Most people feel at odds with their organizations at one time or another: Managers with families struggle to balance professional and personal responsibilities in often unsympathetic firms. Members of minority groups strive to make their organizations better for others like themselves without limiting their career paths. Socially or environmentally conscious workers seek to act on their values at firms more concerned with profits than global poverty or pollution. Yet many firms leave little room for differences, and people who don't "fit in" conclude that their only option is to assimilate or leave. In Rocking the Boat, Debra E. Meyerson presents an inspiring alternative: building diverse, adaptive, family-friendly, and socially responsible workplaces not through revolution but through walking the tightrope between conformity and rebellion. Meyerson shows how these "tempered radicals" work toward transformational ends through incremental means--sticking to their values, asserting their agendas, and provoking change without jeopardising their hard-won careers.
Whether it's by resisting quietly, leveraging "small wins," or mobilising others in legitimate but powerful ways, tempered radicals turn threats to their identities into opportunities to make a positive difference in their companies--and in the world. Timely and provocative, Rocking the Boat puts self-realisation and change within everyone's reach--whether your difference stems from race, gender, sexual orientation, values, beliefs, or social perspective.
Debra E. Meyerson is Associate Professor of Education and (by courtesy) Organizational Behavior at Stanford University and co-director of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society.