Considered one of the most prominent business trailblazers in the world, she has shared the platform with prime ministers, presidents and CEOs. In her latest work, "Evolve!: Succeeding in the Digital Culture of Tomorrow," Kanter explores what she calls "e-culture," a new way of living and working that will transform every aspect of today's organizations.
"It's about putting people in circumstances where they see a challenge to their existing belief," Kanter says. "The problem with companies that resist change is that they are too internally focused and their leadership is not exposed to experiences that would cause them to 'shake the pattern' a little, to see a new possibility."
Named one of the "50 Most Powerful Women in the World" by The Times of London, Kanter is also recognized as one of the "100 Most Important Women in America" and is ranked No. 11 among the "50 Most Influential Business Thinkers in the World." And she is co-founder of Goodmeasure Inc., whose consulting clients have included some of the world's best companies.
Goodmeasure is in the process of developing electronic Web-based versions of Kanter's leadership and change tools to help embed them in the daily work of organizations everywhere.
Kanter holds the position of the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, where she is researching the development of new leadership for the Digital Age, how to guide the transformation of large corporations, small and mid-sized businesses, health care, government and education as they incorporate new technology, create new kinds of alliances and partnerships, work across boundaries and borders, and take on new social responsibilities.
In 2001, she received the Academy of Management's Distinguished Career Award, the association's highest annual award, for her contributions to management.
In 1997 and 1998, she conceived and led the Business Leadership in the Social Sector (BLSS) project under the auspices of the Harvard Business School's Initiative on Social Enterprise. The project, which incorporated the ideas of national leaders including Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in dialogue about public-private partnerships for change, launched a video series and a national call to action in collaboration with business associations.
Kanter remains an active member of the initiative as senior adviser to IBM's Reinventing Education program.
The author of more than 15 books and the recipient of 21 honorary doctorate degrees, she dedicates her philanthropic work to activities that span local and global interests. U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao recently appointed Kanter to her task force on the skills gap for the 21st Century Work Force Council.
She has been a judge for the Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership given at the White House and a member of the Board of Overseers for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. She is a Fellow of the World Economic Forum, has served on the Massachusetts Governor's Economic Council (for which she co-chaired the International Trade Task Force) and led the effort to establish a Year 2000 Commission for legacy projects for Boston.