News and analysis
January 05, 2016

Henry Timms: Reimagining Influence

92Y

Henry Timms, 39
Executive Director, 92nd Street Y
Founder, Giving Tuesday
New York

You realize three things in quick succession when you first meet Henry Timms, the executive director of New York’s venerable 92nd Street Y. First: He is not American, but British. Second: He has no background running a cultural institution. And third: The board of the 92nd Street Y made a brilliant hire.

40 Under 40: A Force for Good

See profiles of other trailblazers crafting innovative new solutions to entrenched problems.

Henry thinks and cares deeply about how power is distributed and used within organizations and within society. He recently wrote, with Jeremy Heimans, a seminal paper on leadership for the Harvard Business Review titled "Understanding ‘New Power.’ " New power, they wrote, "is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it."

Henry is a world-class new-power channeler. Whether he is launching Giving Tuesday, spearheading an effort to distribute ­iPads to seniors so they can tell their own stories, or just having lunch with me, Henry always gives more than he takes.

Ms. Fine is a nonprofit leader, author, and expert on technology and communications.