan are featured in 'HBR at 100' and 'HBR's 10 Must Reads 2023'

Two articles by Paradox Strategies authors have been selected for inclusion in exclusive book collections by Harvard Business Review.

In a book released earlier this summer, HBR at 100: The Most Influential and Innovative Articles from Harvard Business Review’s First Century, editors celebrated the publication’s 100th anniversary with a commemorative volume of what they are calling the most influential voices on innovative topics since its inception. Linda Hill’s 2007 HBR article, Becoming the Boss, about becoming a first-time manager, was selected as among “the most definitive management ideas in a century.”

For decades, Linda has studied how star performers transition into management. “The shelves are lined with books describing effective and successful leaders. But very few address the challenges of learning to lead, especially for the first-time manager,” she notes. This article represents the culmination of her decades of research and case studies that have since fueled leadership development initiatives designed to make that difficult transition much easier. It was also an important precursor to her definitive management book, Being the Boss.

In a second book collection, an article by Paradox Strategies’ Linda Hill and Taran Swan with Harvard Business School research associate Emily Tedards has been selected for the highly curated upcoming publication of HBR’s 10 Must Reads 2023: The Definitive Management Ideas of the Year from Harvard Business Review – coming in October.

The article, Drive Innovation with Better Decision-Making, featured in HBR’s November-December 2021 edition, provides best practices for decision-making drawing on the story of the transformation at Pfizer’s Global Clinical Supply, which would go on to play a critical role supporting the rapid development of the pharma giant’s Covid vaccine.

Linda Hill and Brené Brown on leading with purpose in the digital age

Paradox Strategies Founding Partner Dr. Linda Hill joins Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead podcast to discuss her research on leading in the digital age. Listen to the full episode in the player here, or access the episode on Brené’s website for the full description, show notes, and a special link to Linda’s 5 favorite songs on Spotify.

Linda Hill authors Harvard Business School Working Knowledge series on ‘Leading in the Digital Era’

RESEARCH REVEALS CRITICAL LINK BETWEEN Digital transformation AND innovation

A 3-part series

For their break-through, award-winning book in 2014, Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation, Linda Hill and her co-authors leveraged 30 years of research to discover how some organizations are able to innovate again and again. They cracked the code to help leaders everywhere gain essential insights into how to help make innovation happen within their organizations.

But since then, according to Dr. Hill, they’ve discovered something that’s been holding some organizations back – how well their organization has adapted to the digital transformation. That’s led to a new stream of research through a series of global roundtables and surveys with hundreds of leaders around the world: What does it take to lead in the digital era?

In the video below, Dr. Hill explains the critical link between digital transformation and innovation – both require a new kind of leadership.

In the following 3-part series for Working Knowledge, a publication from Harvard Business School, Dr. Hill and colleagues Ann Le Cam, Sunand Menon, and Emily Tedards reveal their latest findings on leadership in the digital era:
  1. Where Can Digital Transformation Take You? Insights from 1,700 Leaders Digital transformation seems like a journey without end, but many companies are forging ahead. Linda Hill and colleagues reveal 6 qualities that set digitally mature organizations apart.
  2. Digital Transformation: A New Roadmap for Success Is your company reaping the rewards of digital transformation yet? Linda Hill and colleagues offer 7 guiding principles for transformations at any stage—nascent, progressing, or stalled.
  3. Curiosity, Not Coding: 6 Skills Leaders Need in the Digital Age Transforming an organization starts with transforming its leaders. Data from 1,700 executives by Linda Hill and colleagues reveals the most important skills and traits leaders need now.
About the authors: Linda Hill, a founding partner at Paradox Strategies, is also the Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration and faculty chair of the Leadership Initiative at Harvard Business School. Ann Le Cam is senior vice president of global talent and animation production at Weta Digital. Sunand Menon is chief product officer of RANE, a risk intelligence company. Emily Tedards is a research associate at HBS.

Introducing The Collective Genius Simulation:
A learning journey for leading innovation develop the leadership style to foster the culture and capabilities that can unleash innovation in your organization.

Use the form below if you’d like to schedule a free preview!

Linda Hill is named to Thinkers50 Top 10 for 2021

Congratulations to Linda Hill, named to Thinkers50 Top 10 for 2021

LONDON (Nov. 17, 2021) – Thinkers50, the premier ranking of global business thinkers, today announced its 2021 ranking of management thinkers and the winners of its 11 Distinguished Achievement Awards.

Included in this year’s Top 10 ranking is Paradox Strategies Founding Partner Linda A. Hill, who is a Harvard Business School Professor and faculty chair of its Leadership Initiative and a new Women of Color Leadership Program. She is recognized as “a top expert on leadership and innovation, focused on global strategies, and how to harness creativity and engagement for strategic implementation.”

“It’s very humbling to be included on a list with so many individuals whose work I admire,” Linda said. She was first named to the Top 10 in 2013 and received the Thinkers50 Innovation Award in 2015, and she also ranked in 2019 (22), 2017 (15), 2015 (16),  and 2011 (16).

“We’re so proud of Linda and honored to work with her every day at Paradox Strategies,” said Taran Swan, managing partner, on behalf of the entire team. “Aside from having a brilliant mind, she is truly interested in people, which drives the great research she does all over the world with leaders at innovative organizations. She is humble, has a generous spirit, and a deep commitment to learning and helping leaders grow.”

Linda’s consulting and executive education activities focus on leading change and innovation, developing innovation ecosystems, the role of boards in governing innovation, talent development and implementing global strategies. Organizations with which Linda has worked include AIDA, General Electric, RELX, Accenture, UnitedHealth Group, IBM, MasterCard, Mitsubishi, Morgan Stanley, National Bank of Kuwait, AREVA, The Economist, Salesforce.com, and The World Economic Forum.

Linda has been at the forefront of developing cutting-edge learning programs for managers, including Breakthrough Leadership, the winner of the 2013 Brandon Hall Group Award for Best Advance in Unique Learning Technology. She is author of several highly-regarded books and articles on leadership, including Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation (Harvard Business Review Press 2014) and Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives of Becoming a Great Leader.

The 2021 Thinkers50 ranking is topped by Amy Edmondson of Harvard Business School. “Amy is already a Thinkers50 Award winner and has risen steadily up the ranking over recent years,” says Thinkers50 cofounder Des Dearlove. “Her work on teamworking is significant and more recently she has been the pioneer of the concept of psychological safety and author of The Fearless Organization, a ground-breaking blueprint on creating a fear-free culture. Her work is repeatedly cited by the practitioners we talk to as practical and inspiring. It combines practicality with intellectual rigour.”

The new Thinkers50 ranking is the most diverse and global to date. It features a majority of women for the first time and includes thinkers from more than ten countries (including the US, China, the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, the UK, Switzerland, Canada, Belgium and France). The new entrants to the ranking are: Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic , Chen Jin, Erica Dhawan, Frances Frei & Anne Morriss, Hubert Joly, Katy Milkman, Tsedal Neeley, Paul Polman & Andrew Winston, Navi Radjou, Megan Reitz, Laura Morgan Roberts, Sanyin Siang, and Amy Webb.

Thinkers50 Ranking 2021

1. Amy C. Edmondson (3)
2. Rita G. McGrath (5)
3. W. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne (1)
4. Alex Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur (4)
5. Roger L. Martin (2)
6. Adam Grant (10)
7. Scott Anthony (9)
8. Whitney Johnson (14)
9. Dan Pink (6)
10. Linda Hill (22)

Others in the top 50 are listed alphabetically: Marshall van Alstyne & Geoff Parker, Sinan Aral, Rachel Botsman, Tiffani Bova, Erik Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfee, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Chen Jin, Subir Chowdhury, Dorie Clark, Susan David, Erica Dhawan, Frances Frei & Anne Morriss, Francesca Gino, Heidi Grant, Lynda Gratton, Hal Gregersen, Anil K. Gupta & Haiyan Wang, Morten T. Hansen, Herminia Ibarra, Sheena Iyengar, Michael Jacobides, Hubert Joly, Frederic Laloux, Martin Lindstrom, Nilofer Merchant, Erin Meyer, Katy Milkman, Tsedal Neeley, Gianpiero Petriglieri, Paul Polman & Andrew Winston, Navi Radjou, Megan Reitz, Laura Morgan Roberts, Zhang Ruimin, Sanyin Siang, Simon Sinek, Michael Watkins, Amy Webb, Liz Wiseman, Ming Zeng.

Also announced at Thinkers50 2021 were the recipients of the Thinkers50 Distinguished Achievement Awards, dubbed the “Oscars of Management Thinking”. The award winners included the father of modern marketing, Philip Kotler, Reed Hastings (CEO of Netflix), and Hubert Joly (former CEO of BestBuy). Among the Thinkers50 landmarks were the first Australian award winner (Amantha Imber, winner of the Innovation Award), the Trinidadian duo Leon Prieto and Simone Phipps for their work on cooperative advantage, and two Africa-based winners: Louise van Rhyn (Ideas into Practice) and Nankhonde Kasonde-van den Broek (Coaching).

About Thinkers50

Founded in 2001, Thinkers50 identifies, ranks, and shares the very best management ideas globally. Every two years, the Thinkers50 Distinguished Achievement Awards recognize individual achievement 2 across a range of management categories, and the definitive global ranking of the 50 most influential business thinkers is published. The previous winners are W. Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne, Roger Martin, Clayton Christensen, CK Prahalad, Michael Porter, and Peter Drucker.