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Rosabeth Moss Kanter

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Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor, Harvard Business School Chair & Director, Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative

Rosabeth Moss Kanter holds the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professorship at Harvard Business School, specializing in strategy, innovation, and leadership for change. Her strategic and practical insights guide leaders worldwide through teaching, writing and direct consultation to major corporations, governments and start-up ventures. She co-founded the Harvard University-wide Advanced Leadership Initiative, guiding its planning from 2005 to its launch in 2008 and serving as founding chair and director from 2008 to 2018 as it became a growing international model for a new stage of higher education preparing successful top leaders to apply their skills to national and global challenges. Author or co-author of 20 books, her latest book, to be published in January 2020, is Think Outside the Building: How Advanced Leaders Can Change the World One Smart Innovation at a Time.

The former chief editor of Harvard Business Review, Professor Kanter has been repeatedly named to lists such as the “50 most powerful women in the world” (Times of London), and the “50 most influential business thinkers in the world” (Thinkers 50, and is now in their Hall of Fame). She has received 24 honorary doctoral degrees, as well as numerous leadership awards, lifetime achievement awards and prizes. These include distinguished career awards from the Academy of Management and the American Sociological Association (Organizations, Occupations and Work Section); the World Teleport Association's “Intelligent Community Visionary of the Year” award; the Pinnacle Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce; the International Leadership Award from the Association of Leadership Professionals; the Warren Bennis Award for Leadership Excellence; the Everett Rogers Innovation Award from the Norman Lear Center for media and society; and several Harvard Business Review McKinsey Awards for the years’ best articles. Other awards honor her thought leadership and community impact.

Before Think Outside the Building, her previous book, MOVE: Putting America's Infrastructure Back in the Lead, a New York Times Editors’ Choice, is a sweeping look across industries and technologies shaping the future of mobility and the leadership required for transformation. Her book The Change Masters was named one of the most influential business books of the 20th century (Financial Times); SuperCorp: How Vanguard Companies Create Innovation, Profits, Growth, and Social Good, one of the ten best business books of the year by; Evolve! Succeeding in the Digital Culture of Tomorrow, one of the five best books of the year by the Toronto Star. Her book Confidence: How Winning & Losing Streaks Begin & End, a New York Times bestseller (also a #1 Business Week bestseller), describes the culture of high-performance organizations compared with those in decline and shows how to lead turnarounds, whether in businesses, schools, sports teams, or countries. Men & Women of the Corporation, winner of the C. Wright Mills award for the best book on social issues and often called a classic, offers insight into the individual and organizational factors that promote success or perpetuate disadvantage for women; a related video, A Tale of ‘O’: On Being Different, is a widely-used tool for diversity training. A related book, Work & Family in the United States, set a policy agenda, honored by a coalition of university centers creating in her honor the Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for the best work/family research. Another award-winning book, When Giants Learn to Dance, shows how to master the new terms of competition at the dawn of the global information age. World Class: Thriving Locally in the Global Economy identifies the dilemmas of globalization for cities, a theme continuing in her book MOVE.

She advises numerous CEOs and senior executives through her consulting group and also served as a senior advisor for IBM’s Global Citizenship portfolio from 1999 to 2012. She has served on many business and nonprofit boards, such as City Year, the urban “Peace Corps” addressing the school dropout crisis through national service, and on commissions including the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors, the U.S. Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, and others. She speaks widely, and has shared the platform with presidents, prime ministers, and CEOs at major events, such as the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and national industry conferences in over 20 countries. Before joining the Harvard Business School faculty, she held tenured professorships at Yale University and Brandeis University and was a fellow at Harvard Law School, simultaneously holding a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her doctorate is from the University of Michigan.

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