Harvard Business Review

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A 6-Part Tool for Ranking and Assessing Risks

One of the most overused expressions thrown around by wannabe “Wall Street Rambos” is <i>business is war</i>. But sometimes war tactics really can help in business.<p>Among these tactics is CARVER, a system for assessing and ranking threats and opportunities. Developed during World War II, CARVER (then one …

Innovation Isn’t a Top Priority, According to a Survey of 5,000+ Board Members

Corporate directors and executives alike recognize that today’s pace of change continues to accelerate and that firms need to innovate to stay ahead. But are boards doing enough to support innovation, as they should? We conducted a survey of over 5,000 board members from around the world to find …

Telecoms

People Who Graduate During Recessions Earn Less Money — but They’re Happier

When the graduating classes of 2009, 2010, and 2011 hit the job market, their employment prospects were depressingly bleak. Unemployment rates were at historic highs and job openings were scarce. Nine months after graduation, only 56% of the class of 2010 had found a job. Many of those who did find …

CEOs

Resignations

Are you looking to quit your job? In this episode of HBR’s advice podcast, <i>Dear HBR:</i>, cohosts Alison Beard and Dan McGinn answer your questions with the help of David Burkus, a management professor at Oral Roberts University. They talk through what to do when you want to call out a toxic employee in …

Oral Roberts

Research: 83% of Executives Say They Encourage Curiosity. Just 52% of Employees Agree.

Curiosity is experiencing a “Gold Rush” moment. Books, university classes, and research are popularizing the power of curiosity.<p>Not surprisingly, organizations are increasingly, explicitly looking for curious employees. Consider these job descriptions pulled from several job listing websites:<p>“If …

Employment

How to Help Your Team Manage Grunt Work

In <i>So I Married an Axe Murderer</i>, a wacky 1990’s parody, a police officer named Tony confides to his captain, “I’m having doubts about being a cop. You know, it’s not like how it is on TV. All I do all day is fill out forms and paperwork.”<p>Tony thought his job would be more thrilling than it has …

Grunt

Reality TV Doesn’t Have To Be Dumb - SPONSOR CONTENT FROM QATAR FOUNDATION

Stars of Science, a reality TV “edutainment” competition for the Arab world, is set to celebrate its 10th anniversary, owing to its success as a show that rewards innovation above all else.<p>Within less than 20 years, the phenomenon commonly referred to as “reality TV” has fundamentally altered …

Reality TV

4 Ways Busy People Sabotage Themselves

You’ve left an important task undone for weeks. It’s hanging over you, causing daily anxiety. And yet instead of actually doing it, you do a hundred other tasks instead.<p>Or you’ve been feeling guilty about not replying to an email, even though replying would only take 10 minutes.<p>Or maybe the last …

Outsourcing

Why CEOs Should Share Their Long-Term Plans with Investors

Many people have suggested moving away from quarterly earnings reporting as a way to reduce short-termism. But such a change would probably not change how resources are allocated or businesses operate. Rather than requiring less short-term information, we believe the key to combating short-termism …

CEOs

How to Retain and Engage Your B Players

We’ve heard for decades that we should only hire A players, and should even try to cut non-A players from our teams. But not only do the criteria for being an A player vary significantly by company, it’s unrealistic to think you can work only with A players. Further, as demonstrated by Google’s …

Resource Planning

Research: The Digitization of Banks Disproportionately Hurts Women Entrepreneurs

As banks rush to digitize their operations, many have found that closing their local branches can help maintain a high return on an otherwise pricy transformation. European banks, for example, closed over 9,000 branches in 2016, which represents a 4.6% reduction in a single year. According to our …

Entrepreneurship

You Have to Stop Canceling and Rescheduling Things. Really.

A friend recently returned to his parked car to find it had been sideswiped. Now, every time he calls the insurance company, he hears a message saying: “Can’t take your call right now. Leave a message. All calls will be returned by the end of the day.”<p>So far, he’s called over a dozen times; his …

How Companies Get Creativity Right (and Wrong)

<b>Beth Comstock,</b> 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

Use Your Everyday Privilege to Help Others

I often forget I am straight. I just don’t think about it much. When asked what I did this weekend, or when setting family photos on my desk at work, I have no reason to wonder if what I say will make someone uncomfortable, or lead to a “joke” at my expense, or cause a co-worker to suddenly think I …

Big Data and Machine Learning Won’t Save Us from Another Financial Crisis

Ten years on from the financial crisis, stock markets are regularly reaching new highs and volatility levels new lows. The financial industry has enthusiastically and profitably embraced big data and computational algorithms, emboldened by the many triumphs of machine learning. However, it is …

Machine Learning

A 4-Step Plan to Make Your Q&A More Audience-Friendly

The Q&A or fireside chat has become a popular format at events like conferences and employee town-halls, replacing more-formal presentations and panels. The one-on-one format can create a more conversational, interesting, and intimate experience, and has the added benefit that the CEO or luminary …

How to Get Better at Reading People from Different Cultures

Body language varies significantly across cultures. What is considered rude or foolish in a Nordic country may be welcomed as warm and friendly in an African one. What a Canadian businessperson would perceive as arrogant, an American executive may see as healthy confidence.<p>But what remains …

Body Language

Disruptive Startups Get Funding More Easily, but Less of It

In the start-up world, the disruptor is the cool kid on the block, the one who’ll change the world — or at least the products you’ll buy and how you buy them. She takes on the grown-ups in suits and shows us all how dumb they are. Customers love her because she makes them feel like rebels (with a …

Investing

Let’s Do Less Dead-End Work

From the Women at Work podcast:<p><b>Listen and subscribe to our podcast via Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS</b> <i><br>Download the Discussion Guide for this episode</i><p>Download this podcast<p>Women are expected and asked to do thankless tasks — order lunch, handle less-valued clients — more than men, and research …

Women of Color

The Best-Performing Emerging Economies Emphasize Competition

Development economists over the ages have puzzled about why some emerging economies perform much better than others over the long term. We have been looking at the same issue in our latest research, and find one element that others haven’t tended to focus on: the often intense competitive dynamics …

Markets

Protecting Company Culture Means Having Rules for Email

A new study out of Virginia Tech University confirms something that just about every knowledge worker already knows: Dealing with after-hours emails produces anxiety that is damaging not only to the worker, but to their family.<p>One particularly striking finding of this study is that it’s not just …

Employment

How Customers Come to Think of a Product as an Extension of Themselves

Businesses are constantly vying to capture the attention of potential customers. It’s not easy to do. People are inundated with different brands as they stroll through the streets, scan through their social media newsfeeds, and binge television. The average American is exposed to more than 4,000 …

Customers

How Companies Can Take a Stand Against Bribery

In 2016, the International Monetary Fund estimated that corruption amounted to roughly 2% of global economic output — between $1.5 and $2 trillion globally. Consider that in India in 2016, nearly seven in 10 citizens reported paying a bribe to access basic public services such as public schools, …

Ralph Lauren

Research: Simple Prompts Can Get Women to Negotiate More Like Men, and Vice Versa

Do we lie to get what we want out of negotiations?<p>That depends, according to forthcoming research I conducted with Jason Pierce of the University of North Carolina, Greensborough. We found that the likelihood of engaging in unethical behavior during negotiation is related strongly to gender: men …

Framing

How to Tell If You’re Delegating Too Much — and What to Do About It

Everyone knows leaders should delegate to ensure that they are working on the right projects and deliverables. But if you find yourself frequently miscommunicating with your team on deliverables, hearing about issues at the last minute, and misunderstanding how your team set their priorities, it …

Do Longer Maternity Leaves Hurt Women’s Careers?

Career or child care? It’s an unfortunate dilemma faced by every working woman with a baby on the way. Should she take a lengthy maternity leave, knowing that more time at home can improve the well-being of both mother and child? After all, research shows maternity leaves are related to lower …

Maternity

The CEO’s Guide to Retirement

“I don’t quite know what to do next,” said Simon, a media CEO. Simon had been a chief executive for 15 years, and CFO before he was 30. He had turned around private and public companies, quadrupled profits and quintupled revenue. But, with his company recently sold, Simon was considering …

CEOs

How a Cyber Attack Could Cause the Next Financial Crisis

Ever since the forced bankruptcy of the investment bank Lehman Brothers triggered the financial crisis 10 years ago, regulators, risk managers, and central bankers around the globe have focused on shoring up banks’ ability to withstand financial shocks.<p>But the next crisis might not come from a …

Financial Services

How Self-Reflection Can Help Leaders Stay Motivated

We tend to romanticize leadership. When friends are promoted to managerial positions, we slap them on the back, tell them that they finally made it, and congratulate them for their hard work. Our reactions are understandable. Occupying a leadership role often comes with more prestige, financial …

Self-Reflection

Planning Doesn’t Have to Be the Enemy of Agile

Planning has long been one of the cornerstones of management. Early in the twentieth century Henri Fayol identified the job of managers as to plan, organize, command, coordinate, and control. The capacity and willingness of managers to plan developed throughout the century. Management by Objectives …

Agile Development