Welcome to this series of MBA Recommended Reading. We summarise content recommended on MBA courses so you can soak up all the key points without spending endless hours of reading. Enjoy!
“Boundary Spanning Leadership” by Jeffrey Yip, Chris Ernst, and Michael Campbell is a comprehensive guide that delves into the concept of boundary spanning and its crucial role in effective leadership. In an increasingly interconnected and globalised world, leaders are required to transcend traditional organisational boundaries and establish connections and collaborations across different groups, departments, and stakeholders.
The book begins by outlining the challenges and complexities faced by leaders in today’s dynamic business environment. It emphasizes the need for leaders to go beyond their comfort zones and develop the skills and mindset necessary to bridge divides and foster collaboration.
The authors introduce the concept of boundary spanning, which involves actively reaching out, building relationships, and creating networks both within and outside one’s organization. They argue that boundary spanning leadership is essential for tackling complex problems, driving innovation, and achieving organizational goals.
Drawing on extensive research and real-world examples, the book presents a framework for effective boundary spanning leadership. It explores five core practices that leaders can adopt to navigate and bridge different boundaries: buffering, reflecting, connecting, mobilizing, and transforming.
Buffering involves managing tensions and conflicts that arise between different groups or stakeholders. Reflecting entails understanding one’s own biases and assumptions and actively seeking diverse perspectives. Connecting focuses on building relationships and fostering trust across boundaries. Mobilizing involves mobilizing resources and influence to achieve common goals, while transforming focuses on facilitating organizational change and fostering a culture of collaboration.
Each practice is accompanied by practical strategies, tools, and techniques that leaders can apply in their own contexts. The authors also highlight the importance of self-awareness, cultural intelligence, and empathy in effective boundary spanning.
Furthermore, the book explores the challenges and potential pitfalls of boundary spanning leadership, such as resistance to change, power dynamics, and cultural differences. It provides guidance on how to navigate these challenges and offers insights into the mindset and skills required to be an effective boundary spanning leader.
In summary, “Boundary Spanning Leadership” offers a comprehensive and practical guide for leaders seeking to enhance their ability to connect, collaborate, and drive positive change across organisational boundaries. It provides a framework and actionable strategies to develop the necessary skills and mindset for effective boundary spanning leadership. By embracing these principles, leaders can foster innovation, build strong relationships, and successfully navigate the complexities of today’s interconnected business landscape.
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