Tipping Point Leadership

  • Chan Kim W
  • Mauborgne R
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Abstract

When William Bratton was appointed police commissioner of New York City in 1994, turf wars over jurisdiction and funding were rife and crime was out of control. Yet in less than two years, and without an increase in his budget, Bratton turned New York into the safest large city in the nation. And the NYPD was only the latest of five law-enforcement agencies Bratton had turned around. In each case, he succeeded in record time despite limited resources, a demotivated staff, opposition from powerful vested interests, and an organization wedded to the status quo. Bratton's turnarounds demonstrate what the authors call tipping point leadership. The theory of tipping points hinges on the insight that in any organization, fundamental changes can occur quickly when the beliefs and energies of a critical mass of people create an epidemic movement toward an idea. Bratton begins by overcoming the cognitive hurdles that block organizations from recognizing the need for change. He does this by putting managers face-to face with operational problems. Next, he manages around limitations on funds, staff, or equipment by concentrating resources on the areas that are most in need of change and that have the biggest payoffs. He meanwhile solves the motivation problem by singling out key influencers--people with disproportionate power due to their connections or persuasive abilities. Finally, he closes off resistance from powerful opponents. Not every CEO has the personality to be a Bill Bratton, but his successes are due to much more than his personality. He relies on a remarkably consistent method that any manager looking to turn around an organization can use to overcome the forces of inertia and reach the tipping point. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

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Authors

  • W. Chan Kim

  • Ren??e Mauborgne

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