Leading Outside the Lines: How to Mobilize the Informal Organization, Energize Your Team, and Get Better Results

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9780470589021: Leading Outside the Lines: How to Mobilize the Informal Organization, Energize Your Team, and Get Better Results
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An all-new approach to understanding the (in)formal connections of an organization

From the bestselling coauthor of the business classic The Wisdom of Teams comes an all-new exploration of the modern workplace, and how leaders and managers must embrace it for success. Katzenbach and Khan examine how two distinct factions together form the bigger picture for how organizations actually work: the more defined "formal" organization of a company-the management structure, performance metrics, and processes-and the "informal"-the culture, social networks, and ad hoc communities that spring up naturally and can accelerate or hinder how the organization works. With dynamic examples from enterprises around the world, this book takes a timeless organizational approach and creates a powerful paradigm-shifting tool set for applying it.

  • Includes self-assessment guidelines for senior leaders, front-line managers, and individual contributors
  • Features organizations in business, government, the nonprofit sector, and academia-including the New York City schools system, Aetna, the Marines, United Nations, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Home Depot, Bell Canada, and the Houston Police Department

Leading Outside the Lines illustrates how leaders can make the two distinct factions work together to get the best of both.

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From the Back Cover:

Praise for Leading Outside the Lines

"Those of us who have been writing about leadership and organization for years should heave a deep sigh of relief and wonder to read this book. Leading Outside the Lines forces us to review and rethink all the twisty turns, false dichotomies, paradoxes, fuzzy or over- metricized writings—all the confusions we've been wrestling with for years—and shapes them into a coherent, useful, and wise perspective. I love this book, and so will anyone with a desire and need to understand the requirements for 21st-century leadership."
WARREN BENNIS, Distinguished Professor of Business, University of Southern California, and author, Still Surprised

"If you want to know how work really gets done, read Leading Outside the Lines! It is the best book I have ever read at explaining the difference between what is supposed to be going on—and what is really going on in organizations."
MARSHALL GOLDSMITH, author, What Got You Here Won't Get You There and MOJO

"Katzenbach and Khan's book is a must-read for leaders who want their teams to shine in terms of performance, innovation, retention, or any other metric of success. I've rarely read a book with such an extraordinary collection of fascinating, real-world examples that drive the message home."
KEITH FERRAZZI, author, Who's Got Your Back and Never Eat Alone

"Leading Outside the Lines is a very important and useful book. Through insightful storytelling and years of experience, Katzenbach and Khan provide strategic and tactical advice about how the informal organization can transform your organization, whether it grapples with radical changes in the competitive environment or the inevitable growing pains of moving from start-up to established global enterprise."
LINDA A. HILL, Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

"A must-read for anyone struggling to adapt their organization to new realities. Filled with keen insight about the formal and informal life of organizations, the book offers practical advice on how to blend the two to bring out the best in your organization."
RONALD A. WILLIAMS, chairman and CEO, Aetna

From the Inside Flap:

An all-new approach to understanding and inspiring the (in)formal connections of an organization

IN THIS DYNAMIC WORK, thought leaders Jon R. Katzenbach, coauthor of the business classic The Wisdom of Teams, and Zia Khan offer an all-new examination of the modern workplace, and how leaders and managers must embrace it for success. Together they reveal how two distinct factions form the bigger picture for how organizations actually work: the more defined and visible "formal organization" of a company—the management structure, performance metrics, and formal strategy—and the "informal organization"—the culture, social networks, and ad hoc communities that spring up naturally and, in an equally vital but different way, can accelerate or hinder an organization's success.

Through compelling case studies from enterprises around the world (in business, government, the nonprofit sector, and academia)Katzenbach and Khan explore how top-level organizations balance the informal and formal elements of organizations to achieve outstanding results. Leading Outside the Lines takes a timeless organizational approach and creates a powerful paradigm-shifting tool set for applying it, showing when you can get the most done by using the informal elements that operate under the radar, and when it is in fact better to use formal processes. Most important, it illustrates how the two can work together to get the best of both. This groundbreaking book also offers self-assessment guidelines for senior leaders, front-line managers, and individual contributors who need to get better performance results.

Insightful leaders and managers at all levels know that to really lead an organization, you cannot rely on formal constructs alone; you have to use the informal elements as well. Using the information and tools outlined in this compelling book, leaders and potential leaders at all levels can tap into the power of the informal to achieve superlative performance and results.

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