Case and Materials

Charting a Course for Boston: Organizing for Change

  • Authors Lisa Cox, Mitchell B. Weiss, Jorrit de Jong
a person sitting at a desk reading paperwork
Photo by John Wilcox

Last Updated

Strategic Leadership and Management

North America, Northeast Region, United States


Boston Mayor-elect Michelle Wu faced the challenge of structuring her team to create far-reaching change across city departments. Should she hire high-profile advisors in the mayor’s office, assign the work to department heads, or pursue another arrangement? Explore how mayors can structure roles and teams to deliver strong results.

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Michelle Wu was elected on the promise of systemic change. Four days after her November 2021 victory — and just eleven days before taking office as mayor of Boston — she considered how to get started delivering on her sweeping agenda. This case details the two main organizational models Mayor-elect Wu considered and how she navigated the systems changes that she considered to be the core of her campaign.

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