Talk, Inc.: How Trusted Leaders Use Conversation to Power their Organizations

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Overview


Conversation-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 ...

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Talk, Inc.: How Trusted Leaders Use Conversation to Power their Organizations

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Overview


Conversation-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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Named a Best Business Book for 2012 in strategy+business magazine

Talk, Inc. makes a powerful case that effective talk is the primary means of motivating and inspiring loyalty among today’s increasingly social and connected workforce.” — strategy+business magazine

“This book provides tips for how leaders can communicate more effectively by making their agency’s culture more intimate, interactive, inclusive and intentional.” — The Washington Post

Talk, Inc. is easy to read, and captures an important change in today’s workplace, offering a prescription for making it work.” — The Globe & Mail

ADVANCE PRAISE for Talk, Inc.

“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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781422173336
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 6/19/2012
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 676,827
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


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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Table of Contents

Introduction: Not Just Talk 1

Part I Intimacy

1 Up and Down 13

The Promise of Trust-Based Leadership

2 Walking the Talk 37

Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd.

3 Talk, Inc., Points (TIPs) 55

Close Encounters

Part II Interactivity

4 Back and Forth 63

The Emergence of Social Technology

5 Walking the Talk 87

Cisco Systems

6 Talk, Inc., Points (TIPs) 109

One-Way, Two-Way, New Way

Part III Inclusion

7 Give and Take 117

The Triumph of Employee-Generated Content

8 Walking the Talk 141

EMC Corporation

9 Talk, Inc., Points (TIPs) 163

Amateur Hour

Part IV Intentionality

10 Open and Close 173

The Quest for Strategic Alignment

11 Walking the Talk 199

Kingfisher PLC

12 Talk, Inc., Points (TIPs) 223

A Sense of Direction

Afterword 229

Notes 231

Index 233

Acknowledgments 241

About the Authors 243

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 20, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Those who think that your message is what you say are grossly mi

    Those who think that your message is what you say are grossly mistaken. Truly, it's not an issue of what you say -- it's how you say it. Nonverbal communication (tone of voice, body language) is what your listener will hear. And it goes on from there. In an organization, there's more to a leader's nonverbal communication than how they say something. For example, is the message delivered through an email, through a handwritten note, or in person? In the leader's office, or in the subordinate's? There are many, many factors involved.




    This book is about maximizing the power of your organizational communications. It's about getting the message across that you wish to communicate. It's about how to say things. It's about structuring your communications -- and your company -- to facilitate enlivening, energizing, and inspiring communication.




    The book also covers listening, and how to structure leadership's listening activities, so as not to put subordinates on the defensive so that they manipulate information in their response.




    Highly recommended for any leaders for whom organizational communication is important. Which should be all of them.




    For an excellent guide in cultivating innovation in your organization, check out 101 Design Methods: A Structured Approach for Driving Innovation in Your Organization. And for a primer in organized creativity, look at The Practice of Creativity: A Manual for Dynamic Group Problem-Solving.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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