Collaborative Leadership: Harnessing Social Networks to Build Power and Lead Change

  • Global Change Agent Module 3 – Collaborative Leadership: Harnessing Social Networks to Build Power and Lead Change

  • May 18, 2018

  • Sunway University, Malaysia

  • RM3,500 per participant (limited to 40 participants) / Application Deadline: April 30, 2018

  • Working professionals in decision-making roles, government officials, community leaders, and entrepreneurs.

  • +603-7491-8716 / 17

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Content Overview

Leaders are not islands, but rather an integral part of the social network landscapes which surrounds them. They should have the expertise of navigating through these social connections to influence change in communities effectively. This program focuses on developing a deeper understanding of the importance of social networks to help leaders gain both formal power (e.g., authority, role) and informal power (e.g., influence, information) in their organization or industry. Participants will also learn how to strategically leverage social networks when leading organizational change.

The first part of the program provides research and data on the dynamics of social networks. What are the different types of networks? How do they operate? What are the consequences of being embedded in one type of network versus another? In the second part, we will discuss how leaders can build social networks to increase power and influence. What are the concrete strategies for expanding social networks? How do social networks create opportunity and influence? What is the importance of mentorship and sponsorship? How can leaders be or find mentors and sponsors?

We will conclude by connecting theory and research on social networks to the real-world challenge of leading organizational change. How can others facilitate or impede the change process? How do you identify effective allies and agents of change? What are some of the actions to avoid when leading organizational change?

This program is for leaders who aspire to gain a better understanding of how they can more effectively connect to others around them and use this social capital to expand access to resources, power, and opportunities.


Through the program, you will

  • Gain a better understanding of how you can build social capital and expand access to resources, power, and authority
  • Understand and identify the types of social networks within a system and how they operate
  • Develop concrete strategies to expand one’s social network to increase power, influence, and opportunity
  • Learn methods to develop mentorship and sponsorship relationships within systems
  • Learn how to apply these concepts to the real-world challenge of leading organizational change
Teaching Faculty

Robert W. Livingston is a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and has won numerous awards for teaching and research throughout his academic career. At the Harvard Kennedy School, he currently teaches a course entitled Maximizing Human Capital and Organizational Performance, and also serves as Faculty Chair for the executive education program on Strategies for Building and Leveraging Diversity in Organizations. Prior to joining Harvard, he was an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and Professor and Head of Organizational Behavior at the University of Sussex in England, where he was also Director of the Centre for Leadership, Ethics, and Diversity (LEAD). Robert has served as a consultant for a wide range of Fortune 500 and multi-national corporations, as well as public-sector agencies and nonprofit organizations. He has also provided counsel to mayors, police chiefs, university presidents, tech start-ups, and elected government officials. More info on Harvard University website:

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