“No one knows more about making work better than this pair of experts, and they’ve produced a remarkably insightful, engrossing, evidence-based, and actionable read. If every leader took the ideas in this book seriously, the world would be a less miserable, more productive place.”

—Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of THINK AGAIN and host of the TED podcast WorkLife


Friction is like cholesterol. It can be bad and clog up arteries, or it can be good and clean plaque.

A Tale of Bad Friction: Spending 300,000 hours annually to support a single weekly executive committee meeting. Read the details

A Tale of Good Friction: A large metropolitan airport solved an ongoing source of passenger complaints by requiring passengers to walk further to pick up their bags. Read the details

About Huggy Rao

Huggy Rao is the Atholl McBean professor of Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Science, the Sociological Research Association, and the Academy of Management. He has written for Harvard Business Review, Business Week, and the Wall Street Journal. He is the coauthor of the bestselling Scaling Up Excellence and author of Market Rebels.

About The Friction Project Book

We spent seven years studying the forces that make it harder, slower, more complicated, or downright impossible to get things done in organizations. The Friction Project is about why and when such friction is destructive, useful, or a mixed bag. Above all, it’s about how to think and live like a friction-fixer, so that your team or organization doesn’t squander the zeal, damage the health, and throttle the creativity and productivity of good people—and burn through cash and other precious organizational resources.

Praise for Huggy Rao’s Work

Every executive, investor, board member, and leader should buy The Friction Project.

—Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder of LinkedIn and Partner at Greylock Partners

Scaling Up Excellence is one of the finest business books you’ll ever read.

—Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and To Sell Is Human

If you want to have a big impact . . . make sure your entire team reads this book.

—Tom Rath, bestselling author of Strengthsfinder 2.0
on Scaling Up Excellence

A must-read. Renowned experts Robert Sutton and Huggy Rao are the first to tackle a pervasive problem that every leader faces: spreading and multiplying success.

—Adam Grant, Wharton professor and bestselling author of Give and Take
on Scaling Up Excellence

Market Rebels is the best book ever written about why new ideas do or don't spread throughout the marketplace.

—Robert I. Sutton, coauthor of Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense

Market Rebels induces a conversation between the social-movement research and organization studies that will ignite decades of productive discussion and research in both fields.

—Paul DiMaggio, Princeton University

The Friction Project

Since we wrote Scaling Up Excellence in 2014, Bob Sutton and I have been deluged with stories about how organizations stymie and exasperate their executives, front-line employees, customers, and so many others.​

These unsettling lessons prompted us to launch The Friction Project—which will be our main focus for at least the next two years. We are on a messy multi-pronged mission to understand the causes and cures for destructive organizational friction–and when it is wise to make things harder to do. The Project is supported, in part, by the Designing Organizational Change initiative, which we lead at Stanford.

Also by Huggy Rao