HBR REFLECTION PAPER: Tipping Point Leadership

Tipping Point Leadership

The educational background and experience of an author highly influence the degree of credibility of his or her work. In that sense, it is always advisable for the readers to read the Foreward of any book to get a clear picture of the author of the publications. W. Chan Kim, one of the authors of the publication on Tipping Point Leadership, can be described as one of the top three management gurus in the universe today. As of the current day, he is a professor of strategy and international management and the Boston Consulting Group Bruce D. Henderson and the chair professor of international management at INSEAD (Kim & Mauborgne, 2017)). Additionally, he has also served as an advisor for some multinational companies across Europe, the United States and Asia Pacific region. He has also written many publications on strategy and management in leading journals such as Journal of International Business Studies. In 2008, Kim received the Nobel Colloquia for The Leadership Of Business and Economic Thinking. On the other hand, Renee Mauborgne is the INSEAD Distinguished Fellow and professor of strategy at INSEAD. During the reign of President Barack Obama, she served on the Board of Advisors for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and she was also a member of the World Economic Forum. Just like Kim, she has written several publications on strategy and management in numerous journals such as The Academy of Management Journal. She is ranked among the top three management experts in the globe and together with Kim; they have received the Eldridge Haynes Prize apart from winning the Nobel Colloquia Prize for Leadership in Business and Economic Thinking in 2008 (Kim & Mauborgne, 2017)). From the educational and experiential background of the authors, it is correct to state that they have qualified to write any publication on leadership and management considering that they have occupied numerous leadership positions throughout their careers.

What did you learn about change management?

After leading the article on tipping leadership, it is easy to conclude that if one leader can in an extreme environment faced with four hurdles that managers claim to block high performance, every manager can turn his tables. According to the article, managers are known to claim that an entity married to the status quo, narrow resources, uninspired workforce, and resistance from powerfully vested interest block high performance in an organization, but this was not the case for Bratton. The reductionism of tipping leadership which has origin on epidemiology has eyes on the insight of any company, and once the agents of change can engage the beliefs and energies of critical mass, the change spread in the company like a wildfire (“Tipping Point Leadership,” n.d.)). However, such a quick change in an entity can only be achieved with the help of agents of change who make memorable and urgent calls for change, who focus their inventory on the most pressing issues. Additionally, these agents need to mobilize the energies and devotion of key members in an organization as well as silence the voice of non-believers in the entity.

Related: Radical Change, The Quiet Way

Any leader or manager who has a dream of achieving tipping leadership in his organization he or she has to take a four-step method that guarantees the radical changes in an organization irrespective of the resources of a company. These steps include:

  1. Overcoming the cognitive hurdle – this step focuses on getting all the stakeholders of a company to agree on the roots of current challenges and the necessities for change in the operations of an entity. The key to success in this step is finding new and appropriate ways to communicate to all stakeholders. Communication is key (Kim & Mauborgne, 2017).

  2. Overcoming the resource hurdle – after agreeing with the leadership that changes are necessary, a leader needs to find ways to use the available resources to make changes. This can be achieved by focusing on the hot spots and bargaining with the company partners.

  3. Overcoming motivational hurdles – motivating employees to accept and making changes can be difficult. To achieve this, the leaders of an organization need to single out key influencers both internally and externally and motivate them who in turn motivate the entire organization.

  4. Overcoming the political hurdle – this step involves the identification and silencing of internal resistance in an entity and isolating the external once to ensure that they do not have control over the employees (Kotter, 2011).

How did ethics/values/faith play a role?

The faith and the belief of the agents of change or rather the leader of an organization that he or she will succeed in bringing the change is crucial to the success of the changes. If the leader is motivated and focused, the employees will have faith and trust in him or her which in turn will push them to copy his example (Kotter, 2011). Additionally, there is the need to act in a manner that is considered to be right morally in the organization to win over the employees.

How can you apply what you learned to change initiatives?

The knowledge obtained from this article can be very useful in implementing and spearheading change in an organization considering that leaders can identify the cognitive, motivation, resource and political hurdles and devise an appropriate plan to overcome them.


Kim, W. C., & Mauborgne, R. (2017). The W. Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne Blue Ocean Strategy reader: The iconic articles by the bestselling authors of Blue Ocean Strategy. (Harvard business review.

Kotter, J. P. (2011). HBR’s 10 must reads on change management. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.

Tipping Point Leadership. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2003/04/tipping-point-leadership

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