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MSOL Book/Article Review Sept. 2012

Talk, Inc.:  How Trusted Leaders Use Conversation to Power their Organizations 
By Boris Groysberg and Michael Slind

Editorial Reviews

talkinc.jpgConversation-powered leadership. How can leaders make their big or growing companies feel small again? How can they recapture the "magic"--the tight strategic alignment, the high level of employee engagement--that drove and animated their organization when it was a start-up? As more and more executives have discovered in recent years, the answer to this conundrum lies in the power of conversation. In "Talk, Inc.," Boris Groysberg and Michael Slind show how trusted and effective leaders are adapting the principles of face-to-face conversation in order to pursue a new form of organizational conversation. They explore the promise of conversation-powered leadership--from the time-tested practice of talking straight (and listening well) to the thoughtful adoption of social media technology. And they offer guidance on how to balance the benefits of open-ended talk with the realities of strategic execution. Drawing on the experience of leaders at diverse companies from around the world, "Talk, Inc.," offers provocative insights and user-friendly tips on how to make organizational culture more intimate, more interactive, more inclusive, and more intentional--in short, more conversational. – The Harvard Business Review

“Boris Groysberg and Michael Slind have captured one of the most significant changes in business leadership that I have witnessed during my twenty-four years as a CEO of a public company. If you want to understand what I believe will be the most critical ingredient to successful twenty-first-century leadership, read this book. Then join the conversation.” — Jim Rogers, Chairman, President, and CEO, Duke Energy

“As a leader, I have struggled to find ways to fuel employee engagement. I have also observed how leaders at Microsoft, Accenture, and PepsiCo have striven to engage employees. It’s hard work! Boris Groysberg and Michael Slind make a very strong case that organizational conversation—in contrast to the traditional ‘corporate communication’ model—is critical to helping leaders meet that challenge. More important, through in-depth discussion of real business situations, they provide insight on how to make organizational conversation happen. The model presented in Talk, Inc., furthermore, is as relevant to harnessing the power of customers as it is to managing your workforce.” — Dina Dublon, Director of Accenture, Microsoft, and PepsiCo; former Chief Financial Officer, JPMorgan Chase

“Talk, Inc., presents a template for creating organizational excellence. The authors have fashioned an outstanding explanation of a fundamental leadership competence: facilitating effective communication. This book, I believe, is a must-read for every organizational leader.” — S. Roy Choudhury, Chairman and Managing Director, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd.

“Talk may be cheap, but genuine conversation is priceless—especially in organizations determined to win big in fast-changing times. In Talk, Inc., Boris Groysberg and Michael Slind offer a set of truly original insights, supported by a collection of in-depth case studies that will help leaders surface the best ideas from the widest variety of people in their organizations. The most successful companies don’t just out-compete their rivals, they out-think their rivals. And you can’t generate smart ideas without free-spirited conversation. Read this book—and then talk about it with as many of your colleagues as you can!” — William C. Taylor, Cofounder, Fast Company; author, Practically Radical: Not-So-Crazy Ways to Transform Your Company, Shake Up Your Industry, and Challenge Yourself

About the Authors
Boris Groysberg is a professor in the Organizational Behavior unit at Harvard Business School. Previously, he worked at IBM. His first book, Chasing Stars, was published in 2010.

Michael Slind is a communication professional. He has worked at Fast Company magazine and Harvard Business School.



 

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