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Harvard Business Review
A weekly podcast featuring the leading thinkers in business and management.
2 days ago
CEO Series: Mastercard’s Ajay Banga on Promoting Financial Inclusion
Ajay Banga, the executive chairman and former CEO of Mastercard, has spearheaded a strategy focused on serving the previously unbanked via new technologies. During his 11-year tenure as president and chief executive, the company tripled revenues, increased net income six-fold, and saw its market cap rise from below $30 billion to more than $300 billion. He attributes this growth to setting ambitious goals, planning for the long term, and ensuring that all employees and customers feel valued.
4 days ago
How To Talk Yourself Up (Without Turning People Off)
Leslie John, associate professor at Harvard Business School, has done some deep research into the ways that people self-promote in their professional lives and identified what works and what doesn't. She says it is possible tout your own accomplishments without annoying your colleagues, if you do it at the right time or enlist others to boast on your behalf. She notes that many common workarounds -- such as humblebragging -- are highly ineffective and advises people to not only look for more natural opportunities to self-promote but also try to present balanced views of themselves. She's full of tips you can put to work, even in virtual settings. John is the author of the HBR article "Savvy Self-Promotion."
May 6, 2021
CEO Series: Mary Barra of General Motors on Committing to an Eco-Friendly Future
Mary Barra, chair and CEO of General Motors, says that electric vehicles are the future for the company and the automobile industry. GM has said it will phase out vehicles using internal combustion engines by 2035 and go carbon neutral at all of its facilities. Barra describes how she's executing on that plan as well as offering broader leadership lessons in an interview with HBR editor Amy Bernstein.
May 4, 2021
How Tech Adoption Fuels China’s Innovation Boom
Zak Dychtwald, founder of the advisory firm Young China Group, believes that the perception of China as a copycat and not an innovator is outdated. Instead, he argues the willingness of Chinese consumers to try new things is powering the country’s new innovation economy. Technology adoption rates in areas such as mobile payment are extremely high. He says non-Chinese companies can learn important lessons from this rapidly changing market and potentially use it to jump-start their own innovation engines. Dychtwald is the author of the HBR article "China’s New Innovation Advantage."
Apr 27, 2021
Quit Overthinking Things
Ethan Kross, professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, has spent years studying how people talk to themselves and the effect that this "chatter" has on our performance. From professional athletes to top students and senior executives, even the most talented among us sometimes struggle to quiet the voices in our heads. And Kross says that, while some self-talk can help us, it's often unproductive. He offers tips and tricks to break out of negative thinking and get back on track, especially at work. He's the author of the book “Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why it Matters, and How to Harness It.”
Apr 20, 2021
Streamlining Your Company’s Strategy
Felix Oberholzer-Gee, professor at Harvard Business School, says many organizations spend so much energy on strategy that it overwhelms with conflicting priorities. Instead, he argues companies should simplify and focus on two value drivers: customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction. By aligning strategic initiatives on these alone, leaders make their workers’ jobs less complicated and also improve customer experiences. Oberholzer-Gee is the author of the HBR article “Eliminate Strategic Overload” as well as the new book "Better, Simpler Strategy: A Value-Based Guide to Exceptional Performance."
Apr 13, 2021
The Career Rules You Didn’t Learn at School
Gorick Ng, career advisor at Harvard, tried to learn about the world of work at an early age, helping his mother search job listings and send out resumes. To launch his own career, he studied hard in school, secured an Ivy League education, and landed a plum job. But he still found himself struggling - as many first-generation college graduates do - because he didn’t understand workplace norms in the way that his (mostly white, middle- to upper-class) peers did. While they'd been taught how to network, angle for promotions, and "speak the language," he was left to figure it out on his own. Now, Ng counsels young people on how to avoid those mistakes and take on their first job in a way that puts them on the fast-track to success. He's the author of the book "The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Starting Your Career Off Right."
Apr 6, 2021
How the Creative Economy is Changing with Covid-19
Scott Belsky, chief product officer at Adobe, says that creative workers are a bigger part of the economy than ever, thanks to new technologies, more gig work, and shifting norms following the pandemic. He recommends that leaders at all companies — not just those in traditionally creative fields — understand this key component of value creation today. He explains how companies can make themselves more competitive by making themselves more attractive to the likes of designers, writers, and artists.
Mar 30, 2021
Building a Company While Battling Depression
Melissa Bernstein, cofounder of the toy company Melissa & Doug, spent decades hiding her struggles with depression even as she launched and led a booming business focused on bringing joy to children and raised six of her own. She finally opened up to her family, colleagues, and the public and recently launched an organization to give people better tools to discuss and manage their mental health. Bernstein explains what managers and organizations can do to help workers facing depression and other illnesses. She’s the author of the book LifeLines: An Inspirational Journey from Profound Darkness to Radiant Light.
Mar 23, 2021
The Competitive Advantage of an Offboarding Program
Alison Dachner, management professor at John Carroll University, and Erin Makarius, management professor at the University of Akron, say that an organization can become more competitive by implementing a stronger offboarding process. Their research shows that similar to the way universities maintain alumni networks, an offboarding strategy keeps former employees networked, which leads to more employee referrals, new business, expert consulting, or even re-employment. Dachner and Makarius wrote the HBR article "Turn Departing Employees into Loyal Alumni."
Mar 16, 2021
Workplace Design, Post-Pandemic
Anne-Laure Fayard, associate professor at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, was studying the effects of workplace design on employees long before the Covid-19 crisis. Now, she says, the trend of flexible schedules and hybrid offices - where some people come in, others work from home, and many do both - is here to stay. This means that businesses need to reimagine offices as places built less for individual knowledge work than for learning, collaboration, and culture-building. Fayard is the coauthor of the HBR article "Designing the Hybrid Office."
Mar 9, 2021
New Recruiting Strategies for a Post-Covid World
Lauren Smith, vice president at Gartner Research, says the pandemic is accelerating several key recruitment trends. She led a survey of thousands of job candidates and hiring managers that details the shift to virtual interviews, but also identifies other ongoing transitions that may be more important. The research points to three main trends to manage: a rapid turnover of necessary skills, the need to expand beyond existing talent pools, and the competitiveness that comes from offering an "employee value proposition." Even as more people return to in-person work, Smith argues, these trends will continue. Learn more about Gartner’s research in the HBR article "Reengineering the Recruitment Process."
Mar 2, 2021
What Black Leaders Bring to the Table
Chad Sanders, a former tech executive and entrepreneur, says that people of color, especially Black men like him, often feel the need to assimilate to white corporate culture. They learn to code switch and downplay their race. But Sanders realized a few years into his career that, by trying to fit in, he was failing to leverage the strengths he'd developed growing up as a minority in the United States. After digging into the stories of successful Black leaders, he discovered some common threads to their leadership styles, including empathy, resilience and creative thinking, and he has advice for rising Black executives who want to put those attributes to work as well as the organizations who employ them. Sanders is the author of "Black Magic: What Black Leaders Learned from Trauma and Triumph."
Feb 23, 2021
How CEOs Can Drive Sales — or Kill Deals
Christoph Senn, marketing professor at INSEAD, has spent years studying how top executives involve themselves in B2B sales. Some are very hands-off. Others make only social calls. Still others sit at the negotiating table. Outcomes vary widely. Senn explains the best combination of approaches for top executives engaging with core customers. And he shares how account managers and other employees can benefit from knowing their leader’s style. Senn is the coauthor, with Columbia Business School's Noel Capon, of the HBR article "When CEOs Make Sales Calls."
Feb 16, 2021
Bill Gates on How Business Leaders Can Fight Climate Change
Bill Gates, philanthropist and founder of Microsoft, argues that, even as we work to end the global pandemic, we can't lose sight of another existential threat: climate change. He says that we need to take aggressive action to get to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and insists that regulation isn't enough. Businesses need to pave the way forward by investing much more heavily in climate-friendly innovation. Gates speaks with HBR editor in chief Adi Ignatius about his new book, "How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need."
Feb 9, 2021
Taking on a Senior Leadership Role Remotely
Muriel Wilkins, cofounder of the executive coaching firm Paravis Partners, says that starting a leadership role at a new company or via internal promotion is demanding. Doing so remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic is even more challenging. She says that new senior leaders must focus on two things: connectivity and credibility. And she explains how to build those attributes when much of the job is performed virtually. Wilkins is the host of the new HBR Presents podcast “Coaching Real Leaders.”
Feb 2, 2021
How Many Managers Does It Take to Change a Lightbulb?
Jennifer Aaker, a Stanford professor, and Naomi Bagdonas, an executive coach, say that, even in times of stress and crisis, leaders should use and encourage good humor and levity at work as a way of building employee morale and engagement. That doesn't mean you have to tell jokes all the time. Instead, figure out what kind of humor works best for you and learn to pinpoint the opportunities for using it to best effect. They explain what makes things funny (hint: surprise) and the pitfalls managers should avoid. Aaker and Bagdonas are the authors of the book “Humor, Seriously: Why Humor is a Secret Weapon in Business and Life.”
Jan 26, 2021
What Sets Family Businesses Apart
Josh Baron and Rob Lachenauer, cofounders of BanyanGlobal Family Business Advisors, say that a family-run company has more flexibility than its publicly-traded counterpart to build a legacy and grow sustainably for the long term. But making critical decisions when there are family dynamics can be extremely challenging. They offer approaches to understand the real impact of ownership and effectively manage conflict. Lachenauer and Baron wrote “The Harvard Business Review Family Business Handbook: How to Build and Sustain a Successful, Enduring Enterprise.”
Jan 19, 2021
Goodbye Bureaucracy, Hello Common Sense
Martin Lindstrom, founder and chairman of Lindstrom Company, says that many companies are still held back by doing things the way they've always done them, or failing to break down bureaucracy. For Lindstrom, it's not just about getting away from bureaucratic norms for the sake of innovation, but because so many things workers do each and every day don't actually make much sense. He suggests workers, leaders, and organizations consider ways in which processes can be improved - and the ways these new processes can improve life for everyone. And he argues that companies should actually devote a team or department to making sure common sense is used throughout the organization. Lindstrom is the author of the book "The Ministry of Common Sense: How to Eliminate Bureaucratic Red Tape, Bad Excuses, and Corporate BS."
Jan 12, 2021
How Empathy Helps Bridge Generational Differences
Mimi Nicklin, a business coach and executive, has seen many leaders blame poor performance and communication on generational differences. But she argues managers should spend less time forcing Millennial and Gen Z employees to conform to company culture and more time on perspective taking and listening. In her experience, practicing empathy can vastly improve team collaboration and lead to better business and individual outcomes. Nicklin is the author of the book "Softening the Edge: Empathy: How Humanity’s Oldest Leadership Trait is Changing the World."
Dec 29, 2020
Stop Micromanaging and Give People the Help They Really Need
Colin Fisher, associate professor at University College London's School of Management, conducted in-depth studies at several companies to determine how managers can effectively help employees who need assistance without demoralizing them. He found that the most effective helpers were the ones who clearly communicated their intentions, timed their interventions at points when people were most receptive, and figured out a rhythm of involvement that best suited their needs. He shares examples from different firms to illustrate what works and what doesn't, in person and online. Fisher is the coauthor of the HBR article "How to Help (Without Micromanaging)."
Dec 22, 2020
Better Ways to Manage Up and Out
Nashater Deu Solheim, a forensic psychologist and leadership coach, says many people struggle to gain influence with those in their organization who don't report directly to them. That has only become more difficult in virtual office settings. But she says whether it comes to managing up to your bosses or out to your peers and clients, there are proven techniques to understand others’ thinking and win their respect. She explains her framework of preparation, behavior, and communication methods to do just that. Solheim is the author of the book “The Leadership PIN Code: Unlocking the Key to Willing and Winning Relationships.”
Dec 15, 2020
Why Burnout Happens — and How Bosses Can Help
Christina Maslach, professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, has been studying the causes of burnout, and its impact, for decades. She says that, in a year when everyone feels overwhelmed and exhausted, it's more important than ever for managers to recognize when and why employees are suffering and take steps to solve those problems. In her framework, burnout stems from not only large workloads but also lack of control, community, and/or reward and values mismatches. She notes that leaders have the ability to pull many of those levers to help their workers. Maslach is the author of "The Truth About Burnout" and a forthcoming book on the topic.
Dec 8, 2020
When to Team Up with Your Competition
Barry Nalebuff, professor at Yale School of Management and cofounder of Honest Tea, says too many companies shy away from cooperating with a competitor, and they’re leaving value on the table. He says even when working with other companies to find mutual benefits is not a clear win, cooperating may still be better than not cooperating. He shares how Honest Tea, Apple, Ford, and other firms analyze and capitalize on opportunities without giving up their secret sauce. Nalebuff is the author, with NYU Stern professor Adam Brandenburger, of the HBR article "The Rules of Co-opetition."
Dec 3, 2020
Race at Work: Lessons in Diversity and Culture from Mastercard
Race at Work is an HBR Presents podcast hosted by Porter Braswell about the role race plays in our careers and lives. In this episode, he speaks with Donna Johnson, former chief diversity officer at Mastercard, about leading the charge on changing company culture and how diversity can drive real business results.
Dec 1, 2020
What Business Leaders Should Know About Cryptocurrency
Jeff John Roberts, an author and journalist, dug deep into the world of cryptocurrency to figure out what the rest of us really need to know about it. He acknowledges that the proliferation and volatility of digital currencies can make them seem like a fad but argues that the oldest among them -- bitcoin -- and the blockchain technology behind it are here to stay because they offer a more efficient way for companies and consumers to transact. He describes in plain English how crypto works and explains why now is the time for forward-thinking business leaders to understand -- and adapt to -- this new kind of currency. Roberts is the author of the book "Kings of Crypto: One Startup's Quest to Take Cryptocurrency Out of Silicon Valley and Onto Wall Street."
Nov 24, 2020
Why Companies and Skilled Workers Are Turning to On-Demand Work
Joseph Fuller, professor at Harvard Business School, and Allison Bailey, senior partner at Boston Consulting Group, say that the Covid-19 pandemic is only accelerating a recent trend of companies turning to digital talent platforms for highly skilled workers. The need for agility and specialized skills has more firms seeking help with projects. Meanwhile, more workers are joining these online marketplaces for the promise of greater flexibility and agency. Fuller and Bailey explain how organizations can strategically employ this on-demand workforce to unlock value. With HBS researcher Manjari Raman and BCG partner Nithya Vaduganathan, they wrote the HBR article "Rethinking the On-Demand Workforce."
Nov 23, 2020
Women at Work: Too Shy to Be a Leader
Women at Work is a podcast from Harvard Business Review that looks at the struggles and successes of women in the workplace, hosted by HBR's Amy Bernstein, Amy Gallo, and Emily Caulfield. In this episode, you'll hear about the tension that comes from feeling like you are a shy person, but also an ambitious one who want to lead a team. Former clinical psychologist Alice Boyes gives advice on the professional advantages of certain personality traits related to shyness — like sensitivity and thoughtfulness — and discusses strategies to overcome the aspects of them that may hold you back at work.
Nov 17, 2020
How Jeff Bezos Built One of the World’s Most Valuable Companies
Sunil Gupta, Harvard Business School professor, has spent years studying successful digital strategies, companies, and leaders, and he's made Amazon and its legendary CEO Jeff Bezos a particular areas of focus. Drawing on his own in-depth research and other sources, including a new collection of Bezos' own writing, "Invent and Wander," Gupta explains how Amazon has upended traditional corporate strategy by diversifying into multiple products serving many end users instead of focusing more narrowly. He says that Bezos's obsession with the customer and insistence on long-term thinking are approaches that other companies and senior executives should emulate.
Nov 10, 2020
Managing Working Parents During the Pandemic
Ellen Ernst Kossek, management professor at Purdue University, is researching how the pandemic is putting an enormous strain on working parents and the new challenge that poses for their managers. She shares how supervisors can offer much-needed consistency and predictability for working parents on their teams. She also outlines specific ways to give working parents more flexibility while still holding them accountable. Kossek is the coauthor, with Kelly Schwind Wilson and Lindsay Mechem Rosokha, of the HBR article "What Working Parents Need from Their Managers."
Nov 6, 2020
Defining and Adapting Your Leadership Style
Suzanne Peterson, associate professor at Thunderbird School of Global Management, says many talented professionals get held back from leadership roles because of relatively intangible reasons. She argues aspiring managers can intentionally alter their everyday interactions in small ways to have a large influence on their professional reputation. She explains how to adopt markers of different leadership styles to be seen as both influential and likable. Peterson is a coauthor of the HBR article “How to Develop Your Leadership Style: Concrete Advice for a Squishy Challenge.”
Oct 27, 2020
How Those With Power and Privilege Can Help Others Advance
Tsedale Melaku, sociologist at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, and David Smith, professor at the U.S. Naval War College, have been looking at the ways people with the most power in society and organizations can become better allies to those who have less authority and influence. In the United States, that typically means white men helping their female co-workers or colleagues of color to advance. In an era when the push for gender and racial equity is gaining momentum, Melaku and Smith join host Alison Beard in a live taping that includes audience questions about the right ways to call out microaggressions, hold senior management to account, and use majority group privilege to help those in the minority. Melaku and Smith are the coauthors, along with Angie Beeman and Brad Johnson, of the HBR article "Be a Better Ally."
Oct 20, 2020
Why Work-From-Anywhere Is Here to Stay
Prithwiraj (Raj) Choudhury, associate professor at Harvard Business School, was studying the growing work-from-anywhere movement long before the Covid-19 pandemic forced many more of us into virtual work. He says that more and more organizations are adopting WFA as a business strategy, one that not only reduces real estate costs but also boosts employee engagement and productivity. He acknowledges that there are challenges to creating and maintaining all-remote workforces but outlines research-based best practices for overcoming them. Choudhury is the author of the HBR article "Our Work from Anywhere Future."
Oct 13, 2020
The Fundamental Human Relationship with Work
James Suzman, an anthropologist and former executive, says one way to better understand the future of work is to learn from the history of it. He has studied an ancient hunter-gatherer society in Namibia and says our modern notions of work, economy, and productivity are perhaps too limiting. Suzman argues that humans have always been drawn to work for its intrinsic value, and that managers can prepare for the future workplace by broadening their thinking about work and purpose. Suzman is the author of the new book "Work: A History of How We Spend Our Time."
Oct 6, 2020
How to Build Workplaces That Protect Employee Health
John Macomber, senior lecturer at Harvard Business School and a veteran of the real estate industry, was studying ways to make workplaces safer for employees long before the Covid-19 crisis hit. Now that issues like air and water quality are top of mind, he is encouraging organizations to think more holistically about the buildings in which they operate, balancing cost efficiency and even eco-friendliness with investments in improvements that boost health. Studies show this will not only stop workers from getting sick; it will also enhance productivity, which ultimately helps the bottom line. Macomber is the author of the book “Healthy Buildings: How Indoor Spaces Drive Performance and Productivity”.
Sep 29, 2020
When Efficiency Goes Too Far
Roger Martin, professor emeritus at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, says that for decades the U.S. corporate system has been obsessed with eliminating inefficiencies. There's a point, his research shows, when these efficiency gains come with even greater social and economic costs. And he believes that the Covid-19 pandemic is increasingly exposing those weaknesses. He argues that leaders and CEOs should reassess and, in some ways, reverse course in their perpetual drive for efficiency. Martin is the author of the new book "When More Is Not Better: Overcoming America's Obsession with Economic Efficiency."
Sep 22, 2020
The Subtle Art of Saying No
Bruce Tulgan, founder of the management training firm RainmakerThinking, says that the key to career success isn't only embracing opportunities; it's also declining projects, tasks, and requests for help so you create time for the most value-added work. He explains how to evaluate each ask, determine which you should prioritize, and deliver either a strategic "yes" or a well-thought-through no. Tulgan is the author of the HBR article "Learn When to Say No."
Sep 15, 2020
Cultivate a Trans-Inclusive Workplace
Katina Sawyer, assistant professor at the George Washington University, says transgender workers continue to be overlooked even as organizational diversity initiatives become more widespread. Her research shows that many trans employees experience ongoing discrimination, from microaggression to job loss. Sawyer shares effective formal policies and details the informal ways managers can make their workplaces — physical and virtual — truly welcoming for trans people. Sawyer is the author, along with Christian Thoroughgood and Jennica Webster, of the HBR article "Creating a Trans-Inclusive Workplace."
Sep 8, 2020
Creating More Resilient Supply Chains
Willy Shih, professor at Harvard Business School, says that the complex, global, and just-in-time manufacturing processes we've developed in recent decades are highly susceptible to breakdowns, especially during a global pandemic. He explains why the shortages we’ve seen in 2020 - in goods from toilet paper to appliances - are indicative of a bigger problem and talks through ways can businesses protect themselves and consumers in the future. Shih is the author of the HBR article "Global Supply Chains in a Post-Pandemic World."
Sep 1, 2020
To Build Grit, Go Back to Basics
Shannon Huffman Polson, a consultant and former military pilot, experienced early on how to build grit. At 19, she was the youngest woman to summit Denali, North America’s highest peak. Then she overcame many obstacles to fly U.S. Army attack helicopters. Today Polson coaches people on developing grit in their careers and workplaces. Building it like a muscle, the process begins with recognizing your story and understanding your core purpose. And she explains how it’s still possible to strengthen even during a pandemic when you’re extremely stressed and strained. Polson is the author of the new book "The Grit Factor: Courage, Resilience, and Leadership in the Most Male-Dominated Organization in the World."
Aug 25, 2020
Why Work Friends are Worth It
Shasta Nelson, relationship expert and author, says that work friendships are critical to individual and organizational success but acknowledges that it's not always easy to build these personal -- but still professional - connections, especially when work is virtual. She explains why consistency, vulnerability, and positivity are fundamental to friendship and offers specific suggestions for how to build those things with colleagues. Nelson is the author of the book "The Business of Friendship: Making the Most of Our Relationships Where We Spend Most of Our Time."
Aug 18, 2020
Breaking Down Bureaucracy and Building Up Workers
Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini, cofounders of the consultancy Management Lab, say that even though we all lament how rigid, parochial, and time sucking bureaucracies can be, they still seem inescapable. The managers who’ve excelled in them often don’t know how to dismantle them — or else they don’t want to. But Zanini and Hamel have studied and collaborated with innovative organizations, and they outline bottom-up ways to empower workers and hack management. Hamel and Zanini wrote the new book “Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside them.”
Aug 11, 2020
Mastering the Art of Persuasion
Jonah Berger, professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, says that most of us aren’t approaching persuasion the right way. Pushing people to behave how you’d like them to or believe the same things you do just doesn’t work, no matter how much data you give or how many emotional appeals you make. Studying both psychology and business, he’s found better tactics for bringing people over to your side. One of the keys? Asking questions so people feel like they’re making the decision to change. Berger is the author of the book "The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone's Mind."
Aug 4, 2020
Adapting Negotiations to a Remote World
Leigh Thompson, professor at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, studies negotiations to understand the path to the "sweet spot" where all sides of the table come away happy. And she says there are more pitfalls on that path when more of us are working remotely and online. She shares how to overcome the common traps of virtual negotiations with trust-enhancing hacks such as E-charisma and language style matching. Thompson is the author of the book “Negotiating the Sweet Spot: The Art of Leaving Nothing on the Table.”
Jul 28, 2020
Future-Proofing Your Strategy with Scenario Planning
Peter Scoblic, cofounder and principal of the consultancy Event Horizon Strategies, says that too many companies are short-sighted in their strategy-making and don't effectively plan for different potential futures. Using examples from the U.S. Coast Guard, he explains how thoughtful and ongoing scenario planning exercises can help organizations decide which investments will allow them to thrive in varying circumstances and navigate many types of crisis. Scoblic is the author of the HBR article "Learning from the Future."
Jul 21, 2020
Every Business Can Be a Subscription Business
Robbie Kellman Baxter, a strategy consultant, says that subscriptions aren’t just for newspapers and Netflix. She says they can help companies from local retailers to giant industrial manufacturers earn more consistent revenue and develop stronger customer loyalty. And she explains how even during an economic crisis, leaders can adopt a subscription business model to give their organizations a better chance of surviving and thriving. Kellman Baxter is the author of the book "The Forever Transaction: How to Build a Subscription Model So Compelling, Your Customers Will Never Want to Leave."
Jul 14, 2020
Helping People Move from Trauma to Growth
Richard Tedeschi, a psychology professor and distinguished chair of the Boulder Crest Institute, says that crises like the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic fallout as well as the recent racial violence and social unrest in the United States, can yield not just negative but also positive outcomes for individuals, teams, companies, industries, communities and nations. He has spent decades studying this phenomenon of post-traumatic growth and identified strategies for achieving it as well as the benefits that can accrue, from better relationships to the discovery of new opportunities. Tedeschi is the author of the HBR article "Growth After Trauma."
Jul 7, 2020
Pricing Strategies for Uncertain Times
Rafi Mohammed, founder of the consulting firm Culture of Profit, says a crisis or recession is not the time to panic and slash prices. He says leaders should instead reevaluate their price strategy — or develop one for the first time — to better respond to customers during the slump and keep them when the economy recovers. He shares examples of companies across a variety of industries that have created effective price strategies as well as his advice for changing prices in response to Covid-19. Mohammed is the author of “The 1% Windfall: How Successful Companies Use Price to Profit and Grow.”
Jun 30, 2020
AB InBev CEO on Adapting in the Face of Crisis
Carlos Brito, the CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev since 2008, has worked to build a culture of adaptability and customer centricity at the global brewer. Many of his leadership principles are paying off during the Covid-19 pandemic, as empowered employees have quickly changed course to respond to the crisis. Brito explains the challenges his company faces in a making beer for social gatherings at a time when people need to stay apart for safety, how the company has shifted operations and supply chains thanks in part to early lessons in markets such as China and South Korea, and how he’s leading strategic efforts to position AB InBev for a new reality.
Jun 23, 2020
Applying Porter’s Five Forces to Fix U.S. Politics
Katherine Gehl, a former CEO and the founder of the Institute for Political Innovation, and Michael Porter, a professor at Harvard Business School, apply his Five Forces framework to explain why U.S. politics are dysfunctional. They argue that the Republican and Democratic parties make up an industry duopoly with high barriers to entry and low consumer power, and that the resulting lack of competition incentivizes these two dominant players to avoid compromises with majority support. Gehl and Porter provide specific innovations on how to enhance competition and better serve the public, including nonpartisan primary elections and ranked-choice voting. Gehl and Porter are coauthors of the new book “The Politics Industry: How Political Innovation Can Break Partisan Gridlock and Save Our Democracy” and the HBR article “Fixing U.S. Politics."
Jun 16, 2020
Megan Rapinoe on Leading — On and Off the Field
Megan Rapinoe, U.S. women's soccer star and World Cup champion, knows how to perform under pressure, motivate her teammates, and advocate for the causes she believes in. In addition to her stellar play as a professional athlete, she's been outspoken about racial justice, LGBTQ rights, and gender pay equity. She offers lessons on overcoming losses, growing into a leadership role, becoming an ally, and operating as your authentic self.
Jun 9, 2020
Corporate America’s Work in Fighting Racism is Just Beginning
Ella Washington, an organizational psychologist at Georgetown University, argues that private sector American organizations have a big role to play in sustaining the fight for racial justice that has gained such momentum in recent weeks. She says that widespread protests should mark a shift in how companies and their leaders push for government policy change, think about diversity and inclusion in their own workplaces, and strive to combat bias and inequality in U.S. society. It not enough for CEOs to release statements and continue on with business as usual. To promote real change, they need to work on these issues each and every day. Washington is the coauthor of the HBR article "U.S. Businesses Must Take Meaningful Action Against Racism."
Jun 2, 2020
Great Leaders Use Tough Love to Improve Performance
Frances Frei, professor at Harvard Business School, says that trust, empathy - and even a bit of tough love - are all essential ingredients to strong leadership in today's world. Successful managers focus on the effect they have on others, not themselves. They also define a strategy and create a culture that drives employee behavior in their absence. Frei is the coauthor, along with Anne Morriss, of the book "Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader’s Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You" as well as the HBR article “Begin with Trust.”
May 26, 2020
Staying Agile Beyond a Crisis
Darrell Rigby, partner at Bain & Company, says many firms have rapidly adopted agile principles to react to the coronavirus crisis. Namely, they’ve been ditching bureaucratic planning processes and instead fast-tracking ideas, holding focused meetings, and empowering decisions at lower levels of the organization. He argues that C-suite leaders should keep this newfound organizational nimbleness for good and explains how they can. With Sarah Elk and Steve Berez, Rigby wrote the HBR article “The Agile C-Suite” and the new book Doing Agile Right: Transformation Without Chaos.
May 19, 2020
Smarter Side Gigs
Ken Banta, founder of the Vanguard Network, and Orlan Boston, partner at Ernst & Young, argue that every aspiring leader needs to have a side gig -- not to pursue a crazy dream or earn some extra cash but to enhance their skills, knowledge, and network in a way that benefits their existing careers. The key is to find meaningful and strategic roles that help you bring new insights and experience to your day job, and you can even let your boss in on your plans. Banta and Boston are the authors of the HBR article "The Strategic Side Gig."
May 12, 2020
To Build Strategy, Start with the Future
Mark Johnson, cofounder of the consulting firm Innosight, says that too many managers develop strategy while focusing on problems in the present, and that’s especially true during a crisis. Instead, he argues, leaders should imagine the future and work backward, so they can build their organization for that new reality. He shares practical steps managers can take to look beyond the typical short-term planning horizon and help their teams grasp future opportunities. Johnson is the coauthor of the HBR article "Leaders, Do You Have a Clear Vision for the Post-Crisis Future?" and the book "Lead from the Future: How to Turn Visionary Thinking into Breakthrough Growth."
May 5, 2020
How Marketers Can Drive Social Change and Profits
Myriam Sidibe, senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, says that brands are uniquely positioned to encourage shifts in consumer behavior that benefit individuals, communities, and the environment. A public health expert, she has studied these types of mission-led marketing campaigns and helped Unilever design one for Lifebuoy soap that not only promoted hand-washing in the developing world but also boosted the business's bottom line. She explains how companies of any size can find the right causes, craft authentic messages, and measure the return on their investments, adding that the current pandemic and economic crisis have made this work even more important. Sidibe is the author of the HBR article "Marketing Meets Mission."
Apr 28, 2020
Digital Transformation, One Discovery at a Time
Rita McGrath, professor at Columbia Business School, says the need for organizations to adopt digital business models is more important than ever. Change is accelerating as startups tackle incumbents. And suddenly the coronavirus crisis is forcing the hand of many companies that have put off digital transformations. She explains how established firms can avoid bet-the-farm moves and instead take small steps and quickly target their experiments. McGrath is the coauthor of the HBR article "Discovery-Driven Digital Transformation."
Apr 21, 2020
Another Workplace Crisis: Loneliness
Vivek Murthy, former U.S. Surgeon General, says that, even before the Covid-19 pandemic, we were facing another health crisis: loneliness. Studies show that, around the world, more people have been feeling a greater sense of social isolation, which has many negative affects, including increased blood pressure, reduced immune response, and decreased engagement and productivity at work. But organizations can be a place where people find a greater sense of belonging. Murthy wants us to take loneliness more seriously and focus on fostering the types of authentic connections -- face-to-face and virtual -- that we need to combat it. He's the author of the book "Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World."
Apr 14, 2020
Managing Crises in the Short and Long Term
Eric McNulty, associate director of Harvard’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, studies how managers successfully lead their companies through crises such as the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster and the Boston Marathon terror attack. He identifies the common traps that leaders fall into and shares how the best ones excel by thinking longer-term and trusting their teams with operational details. He also finds that companies that put people ahead of the bottom line tend to weather these storms better. McNulty is a coauthor of the book “You’re It: Crisis, Change, and How to Lead When It Matters Most” and the HBR article “Are You Leading Through Crisis… Or Managing the Response?”
Apr 7, 2020
How Entrepreneurs Succeed Outside Silicon Valley
Alex Lazarow, venture capitalist at Cathay Innovation, says that start-ups in cities around the U.S. and the world are creating their own rules for success. While Silicon Valley companies have sparked key innovations and generated huge wealth over the past few decades, not everyone should use them as a model going forward. In fact, we can learn more from frontier entrepreneurs, who are thinking more creatively about raising capital, sourcing talent, and pursuing social impact. Lazarow is the author of the book "Out-Innovate: How Global Entrepreneurs--from Delhi to Detroit--Are Rewriting the Rules of Silicon Valley."
Mar 31, 2020
Working Parents, Let Go of the Idea of Balance
Stewart Friedman, organizational psychologist at The Wharton School, and Alyssa Westring, associate professor at DePaul University’s Driehaus College of Business, say it’s a mistake for a working parent to think of career and home life as competing interests that have to be balanced. Their research shows how many leadership skills apply to parenting, and vice versa. The professors explain how individuals can stop making tradeoffs and instead find sustainable ways to advance their careers and also parent more effectively. Friedman and Westring are the authors of the book "Parents Who Lead: The Leadership Approach You Need to Parent with Purpose, Fuel Your Career, and Create a Richer Life."
Mar 26, 2020
Real Leaders: Oprah Winfrey and the Power of Empathy
In 1976, broadcast journalist Oprah Winfrey moved to Baltimore to coanchor the evening newscast at a local TV station. But she struggled in that spot and was moved to the morning talk show. That demotion led Winfrey to discover a professional calling that aligned with her personal sensibilities and emerging strengths. In the final episode of a four-part special series on leadership, HBR Editor in Chief Adi Ignatius and Harvard Business School professor and historian Nancy Koehn trace Winfrey’s career as an entrepreneur and leader of a media empire. They discover lessons on how to cultivate self-awareness, cross traditional boundaries, and responsibly wield influence.
Mar 24, 2020
Adjusting to Remote Work During the Coronavirus Crisis
Tsedal Neeley, a professor at Harvard Business School, says that there are simple ways leaders can help their employees stay productive, focused, and psychologically healthy as they work from home during the current global pandemic. The right technology tools and clear and constant communication are more important than ever. She recommends that managers do an official remote-work launch, carefully plan and facilitate virtual meetings, and pay extra attention to workers' behavior. For individual contributors, it's critical to maintain a routine but also embrace flexibility, especially if you're in the house with family.
Mar 19, 2020
Real Leaders: Abraham Lincoln and the Power of Emotional Discipline
In 1863, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln wrote a scathing letter to his top Union general, who had squandered a chance to end the Civil War. Then Lincoln folded it up and tucked it away in his desk. He never sent it. Lincoln understood that the first action that comes to mind is often counter-productive. In the third episode of a four-part special series on leadership, HBR Editor in Chief Adi Ignatius and Harvard Business School professor and historian Nancy Koehn explore Lincoln’s career both before and during America’s greatest crisis. They discover lessons on how to learn continuously, communicate values, and exercise emotional self-control.
Mar 17, 2020
Square’s Cofounder on Discovering — and Defending — Innovations
Jim McKelvey, entrepreneur and cofounder of Square, says that most companies that think of themselves as innovative are really just copycats. True innovation, he argues, is about fearlessly exploring novel solutions and dramatically expanding markets. Doing so also helps startups defend their innovations against industry giants, as Square did against Amazon. McKelvey is the author of the book “The Innovation Stack: Building an Unbeatable Business One Crazy Idea at a Time.”
Mar 12, 2020
Real Leaders: Rachel Carson Seeds the Environmental Movement
In 1958, writer Rachel Carson began her exhaustive research on the effects of widespread pesticide use for her next book, Silent Spring. Over the next four years, she built up an airtight case showing how the world’s most powerful chemical companies were harming animals, plants, and people. Her effort was also a race against time, as she struggled against an aggressive form of breast cancer. In the second episode of a four-part special series on leadership, HBR Editor in Chief Adi Ignatius and Harvard Business School professor and historian Nancy Koehn trace the modern environmental movement back to Carson’s pioneering reporting and powerful prose. They discover lessons in how to strengthen your resilience, gather your energy and skills for a coming challenge, and why caretaking is an act of leadership.
Mar 10, 2020
Why Capitalists Need to Save Democracy
Rebecca Henderson, professor at Harvard Business School, says that both capitalism and democracy are failing us. She argues that it will take public and private leaders working together to simultaneously fix these two systems because free markets don't function well without free politics and healthy government needs corporate support to survive. She is calling on the business community to take the first step. Henderson is the author of the upcoming book "Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire." And the March Big Idea article, "The Business Case for Saving Democracy."
Mar 5, 2020
Real Leaders: Ernest Shackleton Leads a Harrowing Expedition
In 1915, polar explorer Ernest Shackleton’s ship became trapped in ice, north of Antarctica. For the next two years, he kept his crew of 27 men alive on a drifting ice cap, then led them in their escape. How Shackleton did that has become one of the most famous leadership case studies. In the first episode of a four-part special series on leadership, HBR Editor in Chief Adi Ignatius and Harvard Business School professor and historian Nancy Koehn analyze Shackleton’s leadership during the struggle to survive. They discover lessons in building a team, learning from bad bosses, and cultivating empathy.
Mar 3, 2020
How Workplaces — Not Women — Need to Change to Improve Equality
Michelle King, director of inclusion at Netflix, says it’s time to stop telling women to adapt to the male-dominated workplace and time for the workplace itself to change. Her prior academic research shows that diversity training and anti-harassment efforts address important issues but fall short of creating gender equality in organizations. She identifies the real obstacles and shares how leaders can create a culture of equality at work, for women and men alike. King is the author of the book "The Fix: Overcome the Invisible Barriers That Are Holding Women Back at Work.”
Feb 25, 2020
Rules for Effective Hiring — and Firing
Joel Peterson, chairman of JetBlue Airways, has spent a career leading teams, building businesses, and managing people at every level. Along the way, he's learned valuable lessons about the best ways to bring on new talent – as well as when and how to let people go. He also teaches at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and is the author of the book “Entrepreneurial Leadership: The Art of Launching New Ventures, Inspiring Others, and Running Stuff.”
Feb 18, 2020
Defining Radical Candor – and How to Do It
Kim Scott, a cofounder of the executive coaching firm Radical Candor, says that too many managers give meaningless positive feedback, while many others are highly critical without showing any understanding. Scott, who previously worked at Google and has consulted for Twitter and Dropbox, says leaders should learn to give honest feedback in the moment, while also developing a relationship that shows how the hard feedback is coming from a place of caring. She explains the steps managers can take to challenge more directly while also communicating empathy. Scott is the author of the book "Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity."
Feb 11, 2020
How People Succeed By Defying Expectations
Laura Huang, associate professor at Harvard Business School, has studied groups that face bias in the workplace, from entrepreneurs with accents to women and people of color. She says that the best way for individuals to overcome this type of adversity is to acknowledge and harness it, so it plays to their advantage instead of holding them back. Start by recognizing your outsider status and the preconceived notions others might have about you, then surprise them by showing how you defy their expectations and can offer unique value. Huang is the author of the book "Edge: Turning Adversity Into Advantage."
Feb 4, 2020
How to Set Up — and Learn — from Experiments
Stefan Thomke, professor at Harvard Business School, says running experiments can give companies tremendous value, but too often business leaders make decisions based on intuition. While A/B testing on large transaction volumes is common practice at Google, Booking.com, and Netflix, Thomke says even small firms can get a competitive advantage from experiments. He explains how to introduce, run, and learn from them, as well as how to cultivate an experimental mindset at your organization. Thomke is the author of the book "Experimentation Works: The Surprising Power of Business Experiments" and the HBR article "Building a Culture of Experimentation."
Jan 28, 2020
How to Capture All the Advantages of Open Innovation
Henry Chesbrough, adjunct professor at the University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business, coined the term "open innovation" over a decade ago. This is the practice of sourcing ideas outside your own organization as well as sharing your own research with others. However, he says that despite a booming economy in Silicon Valley, companies aren't executing on open innovation as well as they should. They are outsourcing, but not collaborating, and fewer value-added new products and services are being created as a result. He's the author of the book "Open Innovation Results: Going Beyond the Hype and Getting Down to Business".
Jan 27, 2020
Revisiting “Jobs To Be Done” with Clayton Christensen
In this repeat episode, we honor the legacy of HBS professor Clayton Christensen, who passed away on January 23, 2020. The legendary management thinker was best known for his influential theory of “disruptive innovation,” which inspired a generation of executives and entrepreneurs. This HBR IdeaCast interview was originally published in 2016.
Jan 21, 2020
Why Business Leaders Should Solve Problems Beyond Their Companies
Rosabeth Moss Kanter, professor at Harvard Business School, believes the world demands a new kind of business leader. She says so-called “advanced leaders” work inside and outside their companies to tackle big issues such as climate change, public health, and social inequality. She gives real-life examples and explains how business leaders can harness their experience, networks, innovative approaches, and the power of their organizations to solve challenging problems. Kanter is the author of the book "Think Outside the Building: How Advanced Leaders Can Change the World One Small Innovation at a Time."
Jan 14, 2020
A New Way to Combat Bias at Work
Joan Williams, professor and the founding director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law, says that it's extremely difficult for organizations to rid their workforces of the unconscious biases that can prevent women and minorities from advancing. But it's not so hard for individual managers to interrupt bias within their own teams. She offers specific suggestions for how bosses can shift their approach in four areas: hiring, meetings, assignments, and reviews/promotions. Leaders who employ these practices, she argues, are able to embrace and reap the advantages of diversity, even in the absence of larger organizational directives. Williams is the author of the HBR article "How the Best Bosses Interrupt Bias on Their Teams."
Jan 7, 2020
Setting a High Bar for Your Customer Service
Horst Schulze, cofounder of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, started out cleaning ashtrays as a busboy before working his way up through some of the world's best hotels and becoming COO of Ritz-Carlton and later CEO of Capella Hotel Group. He shares the principles of stellar customer service to which he credits his success — and explains how they apply to every business. Schulze is the author of the book "Excellence Wins: A No-Nonsense Guide to Becoming the Best in a World of Compromise.”
Dec 31, 2019
The Right Way to Form New Habits
James Clear, entrepreneur and author, says that the way we go about trying to form new habits and break bad ones — at work or home — is all wrong. Many people, he says, focus on big goals without thinking about the small steps they need to take along the way. Just like saving money, habits accrue compound interest: when you do 1% more or different each day or week, it eventually leads to meaningful improvement. So if you’ve made a resolution for the new year or have an idea for how to propel your career forward at any time, these strategies will help. Clear is the author of the book "Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results."
Dec 24, 2019
How One CEO Successfully Led a Digital Transformation
Nancy McKinstry, CEO of Wolters Kluwer, has successfully shifted her company’s business to digital products over 15 years. The Dutch multinational started in the 1830s as a publishing house and now earns more than 90% of its revenue from digital. McKinstry explains how her firm kept investing in product innovation – and how she learned to be patient as consumers slowly adopted new products and services. She also credits the role of increased diversity in her organization. McKinstry is the top woman in HBR’s 2019 list of the world’s best-performing chief executives.
Dec 17, 2019
The Art of Asking for (and Getting) Help
Wayne Baker, professor at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, has spent much of his career researching the best way to effectively ask for help at work. Whether you're soliciting support on a tricky assignment or more resources for your team, it can feel uncomfortable to approach bosses and colleagues with hat in hand. But we rarely get what we need or want without asking for it. Baker highlights some of the most effective strategies for defining your goal, figuring out who to ask, and crafting your message so it will be positively received. He is also the author of the book “All You Have to Do Is Ask: How to Master the Most Important Skill for Success.”
Dec 10, 2019
The Tipping Point Between Failure and Success
Dashun Wang, associate professor at Kellogg School of Management, crunched big datasets of entrepreneurs, scientists, and even terrorist organizations to better understand the fine line between failure and success. One surprising finding is that people who experience early failures often become more accomplished than counterparts who achieve early successes. Another insight is that the pace of failure is an indicator of the tipping point between stagnation and eventual success. Wang is a coauthor of the study in the journal Nature: “Quantifying the dynamics of failure across science, startups and security.”
Dec 3, 2019
Why Cybersecurity Isn’t Only a Tech Problem
Thomas Parenty and Jack Domet, cofounders of the cybersecurity firm Archefact Group, say that most organizations are approaching cybersecurity all wrong. Whether they're running small companies or working in multinational corporations, leaders have to think beyond their IT department and technology systems to instead focus on protecting their businesses' most important assets from attack. They need to work across functions and geographies to identify key risks, imagine potential threats and adversaries, and develop a plan for combating them. Parenty and Domet are the authors of the HBR article “Sizing up your Cyber Risks,” as well as the HBR Press book "A Leader’s Guide to Cybersecurity."
Nov 26, 2019
A Nobel Prize Winner on Rethinking Poverty (and Business)
Esther Duflo, an MIT economist, won the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for her experimental approach to alleviating global poverty. Duflo’s early life working at a non-governmental organization in Madagascar and volunteering in soup kitchens in her native France inspired her to study economics and research the root causes of poverty. With her fellow Nobel winners Abhijit Banerjee of MIT and Michael Kremer of Harvard, Duflo showed that effective policies often go against conventional wisdom and popular economic models. The only way to find out what works, she argues, is to rigorously test solutions on the ground, and she encourages businesses to do the same. With Banerjee, Duflo also wrote the new book "Good Economics for Hard Times."
Nov 19, 2019
To Truly Delight Customers, You Need Aesthetic Intelligence
Pauline Brown, former chairman of North America for the luxury goods company LVMH, argues that in additional to traditional and emotional intelligence, great leaders also need to develop what she calls aesthetic intelligence. This means knowing what good taste is and thinking about how your services and products stimulate all five senses to create delight. Brown argues that in today's crowded marketplace, this kind of AI is what will set companies apart -- and not just in the consumer products and luxury sectors. B2B or B2C, small or large, digital or bricks-and-mortar, all organizations need to hire and train people to think this way. Brown is the author of the book "Aesthetic Intelligence: How to Boost It and Use It in Business and Beyond."
Nov 12, 2019
Why “Connector” Managers Build Better Talent
Sari Wilde, a managing vice president at Gartner, studied 5,000 managers and identified four different types of leaders. The surprising result is that the “always on” manager is less effective at developing employees, even though many companies encourage supervisors to give constant feedback. Instead, the “connector” manager is the most effective, because they facilitate productive interactions across the organization. Wilde explains what the best connector managers do, how to be one, and how to work for one. With Jaime Roca, Wilde wrote the book “The Connector Manager: Why Some Leaders Build Exceptional Talent -- and Others Don’t.”
Nov 5, 2019
Why Meetings Go Wrong (And How to Fix Them)
Steven Rogelberg, a professor at UNC Charlotte, has spent decades researching workplace meetings and reports that many of them are a waste of time. Why? Because the vast majority of managers aren't trained in or reviewed on effective meeting management. He explains how leaders can improve meetings -- for example, by welcoming attendees as if they were party guests or banning use of the mute button on conference calls -- and how organizations can support these efforts with better practices and policies, from creating meeting-free days to appointing a Chief Meeting Officer. Rogelberg is the author of the book "The Surprising Science of Meetings: How You Can Lead Your Team to Peak Performance" and the HBR article "Why Your Meetings Stink -- And What To Do About It."
Oct 29, 2019
Why Open Offices Aren’t Working — and How to Fix Them
Ethan Bernstein, associate professor at Harvard Business School, studied how coworkers interacted before and after their company moved to an open office plan. The research shows why open workspaces often fail to foster the collaboration they’re designed for. Workers get good at shutting others out and their interactions can even decline. Bernstein explains how companies can conduct experiments to learn how to achieve the productive interactions they want. With Ben Waber of Humanyze, Bernstein wrote the HBR article "The Truth About Open Offices."
Oct 22, 2019
Accelerate Learning to Boost Your Career
Scott Young, who gained fame for teaching himself the four-year MIT computer science curriculum in just 12 months, says that the type of fast, focused learning he employed is possible for all of us -- whether we want to master coding, become fluent in a foreign language, or excel at public speaking. And, in a dynamic, fast-paced business environment that leaves so many of us strapped for time and struggling to keep up, he believes that the ability to quickly develop new knowledge and skills will be a tremendous asset. After researching best practices and experimenting on his own, he has developed a set of principles that any of us can follow to become "ultralearners." Young is the author of the book "Ultralearning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career."
Oct 17, 2019
HBR Presents: The Anxious Achiever with Morra Aarons-Mele
On The Anxious Achiever, Morra Aarons-Mele explores the way anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues affect people at work – for better or worse. In this episode, she speaks with clinical psychologist Ellen Hendriksen and Arvind Rajan, the CEO of Cricket Health, about the tension between work and social anxiety. "The Anxious Achiever with Morra Aarons-Mele" is part of HBR Presents, a new network of business podcasts curated by HBR editors. For our full lineup of shows, search “HBR” on your favorite podcast app or visit hbr.org/podcasts.
Oct 15, 2019
How to Have a Relationship and a Career
Jennifer Petriglieri, associate professor at INSEAD, studied more than 100 couples where both partners have big professional goals. She finds that being successful in your careers and your relationship involves planning, mapping, and ongoing communication. She also identifies different models for managing dual-career relationships and explains the traps that couples typically encounter. Petriglieri is the author of the book “Couples That Work: How Dual-Career Couples Can Thrive in Love and Work.”
Oct 8, 2019
The CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods on Becoming a Gun Control Advocate
Ed Stack, the chief executive of Dick's Sporting Goods, decided after the Parkland school shooting to pull assault rifles and high-capacity magazines from all of his company’s stores. The controversial choice hurt revenues. But the retailer weathered the storm, thanks to inclusive and thoughtful decision-making, careful communication with all stakeholders, and a strategic shift to new product lines. Stack explains why he chose to take such a public stance on a hot-button social issue and how it has affected him personally and professionally. He is the author of "It's How We Play the Game: Build a Business. Take a Stand. Make a Difference."
Oct 4, 2019
Melinda Gates on Fighting for Gender Equality
Melinda Gates, cochair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and founder of Pivotal Ventures, is committing $1 billion over the next ten years to advance gender equality. She says evidence shows it's the best way to drive economic development in nations and performance in companies. She shares her own stories as a female executive at Microsoft, a working mother, and a nonprofit leader learning from women around the world. Gates is the author of the HBR article "Gender Equality Is Within Our Reach."
Oct 1, 2019
How Companies Like Google and Alibaba Respond to Fast-Moving Markets
Dave Ulrich, professor at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, argues today's companies need to replace old hierarchical models with he calls a “market-oriented ecosystem.” From research at Alibaba, Google, Huawei, Supercell, and others, he shows the impressive results of orienting teams and processes toward market opportunities. Ulrich is the coauthor, along with Tencent senior advisor Arthur Yeung, of “Reinventing the Organization: How Companies Can Deliver Radically Greater Value in Fast-Changing Markets.”
Sep 24, 2019
How to Be Less Distracted at Work — and in Life
Nir Eyal, an expert on technology and psychology, says that we all need to learn to be less distracted into activities that don't help us achieve what we want to each day. Unwelcome behaviors can range from social media scrolling and bingeing on YouTube videos to chatting with colleagues or answering non-urgent emails. To break these habits, we start by recognizing that it is often our own emotions, not our devices, that distract us. We must then recognize the difference between traction (values-aligned work or leisure) and distraction (not) and make time in our schedules for more of the former. Eyal also has tips for protecting ourselves from the external distractions that do come at us and tools to force us to focus on bigger-picture goals. He is the author of the book "Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life."
Sep 17, 2019
Dematerialization and What It Means for the Economy — and Climate Change
Andrew McAfee, co-director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, explains how the U.S. economy is growing and actually using less and less stuff to do so. Thanks to new technologies, many advanced economies are reducing their use of timber, metals, fertilizer, and other resources. McAfee says this dematerialization trend is spreading to other parts of the globe. While it’s not happening fast enough to stop climate change, he believes it offers some hope for environmental protection when combined with effective public policy. McAfee is the author of the book “More from Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources—and What Happens Next.”
Sep 10, 2019
What Great Coaching Looks Like
Richard Boyatzis, professor at Case Western Reserve University, says that every professional can benefit from having a coach — and serving as one for someone else. He says that a coaching relationship moves beyond mentoring or sponsoring in that it focuses on long-term values and aspirations. The best coaches encourage a positive mindset and ask probing questions to help people make the best choices, not only in their careers but also in their personal lives. Boyatzis is coauthor of the HBR article "Coaching for Change."
Sep 3, 2019
The Inherent Failures of Long-Term Contracts — and How to Fix Them
Oliver Hart, Nobel-winning Harvard economist, and Kate Vitasek, faculty at the University of Tennessee, argue that many business contracts are imperfect, no matter how bulletproof you try to make them. Especially in complicated relationships such as outsourcing, one side ends up feeling like they're getting a bad deal, and it can spiral into a tit for tat battle. Hart and Vitasek argue that companies should instead adopt so-called relational contracts. Their research shows that creating a general playbook built around principles like fairness and reciprocity offers greater benefits to both businesses. Hart and Vitasek, with the Swedish attorney David Frydlinger, cowrote the HBR article "A New Approach to Contracts."
Aug 27, 2019
How African-Americans Advance at Work — And What Organizations Can Do to Help
Laura Morgan Roberts, professor at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business, says that organizations are still falling short on promoting racial diversity, particularly in their most senior ranks. While many large companies have "inclusion" initiatives, most leaders still shy away from frank discussions about how the experiences of their black employees and executives -- including their feelings of authenticity and potential for advancement -- differ from those of their white peers. She points to several ways we can change these dynamics. With David Thomas and Anthony Mayo, Morgan Roberts is co-author of the book “Race, Work, and Leadership: New Perspectives on the Black Experience.”
Aug 20, 2019
The Challenges (and Triumphs) of a Young Manager
Julie Zhuo, Facebook’s VP of product design, started at the company as its first intern and became a manager at the age of 25. Like many first-time bosses, she made many missteps and acted how she thought managers were supposed to act. Eventually, she grew to find joy in the role and today she leads hundreds of people. She says that becoming a great manager also helps you know yourself better. Zhuo is the author of the book "The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You."
Aug 13, 2019
How to Thrive as a Working Parent
Daisy Dowling, founder and CEO of Workparent, says that moms and dads with jobs outside the home don't have to feel stressed or guilty about trying to balance their professional and personal lives. The key is to tease apart the different challenges -- from coping with feelings of loss to managing practicalities -- and to adopt strategies to better guide you through each. She points out that while a lot of emphasis is placed on parental leave, and especially new mothers, people at all stages of parenting need practical, immediate, and effective solutions they can implement themselves. Dowling is the author of the HBR article "A Working Parent’s Survival Guide."
Aug 6, 2019
How Robots and AI Are Changing Job Training
Matt Beane, assistant professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, finds that robots, machine learning, and AI are changing how we train for our jobs — not just how we do them. His study shows that robot-assisted surgery is disrupting the traditional learning pathway of younger physicians. He says this trend is emerging in many industries, from finance to law enforcement to education. And he shares lessons from trainees who are successfully working around these new barriers. Beane is the author of the HBR article “Learning to Work with Intelligent Machines.”
Jul 30, 2019
Finding (and Keeping) Your Company’s Soul
Ranjay Gulati, professor at Harvard Business School, says the most successful organizations tend to have one thing in common: a soul. Moving beyond culture, the "soul" of a growing start-up -- or a more established company -- is built on clear business intent, a strong connection to customers, and a stellar employee experience. Gulati says that leaders must think hard about preserving all three elements of the soul even as they scale and never lose sight of what makes their company special. He's the author of the HBR article "The Soul of a Start-Up."
Jul 23, 2019
Improve Your Critical Thinking at Work
Helen Lee Bouygues, founder of the Reboot Foundation, believes that a lack of critical thinking is responsible for many business failures. She says organizational leaders often rely too heavily on expertise and then jump to conclusions. Instead, leaders should deliberately approach each problem and devote time thinking through possible solutions. The good news, she says, is that critical thinking skills can developed and practiced over time. Bouygues is the author of the HBR.org article "3 Simple Habits to Improve Your Critical Thinking."
Jul 16, 2019
Business Lessons from How Marvel Makes Movies
Spencer Harrison, an associate professor at INSEAD, says that managers in any industry can learn from the success of the Marvel movie franchise. While some sequels lack creativity, Marvel manages to make each of its new releases just different enough, so consumers are not just satisfied but also surprised. Research shows that several strategies drive this success; they include bringing in different types of talent while also maintaining a stable core creative team then working together to challenge the superhero action-film formula. And, Harrison argues, leaders in other industries and functions can easily apply them to their own businesses. He is the co-author of the HBR article "Marvel's Blockbuster Machine."
Jul 9, 2019
The 3 Types of Leaders of Innovative Companies
Deborah Ancona and Kate Isaacs, researchers at MIT Sloan School of Management, say many companies struggle to be nimble with a command-and-control leadership culture. They studied Xerox’s R&D outfit PARC and the materials science company W.L. Gore & Associates and found these highly innovative organizations have three kinds of leaders: entrepreneurial, enabling, and architecting ones. These roles work together to give direction and avoid creative chaos. Ancona and Isaacs are coauthors of the HBR article "Nimble Leadership."
Jul 2, 2019
Stopping White-Collar Crime at Your Company
Eugene Soltes, associate professor at Harvard Business School, studies white-collar crime and has even interviewed convicts behind bars. While most people think of high-profile scandals like Enron, he says every sizable organization has lapses in integrity. He shares practical tools for managers to identify pockets of ethical violations to prevent them from ballooning into serious reputational and financial damage. Soltes is the author of the HBR article “Where Is Your Company Most Prone to Lapses in Integrity?”
Jun 25, 2019
How to Fix Your Hiring Process
Peter Cappelli, professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business and director of its Center for Human Resources, says managers at companies large and small are doing hiring all wrong. A confluence of changes, from the onslaught of online tools to a rise in recruitment outsourcing, have promised more efficiency but actually made us less effective at finding the best candidates. Cappelli says there are better, simpler ways to measure whether someone will be a good employee and advises companies to focus more on internal talent. He's the author of the HBR article "Your Approach to Hiring is All Wrong."
Jun 18, 2019
The Surprising Benefits of Sponsoring Others at Work
Sylvia Ann Hewlett, an economist and the founder of the Center for Talent Innovation, has studied the difference between mentoring and sponsorship and what leaders have to gain from the latter. She says it's important to seek out protégés who outperform, are exceptionally trustworthy, and, most importantly, offer skills, knowledge, and perspectives that differ from your own, so you can maximize the benefits for both parties. Hewlett brings real-world lessons from several successful pairings and tips on how to effectively launch and manage these long-term relationships. She's the author of the book "The Sponsor Effect: How to Be a Better Leader by Investing in Others."
Jun 11, 2019
Why You Need Innovation Capital — And How to Get It
Nathan Furr, assistant professor of strategy at INSEAD, researches what makes great innovative leaders, and he reveals how they develop and spend “innovation capital.” Like social or political capital, it’s a power to motivate employees, win the buy-in of stakeholders, and sell breakthrough products. Furr argues that innovation capital is something everyone can develop and grow by using something he calls impression amplifiers. Furr is the coauthor of the book “Innovation Capital: How to Compete--and Win--Like the World's Most Innovative Leaders.”
Jun 4, 2019
Advice for Entrepreneurs from a Leading Venture Capitalist
Scott Kupor, managing partner at Andreessen Horowitz, says there's a lot about navigating the venture capital world that entrepreneurs don't understand. Some can't figure out how to get in the door. Others fail to deliver persuasive pitches. Many don't know how the deals and relationships really work. Kupor outlines what he and his partners look for in founding teams and business ideas and explains how start-ups work with VCs to become successful companies. He also discusses how Silicon Valley can do a better job of finding more diverse talent and funding new types of ventures. Kupor is the author of the book "Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It."
May 28, 2019
Understanding the Space Economy
Sinéad O'Sullivan, entrepreneurship fellow at Harvard Business School, discusses how space is much more important to modern business than most people realize. It plays a role in making food, pricing insurance, and steering self-driving cars. While moonshot projects from SpaceX to Blue Origin drive headlines, the Earth-facing space economy is booming thanks to plummeting costs of entry. As tech companies large and small compete to launch thousands of satellites, O'Sullivan says we are actually running out of space in space.
May 21, 2019
Why It’s Time to Finally Worry about ESG
Robert Eccles, a visiting professor of management practice at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, says that the global investment community's interest in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues has finally reached a tipping point. Large asset management firms and pensions funds are now pressuring corporate leaders to improve sustainability practices in material ways that both benefit their firms' bottom line and create broader impact. They're also advocating for more uniform metrics and industry standards. Eccles is the author of the HBR article “The Investor Revolution."
May 14, 2019
How Having a Rival Improves Performance
Adam Grant, organizational psychologist at The Wharton School, argues that individuals and companies alike can benefit from having rivals. He has studied sports and business rivalries and believes they often add up to more than just zero-sum competition. Grant explains how we can perform and even feel better by taking the risk of treating our rivals more like competitive friends.
May 7, 2019
Global Workers Are Ready for Retraining
Joseph Fuller, professor at Harvard Business School, says that the story we hear about workers being afraid for the future of their jobs might not be right. In surveying 11,000 people in lower-income and middle-skills jobs and 6,500 managers across 11 countries, Fuller discovered that, contrary to what bosses believe, many employees are excited about new technologies and willing to be trained in new skills. But they don't always know what they need to learn or how to access and pay for it. Organizations can do a better job of identifying the skills gaps they have or will soon face and using their existing workforces to fill them. Fuller's project is a joint venture between the HBS Project on Managing the Future of Work and the Boston Consulting Group’s Henderson Institute. He's a co-author of the HBR article “Your Workforce is More Adaptable Than You Think."
May 2, 2019
HBR Presents: Cold Call
Harvard Business School's Brian Kenny is joined by professors to distill the school's legendary case studies into podcast form, giving listeners important takeaways they can use in their own businesses and careers. In this episode, Harvard Business School professors Leslie John and Mitch Weiss discuss a case on the city of Toronto, and how it is experimenting with various smart city ideas born of the Google spin-off Sidewalk Labs. "Cold Call" is part of HBR Presents, a new network of business podcasts curated by HBR editors. For our full lineup of shows, search “HBR” on your favorite podcast app or visit hbr.org/podcasts.
Apr 30, 2019
How China Is Upending Western Marketing Practices
Kimberly Whitler, assistant professor at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, believes the days of transplanting well-worn Western marketing practices into national markets may be numbered. She has researched marketing campaigns in China and finds they are faster, cheaper, and often more effective than traditional Western ones. Moreover, she argues they may be better suited to today’s global marketplace. Whitler is the author of the HBR article “What Western Marketers Can Learn from China.”
Apr 23, 2019
What Managers Get Wrong About Feedback
Marcus Buckingham, head of people and performance research at the ADP Research Institute, and Ashley Goodall, senior vice president of leadership and team intelligence at Cisco Systems, say that managers and organizations are overestimating the importance of critical feedback. They argue that, in focusing our efforts on correcting weaknesses and rounding people out, we lose the ability to get exceptional performance from them. Instead, we should focus on strengths and push everyone to shine in their own areas. To do that, companies need to rethink the way they review, pay, and promote their employees. Buckingham and Goodall are the authors of the book "Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader's Guide to the Real World" and the HBR article "The Feedback Fallacy."
Apr 18, 2019
HBR Presents: Exponential View with Azeem Azhar
Entrepreneur, investor, and podcast host Azeem Azhar looks at some of the biggest issues at the intersection of technology and society, with a focus this season on artificial intelligence. In this episode, he speaks with University of Bath professor Joanna Bryson on the kind of professional and ethical standards that need to be put in place as AI continues to grow as an industry. "Exponential View with Azeem Azhar" is part of HBR Presents, a new network of business podcasts curated by HBR editors. For our full lineup of shows, search “HBR” on your favorite podcast app or visit hbr.org/podcasts.
Apr 16, 2019
Avoiding the Expertise Trap
Sydney Finkelstein, professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, says that being the most knowledgeable and experienced person on your team isn't always a good thing. Expertise can steer you wrong in two important ways. It can stop you from being curious about new developments in your field. And it can make you overconfident about your ability to solve problems in different areas. He says that, to be effective leaders, we need to be more aware of these traps and seek out ways to become more humble and open-minded. Finkelstein is the author of the HBR article "Don't Be Blinded By Your Own Expertise."
Apr 11, 2019
HBR Presents: After Hours
Harvard Business School professors and hosts Youngme Moon, Mihir Desai, and Felix Oberholzer-Gee discuss news at the crossroads of business and culture. In this episode, they analyze the current food delivery wars and garner some lessons in crisis management from Boeing. "After Hours" is part of HBR Presents, a new network of business podcasts curated by HBR editors. For our full lineup of shows, search “HBR” on your favorite podcast app or visit hbr.org/podcasts.
Apr 9, 2019
Why People — and Companies — Need Purpose
Nicholas Pearce, clinical associate professor at Kellogg School of Management, says too many companies and individuals go about their daily business without a strong sense of purpose. He argues that companies that are not simply profit-driven are more likely to succeed and that the same goes for people. He says individuals who align their daily job with their life’s work will be happier and more productive. Pearce is also a pastor, an executive coach, and the author of the book "The Purpose Path: A Guide to Pursuing Your Authentic Life's Work."
Apr 2, 2019
The Right Way to Get Your First 1,000 Customers
Thales Teixeira, associate professor at Harvard Business School, believes many startups fail precisely because they try to emulate successful disruptive businesses. He says by focusing too early on technology and scale, entrepreneurs lose out on the learning that comes from serving initial customers with an imperfect product. He shares how Airbnb, Uber, Etsy, and Netflix approached their first 1,000 customers very differently, helping to explain why they have millions of customers today. Teixeira is the author of the book "Unlocking the Customer Value Chain: How Decoupling Drives Consumer Disruption."
Mar 26, 2019
Why U.S. Working Moms Are So Stressed – And What To Do About It
Caitlyn Collins, a sociologist at Washington University in St. Louis, conducted interviews with mothers in four countries -- the United States, Italy, Germany, and Sweden -- who have jobs outside the home to better understand the pressures they felt. She found that American moms were by far the most stressed, primarily because of the lack of parental benefits offered by their employers and the government. In Europe, women told Collins they had more help, but at times cultural norms around their personal and professional roles had yet to catch up. Collins thinks companies can work to improve the situation but argues that the real solution is carefully designed government interventions that will help families at all income levels. She’s the author of the book “Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Careers and Caregiving.”
Mar 19, 2019
A Theoretical Physicist (and Entrepreneur) on Why Companies Stop Innovating
Safi Bahcall, a former biotech CEO, began his career as a theoretical physicist before joining the business world. He compares the moment that innovative companies become complacent ones to a glass of water freezing, becoming ice. The elements are the same, but the structure of the company has changed. Bahcall offers ways for growing companies to avoid these inevitable forces and continue to innovate. He's the author of the book "Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries" and the HBR article “The Innovation Equation."
Mar 12, 2019
Why Are We Still Promoting Incompetent Men?
Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a psychologist and chief talent scientist at ManpowerGroup, says we're not picking leaders in the right way. While we should be promoting people based on their competence and potential, it's often the incompetent, overconfident candidates -- most of them men -- who get ahead. Studies show that, by many measures, women are actually better equipped to become strong, successful managers. But the solution to getting more of them into the executive ranks isn't quotas or other initiatives that mandate gender diversity. To improve leadership across the board, we need to focus on the metrics proven to enhance performance and set higher standards for everyone. Chamorro-Premuzic is also a professor of business psychology at University College London and Columbia University, and the author of the book "Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?: (And How to Fix It)" (Harvard Business Review Press, 2019).
Mar 5, 2019
Make Customers Happier with Operational Transparency
Ryan Buell, associate professor at Harvard Business School, says the never-ending quest for operational efficiency is having unintended consequences. When customers don’t see the work that’s being done in back offices, offshore factories, and algorithms, they’re less satisfied with their purchases. Buell believes organizations should deliberately design windows into and out of operations. He says increasing operational transparency helps customers and employees alike appreciate the value being created. Buell is the author of the HBR article "Operational Transparency."
Feb 26, 2019
Fixing Tech’s Gender Gap
Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, is on a mission to get more young women into computer science. She says the problem isn't lack of interest. Her non-profit organization has trained thousands of girls to code, and the ranks of female science and engineering graduates continue to grow. And yet men still dominate the tech industry. Saujani believes companies can certainly do more to promote diversity. But she also wants girls and women to stop letting perfectionism hold them back from volunteering for the most challenging tasks and jobs. She is the author of the book "Brave, Not Perfect: Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolder."
Feb 19, 2019
How Innovative Companies Help Frontier Markets Grow
Efosa Ojomo, global prosperity lead at the Clayton Christensen Institute, argues that international aid is not the best way to develop poor countries, nor are investments in natural resource extraction, outsourced labor, or incremental improvements to existing offerings for established customer bases. Instead, entrepreneurs, investors, and global companies should focus on market-creating innovations. Just like Henry Ford in the United States a century ago, they should see opportunity in the struggles of frontier markets, target non-consumption, and create not just products and services but whole ecosystems around them, which then promote stability and economic growth. Ojomo is the co-author of the HBR article "Cracking Frontier Markets" and the book The Prosperity Paradox.
Feb 12, 2019
How to Cope With a Mid-Career Crisis
Kieran Setiya, a philosophy professor at MIT, says many people experience a mid-career crisis. Some have regrets about paths not taken or serious professional missteps; others feel a sense of boredom or futility in their ongoing streams of work. The answer isn't always to find a new job or lobby for a promotion. Motivated by his own crisis, Setiya started looking for ways to cope and discovered several strategies that can help all of us shift our perspective on our careers and get out of the slump without jumping ship.
Feb 5, 2019
Why Business Jargon Isn’t All Bad
Anne Curzan, English professor at the University of Michigan, studies the evolution of language. While many of us roll our eyes at bizspeak — from synergy to value-add to operationalize — Curzan defends business jargon. She says the words we say around the office speak volumes about our organizations and our working relationships. She shares how to use jargon more deliberately, explains the origin of some annoying or amusing buzzwords, and discusses how English became the global business language and how that could change.
Jan 29, 2019
Use Your Money to Buy Happier Time
Ashley Whillans, professor at Harvard Business School, researches time-money trade-offs. She argues more people would be happier if they spent more of their hard-earned money to buy themselves out of negative experiences. Her research shows that paying to outsource housework or to enjoy a shorter commute can have an outsized impact on happiness and relationships. Whillans is the author of the HBR article “Time for Happiness.”
Jan 22, 2019
Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace
Amy Edmondson, professor at Harvard Business School, first identified the concept of psychological safety in work teams in 1999. Since then, she has observed how companies with a trusting workplace perform better. Psychological safety isn't about being nice, she says. It’s about giving candid feedback, openly admitting mistakes, and learning from each other. And she argues that kind of organizational culture is increasingly important in the modern economy. Edmondson is the author of the new book "The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth.”
Jan 15, 2019
How Retirement Changes Your Identity
Teresa Amabile, professor at Harvard Business School, is approaching her own retirement by researching how ending your work career affects your sense of self. She says important psychological shifts take place leading up to, and during, retirement. That holds especially true for workers who identify strongly with their job and organization. Amabile and her fellow researchers have identified two main processes that retirees go through: life restructuring and identity bridging.
Jan 8, 2019
The Harsh Reality of Innovative Companies
Gary Pisano, professor at Harvard Business School, studies innovation at companies large and small. He says there’s too much focus on the positive, fun side of innovative cultures and too little understanding of the difficult truths behind sustained innovation. From candid feedback, to strong leadership, to individual accountability and competence, to disciplined choices, Pisano says leaders need to understand and communicate these realities. He's the author of the HBR article “The Hard Truth About Innovative Cultures” and the new book “Creative Construction: The DNA of Sustained Innovation.”
Jan 2, 2019
How One Google Engineer Turned Tragedy into a Moonshot
Mo Gawdat, founder of One Billion Happy and former Chief Business Officer at Google's X, spent years working in technological innovation. At Google's so-called "dream factory," he learned how to operationalize moonshot ventures aiming to solve some of the world's hardest problems. But then a personal tragedy — the loss of his son — set him on a new path. Gawdat launched a startup with the moonshot goal of helping one billion people find happiness. Gawdat is also the author of "Solve for Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy."
Dec 26, 2018
Improving Civility in the Workplace
Krista Tippett, host of "On Being," believes we are in the middle of a big shift in the workplace. For a long time, she says, we were taught to keep all of our personal opinions and problems out of the office — even if that wasn't the reality. Now, as worker expectations change and people bring more of their authentic selves to work, Tippett says managers need to discover how to allow more honesty and emotions and humanity in the workplace, while still delivering in a high-performing environment.
Dec 18, 2018
How One CEO Creates Joy at Work
Richard Sheridan, CEO of Menlo Innovations, says it took him years to learn what really mattered at work and how to create that kind of workplace culture. As a company leader today, he works hard to make sure both his job — and the jobs of his employees — are joyful. That doesn't mean they are happy 100% of the time, he argues, but that they feel fulfilled by always putting the customer first. Sheridan is the author of "Chief Joy Officer: How Great Leaders Elevate Human Energy and Eliminate Fear."
Dec 11, 2018
Why It’s So Hard to Sell New Products
Thomas Steenburgh, a marketing professor at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, was inspired by his early career at Xerox to discover why firms with stellar sales and R&D departments still struggle to sell new innovations. The answer, he finds, is that too many companies expect shiny new products to sell themselves. Steenburgh explains how crafting new sales processes, incentives, and training can overcome the obstacles inherent in selling new products. He's the coauthor, along with Michael Ahearne of the University of Houston's Sales Excellence Institute, of the HBR article "How to Sell New Products."
Dec 4, 2018
The Right Way to Solve Complex Business Problems
Corey Phelps, a strategy professor at McGill University, says great problem solvers are hard to find. Even seasoned professionals at the highest levels of organizations regularly fail to identify the real problem and instead jump to exploring solutions. Phelps identifies the common traps and outlines a research-proven method to solve problems effectively. He's the coauthor of the book, "Cracked it! How to solve big problems and sell solutions like top strategy consultants."
Nov 27, 2018
Speak Out Successfully
James Detert, a professor at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, studies acts of courage in the workplace. His most surprising finding? Most people describe everyday actions — not big whistleblower scandals — when they cite courageous (or gutless) acts they’ve seen coworkers and leaders take. Detert shares the proven behaviors of employees who succeed at speaking out and suffer fewer negative consequences for it. He’s the author of the HBR article “Cultivating Everyday Courage.”
Nov 20, 2018
How Your Identity Changes When You Change Jobs
Herminia Ibarra, a professor at the London Business School, argues that job transitions — even exciting ones that you've chosen — can come with all kinds of unexpected emotions. Going from a job that is known and helped define your identity to a new position brings all kinds of challenges. Ibarra says that it's important to recognize how these changes are affecting you but to keep moving forward and even take the opportunity to reinvent yourself in your new role.
Nov 13, 2018
Why Management History Needs to Reckon with Slavery
Caitlin Rosenthal, assistant professor of history at UC Berkeley, argues there are strong parallels between the accounting practices used by slaveholders and modern business practices. While we know slavery's economic impact on the United States, Rosenthal says we need to look closer at the details — down to accounting ledgers – to truly understand what abolitionists and slaves were up against, and how those practices still influence business and management today. She's the author of the book, "Accounting for Slavery: Masters and Management."
Nov 6, 2018
Avoiding Miscommunication in a Digital World
Nick Morgan, a communications expert and speaking coach, says that while email, texting, and Slack might seem like they make communication easier, they actually make things less efficient. When we are bombarded with too many messages a day, he argues, humans are likely to fill in the gaps with negative information or assume the worst about the intent of a coworker's email. He offers up a few tips and tricks for how we can bring the benefits of face-to-face communication back into the digital workplace. Morgan is the author of the book, "Can You Hear Me?: How to Connect with People in a Virtual World."
Oct 30, 2018
Stop Initiative Overload
Rose Hollister and Michael Watkins, consultants at Genesis Advisers, argue that many companies today are taking on too many initiatives. Each manager might have their own pet projects they want to focus on, but that trickles down to lower level workers dealing with more projects at a time that they can handle, or do well. This episode also offers practical tips for senior-level leaders to truly prioritize the best initiatives at their company — or risk losing some of their top talent. Hollister and Watkins are the authors of the HBR article "Too Many Projects." with. They are the authors of "Athena Rising: How and Why Men Should Mentor Women.”
Oct 23, 2018
When Men Mentor Women
David Smith, associate professor of sociology at the U.S. Naval War College, and Brad Johnson, professor of psychology at the United States Naval Academy, argue that it is vital for more men to mentor women in the workplace. In the post-#MeToo world, some men have shied away from cross-gender relationships at work. But Smith and Johnson say these relationships offer big gains to mentees, mentors, and organizations. They offer their advice on how men can be thoughtful allies to the women they work with. They are the authors of "Athena Rising: How and Why Men Should Mentor Women.”
Oct 16, 2018
John Kerry on Leadership, Compromise, and Change
John Kerry, former U.S. Secretary of State, shares management and leadership lessons from his long career in public service. He discusses how to win people over to your side, bounce back from defeats, and never give up on your long-term goals. He also calls on private sector CEOs to do more to solve social and political problems. Kerry’s new memoir is "Every Day Is Extra."
Oct 9, 2018
The Power of Curiosity
Francesca Gino, a professor at Harvard Business School, shares a compelling business case for curiosity. Her research shows allowing employees to exercise their curiosity can lead to fewer conflicts and better outcomes. However, even managers who value inquisitive thinking often discourage curiosity in the workplace because they fear it's inefficient and unproductive. Gino offers several ways that leaders can instead model, cultivate, and even recruit for curiosity. Gino is the author of the HBR article "The Business Case for Curiosity."
Oct 2, 2018
How Companies Can Tap Into Talent Clusters
Bill Kerr, a professor at Harvard Business School, studies the increasing importance of talent clusters in our age of rapid technological advances. He argues that while talent and industries have always had a tendency to cluster, today's trend towards San Francisco, Boston, London and a handful of other cities is different. Companies need to react and tap into those talent pools, but moving the company to one isn't always an option. Kerr talks about the three main ways companies can access talent. He's the author of the HBR article "Navigating Talent Hot Spots," as well as the book "The Gift of Global Talent: How Migration Shapes Business, Economy & Society."
Sep 25, 2018
A Hollywood Executive On Negotiation, Talent, and Risk
Mike Ovitz, a cofounder of Creative Artists Agency and former president of The Walt Disney Company, says there are many parallels between the movie and music industry of the 1970s and 1980s and Silicon Valley today. When it comes to managing creatives, he says you have to have patience and believe in the work. But to get that work made, you have to have shrewd negotiating skills. Ovitz says he now regrets some of the ways he approached business in his earlier years, and advises young entrepreneurs about what he's learned along the way. He's the author of the new memoir "Who Is Michael Ovitz?" Editor's note: This post was updated September 26, 2018 to correct the title of Ovitz's book.
Sep 18, 2018
How Companies Get Creativity Right (and Wrong)
Beth Comstock, the first female vice chair at General Electric, thinks companies large and small often approach innovation the wrong way. They either try to throw money at the problem before it has a clear market, misallocate resources, or don't get buy in from senior leaders to enact real change. Comstock spent many years at GE - under both Jack Welsh's and Jeffrey Immelt's leadership - before leaving the company late last year. She's the author of the book "Imagine It Forward: Courage, Creativity, and the Power of Change.”
Sep 11, 2018
How Alibaba Is Leading Digital Innovation in China
Ming Zeng, the chief strategy officer at Alibaba, talks about how the China-based e-commerce company was able to create the biggest online shopping site in the world. He credits Alibaba’s retail and distribution juggernaut to leveraging automation, algorithms, and networks to better serve customers. And he says in the future, successful digital companies will use technologies such as artificial intelligence, the mobile internet, and cloud computing to redefine how value is created. Zeng is the author of "Smart Business: What Alibaba's Success Reveals about the Future of Strategy.”
Sep 4, 2018
The Science Behind Sleep and High Performance
Marc Effron, president of the Talent Strategy Group, looked at the scientific literature behind high performance at work and identified eight steps we can all take to get an edge. Among those steps is taking care of your body -- sleep, exercise, and nutrition. But the most important is sleep. He offers some practical advice on getting more and better rest, and making time to exercise. Effron is the author of the new book, "8 Steps to High Performance: Focus On What You Can Change (Ignore the Rest)."
Aug 28, 2018
Understanding Digital Strategy
Sunil Gupta, a professor at Harvard Business School, argues that many companies are still doing digital strategy wrong. Their leaders think of "going digital" as either a way to cut costs or to attract customers with a flashy new app. Gupta says successful digital strategy is more complicated than that. He recommends emulating the multi-faceted strategies of leading digital companies. Gupta's the author of “Driving Digital Strategy: A Guide to Reimagining Your Business."
Aug 21, 2018
Managing Someone Who’s Too Collaborative
Rebecca Shambaugh, a leadership coach, says being too collaborative can actually hold you back at work. Instead of showing how well you build consensus and work with others, it can look like indecision or failure to prioritize. She explains what to do if you over-collaborate, how to manage someone who does, and offers some advice for women — whose bosses are more likely to see them as overly consensus-driven. Shambaugh is the author of the books "It's Not a Glass Ceiling, It's a Sticky Floor" and "Make Room For Her."
Aug 14, 2018
Networking Myths Dispelled
David Burkus, a professor at Oral Roberts University and author of the book “Friend of a Friend,” explains common misconceptions about networking. First, trading business cards at a networking event doesn’t mean you’re a phony. Second, your most valuable contacts are actually the people you already know. Burkus says some of the most useful networking you can do involves strengthening your ties with old friends and current coworkers.
Aug 10, 2018
Designing AI to Make Decisions
Kathryn Hume, VP of integrate.ai, discusses the current boundaries between artificially intelligent machines, and humans. While the power of A.I. can conjure up some of our darkest fears, she says the reality is that there is still a whole lot that A.I. can't do. So far, A.I. is able to accomplish some tasks that humans might need a lot of training for, such as diagnosing cancer. But she says those tasks are actually more simple than we might think - and that algorithms still can't replace emotional intelligence just yet. Plus, A.I. might just help us discover new business opportunities we didn't know existed.
Aug 7, 2018
Why Opening Up at Work Is Harder for Minorities
Katherine Phillips, a professor at Columbia Business School, discusses research showing that African-Americans are often reluctant to tell their white colleagues about their personal lives — and that it hurts their careers. She says people should expect and welcome differences at work, and she gives practical advice for strengthening connections among colleagues of different racial backgrounds. Phillips is a coauthor of the article “Diversity and Authenticity,” in the March–April 2018 issue of Harvard Business Review.
Jul 31, 2018
Learning from GE’s Stumbles
Roger Martin, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, offers two main reasons General Electric has lost its competitiveness. GE’s stock has been removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Martin blames pressures from activist investors as well as a short-sighted mergers and acquisitions strategy. He’s the author of “GE’s Fall Has Been Accelerated by Two Problems. Most Other Big Companies Face Them, Too.”
Jul 24, 2018
Turning Purpose Into Performance
Gerry Anderson, the CEO of DTE Energy, and Robert Quinn and Anjan Thakor, professors at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and the Olin Business School at Washington University, respectively, discuss how an aspirational mission can motivate employees and improve performance. Anderson talks about his own experience. Quinn and Thakor explain their research showing how leaders can foster a sense of purpose that sharpens competitiveness. They wrote the article “Creating a Purpose-Driven Organization” in the July-August 2018 issue of Harvard Business Review.
Jul 17, 2018
The 2 Types of Respect Leaders Must Show
Kristie Rogers, an assistant professor of management at Marquette University, has identified a free and abundant resource most leaders aren’t giving employees enough of: respect. She explains the two types of workplace respect, how to communicate them, and what happens when you don't foster both. Rogers is the author of the article “Do Your Employees Feel Respected?” in the July–August 2018 issue of Harvard Business Review.
Jul 10, 2018
How Some Companies Beat the Competition… For Centuries
Howard Yu, Lego Professor of Management and Innovation at IMD Business School in Switzerland, discusses how the industrial cluster in the Swiss city of Basel is a unique example of enduring competitive advantage. He explains how early dye makers were able to continually jump to new capabilities and thrive for generations. He says the story of those companies offers a counter-narrative to the pessimistic view that unless your company is Google or Apple, you can’t stay ahead of the competition for long. Yu is the author of “LEAP: How to Thrive in a World Where Everything Can Be Copied.”
Jul 3, 2018
Architect Daniel Libeskind on Working Unconventionally
Daniel Libeskind, a former academic turned architect and urban designer, discusses his unorthodox career path and repeat success at high-profile, emotionally charged projects. He also talks about his unusual creative process and shares tips for collaborating and managing emotions and expectations of multiple stakeholders. Libeskind was interviewed for the July-August 2018 issue of Harvard Business Review.
Jun 27, 2018
When India Killed Off Cash Overnight
Bhaskar Chakravorti, the dean of global business at The Fletcher School at Tufts University, analyzes the economic impact of India’s unprecedented demonetization move in 2016. With no advance warning, India pulled the two largest banknotes from circulation, notes that accounted for 86% of cash transactions in a country where most payments happen in cash. Chakravorti discusses the impact on consumers, businesses, and digital payment providers, and whether Indian policymakers reached their anti-corruption goals. He’s the author of the article “One Year After India Killed Off Cash, Here’s What Other Countries Should Learn From It.”
Jun 19, 2018
Getting People to Help You
Heidi Grant, a social psychologist, explains the right ways and wrong ways to ask colleagues for help. She says people are much more likely to lend us a hand than we think they are; they just want it to be a rewarding experience. Grant is the author of “Reinforcements: How to Get People to Help You.”
Jun 12, 2018
How to Become More Self-Aware
Tasha Eurich, an organizational psychologist and executive coach, talks about why we all should be working on self-awareness. Few people are truly self-aware, she says, and those who are don’t get there through introspection. She explains how to develop self-awareness through the feedback of loving critics and how to mentor someone who isn’t self-aware. Eurich is the author of the book “Insight.”
Jun 5, 2018
Bill Clinton and James Patterson on Collaboration and Cybersecurity
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and author James Patterson discuss their new novel, The President is Missing, in which a fictional president fights a cybersecurity attack amid intense political dysfunction. The coauthors share their lessons for collaborating across disparate skillsets — “clarity on the objective” and “don’t be afraid to admit what you don’t know.” They also talk about their research into cybersecurity threats and how realistic their thriller scenario could be.
May 29, 2018
Ask Better Questions
Leslie K. John and Alison Wood Brooks, professors at Harvard Business School, say people in business can be more successful by asking more and better questions. They talk through what makes for a great question, whether you’re looking to get information or get someone to like you. They’re the coauthors of the article, “The Surprising Power of Questions,” in the May–June 2018 issue of Harvard Business Review.
May 22, 2018
How AI Is Making Prediction Cheaper
Avi Goldfarb, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, explains the economics of machine learning, a branch of artificial intelligence that makes predictions. He says as prediction gets cheaper and better, machines are going to be doing more of it. That means businesses — and individual workers — need to figure out how to take advantage of the technology to stay competitive. Goldfarb is the coauthor of the book “Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence.”
May 15, 2018
Dual-Career Couples Are Forcing Firms to Rethink Talent Management
Jennifer Petriglieri, an assistant professor of organizational behavior at INSEAD, asks company leaders to consider whether they really need to relocate their high-potential employees or make them travel so much. She says moving around is particularly hard on dual-career couples. And if workers can't set boundaries around mobility and flexibility, she argues, firms lose out on talent. Petriglieri is the author of the HBR article “Talent Management and the Dual-Career Couple.”
May 8, 2018
Choosing a Strategy for Your Startup
Joshua Gans, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, advises against trying to commercialize a new technology or product before considering all the strategic options. He talks through some questions entrepreneurs should ask themselves — like, collaborate or compete? — and outlines a framework he and his fellow researchers have found to work best for startups. Gans is the coauthor of the article “Do Entrepreneurs Need a Strategy?”
May 1, 2018
Use Learning to Engage Your Team
Whitney Johnson, an executive coach, argues that on-the-job learning is the key to keeping people motivated. When managers understand that, and understand where the people they manage are on their individual learning curve — the low end, the sweet spot, or the high end — employees are engaged, productive, and innovative. Johnson is the author of the book “Build an A-Team: Play to Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve.”
Apr 24, 2018
Why Technical Experts Make Great Leaders
Amanda Goodall, a senior lecturer at Cass Business School in London, argues that the best leaders are technical experts, not general managers. She discusses her research findings about doctors who head up hospitals, scholars who lead universities, and all-star basketball players who go on to manage teams. She also gives advice for what to do if you’re a generalist managing experts or an expert managed by a generalist. Goodall is the co-author of the HBR articles “If Your Boss Could Do Your Job, You’re More Likely to Be Happy at Work” and “Why the Best Hospitals Are Managed by Doctors.”
Apr 17, 2018
How AI Can Improve How We Work
Paul Daugherty and James Wilson, senior technology leaders at Accenture, argue that robots and smarter computers aren't coming for our jobs. They talk about companies that are already giving employees access to artificial intelligence to strengthen their skills. They also give examples of new roles for people in an AI workplace. Daugherty and Wilson are the authors of the new book “Human + Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI.”
Apr 11, 2018
You May Be a Workaholic If
Nancy Rothbard, a professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, draws a distinction between workaholism and working long hours. She explains the health consequences of being addicted to your work. She also gives practical advice for managing work addiction, whether it’s you who’s suffering, your direct report, boss, peer, or partner. Rothbard is the coauthor of the HBR article "How Being a Workaholic Differs from Working Long Hours — and Why That Matters for Your Health."
Apr 3, 2018
Make Work Engaging Again
Dan Cable, a professor of organizational behavior at London Business School, explains why people often lose their enthusiasm for their work and how leaders can help them get it back. He says we shouldn’t forget that as humans we all need to explore and have purpose — and without that, we languish. Cable offers ideas for restoring people’s passion for their jobs. He’s the author of “Alive at Work: The Neuroscience of Helping Your People Love What They Do.”
Mar 27, 2018
Why CEOs Are Taking a Stand
Professors Michael Toffel, of Harvard Business School, and Aaron Chatterji, of Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, discuss the emerging phenomenon of CEO activism. They explain how political polarization in the U.S. and employee expectations around company values are pushing corporate leaders to enter into controversial political and social debates. Toffel and Chatterji are the coauthors of the HBR article “Divided We Lead.” We also hear from PayPal CEO Dan Schulman, who talks about standing up for transgender rights and what he tells other CEOs who ask his advice on taking on an activist role.
Mar 21, 2018
Leading with Less Ego
Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter, of the global consulting firm Potential Project, make their case for mindfulness, selflessness, and compassion in leadership. Their survey of 30,000 leaders showed those characteristics are foundational — and often missing from leadership development programs. Practicing self-awareness, they say, leads to more focused and more people-focused organizations. They’re the authors of the new book, “The Mind of the Leader: How to Lead Yourself, Your People, and Your Organization for Extraordinary Results."
Mar 13, 2018
McKinsey’s Head on Why Corporate Sustainability Efforts Are Falling Short
Dominic Barton, the global managing partner of McKinsey&Company, discusses the firm’s sustainability efforts. He talks about the wake-up call he got about sustainability and how he tries to convince CEOs hesitant to make it part of their business model that doing so will improve company performance. He says he sees companies thinking about the environment. “But the speed and scale of what we need to do — I don’t think it’s sufficient.”
Mar 7, 2018
Harvard’s President on Leading During a Time of Change
Drew Gilpin Faust, the president of Harvard University, talks about leading the institution through a decade of change, from the financial crisis to the Trump era. Faust discusses how communicating as a leader is different from communicating as an expert, the surprising ways her study of U.S. Civil War history prepared her for the top job, and what it's like to be the first female president in the University's four-century history.
Feb 27, 2018
Make Tools Like Slack Work for Your Company
Tsedal Neeley, a professor at Harvard Business School, and Paul Leonardi, a management professor at UC Santa Barbara, talk about the potential that applications such as Slack, Yammer, and Microsoft Teams have for strengthening employee collaboration, productivity, and organizational culture. They discuss their research showing how effective these tools can be and warn about common traps companies face when they implement them. Neeley and Leonardi are co-authors of the article "What Managers Need to Know About Social Tools" in the November-December 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review.
Feb 19, 2018
The CEO of Merck on Race, Leadership, and High Drug Prices
Kenneth Frazier, the CEO of the pharmaceutical company known as MSD outside of North America, discusses his upbringing and how it influences his leadership as chief executive. He is one of the few African-American CEOs in the Fortune 500, and shot to prominence after resigning from a council advising the Trump White House. Frazier discusses the importance of values in leadership and how Merck thinks about R&D and drug prices.
Feb 14, 2018
The Future of MBA Education
Scott DeRue, the dean of University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, says the old model of business school education is gone. It's no longer good enough to sequester yourself on campus for two years before heading out into the world of commerce. DeRue discusses how the perceived value of an MBA education is changing in the digital era, and how MBA programs are innovating in response to individual and company demands.
Feb 9, 2018
Introducing Dear HBR:
What should you do when you become the boss? HBR's new advice podcast Dear HBR: has the answers. In this bonus episode, Dear HBR: co-hosts Alison Beard and Dan McGinn answer your questions with the help of Harvard Business School professor Alison Wood Brooks, an expert on behavioral insights. They talk through what to do when your direct reports are older than you, how to be a likeable leader, and what to say if you're not ready to be in charge.
Feb 6, 2018
Does Your Firm See You as a High Potential?
Jay Conger, a leadership professor at Claremont McKenna College, goes behind the scenes to show how you can get on, and stay on, your company's fast track. He demystifies how companies (often very secretly) develop and update their list of high-potential employees. And he discusses five critical "X factors" his research has shown are common to high-potential employees. Conger is the co-author of the new book, "The High Potential's Advantage: Get Noticed, Impress Your Bosses, and Become a Top Leader."
Jan 30, 2018
Women at Work: Make Yourself Heard
In this special episode, HBR IdeaCast host Sarah Green Carmichael introduces Harvard Business Review’s new podcast “Women at Work,” about women’s experiences in the workplace. This episode about being heard tackles three aspects of communication: first, how and why women’s speech patterns differ from men’s; second, how women can be more assertive in meetings; and third, how women can deal with interrupters (since the science shows women get interrupted more often than men do). Guests: Deborah Tannen, Jill Flynn, and Amy Gallo.
Jan 23, 2018
Controlling Your Emotions During a Negotiation
Moshe Cohen, a senior lecturer at Boston University's Questrom School of Business, says you can't take the emotion out of a negotiation. After all, negotiations revolve around conflict, risk, and reward — which are inherently emotional. Instead of sidelining your feelings, understand them. Cohen explains how to understand your triggers and use your emotions and those of your counterparts to your advantage.
Jan 16, 2018
For Better Customer Service, Offer Options, Not Apologies
Jagdip Singh, a professor of marketing at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, explains his research team’s new findings about customer satisfaction. He says apologizing is often counterproductive and that offering customers different possible solutions is usually more effective. He discusses what companies can do to help service representatives lead interactions that leave a customer satisfied—whether or not the problem has been solved. Singh’s research is featured in the article "‘Sorry’ Is Not Enough" in the January–February 2018 issue of Harvard Business Review.
Jan 9, 2018
Why Leaders Should Make a Habit of Teaching
Sydney Finkelstein, a professor of management at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, encourages leaders to approach their direct reports like teachers. As Finkelstein explains, being a teacher-leader means continually meeting face to face with employees to communicate lessons about professionalism, points of craft, and life. He says it’s easy to try and that teaching is one of the best ways to motivate people and improve their performance. Finkelstein is the author of “The Best Leaders Are Great Teachers” in the January–February 2018 issue of Harvard Business Review.
Jan 2, 2018
Hiring the Best People
Patty McCord, Netflix’s former Chief Talent Officer, sees hiring as constant matchmaking. Building a team of people that gets amazing work done, she says, requires managers to really know what they need, and for HR to actually understand the workings of the business. She says money should not be the reason someone leaves and that we should stop using words like “poaching” and “firing.” McCord is the author of “How to Hire,” in the January–February 2018 issue of Harvard Business Review.
Dec 26, 2017
Breaking Down the New U.S. Corporate Tax Law
Mihir Desai, a professor of finance at Harvard Business School, breaks down the brand-new U.S. tax law. He says it will affect everything from how corporate assets are financed to how business are structured. He predicts many individuals will lower their tax burdens by setting themselves up as corporations. And he discusses how the law shifts U.S. tax policy toward a territorial system of corporate taxes, one that will affect multinationals and national competitiveness. Finally, Desai explains what he would have done differently with the $1.5 trillion the tax cut is projected to cost.
Dec 20, 2017
Making Unlimited Vacation Time Work
Aron Ain, the CEO of Kronos Incorporated, explains why unlimited vacation can be in the best interests of employees and the organization. He describes how his software company tracks requests for time off and the conversations he's had with skeptical managers and longtime employees. Ain says the "open vacation" program benefits the business and serves as a template for other companies figuring out how to make unlimited vacation work for them.
Dec 12, 2017
How Technology Tests Our Trust
Rachel Botsman, the author of “Who Can You Trust?", talks about how trust works, whether in relation to robots, companies, or other people. Technology, she says, speeds up the development of trust and can help us decide who to trust. But when it comes to making those decisions, we shouldn’t leave our devices to their own devices.
Dec 5, 2017
Box’s CEO on Pivoting to the Enterprise Market
Aaron Levie, the CEO of Box, reflects on the cloud storage company’s entry into the enterprise market. He was skeptical about pivoting away from consumers, and it was challenging. But by staying disciplined with the product and deeply understanding market trends, they've made the strategic shift from B2C to B2B work.
Nov 28, 2017
Why More CEOs Should Be Hired from Within
Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a senior adviser at the global executive search firm Egon Zehnder, makes the case for finding a company’s next CEO inside the firm. But to find the best contenders, organizations have to learn what to look for, how to find it, and how to nurture it. Fernández-Aráoz is the co-author of the new HBR article “Turning Potential into Success: The Missing Link in Leadership Development.”
Nov 21, 2017
Dow Chemical’s CEO on Running an Environmentally Friendly Multinational
Andrew Liveris, the CEO of Dow Chemical, discusses the 120-year-old company’s ambitious sustainability agenda. He says an environmentally driven business model is good for the earth—and the bottom line. Liveris is one of the CEOs contributing to Harvard Business Review’s Future Economy Project, in which leaders detail their company’s efforts to adapt to and mitigate climate change.
Nov 14, 2017
When ‘Best Practices’ Backfire
Freek Vermeulen, an associate professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at the London Business School, argues that too many companies are following so-called best practices that are actually holding them back. They do it because of deep-seated industry tradition—and because it’s hard to know how seemingly successful business models will hold up over the long term. That’s why, he says, organizations should avoid benchmarking and instead routinely test their business practices before there’s a problem. Vermeulen is the author of “Breaking Bad Habits: Defy Industry Norms and Reinvigorate Your Business.”
Nov 7, 2017
The Hardscrabble Business of Chinese Manufacturing in Africa
Irene Yuan Sun, a consultant at McKinsey, explains why so many Chinese entrepreneurs are setting up factories in Africa. She describes what it’s like inside these factories, who works there, what they’re making—and how this emerging manufacturing sector is industrializing countries including Lesotho and Nigeria. Sun’s new book is “The Next Factory of the World: How Chinese Investment Is Reshaping Africa.”
Oct 31, 2017
Astronaut Scott Kelly on Working in Space
Scott Kelly, a retired U.S. astronaut, spent 520 days in space over four missions. Working in outer space is a lot like working on earth, but with different challenges and in closer quarters. Kelly looks back on his 20 years of working for NASA, including being the commander of the International Space Station during his final, yearlong mission. He talks about the kind of cross-cultural collaboration and decision making he honed on the ISS, offering advice that leaders can use in space and on earth. His memoir is “Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery.”
Oct 24, 2017
2017’s Top-Performing CEO on Getting Product Right
Pablo Isla, the CEO of Inditex, is No. 1 on Harvard Business Review’s list of “The Best-Performing CEOs in the World 2017.” He opens up about his management style and reflects on his tenure leading the Spanish clothing and accessories giant, whose brands include Zara, Massimo Dutti, and Pull&Bear. Successful fast fashion takes much more than speed, he says. Isla discusses aspects of the company’s business model: source close to headquarters, entrust store managers with product orders, and treat what’s sold in stores and online as one stock. He also forecasts the future of physical stores.
Oct 19, 2017
Everyday People Who Led Momentous Change
Nancy Koehn, a Harvard Business School historian, tells the life stories of three influential leaders: the abolitionist Frederick Douglass, the pacifist Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and the ecologist Rachel Carson. They all overcame personal challenges to achieve and inspire social change. In Koehn’s new book, "Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times," she argues that tomorrow's leaders of social change will come from the business world.
Oct 12, 2017
So, You Want to Join a Startup
Jeff Bussgang, a venture capitalist who teaches entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School, knows from personal experience and having funded many startups that there’s more than one way into that world. You don’t have to have a technical background. Excellent communication skills and a high emotional IQ are startup skills, too. Bussgang, the author of “Entering StartUpLand,” walks through the process of finding your dream job in a new company.
Oct 5, 2017
How Successful Solopreneurs Make Money
Dorie Clark, a marketing strategy consultant, answers a burning question: how do people make money off of what they know? She outlines the options for experts who want to monetize their knowledge. Clark explains, using herself and other successful solopreneurs as examples, how to earn revenue from public speaking, podcasting, e-books, and online courses. She also goes over what to charge and when to get an assistant. Clark teaches at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and is the author of the new book “Entrepreneurial You.”
Sep 28, 2017
Microsoft’s CEO on Rediscovering the Company’s Soul
Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s third CEO, opens up about his effort to refresh the culture of the company and renew its focus on the future. He reflects on important life lessons he learned growing up in India, immigrating to the U.S., and working for Microsoft for 25 years. Nadella thinks of the past, he says, for the sake of the future—of technology, public policy, and work. His new autobiography is "Hit Refresh."
Sep 21, 2017
Transcending Either-Or Decision Making
Jennifer Riel, an adjunct professor at the Rotman School of Management, presents a model way to solve problems: integrative thinking. It’s taking the best from two inadequate options to come up with a successful solution. She gives examples from the film industry to show how CEOs have put the process to work. Riel is the co-author, along with Roger Martin, of the book “Creating Great Choices: A Leader’s Guide to Integrative Thinking.”
Sep 14, 2017
Find Your Happy Place at Work
Annie McKee, a senior fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and author of the book “How to Be Happy at Work,” tells the story of her journey to happiness—starting with her early job as a caregiver for an elderly couple. Even in later, higher-paying work, McKee saw that pursuing prestige and success for the wrong reasons ruined people’s personal and professional lives. She discusses how misplaced ambition, obsession with money, and fatalism are traps anyone, in any kind of job, can fall for—and how to not let that happen to you.
Sep 7, 2017
How to Fix “Team Creep”
Mark Mortensen, an associate professor of organizational behavior at INSEAD, discusses the research on "multiteaming"—when employees work not only across multiple projects, but multiple teams. It has significant benefits at the individual, team, and organizational levels. Among them: multiteaming saves money. The cost—stretched employees—is hard to see. And that is where the tension, and the risk, lies. Mortensen is the co-author, with Heidi K. Gardner, of “The Overcommitted Organization” in the September–October 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review.
Aug 31, 2017
Why Everyone Should See Themselves as a Leader
Sue Ashford, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, breaks down her decades of research on leadership—who achieves it, and how a group grants it. She explains that the world isn’t divided into leaders and followers. Instead, it’s a state that everyone can reach, whether they’re officially in charge or not. She also explains why shared leadership benefits a team and organization. Ashford offers tips on how to effectively grow leadership in yourself and your employees.
Aug 24, 2017
Basic Competence Can Be a Strategy
Raffaella Sadun, a professor at Harvard Business School, explains why seemingly common-sensical management practices are so hard to implement. After surveying thousands of organizations across the world, she found that only 6% of firms qualified as highly well-managed — and that managers mistakenly assumed they were all above average. She is a co-author of “Why Do We Undervalue Competent Management?” in the September–October 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review.
Aug 18, 2017
How the U.S. Navy is Responding to Climate Change
Forest Reinhardt and Michael Toffel, Harvard Business School professors, talk about how a giant, global enterprise that operates and owns assets at sea level is fighting climate change—and adapting to it. They discuss what the private sector can learn from the U.S. Navy’s scientific and sober view of the world. Reinhardt and Toffel are the authors of “Managing Climate Change: Lessons from the U.S. Navy” in the July–August 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review.
Aug 10, 2017
When to Listen to a Dire Warning
Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism adviser to U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, has made a career of investigating disaster warnings. The way he sees it, catastrophes can happen at any time, so why should decision makers ignore a Cassandra? Now a cybersecurity firm CEO, Clarke is an expert at figuring out who is a conspiracy theorist and who is a credible source. He explains his method through a few case studies—on the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown, and others—from his new book, “Warnings: Finding Cassandras to Stop Catastrophes.”
Aug 3, 2017
When Startups Scrapped the Business Plan
Steve Blank, entrepreneurship lecturer at Stanford, UC Berkeley, and Columbia, talks about his experience of coming to Silicon Valley and building companies from the ground up. He shares how he learned to apply customer discovery methods to emerging high technology startups. And he explains why he believes most established companies are still failing to apply lean startup methodology in their corporate innovation programs. Blank is the author of the HBR article, "Why the Lean Start-Up Changes Everything."
Jul 27, 2017
Build Your Portfolio Career
Kabir Sehgal, a corporate strategist, Grammy-winning producer, investment banker, bestselling author, and military reserve officer, talks about building and thriving in a portfolio career. He discusses the benefits of pursuing diverse interests, the tradeoffs and productivity discipline demanded by that career choice, and he offers tips for managing a schedule with multiple work activities. And he argues we should stop calling these second careers "side hustles." Sehgal is the author of the HBR article, “Why You Should Have (at Least) Two Careers.”
Jul 20, 2017
How AI Is Already Changing Business
Erik Brynjolfsson, MIT Sloan School professor, explains how rapid advances in machine learning are presenting new opportunities for businesses. He breaks down how the technology works and what it can and can’t do (yet). He also discusses the potential impact of AI on the economy, how workforces will interact with it in the future, and suggests managers start experimenting now. Brynjolfsson is the co-author, with Andrew McAfee, of the HBR Big Idea article, “The Business of Artificial Intelligence.” They’re also the co-authors of the new book, “Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future.
Jul 13, 2017
Nike’s Co-founder on Innovation, Culture, and Succession
Phil Knight, former chair and CEO of Nike, tells the story of starting the sports apparel and equipment giant after taking an entrepreneurship class at Stanford and teaming up with his former track coach, Bill Bowerman. Together (and with the help of a waffle iron) they changed how running shoes are designed and made. Knight discusses the company's enduring culture of innovation, as well as the succession process that led to former runner and Nike insider Mark Parker becoming CEO.
Jul 6, 2017
How Authority and Decision-Making Differ Across Cultures
Erin Meyer, professor at INSEAD, discusses management hierarchy and decision-making across cultures. Turns out, these two things don’t always track together. Sometimes top-down cultures still have strong consensus-driven decision-making styles — and the other way around. Meyer helps break down and map these factors so that managers working across cultures can adapt. She’s the author of the article, "Being the Boss in Brussels, Boston, and Beijing" in the July-August 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review.
Jun 29, 2017
Mental Preparation Secrets of Top Athletes, Entertainers, and Surgeons
Dan McGinn, senior editor at Harvard Business Review, talks about what businesspeople can learn from how top performers and athletes prepare for their big moments. In business, a big sales meeting, presentation, or interview can be pivotal to success. The same goes for pep talks that motivate employees. McGinn talks about both the research and practical applications of mental preparation and motivation. He’s the author of the book, "Psyched Up: How the Science of Mental Preparation Can Help You Succeed." His article, “The Science of Pep Talks,” is in the July-August 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review.
Jun 22, 2017
The Talent Pool Your Company Probably Overlooks
Robert Austin, a professor at Ivey Business School, and Gary Pisano, a professor at Harvard Business School, talk about the growing number of pioneering firms that are actively identifying and hiring more employees with autism spectrum disorder and other forms of neurodiversity. Global companies such as SAP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise are customizing their hiring and onboarding processes to enable highly-talented individuals, who might have eccentricities that keep them from passing a job interview — to succeed and deliver uncommon value. Austin and Pisano talk about the challenges, the lessons for managers and organizations, and the difference made in the lives of an underemployed population. Austin and Pisano are the co-authors of the article, “Neurodiversity as a Competitive Advantage” in the May-June 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review.
Jun 15, 2017
Blockchain — What You Need to Know
Karim Lakhani, Harvard Business School professor and co-founder of the HBS Digital Initiative, discusses blockchain, an online record-keeping technology that many believe will revolutionize commerce. Lakhani breaks down how the technology behind bitcoin works and talks about the industries and companies that could see new growth opportunities or lose business. He also has recommendations for managers: start experimenting with blockchain as soon as possible. Lakhani is the co-author of the article “The Truth About Blockchain” in the January-February 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review.
Jun 8, 2017
Which Type of Entrepreneur Are You?
Chris Kuenne, entrepreneurship lecturer at Princeton, and John Danner, senior fellow at the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business talk about one of the least understood factors that leads to success at scale: the personality of the company founder. Their research describes four distinct types of highly successful entrepreneurial personalities: the Driver, the Explorer, the Crusader, and the Captain. While popular culture currently celebrates big-ego personalities in the mold of Steve Jobs, the interview guests show how different kinds of people succeed at that level. Kuenne and Danner are co-authors of the new book, “Built for Growth: How Builder Personality Shapes Your Business, Your Team, and Your Ability to Win.”
Jun 1, 2017
Why Finance Needs More Humanity, and Why Humanity Needs Finance
Mihir Desai, professor at Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School, argues for re-humanizing finance. He says the practice of finance, with increasing quantification, has lost touch with its foundations. But he says finance can be principled, ethical, even life-affirming. And demonizing it or ignoring it means that the rest of us – those not in finance – risk misunderstanding it, which has all kinds of implications for how we make decisions and plan for our futures. Desai is the author of the new book, "The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return." He also writes about finance and the economy for hbr.org.
May 26, 2017
4 Behaviors of Top-Performing CEOs
Elena Botelho, partner at leadership advisory firm ghSmart, talks about the disconnect between the stereotype of the CEO and what research shows actually leads to high performance at that level. She says the image of the charismatic, tall male with a top university degree who’s a strategic visionary and makes great decisions under pressure is a pervasive one. However, research shows that four behaviors more consistently lead to high performance in the corner office: 1) deciding with speed and conviction 2) engaging for impact 3) adapting proactively 4) delivering reliably. Botelho is the co-author of the article “What Sets Successful CEOs Apart” in the May-June 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review.
May 18, 2017
Why Doesn’t More of the Working Class Move for Jobs?
Joan C. Williams, director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, discusses serious misconceptions that the U.S. managerial and professional elite in the United States have about the so-called working class. Many people conflate "working class" with "poor"--but the working class is, in fact, the elusive, purportedly disappearing middle class. Williams argues that economic mobility has declined, and explains why suggestions like “they should move to where the jobs are” or "they should just go to college" are insufficient. She has some ideas for policy makers to create more and meaningful jobs for this demographic, an influential voting bloc. Williams is the author of the new book, “White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America.”
May 11, 2017
How to Survive Being Labeled a Star
Jennifer Petriglieri, professor at INSEAD, discusses how talented employees can avoid being crushed by lofty expectations -- whether their own, or others'. She has researched how people seen as "high potential" often start to feel trapped and ultimately burn out. Petriglieri discusses practical ways employees can handle this, and come to see this difficult phase as a career rite of passage. She’s the co-author of “The Talent Curse” in the May-June 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review.
May 4, 2017
Low-Risk, High-Reward Innovation
Wharton professor David Robertson discusses a "third way" to innovate besides disruptive and sustaining innovations. He outlines this approach through the examples of companies including LEGO, GoPro, Victoria's Secret, USAA, and CarMax. It consists of creating a family of complementary innovations around a product or service, all of which work as a system to carry out a single strategy. Robertson's the author of "The Power of Little Ideas: A Low-Risk, High-Reward Approach to Innovation."
Apr 27, 2017
Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant on Resilience
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg talks about returning to work after her husband’s death, and Wharton management and psychology professor Adam Grant discusses what the research says about resilience. In this joint interview, they talk about how to build resilience in yourself, your team, and your organization. They’re the authors of the new book, "Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy."
Apr 20, 2017
Our Delusions About Talent
Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, professor of business psychology at University College London, dispels some of the myths that have persisted in the 20 years since McKinsey coined the phrase “war for talent.” He argues the science of talent acquisition and retention is still in its early stages. Chamorro-Premuzic is the CEO of Hogan Assessments and the author of the book “The Talent Delusion: Why Data, Not Intuition, is the Key to Unlocking Human Potential.”
Apr 13, 2017
To Reinvent Your Firm, Do Two Things at the Same Time
Scott D. Anthony, Innosight managing partner, discusses why established corporations should be better at handling disruptive threats. He lays out a practical approach to transform a company’s existing business while creating future business. It hinges on a “capabilities link,” which means using corporate assets—that startups don’t have—to fight unfairly. He also discusses the leadership qualities of executives who effectively navigate their companies’ imminent disruption. Anthony is the coauthor of the new book, “Dual Transformation: How to Reposition Today’s Business While Creating the Future.”
Apr 6, 2017
Dealing with Conflict Avoiders and Seekers
Amy Gallo, HBR contributing editor, discusses a useful tactic to more effectively deal with conflict in the workplace: understanding whether you generally seek or avoid conflict. Each personality style influences how you approach a particular conflict, as well as how your counterpart does. Gallo talks about how to escape the common pitfalls of conflict seekers and conflict avoiders, so that you can improve your work and your relationships. She’s the author of the “HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict.”
Mar 30, 2017
How Personalities Affect Team Chemistry
Deloitte national managing director Kim Christfort talks about the different personality styles in an organization and the challenges of bringing them together. Her firm has developed a classification system to help companies better understand personality styles and capitalize on their cognitive diversity. She and Suzanne M. Johnson Vickberg coauthored the article, "Pioneers, Drivers, Integrators, and Guardians" in the March-April 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review.
Mar 23, 2017
The Rise of Corporate Inequality
Stanford economist Nicholas Bloom discusses the research he's conducted showing what’s really driving the growth of income inequality: a widening gap between the most successful companies and the rest, across industries. In other words, inequality has less to do with what you do for work, and more to do with which specific company you work for. The rising gap in pay between firms accounts for a large majority of the rise in income inequality overall. Bloom tells us why, and discusses some ways that companies and governments might address it. He’s the author of the Harvard Business Review article, “Corporations in the Age of Inequality.” For more, visit hbr.org/inequality.
Mar 16, 2017
Break Out of Your Managerial Bubble
Hal Gregersen, executive director of the MIT Leadership Center at Sloan School of Management, says too many CEOs and executives are in a bubble, one that shields them from the reality of what’s happening in the world and in their businesses. The higher you rise, the worse it gets. Gregersen discusses practical steps top managers can make to ask better questions, improve the flow of information, and more clearly see what matters. His article “Bursting the CEO Bubble” is in the March-April 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review.
Mar 9, 2017
Making Intel More Diverse
Danielle Brown, Intel Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, talks about the corporation’s $300 million initiative to increase diversity, the largest such investment yet by a technology company. The goal is to make Intel’s U.S. workforce mirror the talent available in the country by 2020. Brown breaks down what exactly Intel is doing, why the corporation is doing it, where it’s going well (recruiting), where it’s not going as well (retention), and what other companies can learn from Intel’s experience.
Mar 2, 2017
Reduce Organizational Drag
Michael Mankins, Bain & Company partner and head of the firm's Organization practice, explains how organizations unintentionally fail to manage their employees' time and energy. He also lays out what managers can do to reduce what he calls organizational drag. Mankins is a coauthor of "Time, Talent, Energy: Overcome Organizational Drag and Unleash Your Team’s Productive Power."
Feb 23, 2017
Globalization: Myth and Reality
Pankaj Ghemawat, professor at NYU Stern and IESE business schools, debunks common misconceptions about the current state and extent of globalization. (Hint: the world is not nearly as globalized as people think.) He also discusses how popular reactions in Europe and the U.S. against globalization recently could affect the global economy, and how companies will need to adapt to the new reality. Ghemawat is the author of several books on globalization, including “World 3.0” and most recently “The Laws of Globalization and Business Applications.”
Feb 16, 2017
Why You Should Buy a Business (and How to Do It)
Richard S. Ruback and Royce Yudkoff, professors at Harvard Business School, spell out an overlooked career path: buying a business and running it as CEO. Purchasing a small company lets you become your own boss and reap financial rewards without the risks of founding a start-up. Still, there are things you need to know. Ruback and Yudkoff are the authors of the “HBR Guide to Buying a Small Business.”
Feb 9, 2017
Escape Your Comfort Zone
Andy Molinsky, professor of organizational behavior at Brandeis International Business School, discusses practical techniques for getting outside of your comfort zone, and how that can develop new capabilities and experiences that can help your career. His new book is “Reach: A New Strategy to Help You Step Outside your Comfort Zone, Rise to the Challenge and Build Confidence.”
Feb 2, 2017
Business Leadership Under President Trump
Larry Summers, former U.S. treasury secretary, is calling on American business leaders to stand up to President Donald Trump. Summers sharply criticizes the administration’s protectionist agenda, and he says it’s time for executives to call out how those policies undermine the economy and the country's best interests in the long term.
Jan 27, 2017
Senior leaders Brad Feld, Sarah Robb O’Hagan, Mike Ghaffary, Heidi Roizen, and John Rogers Jr. discuss burning out on giving, the techniques they use to avoid it, and how they recognize it in their employees.
Jan 19, 2017
Stopping and Starting With Success
Jerry Seinfeld shares his insights into innovation, self-criticism, and how to know when to quit. The U.S. comedian conquered 1990s television with his sitcom and is now finding a new audience for his online talk show, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee."
Jan 12, 2017
Voices from the January-February 2017 Issue
Roger Martin of Rotman School of Management, Paul Zak of Claremont Graduate University, Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School, comedian Jerry Seinfeld, and HBR Editor-in-Chief Adi Ignatius respectively discuss customer loyalty, the neuroscience of trust, entrepreneurship in Africa, the source of innovation, and the new, hefty magazine. For more, see the January-February 2017 issue.
Jan 5, 2017
Collaborating Better Across Silos
Harvard Law School lecturer Heidi K. Gardner discusses how firms gain a competitive edge when specialists collaborate across functional boundaries. But it’s often difficult, expensive, and messy. The former McKinsey consultant is the author of the new book, “Smart Collaboration: How Professionals and Their Firms Succeed by Breaking Down Silos.”
Dec 29, 2016
Restoring Sanity to the Office
Basecamp CEO Jason Fried says too many people find it difficult to get work done at the workplace. His company enforces quiet offices, fewer meetings, and different collaboration and communication practices. The goal is to give employees bigger blocks of time to be truly productive.
Dec 22, 2016
The Secret to Better Problem Solving
Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg discusses a nimbler approach to diagnosing problems than existing frameworks: reframing. He’s the author of “Are You Solving the Right Problems?” in the January/February 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review.
Dec 15, 2016
What Superconsumers Can Teach You
Eddie Yoon, author of "Superconsumers" and growth strategy expert at The Cambridge Group, explains how companies can find their most passionate customers and use their invaluable insights to improve products and attract new customers.
Dec 8, 2016
The “Jobs to be Done” Theory of Innovation
Clayton Christensen, professor at Harvard Business School, builds upon the theory of disruptive innovation for which he is well-known. He speaks about his new book examining how successful companies know how to grow.
Dec 1, 2016
Handling Stress in the Moment
HBR contributing editor Amy Gallo discusses the best tactics to recognize, react to, and recover from stressful situations. She's a contributor to the "HBR Guide to Managing Stress at Work."
Nov 23, 2016
How Focusing on Content Leads the Media Astray
Bharat Anand, author of The Content Trap and professor at Harvard Business School, talks about the strategic challenges facing digital businesses, and explains how he and his colleagues wrestled with them when designing HBX, the school's online learning platform.
Nov 17, 2016
Why the White Working Class Voted for Trump
Joan C. Williams, distinguished professor and director of the Center for WorkLife Law at UC Hastings, discusses the white working class voters who helped elect Republican Donald Trump as U.S. President, and why Democrat Hillary Clinton did not connect with them.
Nov 10, 2016
A Leadership Historian on the U.S. Presidential Election
Harvard Business School professor Nancy Koehn talks about the surprising election of businessman Donald Trump as U.S. president, and what leaders throughout history can tell us about bridging divides and leading in times of uncertainty.
Nov 3, 2016
Re-Orgs Are Emotional
Stephen Heidari-Robinson and Suzanne Heywood, authors of "ReOrg: How to Get It Right" explain how good planning and communication can help employees adapt.
Oct 27, 2016
The 10 People Who Globalized the World
Jeffrey Garten of Yale School of Management discusses how Genghis Khan, Mayer Amschel Rothschild, Margaret Thatcher, and others made the world more integrated. Garten is the author of "From Silk to Silicon: The Story of Globalization through Ten Extraordinary Lives".
Oct 20, 2016
What the World’s Best CEOs Have in Common
Long-term thinking, short-term savvy, and relentless focus on employees.
Oct 13, 2016
Power Corrupts, But It Doesn’t Have To
Authority changes us all. Berkeley's Dacher Keltner, author of the HBR article "Don't Let Power Corrupt You" and the book "The Power Paradox" explains how to avoid succumbing to power's negative effects.
Oct 6, 2016
When Not to Trust the Algorithm
Cathy O'Neil, author of "Weapons of Math Destruction" on how data can lead us astray–from HR to Wall Street.
Sep 29, 2016
Macromanagement Is Just as Bad as Micromanagement
Tanya Menon, associate professor at Fisher College of Management, Ohio State University, explains how to recognize if your management style is too hands off. She's the co-author of "Stop Spending, Start Managing: Strategies to Transform Wasteful Habits."
Sep 22, 2016
Building Emotional Agility
Susan David, author of "Emotional Agility" and psychologist at Harvard Medical School, on learning to unhook from strong feelings.
Sep 15, 2016
Rob Cross, professor at the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce, explains how work became an exhausting marathon of group projects. He's the coauthor of the HBR article "Collaborative Overload."
Sep 8, 2016
Making the Toughest Calls
Joseph Badaracco, Harvard Business School professor, explains what to do when no decision feels like a good decision. He is the author of "Managing in the Gray: Five Timeless Questions for Resolving Your Toughest Problems at Work."
Sep 1, 2016
Email: Is It Time to Just Ban It?
David Burkus, author of "Under New Management", explains why some companies are taking extreme measures to limit electronic communication. Burkus is also a professor at Oral Roberts University and host of the podcast Radio Free Leader.
Aug 25, 2016
The Connection Between Speed and Charisma
Bill von Hippel, professor at the University of Queensland, on how the ability to think and respond quickly makes someone seem more charismatic.
Aug 18, 2016
How Work Changed Love
Moira Weigel explains how the changing nature of work has reshaped the way we meet, date, and fall in love. She's the author of "Labor of Love: The Invention of Dating" and is completing a Ph.D. at Yale University.
Aug 11, 2016
Negotiating with a Liar
Leslie John, Harvard Business School professor, explains why you shouldn't waste time trying to detect your counterpart's lies; instead, use tactics drawn from psychology to get them to divulge the truth. She's the author of the HBR article "How to Negotiate with a Liar."
Aug 4, 2016
In Praise of Dissenters and Non-Conformists
Adam Grant, Wharton professor and author of "Originals", on the science of standing out.
Jul 28, 2016
The Zappos Holacracy Experiment
Ethan Bernstein, Harvard Business School professor, and John Bunch, holacracy implementation lead at Zappos, discuss the online retailer's transition to a flat, self-managed organization. They are the coauthors of the HBR article "Beyond the Holacracy Hype."
Jul 21, 2016
The Era of Agile Talent
More of us are working in organizations employing a mix of freelancers, contractors, consultants, and full-timers, explains Jonathan Younger, coauthor with Norm Smallwood of "Agile Talent: How to Source and Manage Outside Experts."
Jul 14, 2016
We Can’t Work All the Time
Anne-Marie Slaughter on (finally) bringing sanity to the work/life struggle.
Jul 7, 2016
Teaching Creativity to Leaders
Tim Brown, CEO and president of IDEO, on breakthrough problem-solving.
Jun 30, 2016
Brexit and the Leadership Equivalent of Empty Calories
Mark Blyth of Brown University and Gianpiero Petriglieri of INSEAD discuss Britain's vote to leave the European Union.
Jun 23, 2016
A Brief History of 21st Century Economics
Tim Sullivan, co-author with Ray Fisman of "The Inner Lives of Markets," on how we shape economic theory -- and how it shapes us.
Jun 16, 2016
Greg Louganis on How to Achieve Peak Performance
The champion diver explains how visualization and ambitious goal-setting helped him achieve double gold medals in back-to-back Olympic Games and why he now serves as a mentor to younger athletes and a spokesman for LGBT causes.
Jun 9, 2016
Getting Growth Back at Your Company
Chris Zook of Bain explains the predictable crises of growth and how to overcome them. His new book is "The Founder's Mentality," coauthored with James Allen.
Jun 2, 2016
Asking for Advice Makes People Think You’re Smarter
The research shows we shouldn't be afraid to ask for help. Francesca Gino and Alison Wood Brooks, both of Harvard Business School, explain.
May 26, 2016
Yo-Yo Ma on Successful Creative Collaboration
The acclaimed cellist explains how he chooses and works with partners and shares advice on honing one's talent.
May 19, 2016
Be a Work/Life-Friendly Boss
Managers play a huge role in their employees' personal lives, which in turn affects productivity, morale, and turnover at work. Professor Scott Behson, author of "The Working Dad's Survival Guide," and professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, gives practical tips for being a leader who is flexible, fair, and effective.
May 12, 2016
Make Better Decisions
Therese Huston, Ph.D. and author of "How Women Decide," offers research-based tips for both men and women on how to make high quality, defensible decisions -- and sell them to your team.
May 5, 2016
Let Employees Be People
Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey, both of Harvard, discuss what they've learned from studying radically transparent organizations where people at all levels of the hierarchy get candid feedback, show vulnerability, and grow on the job. Their book is "An Everyone Culture."
Apr 28, 2016
Isabel Allende on Fiction and Feminism
The bestselling author describes her creative process and explains why she was always determined to have a career.
Apr 22, 2016
The Condensed May 2016 Issue
Amy Bernstein, editor of HBR, offers executive summaries of the major features.
Apr 15, 2016
Understanding Agile Management
Darrell Rigby of Bain and Jeff Sutherland of Scrum explain the rise of lean, iterative management tactics, and how to implement them yourself.
Apr 7, 2016
Smart Managers Don’t Compare People to the “Average”
Todd Rose, the Director of the Mind, Brain, & Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the author of "The End of Average: How to Succeed in a World That Values Sameness," explains why we should stop using averages to understand individuals.
Mar 31, 2016
Life’s Work: Dr. Ruth Westheimer
Iconic relationship expert Dr. Ruth discusses what she's learned over a long career.
Mar 24, 2016
How to Say No to More Work
Karen Dillon, author of the "HBR Guide to Office Politics", explains how to gracefully decline excessive projects–and thankless tasks.
Mar 22, 2016
The Condensed April 2016 Issue
Amy Bernstein, editor of HBR, offers executive summaries of the major features.
Mar 17, 2016
Are Leaders Getting Too Emotional?
There's a lot of crying and shouting both in politics and at the office. Gautam Mukunda of Harvard Business School and Gianpiero Petriglieri of INSEAD help us try to make sense of it all.
Mar 10, 2016
Your Coworkers Should Know Your Salary
Pay transparency is actually a way better system than pay secrecy. David Burkus, professor at Oral Roberts University and author of "Under New Management," explains why.
Mar 3, 2016
Talking About Race at Work
Kira Hudson Banks, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the department of psychology at Saint Louis University, and a principal at consulting firm the Mouse and the Elephant. We spoke with her about why managers shouldn't wait for a controversy to start talking about race.
Feb 25, 2016
The Art of the Interview
Job interviews can feel more like a stylized ritual than a normal conversation. Esquire writer and journalist Cal Fussman, who's interviewed scores of people from Mikhail Gorbachev to Jeff Bezos to Dr. Dre, gives us his advice, from how to build trust with a subject to getting an honest answer to a tough question.
Feb 19, 2016
The Condensed March 2016 Issue
Amy Bernstein, editor of HBR, offers executive summaries of the major features.
Feb 18, 2016
Closing the Strategy-Execution Gap
Paul Leinwand, co-author of the book "Strategy That Works," explains how successful companies solve this thorny problem.
Feb 11, 2016
Be a Superboss
Lorne Michaels, Bill Walsh, Alice Waters–all have had a disproportionate impact in their respective industries through their knack for collecting and inspiring great talent. We hear how they do it from Sydney Finkelstein, the Steven Roth Professor of Management in Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and the author of "Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Manage the Flow of Talent".
Feb 5, 2016
How to Give Constructive Feedback
Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman have administered thousands of 360-degree assessments through their consulting firm, Zenger/Folkman. This has given them a wealth of information about who benefits from criticism, and how to deliver it.
Jan 28, 2016
Being Happier at Work
Emma Seppälä, Stanford researcher and author of "The Happiness Track," explains the proven benefits of a positive outlook; simple ways to increase your sense of well-being; and why it's not about being ecstatic or excited all the time.
Jan 21, 2016
Stop Focusing on Your Strengths
Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, professor at University College London and Columbia University and CEO of Hogan Assessments, explains how the fad for strengths-based coaching may actually be weakening us.
Jan 14, 2016
Make Peace with Your Inner Critic
Tara Mohr, author of Playing Big, explains how to deal with self-doubt (or help someone else manage theirs).
Jan 8, 2016
Achieve Your Goals (Finally)
Heidi Grant Halvorson, author of "No One Understands You and What to Do About It" and "9 Things Successful People Do Differently," explains how to actually stick to your resolutions this year.'
Dec 30, 2015
Marketing Lessons for Companies Big and Small
Denise Lee Yohn, author of "Extraordinary Experiences" and "What Great Brands Do," explains what we can learn from retail and restaurant brands
Dec 23, 2015
The Condensed January-February 2016 Issue
Amy Bernstein, editor of HBR, offers executive summaries of the major features.
Dec 17, 2015
Life’s Work: Neil deGrasse Tyson
In every issue, we feature a conversation with someone who's been wildly successful outside the traditional business world. This time, it's an astrophysicist.
Dec 10, 2015
Becoming a More Authentic Leader
Bill George, Harvard Business School professor and author of "Discover Your True North," gives advice to both new and experienced leaders.
Dec 3, 2015
Accenture’s CEO on Leading Change
Pierre Nanterme discusses the forces changing consulting, and other knowledge-intensive industries.
Nov 25, 2015
4 Types of Conflict and How to Manage Them
Amy Gallo, author of the "HBR Guide to Managing Conflict at Work," explains the options.
Nov 24, 2015
The Condensed December 2015 Issue
Amy Bernstein, editor of HBR, offers executive summaries of the major features.
Nov 19, 2015
Katie Couric on the Shifting Landscape of News
The renowned American journalist talks with HBR senior editor Dan McGinn.
Nov 13, 2015
Slide Deck Presentations Don’t Have to Be Terrible
Evan Loomis and Evan Baehr, coauthors of "Get Backed," on how to win someone over with PowerPoint.
Nov 5, 2015
Simple Rules for Creating Great Places to Work
Gareth Jones, author of "Why Should Anyone Work Here?", explains the things managers know, but struggle to do.
Oct 30, 2015
The Man Behind Siri Explains How to Start a Company
Norman Winarsky, coauthor of "If You Really Want to Change the World," on ventures that scale.
Oct 22, 2015
China and the Biggest Startup You’ve Probably Never Heard of
Clay Shirky talks about Xiaomi, the subject of his new book, "Little Rice."
Oct 16, 2015
What Makes Social Entrepreneurs Successful?
Sally Osberg, president and CEO of the Skoll Foundation and author of "Getting Beyond Better" with Roger Martin.
Oct 13, 2015
The Condensed November 2015 Issue
Amy Bernstein, editor of HBR, offers executive summaries of the major features.
Oct 7, 2015
Disrupt Your Career, and Yourself
Whitney Johnson, author of "Disrupt Yourself," on taking the big risks we secretly want to.
Oct 1, 2015
Why the Term “Thought Leader” Isn’t Gross
Dorie Clark, author of "Stand Out," on having more influence.
Sep 24, 2015
Your Office’s Hidden Artists and How to Work with Them
Kimberly Elsbach, author of the HBR article "Collaborating with Creative Peers," on collaborating better with a certain type of colleague.
Sep 17, 2015
Build Your Character (at Least for a Day)
Tiffany Shlain, filmmaker, on why we need more time to develop our inner selves.
Sep 10, 2015
The Creator of WordPress
Matt Mullenweg, founder and CEO of Automattic, on growth, leadership, and mindfulness.
Sep 9, 2015
The Condensed October 2015 Issue
Amy Bernstein, editor of HBR, offers executive summaries of the major features.
Sep 3, 2015
What’s Your Digital Quotient?
Kate Smaje of McKinsey explains how it's about more than being tech-savvy.
Aug 27, 2015
PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi on Design Thinking
How PepsiCo is harnessing the power of design.
Aug 20, 2015
Salman Rushdie on Creativity and Criticism
The acclaimed writer describes how he develops his novels, what he expects from reviewers, and why business people should still read fiction.
Aug 13, 2015
Become a Better Listener
Mark Goulston, psychiatrist and author of "Just Listen," explains how.
Aug 12, 2015
The Condensed September 2015 Issue
Amy Bernstein, editor of HBR, offers executive summaries of the major features.
Aug 6, 2015
Building Healthy Teams
Mary Shapiro, author of the "HBR Guide to Leading Teams" and professor at Simmons, on dealing with conflict and other issues.
Jul 30, 2015
How Science and Tech Are Changing the Human Body
Juan Enriquez and Steve Gullans explain how we're "evolving ourselves."
Jul 23, 2015
The CEO of YP on Leading Digital Transformation
David Krantz, the CEO of YP (formerly the Yellow Pages), explains how they've reinvented their business.
Jul 16, 2015
“Social Media-Savvy CEO” Is No Oxymoron
Charlene Li, author of "The Engaged Leader," on why and how senior executives are diving into online networks.
Jul 9, 2015
Test-Taking Comes to the Office
Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, author of the HBR article "Ace the Assessment," explores the rising practice of using tests in hiring and promotion decisions.
Jul 2, 2015
Can HR Be Saved?
Peter Cappelli, author of the HBR article, "Why We Love to Hate HR...and What HR Can Do About It," on perhaps the least popular function in business.
Jun 25, 2015
Michael Lynton on Surviving the Biggest Corporate Hack in History
The CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment discusses the crisis with editor-in-chief Adi Ignatius.
Jun 23, 2015
The Condensed July-August 2015 Issue
Amy Bernstein, editor of HBR, offers executive summaries of the major features.
Jun 18, 2015
Beating Digital Overload with Digital Tools
Alexandra Samuel, online engagement expert and author of "Work Smarter with Social Media," on the tools you should use--and the ones you could be ignoring.
Jun 11, 2015
Are Robots Really Coming for Our Jobs?
James Bessen, economist and former software executive, on what we can learn from 19th century mill workers about innovation, wages, and technology.
Jun 4, 2015
George Mitchell on Effective Negotiation
The former U.S. Senate majority leader and U.S. envoy to Northern Ireland and the Middle East describes his approach to resolving disputes and fostering bipartisan compromise.
May 28, 2015
Evernote’s CEO on the New Ways We Work
Phil Libin discusses the impact of technology--from Microsoft Word to wearables--on our collaboration and productivity.
May 21, 2015
Making Sense of Digital Disruption
R. "Ray" Wang, author of "Disrupting Digital Business" on how business is transforming.
May 19, 2015
The Condensed June 2015 Issue
Amy Bernstein, editor of HBR, offers executive summaries of the major features.
May 14, 2015
Consumer Privacy in the Digital Age
Timothy Morey and Allison Schoop, both of frog, on designing customer data systems that promote transparency and trust.
May 7, 2015
Why We Pretend to Be Workaholics
Erin Reid of Boston University on why men (but not women) feign long working hours.
Apr 30, 2015
Ethical CEOs Finish First
Fred Kiel, author of "Return on Character," explains his research on why being good benefits the bottom line.
Apr 23, 2015
Brian Grazer on the Power of Curiosity
The Oscar-winning producer explains why a passion for learning--about other people and pursuits--has been the key to his success.
Apr 16, 2015
Understand How People See You
Heidi Grant Halvorson, author of "No One Understands You and What to Do About It," explains the science of perception.
Apr 14, 2015
The Condensed May 2015 Issue
Amy Bernstein, editor of HBR, offers executive summaries of the major features.
Apr 9, 2015
Making Health Care More Consumer-Driven
Regina Herzlinger, Harvard Business School professor, talks about how to dismantle the barriers to innovation in care delivery.
Apr 2, 2015
Case Study: Reinvent This Retailer
Hear this story based on real events at J.C. Penney. A discussion with contributor Jill Avery and editor Andy O'Connell follows.
Mar 26, 2015
Your Brain’s Ideal Schedule
Ron Friedman, Ph.D., author of "The Best Place to Work," on how to structure your day to get the most done.
Mar 19, 2015
Blue Ocean Strategy and Red Ocean Traps
Renée Mauborgne of INSEAD explains how a landmark idea is evolving. She is coauthor, along with W. Chan Kim, of "Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition (2015)."
Mar 17, 2015
The Condensed April 2015 Issue
Amy Bernstein, editor of HBR, offers executive summaries of the major features.
Mar 12, 2015
Set Habits You’ll Actually Keep
Gretchen Rubin, author of "Better than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives," explains that you've got to know your habit-setting style.
Mar 5, 2015
Goldie Hawn on Female Leadership
The Hollywood icon explains why she moved from acting to producing and directing, then launched a foundation that teaches mindfulness to kids.
Feb 26, 2015
Be Less Reactive and More Proactive
Peter Bregman, author of "Four Seconds," on changing the way you lead.
Feb 19, 2015
Marissa Mayer’s Yahoo
Nicholas Carlson, author of "Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo," on the CEO's management style.
Feb 12, 2015
Why Leadership Feels Awkward
Herminia Ibarra, author of "Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader" and professor at INSEAD, on moving forward, even when it's not comfortable.
Feb 11, 2015
The Condensed March 2015 Issue
Amy Bernstein, editor of HBR, offers executive summaries of the major features.
Feb 5, 2015
GoDaddy’s CEO on Leading Change
Blake Irving talks about the company's renewed focus on small businesses and bringing on a new leadership team.
Jan 29, 2015
Signs You’re Secretly Annoying Your Colleagues
Muriel Maignan Wilkins, coauthor of "Own the Room," on the flaws everyone's too polite to point out.