Writing this book about collaboration was itself a highly collaborative
endeavor. Through my research, teaching, and speaking over the last
decade, I’ve had the privilege of working with thousands of incredibly
talented professionals, and I’m deeply grateful for their input, feed-
back, and support. I hope that this book serves as a testament to the
power of uncovering and integrating the knowledge of specialized
experts. Beyond that—and true to my research ﬁndings—many of the
people who started collaborating on the content have now become
close colleagues and personal friends.
First, I thank the research participants: leaders, professionals,
and staff across the many professional service ﬁrms, and executives
and board members of the client organizations I studied. All were
generous with their time and insights—and most important, with
their trust in providing me with sensitive data, candid interviews,
and other conﬁdential inputs. To keep your conﬁdence, I refrain
from naming you, but I am humbled and indebted to you. Early
in the writing phase, I formed a board of contributors, compris-
ing all sorts of professionals who shared my passion for the topic
of collaboration and helped to signiﬁcantly improve this book by
providing their critiques, examples, and ideas. Thank you!
My students (JDs, LLMs, MBAs, and PhDs) and executive edu-
cation participants at Harvard Law School and Harvard Business
School were also invaluable sources of ideas, feedback, and inspi-
ration. Many times I presented and tested early-stage ideas in the
classroom, and I appreciate my Harvard faculty colleagues who
created those teaching opportunities and encouraged me to stretch
Acknowledgements.indd 9 05/10/16 11:32 pm
my wings: Jay Lorsch, Bob Eccles, Boris Groysberg, David Wilkins,
and Scott Westfahl.
I am grateful to my colleagues and the Advisory Board members
at Harvard Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession for pro-
viding me a “research home” and many opportunities to present
and reﬁne my ideas. The initial parts of this research were sup-
ported by the Division of Research at Harvard Business School.
Across both institutions, a tremendously capable group of research
associates have supported this effort, including Erin McFee,
John Ng, Danielle Wedde, Shuli Wang, and Audrey Bloom. The
research also beneﬁted from robust peer challenge provided by par-
ticipants in Harvard’s GroupsGroup seminars; the initiative’s foun-
der, the late J. Richard Hackman, continues to inspire my research
efforts. I hope I’ve done him proud.
The thinking behind this book evolved through some joint
research and writing projects with other academics, and I have been
blessed with coauthors who live the collaborative ideals: incredibly
tough in the realm of ideas but personally warm and encourag-
ing. This group includes Anand Narasimhan, Tim Morris, Ruth
Wageman, Mark Mortensen, Stuart Bunderson, Melissa Valentine,
Lisa Kwan, Jonathan Cromwell, Silvia Hodges Silverstein, Forrest
Briscoe, Andrew von Nordenﬂycht, Madeline King, and Rebecca
Normand-Hochman. Each of you pushes me to aim higher, and
you make work fun.
I have also beneﬁted enormously from the wisdom, insights,
critiques, and encouragement of mentors and colleagues who
played a role in this book and my life along the way. I couldn’t
possibly name everyone, but some of these vital inﬂuences include
Ian Davis, Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, Ben Heineman, Jim Hever,
James Lam, Patti Milligan Tsedal Neeley, Raymond Oldﬁeld,
Aric Press, Charles O’Donnell, Joe Macrae, Randall Peterson,
Barrett Rollins, Søren Røssel, Sara Singer, John Soroko, and Nils
Thommessen. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Those people who helped make this book a reality deserve
thanks, too. I especially thank my copyeditor Jeff Cruikshank,
whose monumental experience, wit, and patience were a godsend.
Tim Sullivan of Harvard Business Review Press and his highly
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