April 2016 | 

Wharton’s New App: Nano Tools for Leaders®

Wharton’s New App: Nano Tools for Leaders®

Wharton’s popular Nano Tools for Leaders® are now available as an app on smartphones and iPads. That’s great news for today’s on-the-go executive looking for quick solutions to business challenges.

Published by Wharton’s Center for Leadership and Change Management and Wharton Executive Education, Nano Tools have been providing leaders with ideas they can immediately use to enhance their effectiveness and strategy since 2011. In surveys, executives overwhelmingly choose Nano Tools as their top method for staying connected with Wharton’s latest research and proven business best practices.

Each Nano Tool is designed to give leaders actionable insights they can start using in 15 minutes or fewer. Until now, leaders accessed the tools in Wharton’s online library at www.nanotoolsforleaders.com. Recent topics include: The Leader's Checklist: 15 Mission-Critical Principles; Building Trust: A Leader's Action Plan; and Staying Motivated: Five Renewal Rituals.

“With the Nano Tools now as an app, they are readily retrievable and thus provide an instant and indelible platform to remind yourself of what you need to do in your everyday leadership journey,” says Mike Useem, senior sponsor for Nano Tools and director of Wharton’s Center for Leadership and Change Management.

The app makes it easy to:

  • Search by topics, key word, or author
  • Know instantly when a new tool is published
  • Download and read a tool offline without an internet connection
  • Save tools to your “favorites” folder
  • Share a tool with friends and colleagues on social media


Useem says starting this year, Nano Tools will cover topics of greatest interest to Wharton’s most experienced executives participating in the Advanced Management Program. “We want to be more explicit in listening for themes that people are concerned about in their role as leaders. This is going to continue to be a very useful, at-your-fingertips kind of tool.”

Craig Wallace, who attended the Advanced Management Program in 2015, notes, "I recently discovered the Nano Tools app and I am impressed!” The Spears Professor of Management at Oklahoma State University and CEO of AOE Science continues, “Impressed so much that I prescribe the app to my students at OSU and to my clients at AOE Science. Each Nano Tool is highly actionable and presented in a rich condensed fashion that allows a user to extend his/her leadership capability right from a phone or tablet. Best part — there is over 5 years of content in the app library! I find I gain something new each time I visit the app — it’s like having a piece of Wharton with me wherever I go."

Useem emphasizes that there is no “silver bullet” for ongoing leadership development. Rather, it requires many skills and ways of thinking, covering a host of areas from finance and operations to the ethical climate.

Nano Tools, Useem explains, can be accessed and used at critical times when a leader is facing a major decision, such as negotiating to sell a division or expanding operations to a new market. “They are intended to be compelling reminders of what to keep in mind when you face these leadership moments when you are being put to the test or have to make a decision,” he says.

A new Nano Tool is published every month, and there are plans to offer the tools in podcast or video format in the future.

To download the app for iPhone, visit: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wharton-nano-tools/id1083311793?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4