Helder Melo

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If You’ve Just Taken Over a Team, Quickly Let Underperformers Go

The best way for a manager to be successful is to build a top-notch team. But when most managers take on new positions, they hesitate to act quickly in replacing poor performing incumbents. Months later, when reflecting on what they could have done differently, almost all of these managers say that …

The Largest Risk (and Opportunity) Investors Are Ignoring

Tackling climate change — and thus keeping the world inhabitable — is an achievable goal, but it will become prohibitively expensive if we wait to act. This is the key message from a leaked United Nations study that <i>The New York Times</i> reported on last week. Journalist Justin Gillis wrote about the …

The Secret to Lean Innovation Is Making Learning a Priority

Lean innovation is being embraced by everyone — from the smallest start-ups to the largest global organizations. But in most cases, it’s still falling well short of its full potential because it either lacks or fails to tightly integrate with the mechanisms needed to systematically capture lessons …

If You’re Not Helping People Develop, You’re Not Management Material

Skilled managers have never been more critical to the success of firms than they are today. Not because employees can’t function without direction, but because managers play a vital role in talent management. Gone are the comprehensive career management systems and expectations of long-term …

Cracking the Code That Stalls People of Color

It’s a topic which corporations once routinely ignored, then dismissed, and are only now beginning to discuss: the dearth of professionals of color in senior positions. Professionals of color hold only 11% of executive posts in corporate America. Among Fortune 500 CEOs, only six are black, eight …

Use Email Auto-Analytics to Tame Your Inbox

What percent of your work day do you spend on email?<p>If you guessed 10% or 20%, sorry: Studies of office workers peg the average at 28%.<p>Maybe that’s average but that’s not me, you say? No need to guess. These days there are a number of auto-analytics tools that not only help you quantify how much …

Five Questions Every Leader Should Ask About Organizational Design

A few years ago Dave Ulrich, a management thought leader from the University of Michigan, made a comment I found both insightful and profound: “<i>Every</i> leader needs to have a model of organization design.” Typically a graphic depiction of the organizational components to be addressed in a redesign …

CIO Research

Three Long-Held Concepts Every Marketer Should Rethink

One of the strongest held beliefs among marketers is that brand plays an important—even crucial—role in consumer decision-making. But recent developments in consumer electronics should make us all stop and think. Consider two examples: Roku, a virtually unknown brand, captured significant market …

So You Want to Build an Internet of Things Business

Earlier this month, Google made headlines by acquiring Nest Labs, the connected home startup, for $3.2 billion in cash. Although Nest has received significant fanfare for its smart products, some have argued that the price is a very generous premium for a small company that only a year ago was …

Does Your Company Make You a Better Person?

When we hear people talk about struggling to maintain work-life balance, our hearts sink a little. As one executive in a high-performing company we have studied explained, “If work and life are separate things—if work is what keeps you from <i>living</i>—then we’ve got a serious problem.” In our research …

The Moment of Clarity: Using the Human Sciences to Solve Your Toughest Business Problems

Publication Date: <b>February 11, 2014</b><p>Businesses need a new type of problem solving. Why? Because they are getting people wrong. Traditional problem-solving methods taught in business schools serve us well for some of the everyday challenges of business, but they tend to be ineffective with problems …

Mindful Culture through Simple Exercises

When we started our first restaurant in 2004, our goal was to create a place where people wanted to not just eat but also to work. Just like Southwest Airlines or Starbucks, we recognized that a happy staff means happy customers and a more productive, profitable business. But what would this …

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The Big Lie of Strategic Planning

All executives know that strategy is important. But almost all also find it scary, because it forces them to confront a future they can only guess at. Worse, actually choosing a strategy entails making decisions that explicitly cut off possibilities and options. An executive may well fear that …

Strengthen Your Strategic Thinking Muscles

Have you been told that you need to be more strategic? Whether through 360 feedback or after a failed promotion attempt, being told that you aren’t strategic enough really stings. Worse is when you try to clarify what “more strategic” would look like and get few tangible suggestions.<p>Being more …

Alibaba: The First Real Test for Amazon’s Business Model

Generating over $80 billion in sales in 2013, Amazon’s business model, with its ability to capture growth through disruption of retail stores, has proven to be very successful. It seems that at this point both the company and its legendary CEO, Jeff Bezos, can do no wrong.<p>However, the ultimate test …

The Key to a Better Board: Team Dynamics

The belief that there is a direct connection between the board of directors and organizational success has been gaining ground lately, evidenced by the pressure shareholder activists have been exerting on boards for transparency as well as the “zombie director” movement to remove underperforming …

10 Extraordinary People and Their Lessons for Success

From presidents to hip-hop producers to poets, the last page of every issue of Harvard Business Review is always an interview with someone who has succeeded outside the traditional corporate world. Here, some of our favorite lessons from the class of 2013:<p><b>Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on having</b> …

The Ideas that Shaped Management in 2013

It’s always tempting at this time of year to try to make a definitive list of the best ideas from the past 12 months. But then we end up debating what counts as best — important? useful? original? all three? — and compiling extremely long lists, struggling to shorten them, and over-thinking it all, …

Out with the Old (but Really Great Business Stories), in with the New

Patch Woes<p>The Story Behind Why AOL CEO Tim Armstrong Fired an Employee in Front Of 1,000 Coworkers<p>Business Insider<p>For a few days last August, it was one of the most talked-about business stories in America: Tim Armstrong, the CEO of AOL, fired someone abruptly during a meeting. A recording of the …

Four principles for the open world

The recent generations have been bathed in connecting technology from birth, says futurist Don Tapscott, and as a result the world is transforming …

Doing Less, Leading More

Our first accomplishments as professionals are usually rooted in our skill as individual contributors. In most fields we add value in the early stages of our careers by getting things done. We’re fast, we’re efficient, and we do high-quality work. In a word, we’re <i>doers.</i> But when we carry this …

What management consultants might say to the Pope

<i>“In an effort to streamline and modernise its communications structures and bring its accounting practices in line with international standards, the Vatican hired … [t]he global management-consulting firm McKinsey & Company and the Netherlands-based financial and administrative consultation firm</i> …