Enews September 2017


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Greetings to all Learn & Perform subscribers,

Welcome to the Learn and Perform E-News! This is Palan, the contributing editor for this month.

In this E news, September 2017, we will cover the following:


1. The Three Types of Leaders Who Create Radical Change


2. SMR News


The Three Types of Leaders Who Create Radical Change


Julie Battilana, the Joseph C. Wilson Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School says that every successful social movement requires three distinct leadership roles: the agitator, the innovator, and the orchestrator. Author Carmen Noble has in the recent HBR reviewed the thought provoking article written by Julia with Marissa Kimsey, a research associate at HB and one that appeared in the new issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review.

What determines whether a social movement will be a flash in the pan or a real catalyst for long term change? Why did Occupy Wall Street subside in a matter of months, for instance, while the American Civil Rights Movement thrived, resulting in the passage of multiple laws? I extract some important highlights of the article for our learning. Julie Battilana, a long-time scholar of institutional change, has identified common themes among those social movements that don’t merely broadcast the need for a social change, but actually create long-term impact. Any successful pathway to societal change requires all three leadership roles.

“If you look at the history of any successful social change movement, you’ll see there were moments of really effective agitation, innovation and orchestration that led to the adoption of the change,”

“Although history remembers some individual actors as highly influential, single leaders rarely change the course of society on their own.”

The Agitator stirs the pot by articulating and publicising societal grievances, rallying an otherwise diverse group of people around a mutual desire for change.

The Innovator develops a solution to address the grievances. That means anticipating roadblocks and coming up with alternative paths as well as justifying those alternatives in appealing ways to engage individuals, groups and organisations to support them. Without leaders who can lay out a persuasive path of innovation, a movement will never make it past the agitation stage, Battilana argues.

The Orchestrator spreads the solution created by the innovator, continually strategising how best to reach and work with people both within and outside the movement, as the movement for change grows in size and complexity.

“Orchestrators often need to tailor their message to the interests of the various constituencies they are trying to persuade to embrace the change,” Battilana says. “However, in doing so, they need to strike a fine balance, as they also need to ensure that the overall message around change adoption remains coherent.”

“Agitation without innovation means complaints without alternatives, and innovation without orchestration means ideas without impact,” the authors say. Battilana and Kimsey explain that each role requires a combination of communicating, organising and evaluating.

“Most movements are full of hidden heroes” Battilana also warns that effecting change does not guarantee glory. Behind any successful movement lies a great deal of thankless determination and sweat. “Societal change takes time, it takes a lot of work, and most of the time you’re not going to get a lot of recognition,” she says. “Most movements are full of hidden heroes, if you will. No one may ever know about them. Some of them had to work their whole lives and didn’t see the moment when finally things changed. But they played key roles in agitation, orchestration, or innovation.”


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Will be in touch soon.

Best wishes,


Contributing Editor, Learn & Perform E News



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