Influential Books of Harvard Professor & Outward Bound CEO

Most Influential Books of Harvard Professor Allen Grossman

Allen Grossman – Harvard Professor of Business Administration and past President & CEO of Outward Bound shares his favorite and most influential books:


The Age of Discontinuity by Peter Drucker

Learn more about The Age of Discontinuity by Peter Drucker - One of Allen Grossman's most influential books

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker

 “Long recognised in business circles as a voice to listen to” – Harvard Business Review  “…it would be difficult to overestimate his contribution to management thinking” – Financial Times
 Get your copy of The Age of Discontinuity at here!


General Systems Theory by Russell Ackoff

Learn more about General Systems Theory by Russell Ackoff - One of Allen Grossman's most influential books

“It is far better to do the right thing wrong than to do the wrong thing right.” – Russell Ackoff

 “Russ Ackoff uses words that cut through the familiar and open doors in one’s brain.”-Arie de Geus, author of The Living Company

Get your copy of Ackoff’s best here!


Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham

Learn more about Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham - one of Allen Grossman's favorite books“Like all weak men he laid an exaggerated stress on not changing one’s mind.” – W. Somerset Maugham

 “The modern writer who has influenced me the most.” – George Orwell

Get you copy – Of Human Bondage here!

Biography of Allen S. Grossman:

Allen Grossman was appointed a Harvard Business School Professor of Management Practice in July 2000. He joined the Business School faculty in July 1998, with a concurrent appointment as a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Outward Bound USA for 6 years before stepping down in 1997 to work on the challenges of creating high performing nonprofit organizations. His current research focuses on leading and governing high performing nonprofit organizations and leadership and management of public school districts.

In partnership with four foundations, Mr. Grossman founded the Going to Scale Project in 1994. This project led to the book,High Performance Nonprofit Organizations: Managing Upstream for Greater Impact, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc and the article, Virtuous Capital: What Foundations Can Learn from Venture Capitalists published in the Harvard Business Review, both co-authored with Christine Letts and William Ryan.

In the MBA program, Mr. Grossman currently teaches the second year course, Leading and Governing High Performing Nonprofit Organizations and co-teaches a new Social Innovation Lab.  He most recently taught the first year course, Leadership and Corporate Accountability. He has also taught the first year course, The Entrepreneurial Manager and co-taught the second year courses, Entrepreneurship in the Social Sector and Effective Leadership of a Social Enterprise. Mr. Grossman is faculty chair for the Public Education Leadership Project (PELP), a joint project of HBS and HGSE; he co-chairs the executive education program, Performance Measurement and Management of Nonprofit Organizations (PMNO), a joint project of HBS and KSG; he teaches in the HBS executive education programs, Strategic Perspectives for Nonprofit Managers (SPNM) and Governing for Nonprofit Excellence (GNE) and others.

Before joining the nonprofit sector, he served as a Regional Chief Executive of Albert Fisher PLC and Chairman of the Board of Grossman Paper Company, a national distributor of packaging products. Mr. Grossman serves on and has chaired a number of nonprofit and for-profit boards. He received a B.S. in corporate finance from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. (Biographical info obtained from the Harvard Business School website)


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