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Nate’s Notes 47: Max Bazerman | Collaboration and Overcoming Imperfections

By January 4, 2023June 8th, 2023No Comments

Max Bazerman

Professor at Harvard Business School

Max Bazerman | Harvard Kennedy School

Max Bazerman has been creating value for decades, and I love the lessons he shared.

First, Max built his career on collaborating with great people, who have complementary skills, sometimes better than his own, and by not worrying about who got the credit. These people have become core to not only his career, but also his life.

Second, create a life around creating value. By drawing on the utilitarian philosophy of doing the most good for the most people, Max tries to create the most value with the topics he researches, the classes he teaches, and the activities he engages in away from work. And by adopting a value creation mindset, Max saw that there was more value to be created by creating products that people want to eat rather than preaching to people about what they shouldn’t eat.

And finally, we should recognize and strive to overcome our imperfections: we don’t make decisions as rationally as we should, negotiators don’t create as much value as they could, and people don’t behave as ethically as they aspire to do. By learning about these shortcomings we can all get on the road to having a greater impact.

In summary, by collaborating with others, and overcoming our own imperfections, we can create more value in the world. It’s a simple idea, please take it seriously. 

Max Bazerman Bio

Max Bazerman is a professor at Harvard Business School. But he is so much more. Max is a recipient of the lifetime achievement award presented by the Academy of Management for his decades of contributions to several academic fields. His consulting, teaching, and lecturing includes work in 30 countries, and his clients include some of the most notable companies of all time, such as Abbot, Aetna, AIG, Allstate, AstraZeneca, AT&T, BASF, Bayer, Boston Scientific, BP, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Chevron, and dozens of other companies that start with the letters D through Z.

He has written nearly two dozen books, on topics such as negotiation, decision making, ethics, and leadership. For example, in my negotiation class I use his book Negotiation Genius as the class text. In my organizational behavior class, I use his book Judgement in Managerial Decision Making. In my ethics class I use his book Blind Spots. And in my leadership class I use his book Decision Leadership.

I hope you enjoyed learning from Max Bazerman, because me and my students always do.

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