Rosabeth Moss Kanter quotes:

  • Organizational structures that allow divisions and departments to own their turf and people with long tenure to take root creates the same hardened group distinctions as Congressional redistricting to produce homogeneous voting blocs - all of which makes it easier to resist compromise, let alone collaboration.

  • Throughout human history, people have developed strong loyalties to traditions, rituals, and symbols. In the most effective organizations, they are not only respected but celebrated. It is no coincidence that the most highly admired corporations are also among the most profitable.

  • The boomers' biggest impact will be on eliminating the term 'retirement' and inventing a new stage of life... the new career arc.

  • The commune movement is part of a reawakening of belief in the possibilities for utopia that existed in the nineteenth century and exist again today, a belief that by creating the right social institution, human satisfaction and growth can be achieved.

  • Nations need to understand their own strengths and weaknesses, and India's tradition of dissent and democratic debate is a positive aspect.

  • The Martha Stewart trial makes clear how far women have risen in the business world. America can be proud of our equal-opportunity prosecution and conviction.

  • I was determined to achieve the total freedom that our history lessons taught us we were entitled to, no matter what the sacrifice.

  • I see the level of sophistication and knowledge about business growing dramatically. Several decades ago, only a few companies thought about international business.

  • Tribalism reflects strong ethnic or cultural identities that separate members of one group from another, making them loyal to people like them and suspicious of outsiders, which undermines efforts to forge common cause across groups.

  • Cheap labor is not going to be the way we compete in the United States. It's going to be brain power.

  • Friendly people are caring people, eager to provide encouragement and support when needed most.

  • Confidence isn't optimism or pessimism, and it's not a character attribute. It's the expectation of a positive outcome.

  • Ambivalence about family responsibilities has a long history in the corporate world.

  • I've been looking at companies that are on a positive path vs. a negative path and I've come to use the language of sports, winning streaks and losing streaks.

  • When you fail at something, the best thing to do is think back to your successes, and try to replicate whatever you did to make them happen.

  • Creativity is a lot like looking at the world through a kaleidoscope. You look at a set of elements, the same ones everyone else sees, but then reassemble those floating bits and pieces into an enticing new possibility.

  • If world problems feel too big to tackle, think small. Step by step. Small wins build confidence, lead the way to change.

  • Leaders must pick causes they won't abandon easily, remain committed despite setbacks, and communicate their big ideas over and over again in every encounter.

  • Business requires understanding financial matters, but management is different from running the financial aspects of the business - it requires understanding complex systems, how they operate, the nature of organisations, what happens when people interact in groups and how to motivate and guide people.

  • Mindless habitual behavior is the enemy of innovation.

  • Power is the ability to get things done.

  • Companies used to be able to function with autocratic bosses. We don't live in that world anymore.

  • Some social scientists say that in-group/out-group biases are hard-wired into the human brain. Even without overt prejudice, it is cognitively convenient for people to sort items into categories and respond based on what is usually associated with those categories: a form of statistical discrimination, playing the odds.

  • The creative process for me doesn't work as well without an image of an audience in mind.

  • My creative process involves that old saying: It's 90% perspiration and only 10% inspiration.

  • I've found that small wins, small projects, small differences often make huge differences.

  • A great idea is not enough.

  • Leaders must wake people out of inertia. They must get people excited about something they've never seen before, something that does not yet exist.

  • I wonder whether there has been too much emphasis on teaching women to conform, to fit into the system. Certainly that suits conservative organizations in conservative times. But now ... innovation and creativity are necessary.

  • We have a large pool of talented and educated women, and yet workplaces haven't necessarily changed to accommodate the reality of their lives.

  • Leaders are more powerful role models when they learn than when they teach.

  • People who are making decisions about the future often don't have access to some of the best ideas in the company, which may be at the periphery or at lower levels.

  • The positive outlook that optimists project does not come from ignoring or denying problems. Optimists simply assume that problems are temporary and can be solved, so optimists naturally want more information about problems because then they can get to work and do something. Pessimists are more likely to believe that there is nothing they can do anyway, so what's the point of even thinking about it?

  • One of the symptoms of a losing streak is a turnover of top executives. It's a revolving door.

  • It's almost impossible to break a losing streak on your own.

  • A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more.

  • Thinkers, makers and traders are the DNA of the world class company

  • Lack of opportunity breeds dreams of escape. But professionals and managers who have invested in their careers do not leave the work force as frequently as discouraged workers in lower status occupations. Instead, they keep working, but they escape emotionally by defining achievement in professional, not company, terms. ... Thus, the potential for being stuck as career uncertainty grows takes its toll in weakening attachment to any particular employer.

  • The goal of winning is not losing two times in a row.

  • Too many people let others stand in their way and don't go back for one more try.

  • ... people are capable of more than their organizational positions ever give them the tools or the time or the opportunity to demonstrate.

  • A basic truth of management - if not of life - is that nearly everything looks like a failure in the middle.

  • A self-reinforcing upward spiral: performance stimulating pride stimulating performance.

  • After years of telling corporate citizens to 'trust the system,' many companies must relearn instead to trust their people - and encourage their people to use neglected creative capacities in order to tap the most potent economic stimulus of all: idea power.

  • America can restore its strengths as the world-respected land of opportunity by returning to open-society principles. An open society invests in people and new ideas, rewards talent and hard work, values dialogue and learns from dissent, operates to high standards with transparent information, looks for common ground, sees problems as opportunities for creative change, and encourages those who are fortunate to help others get the same chance, because service is the highest ideal. With such standards in mind, America the Beautiful can return to its admired role as America the Principled.

  • Change demands new learning.

  • Change is a threat when done to me, but an opportunity when done by me.

  • Change is like putting lipstick on a bulldog. The bulldog's appearance hasn't improved, but now it's really angry.

  • Change masters are - literally - the right people in the right place at the right time. The right people are the ones with the ideas that move beyond the organization's established practice, ideas they can form into visions. The right places are the integrative environments that support innovation, encourage the building of coalitions and teams to support and implement visions. The right times are those moments in the flow of organizational history when it is possible to reconstruct reality on the basis on accumulated innovations to shape a more productive and successful future.

  • Confidence is the bridge connecting expectations and performance, investment and results.

  • Confidence is the sweet spot between arrogance and despair-consisting of positive expectations for favorable outcomes.

  • Confidence makes you willing to try harder and attracts the kind of support from others that makes "winning" possible.

  • Corporate men and women, once divided by striking differences in opportunity for career growth, have come to share career chaos.

  • Creativity does not derive from order but from the attempt to impose order where it does not exist, to make new connections.

  • Even the new feminist research on sex-role socialization and sex differences has sometimes had the unfortunate consequence of creating a new set of stereotypes about what women feel and how women behave. Despite the large amount of overlap between the sexes in most research, the tendency to label and polarize and thus to exaggerate differences remains in much reporting of data, which may, for example, report the mean scores of male and female populations but not the degree of overlap.

  • Everything looks like a failure in the middle.

  • Everything looks like a failure in the middle. In neary every change project, doubt is cast on the original vision because problems are mounting and the end is nowhere in sight.

  • if networks of women are formed, they should be job related and task related rather than female-concerns related. Personal networks for sociability in the context of a work organization would tend to promote the image of women contained in the temperamental model - that companies must compensate for women's deficiencies and bring them together for support because they could not make it on their own. But job-related task forces serve the social-psychological functions while reinforcing a more positive image of women.

  • in most important ways, leaders of the future will need the traits and capabilities of leaders throughout history: an eye for change and a steadying hand to provide both vision and reassurance that change can be mastered, a voice that articulates the will of the group and shapes it to constructive ends, and an ability to inspire by force of personality while making others feel empowered to increase and use their own abilities.

  • In the most innovative companies there is a significantly higher volume of thank yous than in companies of low innovation.

  • Innovative organizations provide the freedom to act which arouses the desire to act.

  • It is crucial to recognize, reward, and celebrate accomplishments.

  • It is easier to talk about money -- and much easier to talk about sex -- than it is to talk about power. People who have it deny it; people who want it do not want to appear to hunger for it; and people who engage in its machinations do so secretly.

  • It takes courage to speak up against complacency and injustice while others remain silent. But that's what leadership is.

  • Leaders is the new organisation do not lack motivational tools, but the tools are different from those of traditional corporate bureaucrats. The new rewards are based not on status but on contribution, and they consist not of regular promotion and automatic pay rises, but of excitement about the mission and a share of the glory of success.

  • Leadership is one of the most enduring, universal human responsibilities.

  • Money should never be separated from values. Detached from values it may indeed be the root of all evil. Linked effectively to social purpose it can be the root of opportunity.

  • No" is always an easier stand than "Yes.

  • Not everyone in an organization is in a position to accumulate power through competent performance because most people are just carrying out the ordinary and the expected - even if they do it very well. The extent to which a job is routinized fails to give an advantage to anyone doing it because 'success' is seen as inherent in the very establishment of the position and the organization surrounding it. Neither persons nor organizations get 'credit' for doing the mandatory or the expected.

  • Our future will be shaped by the assumptions we make about who we are and what we can be.

  • Passion for a goal doesn't guarantee success, but without it, you can't even begin.

  • People often resist change for reasons that make good sense to them, even if those reasons don't correspond to organizational goals. So it is crucial to recognize, reward, and celebrate accomplishments.

  • Perpetuating success or sliding into decline is the result of many intersecting forces that reinforce one another directly and indirectly. They are both cause and effect of winning or losing. Winning generates positive forces, losing generates negative forces.

  • Pessimists see problems as stemming from stable and universal causes, thus making them less susceptible to corrective action. Optimists, in contrast, view problems as temporary and resulting from specific factors that will either change or be changed.

  • Power is America's last dirty word. It is easier to talk about money - and much easier to talk about sex - than it is to talk about power.

  • Power is the ability to get things done

  • Power stems from 'rainmaking,' as law firms put it: the ability to bring resources into the company.

  • Powerlessness corrupts: absolute powerlessness corrupts absolutely.

  • The architecture of change involves the design and construction of new patterns, or the reconceptualization of old ones, to make new, and hopefully more productive, actions possible.

  • The best way for business to move out of the Hall of Shame is to demonstrate a commitment to social causes. This also makes business sense. A focus on solving social problems has motivational benefits in lean economic times.

  • The degree to which the opportunity to use power effectively is granted to or withheld from individuals is one operative difference between those companies which stagnate and those which innovate.

  • The goal of winning is not losing two times in a row

  • The importance of discretion increases with closeness to the top of a hierarchical organization.

  • The middle of every successful project looks like a disaster.

  • The more closed the circle, the more difficult it is for 'outsiders' to break in. Their very difficulty in entering may be taken as a sign of incompetence, a sign that the insiders were right to close their ranks.

  • The most distinguished advocate and the most distinguished critic of modern captialism were in agreement on one essential point: the job makes the person. Adam Smith and Karl Marx both recognized the extent to which people's attitudes and behaviors take shape out of the experiences they have in their work.

  • The most radical thing we can do is connect people to one another. That starts conversations toward a vision for change.

  • The very lack of opportunity the group faces creates a self-defeating cycle and puts pressure on members to limit their aspirations.

  • The way innovating companies are designed leaves ambiguities, overlaps, decision conflicts or decision vacuums in some parts of the organisation. People rail at this, curse it-and invent innovative ways to overcome it.

  • Those enjoying winning streaks thus win twofold. They win not only the game but also the right to greater self-determination. They become masters of their own fate. That feeling of efficacy, of being in charge of circumstances, is the essence of confidence. Winning once or twice is encouraging, but winning continuously is empowering.

  • To stay ahead, you must have your next idea waiting in the wings.

  • To take full advantage of the potential in e-business, leaders must lead differently, and people must work together differently. Let's call this new way of working e-culture-the human side of the global information era, the heart and soul of the new economy.

  • What being among the 'right people' entails is the possession of human capital, rather than organizational capital: an individual reputation, portable skills, and network connections. Career responsibility is squarely in the hands of individuals, a function of their knowledge and networks. Transferable knowledge is more important to a career than firm-specific knowledge.

  • Winning becomes easier over time as the cornerstones of confidence become habits.

  • You can always buy something in English, you can't always sell something in English.

  • You've no future unless you add value, create projects.