Julie Wolpers

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.

Linda Hill serves as a peer reviewer for ‘ACT Report’ aiming to transform DEI in tech

ACT Report - 'It was my privilege to be a peer reviewer of this important report. Now we all have a playbook to move the needle on DEI in tech.' -Linda Hill (image of report cover and photo of Linda Hill)

The ACT Report lays out 4 recommendations and 10 actions that tech companies and leaders can take to shift the DEI paradigm

CAMBRIDGE, MA (Nov. 5, 2021) – Harvard Business School Professor Linda Hill, a founding partner at Paradox Strategies, was among 7 peer reviewers for a just-released report calling for bold, collective action in the tech industry and elsewhere to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

Produced by a coalition of 29 leading experts in academia and tech, Action to Catalyze Tech (ACT) challenges tech companies to open-source DEI best practices, collaborate on systemic solutions, and increase accountability to drive change. Over 30 CEOs and leaders have pledged to take action.

“It was my privilege to be a peer reviewer of this important report,” Dr. Hill said. “Now we all have a playbook to move the needle on DEI in tech.”

The report says CEOs must approach and resource DEI like any other business imperative. Companies won’t move the needle on DEI until they introduce systemic efforts, led by top leadership, that drive accountability for DEI throughout the company, it states.

“At Paradox Strategies we believe successful DEI efforts begin with an organizational diagnosis supported by top leadership,” said Managing Partner Taran Swan. “A comprehensive diagnostic can drive the development of an actionable DEI strategy that senior management is accountable to and that can be cascaded throughout the organization.”

Convened by the Aspen Institute, the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), PwC, and Snap Inc., a cross-industry working group partnered for more than a year to aggregate relevant, research-based actions that businesses can take to help radically improve DEI outcomes.

The ACT Report compiles this research and provides a blueprint and tools for companies from startups to mature organizations to implement to drive internal and sector-wide change. The full report is available here.

A coalition press release said executives from organizations including Airbnb, Apple, Dropbox, Etsy, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Salesforce, Spotify, and Uber, have committed to being founding signatories of the ACT Report, pledging to hold themselves and their companies accountable to accelerate progress toward achieving DEI success. Together, these founding signatories represent more than 500,000 tech employees.

Paradox Strategies offers a full range of solutions to support DEI initiatives, and produced a report on DEI best practices earlier this year.

Related: See our 3-part series on building diversity

One of HBR’s 10 must reads 2023: Drive innovation with better decision-making

Photo of a lightbulb by Diego PH on Unsplash

***This article has been selected for HBR’s 10 Must Reads 2023: The Definitive Management Ideas of the Year from Harvard Business Review – coming in October!***

Don’t let old habits undermine your organization’s creativity.
By Linda A. Hill, Emily Tedards, and Taran Swan
in Harvard Business Review

Despite their embrace of agile methods, many firms striving to innovate are struggling to produce breakthrough ideas. A key culprit is an outdated, inefficient approach to decision-making.

Today’s discovery-driven innovation processes involve an unprecedented number of choices, from which ideas to pursue to countless decisions about how to conduct experiments, what data to collect, and so on. But these choices are often made too slowly and informed by obsolete information and narrow perspectives.

To align their decision-making processes with agile approaches, businesses need to include diverse points of view, clarify decision rights, match the cadence of decisions to the pace of learning, and encourage candid conflict in service of a better experience for the end customer. Only then will all that rapid experimentation pay off.

In the November-December 2021 edition of Harvard Business Review, co-authors Linda A. Hill, Emily Tedards, and Taran Swan suggest best practices for these interventions, 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.

About the authors

  • Linda A. Hill is a founding partner at Paradox Strategies and the Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. She is author of Becoming a Manager and coauthor of Being the Boss and Collective Genius.
  • Emily Tedards is a research associate at Harvard Business School.
  • Taran Swan is a managing partner at Paradox Strategies.

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