Leadership in 21st Century Organizations

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About this course: Meet Jim Barton, the new CEO of Santa Monica Aerospace. Jim's job won't be easy: the company's hemorrhaging cash, struggling to regain investors' trust after an accounting scandal, and striving to transform its culture to become a more global competitor. In this course, you’ll travel with Jim as he takes on leadership challenges ranging from strategy execution, to inspiring people, to maintaining an ethical approach. Experts agree that twentieth-century leadership practices are inadequate for the stormy twenty-first-century present. This provocative course equips you with the insights you'll need to rise with the occasion of a rapidly shifting business landscape. The …

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: Meet Jim Barton, the new CEO of Santa Monica Aerospace. Jim's job won't be easy: the company's hemorrhaging cash, struggling to regain investors' trust after an accounting scandal, and striving to transform its culture to become a more global competitor. In this course, you’ll travel with Jim as he takes on leadership challenges ranging from strategy execution, to inspiring people, to maintaining an ethical approach. Experts agree that twentieth-century leadership practices are inadequate for the stormy twenty-first-century present. This provocative course equips you with the insights you'll need to rise with the occasion of a rapidly shifting business landscape. The course is based on a book, Harder Than I Thought: Adventures of a 21st Century Leader, by Robert D. Austin, Richard L. Nolan, and Shannon O'Donnell, published by Harvard Business Review Press. Purchase of the book is optional. If you want more information about the book or wish to buy it, see https://hbr.org/product/harder-than-i-thought-adventures-of-a-twenty-first/an/10332-HBK-ENG or http://www.amazon.com/Harder-Than-Thought-Adventures-Twenty-First/dp/1422162591 After taking the course, you'll be able to: o Enact your own personal leadership approach, derived from your ongoing evaluation of how Jim Barton has handled his leadership situation, as well as from established leadership concepts and frameworks; o Avoid leadership actions that might have worked in the past, but are not suited to a newly challenging 21st century world; o Navigate treacherous new 21st century leadership challenges, such as greater reliance on specialized workers or the need to respond to external scrutiny in an increasingly transparent world (and many more); o Avoid "slippery slope" ethical failures, and think more clearly about the separation between public and private life for a 21st century leader.

Created by:  Copenhagen Business School
  • Taught by:  Robert Austin, Professor, Management of Creativity and Innovation

    Department of Management, Politics, and Philosophy
  • Taught by:  Shannon Hessel, Assistant Professor of Art, Leadership and Entrepreneurship

    Department of Management, Politics, and Philosophy
Commitment 2 to 4 hours/week Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.7 stars Average User Rating 4.7See what learners said Coursework

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Copenhagen Business School Centrally located in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen Business School (CBS) is one of the largest business schools in Europe with close to 23,000 students. CBS offers world-class research-based degree programs at undergraduate, graduate, and PhD levels as well as executive and other post experience programs.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


Course Preview and Intro
Join Jim Barton on a leadership journey...that quickly becomes tougher than expected!


3 videos, 4 readings expand


  1. Video: Adventures of a 21st Century Leader
  2. Video: Introduction to the Course
  3. Video: Introduction to the Dramatized Episodes
  4. Reading: Background Info about SMA and Jim Barton
  5. Reading: Jeffrey Pfeffer: What Most People Don't Know About Leadership
  6. Reading: Invitation to a brief questionnaire
  7. Reading: Link to the "Meet and Greet" Forum


Taking on a New Leadership Role
So you've been presented with a new leadership "opportunity"...should you accept it? Should Jim Barton have taken this job? How would YOU decide?


2 videos, 4 readings expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Module 2
  2. Video: Episode 1: Jim Barton's First Day as CEO (Day 1)
  3. Reading: Hiring a new CEO
  4. Reading: Reading: Making it to the top
  5. Reading: Questions for reflection and forum discussion
  6. Reading: Learner suggestions: Questions to ask (or try to find answers to) before accepting a leadership "opportunity"

Graded: Choosing or Becoming a New Leader

WEEK 2


Getting Oriented and Assessing Your Team



As a new leader, the first order of business is to survey the landscape, get your bearings, and figure out what's really going on. Perhaps the most crucial part of that is assessing the team you've inherited. Who will be an ally in what you need to accomplish? Who will be an obstacle? Who should stay, and who should go? How will YOU decide?


4 videos, 6 readings, 1 practice quiz expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Module 3
  2. Video: Episode 2: Meeting the CFO (Day 3)
  3. Reading: A New Leader's First 100 Days
  4. Reading: SMA's Income Statement
  5. Video: Episode 3: Touring the SMA Plant (Day 4)
  6. Reading: Reports from a Boeing Factory
  7. Video: Episode 4: Meeting the Head of Engineering (Day 4)
  8. Reading: To-Do list for Today's CEO
  9. Practice Quiz: Assessing the Head of Engineering
  10. Reading: Reflection and discussion: Assessing Barton's team
  11. Reading: A Vital Task: Getting Your Team Right

Graded: Getting Started as a New Leader

Communication in an Age of Super Transparency



In an age of social media and super hackers, leaders have to worry more than ever about secrets getting out, making hard decisions under scrutiny, and people misinterpreting what the company and its leaders are doing. Thanks primarily to the advance of technology, the organizational activities have never been more transparent. How should a leader take this new 21st century reality into account? Do past communications and PR approaches need to change? How would YOU do it?


6 videos, 5 readings, 1 practice quiz expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Module 4
  2. Video: Episode 5: Kohler's Philosophy of Disclosure (Day 8)
  3. Reading: How Capitalism Can Thrive in a Transparent World
  4. Reading: Dan Geer: "We are all intelligence officers now"
  5. Video: Episode 6: The Gala (Day 8)
  6. Practice Quiz: Approaches to Communication
  7. Video: Part 1 of Living and Leading in an Era of Super Transparency
  8. Video: Part 2 of Living and Leading in an Era of Super Transparency
  9. Reading: Links to check out for Super Transparency Lecture
  10. Video: Part 3 of Living and Leading in an Era of Super Transparency
  11. Reading: Reflection and discussion: Advising Barton on transparency
  12. Reading: Learner recommendations: How to address social media challenges

Graded: The Era of Super Transparency

WEEK 3


Leading Collaboration



When you're building something as complicated as an airplane, people have to work together. As a leader, it's a part of your job to populate teams, develop relationships, orchestrate process, and set up conducive environments to maximize the effectiveness of collaborative work. How is this done? How would YOU accomplish it?


6 videos, 7 readings, 2 practice quizzes expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Module 5
  2. Video: Introduction to the topic of leading collaboration
  3. Reading: Video of IDEO's collaboration, "The Deep Dive"
  4. Video: Leading Collaboration at IDEO
  5. Practice Quiz: Determining the right context for collaboration
  6. Reading: Reflection
  7. Reading: Mass Animation
  8. Video: Leading Collaboration at Mass Animation
  9. Practice Quiz: Diagnosis
  10. Reading: Reflection and discussion: Collaboration at IDEO and Mass Animation
  11. Reading: What is "Collaborative Leadership"?
  12. Video: Collaborative Leadership
  13. Reading: Introduction to Dramatized Episode #7
  14. Video: Episode 7: Old Friends (Day 13)
  15. Reading: Reflection and discussion: Advising Barton on collaboration

Graded: Collaborative Leadership

Motivating and Inspiring



A leader must be able to move other people -- potentially in directions those others do not wish to go. A very important part of a leader's role, then, is to motivate people -- to somehow provide the impulse to move others in a particular direction. Indeed, a leader often needs to get people moving together, in a similar direction. But there are different ways of doing this. Incentives, for example, operate differently than inspiration, and the two might not work equally well in a particular circumstance. How should the 21st century leader motivate people? What would YOU do?


5 videos, 5 readings, 1 practice quiz expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Module 6
  2. Reading: Introduction to Episode #8
  3. Video: Episode 8: The Merit Pay System (Day 24)
  4. Practice Quiz: What do you think?
  5. Video: Motivating, Inspiring, and Other Ways Leaders Get People Moving in a Particular Direction: Introduction
  6. Reading: Motivation in Literature 1
  7. Video: Motivating and Inspiring etc.: Economic models and their problems
  8. Reading: Motivation in Literature 2
  9. Video: Motivating and Inspiring etc.: What are the alternatives to incentives?
  10. Reading: Readings and Video
  11. Reading: Reflection and discussion: Motivating people

Graded: Motivating, Inspiring, and Leadership

WEEK 4


Effective Governance



A leader operates within a framework that outlines her or his responsibilities, range of authority, and access to resources -- we call such frameworks "governance." Governance empowers a leader but also looks over her or his shoulder. A precondition for effectiveness as a leader is having a foundation of sound governance. And although it can be rather tricky, leaders sometimes have to try to make changes to the governance framework within which they work. If you're a CEO and you decide you have an ineffective board of directors -- to whom you report -- what would YOU do?


7 videos, 5 readings expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Module 7
  2. Reading: What does a board of directors do?
  3. Reading: Introduction to Episodes 9 and 10
  4. Video: Episode 9: Barton's First Board Meeting Day 31)
  5. Video: Episode 10: Sleeping with the Press (Day 31)
  6. Video: Episode 11: "A Sensitive Matter" (Day 45)
  7. Video: Episode 12: "Reconfiguring the Board of Directors" (Day 45)
  8. Reading: Reflection
  9. Video: Episode 13: The Reconfiguration Process (Day 93)
  10. Video: Episode 14: Reconfiguration Accomplished (Day 135)
  11. Reading: What makes for an effective board of directors?
  12. Reading: Reflection and discussion: Creating a better Board of Directors

Graded: Effective Governance

Leading Change



Convincing people to change their ways might be THE hardest job a leader has to do. And if getting people to change is hard, getting groups -- who work together in the old ways and reinforce each other's sense of "the way it's always been" -- is even harder. But if you're going to transform a company, you're going to have to change things, in a big way. How would YOU go about it?


3 videos, 2 readings, 1 practice quiz expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Module 8
  2. Video: Episode 15: Talking Shop (Day 48 and Day 118)
  3. Video: Episode 16: Design Delay (Day 68)
  4. Practice Quiz: Assessing Barton as a Change Leader
  5. Reading: Leading change in organizations
  6. Reading: Reflection and discussion: Assessing Barton's performance

Graded: Leading Change

WEEK 5


Managing Talent



In the 21st century, the biggest assets an organization has are its people what they can do. The evidence of this? Apple, Google, and Microsoft all have market values higher than Exxon (a company with vastly more physical assets). A very important job of a 21st century leader, then, is to attract, retain, and continue to develop the talents and skills of the people within the organization. Talent is a success multiplier, and an organization's leader is its talent-developer-in-chief. How should this be done? How would you do it?


8 videos, 5 readings expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Module 9
  2. Reading: How the dramatic episodes play into this module
  3. Video: Episode 17: Unexpected Insight from a Neighbor (Day 36)
  4. Video: Specialisterne: From Hope to Action To Impact
  5. Video: Managing People with "Inspired Peculiarities": The Dandelion Principle
  6. Video: Anka Wittenberg, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, SAP SE
  7. Video: Anka Wittenberg Interview, Part 2
  8. Reading: Reflection and discussion: The Dandelion Principle
  9. Video: Understanding what matters to excellent performers
  10. Reading: A Sampling of 21st Century Perspectives on Talent Management
  11. Video: Episode 18: The Engineers Revolt (Sometime during Barton's 2nd year as CEO)
  12. Reading: Reflection
  13. Reading: Reflections and discussion: Managing talent

Graded: Managing Talent

Leading in Crisis



No matter how effective you are as a leader, sometimes things go wrong. In a crisis, a leader must make tough decision under the pressure of a ticking clock. That's really hard, partly because crises are (thankfully) rare and few people have a lot of experience with them. And yet, you need to get it right. The stakes, in a crisis, are often very, very high, for the organization and for a leader's career. As a leader, sooner or later you will have to deal with a crisis. How will YOU measure up?


6 videos, 5 readings expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Module 10
  2. Video: Episode 19: Barton in Crisis (Day 173)
  3. Reading: Difficulty and development
  4. Video: Episode 20: Contemplating Resignation (Day 174)
  5. Reading: Reflection and discussion: Avoiding and recovering from crisis
  6. Video: Episode 21: An Ultimatum (Day 174)
  7. Video: Episode 22: Negotiating with the Unions (Day 175)
  8. Reading: The harms done by bonuses and parachutes...
  9. Reading: Reflection and Discussion: Drop the parachute?
  10. Video: Episode 23: A united front (Day 175)
  11. Reading: Reflection and discussion: Assessing Barton's performance

Graded: Leading in Crisis

WEEK 6


Leading Innovation



Thanks to mature communications and transportation networks, it has never been easier for low cost producers to market low priced products and services all over the world. Because of this, companies -- especially those not located in low cost regions -- need to innovate, in order to keep offering products and services that are better, even if they aren't cheaper. In the 21st century, the capacity to innovate has become extremely important to business success. And it's the leader's job to create the conditions in which her or his people can innovate effectively. A leader must espouse principles, processes, and practices that allow the organization to innovation better than its rivals. How to do this? How would YOU do it?


4 videos, 6 readings, 1 practice quiz expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Module 11
  2. Reading: What to expect in this module's lectures and episodes
  3. Video: Fostering innovation
  4. Reading: Lean manufacturing mindset means continuous innovation
  5. Video: Episode 24: Innovation Dilemma (At about Barton's 1 year mark)
  6. Practice Quiz: What should Akita decide?
  7. Video: Collaborating with clients for innovation
  8. Reading: Emily Pilloton on participatory design
  9. Reading: Reflection: Innovation strategy
  10. Reading: VIDEO: Rethinking intelligence, education and our capacity for creativity
  11. Reading: Reflection and discussion: How to encourage innovation

Graded: Fostering Innovation

Leading Execution
It's "where the rubber hits the road." Execution. If you can't execute, it doesn't matter how well you strategize or how visionary you are. Execution is the art and science of getting it done. But how should a leader do that? How would YOU?


3 videos, 2 readings expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Module 12
  2. Reading: Understanding execution
  3. Video: Episode 25: A Major Setback (Early in Barton's 3rd year as CEO)
  4. Reading: Reflection and discussion: Advising Barton on execution
  5. Video: Episode 26: A Percentage Game (About 2 years into Barton's time as CEO)

Graded: Execution

WEEK 7


Public Life, Private Life



You've seen it all too often in the newspaper headlines: a prominent leader called on to resign, not because of failure to perform on the job, but because of something troubling (at least to some) that has transpired in their so-called "private life" that has become public. Where is the boundary between public life and private life for a leader? Indeed, is there a boundary? Why do so many leaders have problems with this? How does it bear on notions of leadership character and integrity? What is YOUR personal philosophy in this important area?


6 videos, 3 readings, 2 practice quizzes expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Module 13
  2. Video: Episode 27: Firing Kohler (Day 144)
  3. Practice Quiz: Predictions
  4. Video: Episode 28: Played for a Fool? (Day 174)
  5. Video: Episode 29: Public life, Private life (A little more than 1 year into Barton's time as CEO)
  6. Reading: Reflection
  7. Reading: Questions about Disclosure: The case of Steve Jobs and his illness
  8. Video: Episode 30: Disclosure Issue (Sometime during Barton's 2nd year as CEO)
  9. Practice Quiz: Verdict
  10. Video: Episode 31: Liability (Sometime during Barton's 2nd year as CEO)
  11. Reading: Reflection and discussion: Final thoughts

Graded: The Rights and Obligations of Leaders

Vision and the Role of Culture



The eminent management thinker Peter Drucker once said that "Culture eats strategy for breakfast." Lou Gerstner, after he turned around IBM, often said that the importance of culture was the one thing he seriously underestimated. What is culture? According to the simplest definition, widely used, culture is "the way we do things around here." But how should the leader influence that? What would YOU do?


7 videos, 8 readings expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Module 14
  2. Reading: Introduction to Episode 32
  3. Video: Episode 32a: Consulting with a Peer, Part 1 (Flashback: Day 52)
  4. Reading: Reflection and discussion
  5. Video: Episode 32b: Consulting with a Peer, Part 2 (Flashback: Day 52)
  6. Reading: Reflection and discussion
  7. Video: Episode 32c: Consulting with a Peer, Part 3 (Flashback: Day 52)
  8. Reading: Reflection and discussion
  9. Video: Part 1: What Culture Is
  10. Video: Part 2: The Importance of Culture
  11. Video: Part 3: The Difficulty of Changing Culture
  12. Reading: "On Corporate Culture" by Richard Nolan
  13. Reading: On communication
  14. Reading: On culture and leadership
  15. Reading: Reflection and discussion: Culture at SMA

Graded: The Importance of Corporate Culture

WEEK 8


Modern Theories of Leadership



Leadership is an active, if fragmented, field of management research. In this module, you'll encounter some of the ideas researchers have come up with to describe and improve the practice of leadership. Some of these theories have had more influence than others. Some have had less influence on the practice of leadership than many of the ideas we've already seen in the course (e.g., economic agency theory). We offer these here to raise the possibility that some of these ideas might help YOU as you synthesize a personal approach to leadership in the 21st century.


1 video, 3 readings expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Module 15
  2. Reading: Modern theories of leadership
  3. Reading: Reflection and discussion: Theories for 21st Century leadership
  4. Reading: Reflection and discussion: The role of theory in leadership practice

Graded: Testing Your Knowledge of Leadership Theories

A Study in Leadership Failure: The Financial Crisis (Part 1)



The early 21st century has seen some spectacular failures of leadership. From the BP Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, to the 2008 financial crisis, we've seen a lot of major things go wrong with leadership. You could argue that these are examples of 20th century leadership applied to 21st century challenges...and that resulting failures demonstrate the need for a new leadership approach. In this module, we'll begin trying to understand some of the things that went wrong in the extremely complicated 2008 financial crisis.


1 video, 4 readings expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Module 16
  2. Reading: FILM: Global Financial Meltdown
  3. Reading: Case analysis and discussion: Failures of leadership
  4. Reading: Some explanations of the financial crisis, ranging from fun to really thorough
  5. Reading: Reflection and discussion: Lessons learned

Graded: How the Financial Crisis Unfolded

WEEK 9


A Study in Leadership Failure: The Financial Crisis (Part 2)
We continue our examination of the inner complexities of the 2008 financial crisis.


1 video, 3 readings expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Module 17
  2. Reading: FILM: The Warning
  3. Reading: Case analysis and discussion: The Warning
  4. Reading: Reflection and discussion: What must improve?

Graded: Avoiding the financial crisis...

Real Leadership Case Study: Lord John Browne, British Petroleum
We've met Jim Barton and followed him on his journey. In this module, we turn the ideas we've discussed and developed in the course so far to the case of a real leader. What is YOUR assessment of the leadership of Lord John Browne, former CEO of BP


1 video, 3 readings expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Module 18
  2. Reading: Case readings and video
  3. Reading: Case analysis and discussion: Assessment of a leader
  4. Reading: Reflections on the case of Lord John Browne

Graded: The Case of Lord Browne

WEEK 10


Synthesis - Leadership in 21st Century Organizations
Putting it all together. Last thoughts and attempts to synthesize thoughts about 21st century leadership.


4 videos, 5 readings expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Module 19
  2. Reading: General Leadership Advice from Harvard Business School
  3. Reading: Four spheres of executive responsibility
  4. Video: Episode 33: Maiden Flight (Exactly 4 years into Barton's tenure as CEO)
  5. Reading: Reflection and discussion: Final Assessment, Jim Barton CEO
  6. Video: Episode 34: Barton Removed (Same day as maiden flight of new SMA plane)
  7. Reading: Reflection and discussion: Right outcome?
  8. Reading: Synthesizing YOUR framework for 21st Century leadership
  9. Video: End of Course Wrap-up

Graded: Synthesizing Your Own Approach to Leadership
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