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Why Organizations Are So Afraid to Simplify

While most managers complain about being overloaded with responsibilities, very few are willing to give up any of them. It’s one of the great contradictions of organizational life: People are great at starting new things — projects, meetings, initiatives, task forces — but have a much harder time …

The Value of a Good Visual: Immediacy

Our brains are meant to see in pictures. Grids and columns of data, while ubiquitous, make it very difficult to see trends or patterns. Additionally, a lot of the new data sources available today, such as genetic data or social network data, don’t lend themselves to traditional spreadsheets and …

Take Control of Your Time

An interview with <b>Elizabeth Grace Saunders</b>, founder and CEO of Real Life E and author of <i>The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment</i>.<p>SARAH GREEN: Welcome to the HBR IdeaCast from Harvard Business Review. I’m Sarah Green. I’m talking today with Elizabeth Grace Saunders, founder and CEO of time coaching …

The Most Effective Strategies for Success

For years, I’ve been trying to convince people that success is not about who you <i>are</i>, but about what you <i>do</i>.<p>Roughly two years ago, I wrote about the “Nine Things Successful People Do Differently,” which became HBR’s most-read piece of content over that time span. It was a list of strategies, based on …

What Moleskine’s Market Position Really Looks Like

The editors managing the Visualizing Data Insight Center have asked us to submit visualizations that we find compelling or effective. Mine won’t win any design awards, but I was so struck by it that I passed it along.<p>A <i>Quartz</i> article on the IPO of hipster journal company Moleskine included this …

Great Leaders Use Honesty to Help Their Successors

Jack Ma, the founder and long-time CEO of Chinese web company, Alibaba, recently announced that he is stepping down as CEO, and now we have learned that Jonathan Lu Zhaoxi will become chief executive of the company in May. Alibaba is an incredible success story. The company began in 1999 and last …

What Will You Create to Make the World Awesome?

When web designer Ben Blumenfeld was working for a major TV network, he was responsible for creating websites for mainstream shows. One day, he made a breakthrough that led to a significant uptake on a show, but the success struck Ben in a way he had not expected. His success meant <i>more</i> people would …

Understanding the Stages of Retail

When Ron Johnson took over the helm at J. C. Penney in November 2011 with a mandate to turn the ailing retailer around, all eyes were on him. He had an amazing legacy: Senior VP of Retail Operations at Apple pioneering the concept of the Apple Retail stores and the Genius Bar. Before that, he was …

How to Use Temptation to Strengthen Your Willpower

I was running a leadership offsite at The Allison Inn and Spa in Oregon — one of my favorite hotels — and the food, as always, was exquisite. The carrot cake at lunch was so delicious that I ate two pieces. And when the staff brought out big, thick, gooey, homemade cookies during a break, I was …

Apple’s Latest Acquisition Puts Them Inside the Building

Apple acquired a company last week. It’s something to pay attention to.<p>There is still one slightly uncharted territory that will — without question — be the last mile in marketing. It is the ability for a brand to deliver contextual and highly targeted marketing at the local retail level. We may be …

Can You “Manage” Your Family?

An interview with <b>Bruce Feiler</b>, <i>New York Times</i> columnist and author of <i>The Secrets of Happy Families</i>.<p>ADI IGNATIUS: Welcome to the HBR IdeaCast from Harvard Business Review. I’m Adi Ignatius, Editor in Chief of HBR, and today, my guest is Bruce Feiler, author of the new book, The Secrets of Happy …

What the Gorn Really Said to Captain Kirk

Poor lizard. First the Gorn was defeated by Captain Kirk and his do-it-yourself bazooka on the original Star Trek. Now 46 years later, the same thing happens again in the ad for the new Star Trek video game. Not only does a geriatric Kirk karate-chop him, but the Gorn only gets to grunt, while …