Russ Linden is a management consultant, educator and author. His major areas of expertise include change management, performance improvement and collaboration. He has written five books, his most recent being Leading Across Boundaries: Creating Collaborative Agencies in a Networked World (Jossey-Bass, 2010).

His clients have included several intelligence, natural-resources and defense agencies; the departments of State, Treasury, Interior, Veterans Affairs and Education; more than 40 state and local government agencies; and nonprofits in the U.S. and Israel.

February 13, 2019

Organizational Miscommunication? There’s a Good Way to Avoid It.

It's all too easy for team members to misunderstand something. Effective leaders know the value of the "pre-brief."
October 31, 2018

A Management Mantra for Turbulent Times: 'Be Quick, But Don't Hurry'

It's critical for public leaders to take the time to distinguish the signal from the noise.
July 17, 2018

A Model for Agility in the Public Sector

Search and rescue task forces need to deploy at a moment's notice, and they have to be ready for any challenges they may encounter.
March 28, 2018

The Question Governments Need to Ask: How Are We Doing?

There is a range of customer-feedback tools, including very simple ones.
January 3, 2018

Giving Public Employees the Power to Use Their Judgment

There are risks, and there still must be accountability. But some leaders have shown the way.
September 6, 2017

Avoiding Another Charlottesville

There is plenty that local officials can do to avert the kind of deadly violence that erupted in the Virginia city.
June 7, 2017

The Agility That Governments Need for a Disruptive Age

Public-sector organizations aren't designed for it, but some are finding ways to make it part of their culture.
March 7, 2017

Sexual Wrongdoing in the Government Workplace: the Leadership Challenge

Despite all the media coverage, assault and harassment remain too common. There's a lot that public leaders could be doing.
November 14, 2016

When Performance Measures Go Horribly Wrong

They have a powerful influence. But unrealistic, unreachable goals can produce unethical behavior.
August 3, 2016

The Difficult Art of Responding to Public Criticism

When accusations are flying or scandal erupts, it's crucial to get the initial response right.
May 4, 2016

When the Heroes Are Also the Victims

PTSD is common among those who respond to disasters and other emergencies. It's hard to deal with, but there are ways to help them.
February 3, 2016

You Won the Election. What Do You Do Now?

It takes a lot of energy to get elected. But that's the time to think about how to accomplish things once in office.
October 13, 2015

Pope Francis, Change Agent

There's a lot that we all can learn about leadership from him.
July 15, 2015

Public Employees and the Path to Resilience

Knowing your organization's story and why it's important can go a long way toward helping workers cope with change.
April 15, 2015

Public Projects and the Optimism Trap

Rosy, unrealistic scenarios just cause trouble down the road. It's far better for managers not to deceive their leaders -- or themselves.
January 14, 2015

Sexual Assault at UVA: 4 Lessons in Crisis Leadership

There are better ways to handle a situation like the one that has ignited a firestorm at the University of Virginia.
September 24, 2014

When the Best Intentions Lead to Disaster

The VA scandal has its roots in two related management failures. Government leaders everywhere should keep them in mind.
June 11, 2014

You Can’t Manage a Secret

Creating a culture of openness and candor is critical to organizational success. It takes a strong, concerted effort by leaders.
March 12, 2014

Innovation and Government's Fear of Failure

When it comes to trying something new in the public sector, we're especially averse to risk. But there are ways to gain support for these kinds of initiatives.
December 3, 2013

The Dilemmas of Leading in a VUCA World

Today's turbulent environment of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity means new challenges for government managers and policymakers. There are ways to cope with them.
September 11, 2013

What Legacy Will You Leave?

Nurturing the next generation of leaders is one of the best things you can do for your organization.
June 19, 2013

The Rider and the Elephant: New How-to Book for Creating Change

A remarkable book provides leaders with a practical, simple framework, based on the latest brain research, for turning an organization to a new direction.
April 3, 2013

The Perils of Tunnel-Vision Leadership

The leadership fight at the University of Virginia is a powerful example of why so many change efforts fail.
January 23, 2013

The Life-Saving Power of Crowdsourcing

It's hard to imagine a better demonstration of its potential than the worldwide volunteer effort that helped rescue thousands of people after the earthquake in Haiti.
November 7, 2012

Taking the Fear Out of Change

Most of us are all too comfortable in our habits. The lesson for leaders in an era of change: Make the novel seem familiar.
August 29, 2012

Close Encounters of the Productive Kind

All too often, the first meeting of a collaborative group is a waste of time. Here are some ways to keep that from happening.
June 20, 2012

Avoiding ‘the Tyranny of the Immediate’

Managing an enterprise requires keeping the focus on “the main thing” and not being distracted by the daily tasks and deadlines that always seem urgent.
April 18, 2012

People Just Naturally Resist Change, Right?

Not so fast. What many people fear about organizational change is loss.
February 8, 2012

Logic Models and the Quest for Results

They can help governments achieve the outcomes they want. But they have their downsides.
November 9, 2011

‘Hire for Attitude, Train for Skills’

The way a successful airline finds employees who fit in with its distinctive culture holds lessons for the public sector.
August 10, 2011

How’s Your ‘Court Vision’?

Effective leaders know the importance of focusing not only on the things they can control, but on the larger picture.
July 6, 2011

James Madison, the Constitution and the Power of Collaboration

As the story behind the U.S. Constitution illustrates, history is chock full of lessons on collaborative leadership.
May 4, 2011

Reframe, Broaden a Problem

Dwight Eisenhower said, 'If you can't solve a problem, enlarge it.' It's a powerful insight into problem solving.
March 16, 2011

Creating a 'Line of Sight'

When employees have a line of sight, they can see the connection between their everyday work, and something larger.
December 15, 2010

The "Traps" to Successful Implementation

A guide to avoiding these five traps, and successfully implementing public initiatives.
October 27, 2010

Using Web 2.0 to Support Collaboration

Four ways agencies and organizations can use Web 2.0 to foster collaboration.
October 27, 2010

Engaging Through Web 2.0

Strategies for using Web 2.0 to foster collaboration.
September 9, 2010

Boosting Your Team’s Effectiveness

No doubt you’ve heard the phrase, “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘team.’” Here’s an approach for dealing with those who insist on putting an “I” in “team.”

Major Change, Fast Results

Changing the culture of an organization doesn't have to take a decade.
June 23, 2010

Change Doesn't Have to Take a Decade

Russ Linden on bringing about major change in a short amount of time.

The Power of a Collaborative Mindset

After Hurricane Katrina, it was collaborative leadership that returned order to New Orleans and improved rescue and recovery efforts.

Transparency Breeds Self-Correcting Behavior

The more an agency can make information transparent, the more it will breed change into an organization.

Story Power

Don't underestimate the strength of a good one to persuade people and move them to action.

The Experience Strategy

Before selling a solution, a leader needs to "sell the problem." That's best done when managers themselves experience what's wrong.

Getting Stuck on the Escalator

'Learned helplessness' can be a powerful drag on an organization's performance. But there are ways to combat it.

The Promise of the Millennial Generation

Millennials may be problematic, but consider their potential for radically improving government.

The Power of Resilience

Individuals need it. So do organizations.

When Adults Act like Children

It's up to an organization's leaders to create a culture that fosters collaboration, writes Russ Linden.

What'll It Cost Me?

When public employees ask the question "what is in it for me," they are evaluating what the change requires from them. Russ Linden provides insights in to how to manage the process of change.

Success is a Lousy Teacher

What worked in the business world, writes Russ Linden, doesn't always work in the public sector.

Forming Relationships Before They're Needed

As one emergency management veteran puts it, "you don't want to start forming relationships when you're standing in the rubble."

A Crisis is a Terrible Thing to Waste

With a little planning and a lot of commitment, writes Russ Linden, a crisis can produce significant changes in the status quo.

The Power, and Difficulty, of Executive Learning

Of all the skills and traits we expect of our leaders, none of them is more important than the ability to learn from one's mistakes.

The Real Message of the Midterm Elections

Forget about ideology, the great majority of voters just want a more effective government.

Dealing with the Human Side of Change

Dealing poorly (or not at all) with the human element is usually where change initiatives go south.

Abraham Lincoln: Leadership Lessons for Our Times (and All Times)

Lincoln, who lead a team of fierce rivals during our country's biggest crisis, has a lot to teach us.

The Fine, and Critical, Art of Managing Relationships

Good relationships mean that others are more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt when you're in trouble.

Getting Off the Dance Floor, and On the Balcony

Managers and leaders have to take themselves out of the fray to understand what's really going on.