Good Ideas Not Enough

“The Agenda Mover” first of three new Bacharach leadership books
Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Much has been written about innovation and creativity, and a lot about leadership and management, but in “The Agenda Mover: When Your Good Idea Is Not Enough,” ILR McKelvey-Grant Professor Samuel  Bacharach focuses on execution.

His proposition is simple: In organizations and in life, good ideas are simply not enough. You need skills to move agendas forward.

Whether in organizations or in politics, if you don’t have the basic skills for moving agendas, you’re not leading, you’re hallucinating, said Bacharach, whose book was published this week by Cornell University Press.  

“For me, leadership is about getting things done. Organizations don’t have a creativity problem. They have an execution problem. Learn how to overcome resistance and move your agenda,” he said.

“The Agenda Mover” is the first book of a three-book leadership series by Bacharach to be published during the next nine months.   

Building on two of his previous books, “Get Them on Your Side” and “Keep Them on Your Side,” the new publication outlines specific behavioral skills leaders need in order to drive results.

In any organizational settings, innovation occurs only if leaders are trained at all levels of execution, Bacharach said. During the past decade, he and collaborators have trained hundreds of corporate leaders how to execute.

“I still have a deep commitment to my quantitative academic work, but my late-career passion is to train practitioners in the core pragmatic skills of leadership,” Bacharach said. “Teach people how to move their ideas, and you’ve empowered them.”