Laura Ellis

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Fortune.com

• 1. To license Fortune articles, excerpts, or headlines for republication in various media (including books, eBooks, film, web, newsletters, …

Three Creativity Challenges from IDEO’s Leaders

People often ask us how they can become more creative. Through our work at the global design and innovation firm IDEO and David’s work at Stanford University’s d.school, we’ve helped thousands of executives and students develop breakthrough ideas and products, from Apple’s first computer mouse to …

Get a Dysfunctional Team Back on Track

<b>Roger Schwarz</b>, author of <i>Smart Leaders, Smarter Teams</i>, explains how to build trust and accountability on your team.<p>SARAH GREEN: Welcome to the HBR IdeaCast, from Harvard Business Review. I am Sarah Green. This week I’m talking with Roger Schwarz, author of Smart Leaders, Smarter Teams. Roger advises …

The Five Traps of High-Stakes Decision Making

At some point most executive teams will make a bet-the-company decision. Sometimes they’ll make the right one and will be handsomely rewarded. Southwest’s decision in 2007 to hedge against increases in the price of jet fuel proved remarkably prescient. But sometimes the big decision will go …

Postmortem of a Venture-backed Startup

Lessons Learned from the rise and fall of @Sonar<p>For those unfamiliar, Sonar Media Inc. was a mobile app created to help make the world a friendlier …

Times Square

Marketing’s Mission: Make it Meaningfully Different

Everything you do in business builds your brand for good or ill, as your actions generate feelings, associations, and ideas in the minds of your consumers. The challenge is to make sure those actions create a <i>meaningfully different</i> experience that people want to repeat. This is because people are …

Emotional Agility

Sixteen thousand—that’s how many words we speak, on average, each day. So imagine how many unspoken ones course through our minds. Most of them are not facts but evaluations and judgments entwined with emotions—some positive and helpful (<i>I’ve worked hard and I can ace this presentation; This issue</i> …

Make Your Innovative Idea Seem Less Terrifying

Four years ago, Craig Hatkoff, co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, approached me about a brainstorm: an event recognizing and celebrating breakthrough innovators. When I suggested to Clayton Christensen that we partner with Hatkoff to create the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards, Clay’s …

How Twitter’s Leadership Drama Explains its Success

One founder pushed aside in the early days of the company, his name scrubbed from its founding story. Another ousted from the CEO role by a co-founder, former boss, and seed investor. That founder himself booted from the CEO role later on by VCs, only to watch the company’s initial CEO return to …

The Five Rules Every New CEO Should Follow

Last week, an executive who was on the verge of being promoted to head his large global publicly traded company asked for my advice on how to be effective as a brand new CEO. I gave him a list and he was so appreciative that I was motivated to write a blog about it. There were five recommendations …

Set Your Innovation Teams on the Right Path

One of the most critical challenges facing growth-seeking executives in large companies is deciding what constraints they should be placing on their organizations’ innovation efforts. Unconstrained efforts of the “let 1,000 flowers bloom” variety feel good, but often lead to diffused progress. On …

The Three Decisions You Need to Own

CEOs face countless decisions. The best executives understand which ones they need to focus on and which ones they can delegate. While the obvious decisions that CEOs need to get right involve strategy and competitive advantage, too many executives delegate away three critical decisions that they …

Burberry’s CEO on Turning an Aging British Icon into a Global Luxury Brand

<i>Photography: Getty Images</i><p><b>The Idea:</b> Before Angela Ahrendts became Burberry’s CEO, licensing threatened to destroy the brand’s unique strengths. The answer? Centralize design and focus on innovating core heritage products.<p>When I became the CEO of Burberry, in July 2006, luxury was one of the …

How Well-Run Boards Make Decisions

In the aftermath of seismic debacles like those that toppled Enron and WorldCom—as well as several noteworthy but more modest tremors, such as Disney’s estimated $140 million payout to dismissed president Michael Ovitz—corporate boards have been shaken up and made over. They have more independent …

How Jeff Bezos Makes Decisions

Over the last 19 years, Amazon.com has revolutionized the way we shop—and for much of that time, journalist Brad Stone has been watching closely. This week Stone, a senior writer at Bloomberg Businessweek, published <i>The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon</i>. I talked with Stone about …

Forget Business Plans; Here’s How to Really Size Up a Startup

If you want to really understand a firm’s strategy—whether it’s a start up or Fortune 500 firm–you need only two documents: the compensation plan and the pricing plan.<p>Forget about business plans, PowerPoint presentations, executive speeches, media interviews, strategy memos, or org charts. Forget …

Deciding How to Decide

Artwork: Matt Phillips, Painting (for Myra), 2007, oil and collage on canvas, 66″ x 96″<p>Senior managers are paid to make tough decisions. Much rides on the outcome of those decisions, and executives are judged—quite rightly—on their overall success rate. It’s impossible to eliminate risk from …

Four Tips for Better Strategic Planning

<i>This post was coauthored by Logan Chandler.</i><p>No great strategy was born without careful thought. That’s why the process of planning a strategy itself is an important vehicle for setting priorities, making investment decisions, and laying out growth plans. But for many companies, the activity has …

A Bizspeak Blacklist

It’s mission-critical to be plain-spoken, whether you’re trying to be best-of-breed at outside-the-box thinking or simply incentivizing colleagues to achieve a paradigm shift in core-performance value-adds. Leading-edge leveraging of your plain-English skill set will ensure that your actionable …

If You Want Innovation, You Have to Invest in People

As the convergence of digital technologies drives unprecedented levels of change in global marketplaces, it is very much a reality that a company must, as Bill Gates put it, “innovate or die!” In therace for relevance to future customers, the greater a company’s innovation capacity, the greater its …

The Good Struggle: Responsible Leadership in an Unforgiving World

Publication Date: <b>October 08, 2013</b><p>Leadership is struggle. The question of how to lead successfully and responsibly is crucially important in our uncertain, high-pressure, turbulent world. In this book, Harvard Business School Professor Joseph Badaracco answers this question in practical and, at …

#HBRLive: What We've Learned from the Financial Crisis

Please go to https://plus.google.com/+harvardbusinessreview/ to view today's Hangout. Remember to use the #HBRLive hashtag when tweeting about the …

When You’re Innovating, Think Inside the Box

A company noticed a strange anomaly: One of its manufacturing plants had a significantly lower scrap rate. That little finding and its consequences illustrate a point that managers often overlook in their search for innovation: Sometimes it’s better to think <i>inside</i> the box.<p>Companies spend a lot of …

Consultants Should All Get Real Jobs

I challenge all consultants to spend some time — at least a year — back in a “real” job, working shoulder to shoulder with the same kinds of people who pay for their advice. So few authors and experts are willing to do this, because they’re afraid. They know it’s much harder to be accountable for a …

Scaling: The Problem of More

Start talking about the challenge of “scaling” with people, and you’ll find the term gets used to mean a lot of different things. For example, when entrepreneurs talk about it, they are usually struggling with matters of organization. Take Citrus Lane CEO Mauria Finley, whose company was …

Give Performance Reviews More Than Once a Year and Other Must-Read Business Tips

Opinions expressed by <i>Entrepreneur</i> contributors are their own.<p><i>A roundup of the best tips of the week from Entrepreneur.com.</i><p>The end-of-year performance review: Is there anything employees anticipate and dread more? While it holds the potential to bestow a sought-after raise or promotion, it can also …

Can Your C-Suite Handle Big Data?

Over the past 30 years, most companies have added new C-level roles in response to changing business environments. The chief financial officer (CFO) role rose to prominence in the mid -1980’s as pressures for value management and more transparent investor relations gained traction. Adding a chief …

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Get the Right People to Notice Your Ideas

The email arrived the day after a speech I’d given in London. “You’ve definitely given me some food for thought about my career trajectory, and how to use branding to my advantage,” an executive at a management consulting firm wrote. In my talk, I’d emphasized the importance of content creation — …