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Leading Across Boundaries: Creating Collaborative Agencies in a Networked World Hardcover – March 15, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0470396773 ISBN-10: 0470396776 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1st edition (March 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470396776
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470396773
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #524,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

In our complex environment, nonprofit organizations and public agencies must work together collaboratively and cut across organizational boundaries if they are to solve today's tough problems.

Leading Across Boundaries offers a stimulating and highly accessible guide for leaders of nonprofit and governmental organizations who want to develop successful and lasting partnerships. Written by Russell Linden, an expert in the field of organizational change, this important resource shows how to make collaboration work in real-world situations. Linden explores the interpersonal and organizational forces that can inhibit collaboration and offers strategies for overcoming these often daunting challenges.

Created as a companion to Linden's Working Across Boundaries, this book is filled with illustrative examples of collaborations–both successful ventures and those that have failed. These examples can help leaders anticipate, prevent, and deal with the most vexing challenges to collaboration. In addition, the author offers expert guidance on leveraging emerging trends in this field, including the use of social-networking tools on the Web. Based on a clear framework, Leading Across Boundaries includes the practical and time-tested tools needed to tackle any difficulties that confront collaborative leaders.

Leading Across Boundaries offers public managers and nonprofit leaders a wealth of new material, case studies, and instructive international examples. In-depth case studies–drawn from education, health and human services, law enforcement, finance, intelligence agencies, the arts, and other fields–are available online.

About the Author

Russell M. Linden is a management consultant and adjunct faculty member at the University of Virginia, the University of Maryland, and the Federal Executive Institute. He specializes in organizational change and has more than 30 years of experience helping government, nonprofit, and private-sector organizations develop leadership, foster innovation, and improve organizational performance. He is the author of Working Across Boundaries and Seamless Government.


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Terry on March 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
As a federal government manager for more than 30 years, I have too often seen the results of an inability or unwillingness to collaborate for the public good. With Russ Linden's book, I no longer have an excuse for failing to make collaboration work. Leading Across Boundaries offers insights and concrete tools that make collaboration understandable and achievable in a world that demands it more and more.

The author seems to leave no aspect of this important topic unaddressed. From the opening chapter which makes the case for why collaboration is essential, he moves to present a straightforward and easy to understand framework for collaborating. Selecting a high priority project, the appropriate people to work together, forging shared goals, using an open process, and gaining the support of a champion are elements of the framework, but Linden is "spot-on" in noting that any successful collaboration is anchored in building relationships and trust. Ordering people to collaborate is a prescription for failure.

Leading Across Boundaries does not stop there, because Russ Linden, having worked with thousands of state, local, and federal government leaders, knows that the best of frameworks will confront serious real-life challenges. This is no academic treatise on collaboration. It is anchored in the meeting room, not the classroom (though studying it in the classroom will avoid a lot of meeting room failures!). Its true power comes in teasing out, beautifully illustrating, and offering real-world, workable answers to the personal, interpersonal, cultural, and organizational problems that confront those who seek to foster collaborative efforts. And a real plus - there is no academic jargon here, just down-to-earth, clear prose.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jriddle3 on June 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
During my 33 years of federal service, I worked for a time managing federal-sector leadership programs. Russ Linden taught in many of my programs and I used two of his previous books, "Seamless Government" and "Working Across Boundaries" as user-friendly texts whether or not Dr. Linden was available to speak. I found Linden to be an excellent teacher due to his extensive experience working with many of the entities he writes about and his way of structuring the lessons learned so that those lessons could be applied to a variety of situations. As I read "Leading Across Boundaries", I had high expectations and they were met.

Three things stood out for me. First, his emphasis on leadership is stronger in this book. Leadership of collaboration that he addresses is much more difficult (and less understood) than leadership that comes from formal authority. With examples ranging from the lessons of Katrina (yes, some were good such as the Coast Guard response after they took the lead) to the State of Washington's government-performance efforts, Linden delves into the leadership tactics employed to glean lessons that can be applied elsewhere.

Second, recognizing that the baby-boomers are about to exit the stage, Linden spends time writing about the collaborative nature of younger members of the workforce and the technology that can aid in collaboration.

Third, Linden maintains the management part of his advice. That is, those process and structures (such as group formation, team work and "fusion centers") we can use as leaders to assure fairness and buy-in of conflicting stakeholders. As I read, I was looking to whether or not this book could be a stand-alone text and not require reading his previous work - and it can. "Leading Across Boundaries" is version 3.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Charles R. Stripling III on May 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
After over thirty years in local government management during which I sampled a multitude of organization, staff, personal, professional and team development tools (along with the alphabet soup of HPO, TQM, and related fads), I concluded that it is best to focus on those tools that will have a long term impact on the quality of service delivery. Not many do. Russ Linden's new "workbook" on Leading Across Boundaries is on of those resources or tools that when used properly can have a game changing impact on a person and organization. Its not only an easy read, but approaches the subject with implementation as the focus. He encourages the reader to connect to the concepts of collaboration through completion of helpful exercises, writing notes to oneself and continually revisiting learned concepts with self tests.

As a disciple of the case method, I was particularly drawn to Linden's use of that technique for illustrating in real world settings how collaboration succeeds and fails.

I was particularly struck by his observations on Dick Gregg's experience at the Financial Management Service in the Treasury Department. I am a believer in Gregg's philosophy of "leaders should articulate a small number of priorities and expectations, keep the message simple, reinforce at every opportunity and fiercely guard the agenda."

His description of "fusion centers" and how the main barrier to success is trust is right on. And, what book on management would be complete in today's world without mention of the Millennials. Linden is a great advocate of the positive role they can play in our world.

How can I not love his reference to Abraham Lincoln's use of collaboration as documented in Doris Keanrs Goodwin's Team of Rivals (one of my top five favorite books).
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