Beyond Sink or Swim: The Case for Accelerating Leadership Transitions

Given the magnitude of the overall organizational impact, it is surprising how few companies invest in helping their precious leadership assets to succeed during transitions—the most critical junctures in their careers. A few companies explicitly train their managers how to take charge. More common are “on-boarding” programs that introduce outside hires to the strategy, businesses, and culture of the company. While useful, such programs seldom … [ Read more ]

Breakthrough Business Negotiation: A Toolbox for Managers

Breakthrough Business Negotiation is a definitive guide to negotiating in any business situation. This smart and practical book by Michael Watkins, a leading expert in negotiation at Harvard Business School, presents principles that apply to any negotiation situation and tools to achieve breakthrough results. Step by step, Breakthrough Business Negotiation demonstrates how to diagnose a situation, build coalitions, manage internal decision making, persuade others, organize … [ Read more ]

Rx for New CEOs

The decisions new CEOs make during their first few months on the job have a decisive impact on whether they ultimately succeed or fail. The transition period is a time of opportunity, but also great vulnerability, especially when new leaders are expected to change their organizations in fundamental ways.

Based on research and experience working with senior executives in transition, the following eight fundamental principles … [ Read more ]

The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels

This earnest guide to career transition periods-when a new job or promotion puts an employee in an unfamiliar role-asserts, reassuringly, that navigating the all-important first 90 days is a “teachable skill.” Business professor Watkins, co-author of Right From the Start: Taking Charge in a New Leadership Role, lays out a “standard framework” for leadership transitions, based on “five fundamental propositions,” “ten key challenges,” and a … [ Read more ]

Your Crisis Response Plan: The Ten Effective Elements

Shooter on site. Epidemic. Major power outage. Is your organization prepared to deal with crisis? HBS professor Michael Watkins explains what you need to know, and offers a checklist to evaluate your preparedness.

How to Succeed With Your New Boss

We all know it’s true: Managing up is as important as managing down. That’s especially true when you are starting a relationship with a new boss. HBS professor Michael Watkins discusses the importance of clearly defining goals with your superior.

Breakthrough Negotiation: Don’t Leave It On the Table

In a new book, Breakthrough International Negotiation: How Great Negotiators Transformed the World’s Toughest Post-Cold War Conflicts, Harvard Business School professor Michael Watkins dissects the art of give-and-take. This excerpt details 7 principles followed by master negotiators:
1. Breakthrough negotiators shape the structure of their situations
2. Breakthrough negotiators organize to learn
3. Breakthrough negotiators are masters of process design
4. … [ Read more ]