Wise Leadership - Professors Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka

Cited by Deans Talk, A Discussion on Management Education, Harvard Business Review sat down with Hitotsubashi ICS Professor Emeritus Ikujiro Nonaka and former Hitotsubashi ICS dean Hirotaka Takeuchi (now professor at HBS) to talk about what it means to be a leader who does what is right not only for his or her company, but also for the society. They recently wrote a Harvard Business Review article entitled The Wise Leader.

Executive Summary of The Wise Leader:

In an era of increasing discontinuity, wise leadership has nearly vanished. Many leaders find it difficult to reinvent their corporations rapidly enough to cope with new technologies, demographic shifts, and consumption trends. They can’t develop truly global organizations that operate effortlessly across borders. And they find it tough to ensure that their people adhere to values and ethics. The authors assert that leaders must acquire practical wisdom, or what Aristotle called phronesis: experiential knowledge that enables people to make ethically sound judgments.

Wise leaders demonstrate six abilities: (1) They make decisions on the basis of what is good for the organization and for society. (2) They quickly grasp the essence of a situation and fathom the nature and meaning of people, things, and events. (3) They provide contexts in which executives and employees can interact to create new meaning. (4) They employ metaphors and stories to convert their experience into tacit knowledge that others can use. (5) They exert political power to bring people together and spur them to act. (6) They use apprenticeship and mentoring to cultivate practical wisdom in others.



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