Julie Battilana

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Global Authority on Leadership, Power and Organizational Behavior Helping Leaders Successfully Initiate and Implement Divergent Change; Professor of Business Administration in the Organizational Behavior Unit, Harvard Business School; Professor of Social Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School; Founder and Faculty Chair, Social Innovation and Change Initiative; Author, “Power, for All” (2021)

Biography

Julie Battilana is the Joseph C. Wilson Professor of Business Administration in the Organizational Behavior Unit at Harvard Business School (HBS) and the Alan L. Gleitsman Professor of Social Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), where she is also the founder and faculty chair of the Social Innovation + Change Initiative. Professor Battilana currently teaches courses on power and influence for positive impact at HBS and HKS, in addition to chairing an executive education program for the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.

Professor Battilana is the author of two books. “Power, for All: How It Really Works and Why It’s Everyone’s Business” (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2021), co-authored with Tiziana Casciaro, offers a timely, democratized vision of power and argues that power is not dirty or reserved only for those at the top, but rather energy that anyone can harness to make their lives, work, and societies better. Her second book, “Democratize Work: The Case for Reorganizing the Economy,” co-authored by Isabelle Ferreras and Dominique Méda (Forthcoming, University of Chicago Press, originally published in French as Le Manifeste Travail by Le Seuil, 2020), provides a roadmap for rethinking our social and economic systems for a more just, greener, and fairer tomorrow.

In these books and through her research, Professor Battilana examines the politics of change in organizations and in society. She’s especially focused on organizations and individuals that initiate and implement changes that break with the status quo. She has developed two streams of research that address divergent change at different levels of analysis. The first focuses on understanding the conditions that enable individuals to initiate and implement divergent change within their organizations. The second examines how organizations themselves can diverge from deeply seated organizational forms, which, as they become taken-for-granted over time, prescribe the structures and management systems that organizations in a given sector ought to adopt. In this stream, Professor Battilana’s research focuses on a specific instance of hybrid organizing, namely organizations that simultaneously pursue social and environmental objectives alongside financial ones.

Professor Battilana has articles published in Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Harvard Business Review, Journal of Business Ethics, Leadership Quarterly Management, Management Science, Organization, Organization Science, Organization Studies, Research in Organizational Behavior, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and Strategic Organization. Her research has been featured in publications like Bloomberg, Businessweek, Forbes, Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, and The Guardian. She was previously a regular contributor to the French newspaper Le Monde.

A native of France, Battilana earned a B.A. in sociology and economics and an M.A. in political sociology and M.Sc. in organizational sociology and public policy from École Normale Supérieure de Cachan. She also holds a degree from HEC Business School, and a joint Ph.D. in organizational behavior from INSEAD, and in management and economics from École Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay.

Julie Battilana is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person meetings, interactive workshops, and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Videos

Books & Research

Democratize Work: The Case for Reorganizing the Economy

(University of Chicago Press, May 2022)

Don't Let Power Corrupt You

(Harvard Business School, September-October 2021)

Power, for All: How It Really Works and Why It's Everyone's Business

(Simon & Schuster, August 2021)

Cracking the Organizational Challenge Of Pursuing Joint Social and Financial Goals: Social Enterprise as a Laboratory to Understand Hybrid Organizing

(AIMS, 2018)

Blurring the Boundaries: The Interplay of Gender and Local Communities in the Commercialization of Social Ventures

(Harvard Business School, September 2017)

Harnessing Productive Tensions in Hybrid Organizations: The Case of Work Integration Social Enterprises

(Academy of Management Journal, November 2014)

Advancing Research on Hybrid Organizing – Insights from the Study of Social Enterprises

(Academy of Management Journal, January 2014)

Communicating Change: When Identity Becomes a Source of Vulnerability for Institutional Challengers

(Harvard Business School, 2014)

Overcoming Resistance to Organizational Change: Strong Ties and Affective Cooptation

(Harvard Business School, April 2013)

Organizing for Society: A Typology of Social Entrepreneuring Models

(Harvard Business School, December 2012)

The Enabling Role of Social Position in Diverging from the Institutional Status Quo: Evidence from the U.K. National Health Service

(Harvard Business School, July-August 2011)

Leadership Competencies for Implementing Planned Organizational Change

(Harvard Business School, June 2010)

The Circulation of Ideas across Academic Communities: When Locals Re-import Exported Ideas

(Harvard Business School, June 2010)

Building Sustainable Hybrid Organizations: The Case of Commercial Microfinance Organizations

(Harvard Business School, December 2010)

Power, Social Influence and Organizational Change: A Network Perspective

(Harvard Business School, 2010)

How Actors Change Institutions: Towards a Theory of Institutional Entrepreneurship

(Harvard Business School, 2009)

Acting Globally but Thinking Locally? The Enduring Influence of Local Communities on Organizations

(Harvard Business School, 2009)

Agency and Institutions: The Enabling Role of Individuals' Social Position

(Harvard Business School, September 2006)

Media

The Steps Needed To Empower the Powerless (Audio)

April 10, 2022

Power for All: How It Really Works and Why It's Everyone's Business with Julie Battilana (Audio)

April 1, 2022

Power Is the Ability to Influence Behaviour — To Create Sustainable Change, You Need to Map Power

March 25, 2022

Sharing Power Is a Sign of Strength Not Weakness

February 21, 2022

Julie Battilana and Tiziana Casciaro. Power, for All: How It Works and Why It’s Everyone’s Business

January 31, 2022

Power, for All: How It Really Works and Why It’s Everyone’s Business

December 6, 2021

Vive la Révolution (Audio)

November 15, 2021

As COP26 Unfolds, We Need to Demand More of Our Leaders

November 9, 2021

Power for All (Audio)

October 12, 2021

How Do We Make Sure the Right People End Up with Power in Organizations?

October 4, 2021

Power? You Likely Have More Of It Than You Think

October 1, 2021

Don't Let Power Corrupt You

(September-October 2021)

The Psychology of Power (Audio)

September 29, 2021

Vox Logo

The Problem With Corporate “Values”

September 29, 2021

Power, for All: How It Really Works and Why It’s Everyone’s Business (Video)

September 29, 2021

Sorting Out the Return to Work: Give Employees Autonomy to Decide for Themselves

September 25, 2021

Conversations That Matter: Power for All (Audio)

September 3, 2021

Purdue Pharma Is Dissolved (Audio)

September 2, 2021

Julie Battilana-Power for All-What Is It? How Do We Obtain and Use It to Change the World? (Audio)

September 2, 2021

The Balance of Power Between Employees and Employers (Video)

September 2, 2021

Feeling Powerless at Work? Time to Agitate, Innovate, and Orchestrate

August 31, 2021

Julie Battilana on How Power Can Be Used for Good (Audio)

August 31, 2021

Has The Pandemic Economy Given Workers More Power? (Audio)

August 30, 2021

No, the Pandemic Hasn’t Given Workers More Power. But That Could Change.

August 26, 2021

Power Can Be Abused, Scholars Say, or Harnessed for the Greater Good

August 24, 2021

For Social Business to Become the Norm, We Need to Build a Social Business Infrastructure

May 19, 2021

Democratizing Work for the People and the Planet

May 19, 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic Shows Why People and the Environment Should Be at the Heart of Business

May 16, 2020

Let’s Democratize and Decommodify Work

May 15, 2020

Power Sharing Can Change Corporations for the Better

May 13, 2021

Building a Movement

March 1, 2019

The Dual-Purpose Playbook

(March-April 2019)

How to Heed BlackRock's Call for Corporate Social Responsibility

February 2018

Why Many Women Social Entrepreneurs Avoid Commercial Models

December 8, 2017

A-Z Name

Battilana, Julie

Biography

Julie Battilana is the Joseph C. Wilson Professor of Business Administration in the Organizational Behavior Unit at Harvard Business School (HBS) and the Alan L. Gleitsman Professor of Social Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), where she is also the founder and faculty chair of the Social Innovation + Change Initiative. Professor Battilana currently teaches courses on power and influence for positive impact at HBS and HKS, in addition to chairing an executive education program for the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.

Professor Battilana is the author of two books. “Power, for All: How It Really Works and Why It’s Everyone’s Business” (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2021), co-authored with Tiziana Casciaro, offers a timely, democratized vision of power and argues that power is not dirty or reserved only for those at the top, but rather energy that anyone can harness to make their lives, work, and societies better. Her second book, “Democratize Work: The Case for Reorganizing the Economy,” co-authored by Isabelle Ferreras and Dominique Méda (Forthcoming, University of Chicago Press, originally published in French as Le Manifeste Travail by Le Seuil, 2020), provides a roadmap for rethinking our social and economic systems for a more just, greener, and fairer tomorrow.

In these books and through her research, Professor Battilana examines the politics of change in organizations and in society. She’s especially focused on organizations and individuals that initiate and implement changes that break with the status quo. She has developed two streams of research that address divergent change at different levels of analysis. The first focuses on understanding the conditions that enable individuals to initiate and implement divergent change within their organizations. The second examines how organizations themselves can diverge from deeply seated organizational forms, which, as they become taken-for-granted over time, prescribe the structures and management systems that organizations in a given sector ought to adopt. In this stream, Professor Battilana’s research focuses on a specific instance of hybrid organizing, namely organizations that simultaneously pursue social and environmental objectives alongside financial ones.

Professor Battilana has articles published in Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Harvard Business Review, Journal of Business Ethics, Leadership Quarterly Management, Management Science, Organization, Organization Science, Organization Studies, Research in Organizational Behavior, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and Strategic Organization. Her research has been featured in publications like Bloomberg, Businessweek, Forbes, Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, and The Guardian. She was previously a regular contributor to the French newspaper Le Monde.

A native of France, Battilana earned a B.A. in sociology and economics and an M.A. in political sociology and M.Sc. in organizational sociology and public policy from École Normale Supérieure de Cachan. She also holds a degree from HEC Business School, and a joint Ph.D. in organizational behavior from INSEAD, and in management and economics from École Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay.

Julie Battilana is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person meetings, interactive workshops, and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Speech Topics

Power, for All

In this book talk, Professor Battilana, will discuss the fundamentals of power, debunk the common myths surrounding it, and discuss how to harness power for positive impact in our lives and in the world. Through her teaching at Harvard Business School and as the Founder and Faculty Chair of the Social Innovation and Change Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School, Professor Battilana has taught and worked closely with hundreds of change makers and leaders in social innovation across multiple sectors over the years. Building on this work and nearly two decades of researching the politics of change in organizations and society, she will share her insights into what power really is and what it is not, as well as how to identify your own sources of power. This discussion will help you understand and navigate power in your relationships, organizations, and society and see power not as dirty business, but instead energy that can be used for good.

Confronting Today’s Multidimensional Crisis: Leveraging Power to Transform Our Social and Economic Systems

We face today a multidimensional crisis: the intersection of a global public health pandemic, increasing gaps in income and wealth, continued racial and gender inequalities, and the decline of democracy, all happening in front of the backdrop of worsening global warming. This multidimensional crisis is fundamentally a crisis of “power concentration.” To help tackle this crisis, change makers need to develop a deep understanding of the inner workings of power, which is an essential ingredient for effecting social change.

This talk will dive into what change makers must know about power and must do with it to confront the multidimensional crisis, fight the massive concentration of power, and change our social and economic systems to make them more fair, more green, and more just. Leaning on Battilana’s two books—Power, For All (2021), and Democratize Work: The Case for Reorganizing the Economy (2022), and her research on change implementation, this session will cover the fundamentals of power, debunk three common (and dangerous!) myths about power, and reveal the importance of power sharing and holding power accountable to change the systems that perpetuate inequality and environmental destruction.

Media

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Books & Research

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Workshops

Becoming Effective Change Makers

Introducing change in organizations and in society can prove very challenging. Numerous studies show that people tend to instinctively oppose such initiatives because they diverge from well-established norms and disrupt existing power structures. At the same time, much of their resistance is not overt, or sometimes even conscious. So change makers must infer people’s attitudes, and then work to bring them on side. However, some do succeed—often spectacularly—at transforming their organizations, communities, or sectors of society. What makes one manager triumph in a situation when the vast majority would fail? Existing models of change management provide only partial answers as to why the results are so variable. So, we will set out to investigate what successful change agents do differently. In this session, we will see that the key to successfully implementing change is understanding power in order to use your own effectively. We will discuss the fundamentals of power, debunk the common myths surrounding it, and discuss how to harness power for positive impact in our lives and in the world. By explaining what power is and what it is not, as well as how to identify your own sources of power, this discussion will help you understand and navigate power in your relationships, organizations, and society and see power not as dirty business, but instead energy that can be used for good.

Recommendations

Reviews for “Democratize Work”

“A cornerstone for building a fairer and more inclusive society. A must-read.”

— Thomas Piketty, author of “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”

“Exciting yet viable — the framework to mobilize for change and an essential handbook for everyone hoping for a better future.”

— Jayati Ghosh, University of Massachusetts Amherst

“This brilliant book makes the most compelling, comprehensive, and accessible case yet for democratizing work. It shows how we all have a stake in empowering workers at work — not only for the sake of workers, but for democracy at large, and a more sustainable planet.”

— Elizabeth Anderson, University of Michigan

“This book powerfully makes the case that democracy cannot be limited to political institutions but also belongs in the workplace. As technology and a global pandemic are radically remaking our relations at work, this book offers desperately needed guidance for achieving a more just and inclusive economic system. Imaginative, empirically informed, and motivated by a profound humanity, this is a [sic] normative social science at its best.”

— Debra Satz, Stanford University

Reviews for “Power, for All”

Cited in:

    • “10 new books to read in August” — Fortune.
    • “FT business books: August edition” — Financial Times

“A remarkably insightful read on what power is, how it’s gained and lost, and how it can be used for good. The masterful analysis by two leading experts will make you rethink some of your most basic assumptions about influence.”

— Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of “Think Again”

“Power dynamics are tricky, frustrating and frequently destructive. A central cause is the lack of a concrete, usable model for thinking through how to diagnose and shift power dynamics. In ‘Power, for All,’ Battilana and Casciaro fill this void by providing both a model and numerous case studies to illustrate how each one of us can manage power to more productive ends.”

— Roger Martin, Bestselling author of “Playing to Win”

‘Power, for All’ is an instant classic: a brilliantly conceived, beautifully written and highly informative guide to the critical but often misunderstood phenomenon of power. Battilana and Casciaro weave together insights from a wide range of research studies—brought to life through compelling stories—to present a profoundly moral case for how to use power to make our world better.”

— Amy C. Edmondson, Harvard Business School professor and author of “The Fearless Organization”

“In ‘Power, for All,’ Battilana and Casciaro help us understand that power doesn’t always have to destroy and take—it can be used to serve and build; and they show us how to organize in a way that combines our power with others. A necessary work for this cultural moment.”

— Tarana Burke Founder of the ‘me too’ movement and co-author of The New York Times bestseller “You Are Your Best Thing”

“In an age when authoritarians are on the rise and freedoms are imperiled, Julie Battilana and Tiziana Casciaro offer a fresh, more hopeful view of how power can be shared by all citizens. Their conclusions, rooted in research and world-wide reporting, show that power can be dirty but in honorable hands, can also be an enormous force for good. This book will be invaluable to anyone asking how to acquire power, how to keep it and how to exercise it for moral purposes.”

— David Gergen, CNN political analyst and adviser to four U.S. presidents

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