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Complaining, for Your Health

The mental and physical benefits of airing your grievances<p>In his 1964 book <i>Games People Play</i>, psychiatrist Eric Berne describes what he calls the “Yes, but” communication pattern: First, one person states a problem. Next, another person responds by offering suggestions on how to solve it. The first …

Boosting Demand in the “Experience Economy”

When Georgia Aquarium opened, in 2005, it was the biggest aquarium in the world. During its first year more than 3.5 million visitors came to see its exhibits, which feature some 120,000 animals spread across 60 habitats in more than 8 million gallons of water. “We didn’t have to do any marketing …

How to Handle Difficult Conversations at Work

Difficult conversations — whether you’re telling a client the project is delayed or presiding over an unenthusiastic performance review — are an inevitable part of management. How should you prepare for this kind of discussion? How do you find the right words in the moment? And, how can you manage …

Tip: Breaking Decision-Making Bottlenecks

<b>Lisa Finkelstein</b>, senior principal at Accenture Management Consulting, offers three steps for moving your team forward when it gets stuck.

When Your Boss Is Too Nice

Yes, it can be pleasant to work for someone who is kind and thoughtful but there’s a difference between bosses who are pleasant to work for and those who avoid conflict at all costs. Managers in the latter category don’t give tough feedback, shy away from going to bat for their teams, and give in …

Design and Innovation Trends for Business, Government and Society

EPHEMERAL STORIES: Where next, now that everyone's a storyteller? It is time for brands to give their audience the space to shape their own …

Innovation

The Capabilities Your Organization Needs to Sustain Innovation

Why are some organizations able to innovate again and again while others hardly innovate at all? How can hundreds of people at a company like Pixar Animation Studios, for example, work together to produce blockbuster after blockbuster over nearly two decades – a record no other filmmaker has ever …

Employee Engagement Depends on What Happens Outside of the Office

Companies spend over $720 million each year on employee engagement, and that’s projected to rise to over $1.5 billion. And yet, employee engagement is at record lows — 13% according to perennial engagement survey leader Gallup. What’s wrong here? Perhaps human resources leaders are spending their …

Prevent Your Star Performers from Losing Passion for Their Work

When Mohamed El-Erian abruptly resigned from his high-profile, and highly lucrative, position as Pimco’s co-chief investment officer a year ago, most observers were shocked. I wasn’t.<p>As a researcher and consultant to executives across diverse industries, I know how common it is for successful, …

Why “Being Authentic” Is Holding You Back

Your “authentic self” may be just an excuse to stay in your comfort zone. Here’s how your leadership style might be getting in the way of success.<p>Many young people are advised at some point in their lives to figure out what you want to be, then go be it. After years of hearing the same advice, …

We Still Don’t Know the Difference Between Change and Transformation

It’s been almost 10 years since HBR published John Kotter’s classic article,”Why Transformation Efforts Fail.” And although his suggestions for how to improve the odds have been widely accepted, the success rate of major corporate change programs remains essentially unchanged — it still hovers at …

The Mistake Most Managers Make with Cross-Cultural Training

Mark is an HR director looking to improve his company’s cross-cultural skills, especially in Germany where his company is doing an increasing amount of business. After considerable research, Mark hires a firm to deliver a training solution that seems like just what the doctor ordered. It’s a tool …

Office Politics Is Just Influence by Another Name

Most of us cringe when we think about office politics. It’s a disgusting, immoral mess that we try to avoid. After all, who wants to participate in backstabbing, lying, cheating, blaming, sucking up, and playing people against each other? Or maybe you take a slightly less offensive view of office …

Help Your Overwhelmed, Stressed-Out Team

Is your team stressed out? These days, everyone seems overwhelmed and way too busy. But even when your team members have a lot on their plates, they don’t have to sacrifice their health or happiness. What can you do to reduce your team’s stress? How can you help them focus on what really needs to …

We Know How You Feel

Computers are learning to read emotion, and the business world can’t wait.<p>Three years ago, archivists at A.T. & T. stumbled upon a rare fragment of computer history: a short film that Jim Henson produced for Ma Bell, in 1963. Henson had been hired to make the film for a conference that the company …

Your Customers’ Behavior Is a Competitive Advantage

At a reception for JetBlue’s most frequent Mosaic flyers, I had the opportunity to listen to the airline’s top management discuss its ambitions to improve operations and enhance customer experience. The discussion was excellent and — on a whim — I asked one of the most senior executives what …

Draw Your Elevator Pitch

When it comes to a good elevator pitch, brevity and memorability are everything. Most elevator pitches are neither.<p>One of us (Liza) is a staff cartoonist for the <i>New Yorker</i>, while the other (Deb) is a mentor to many start-up founders. We got to talking about the problem of crafting a brief, …

How We’ll Really Feel if Robots Take Our Jobs

Visitors staying at Starwood’s Aloft Hotel in Cupertino, California, not only have the luxury of humans greeting them and toting around their luggage. They also may be taken care of by a robot bellhop, named Botlr, who is mainly charged with delivering toiletries to guests’ rooms and eliciting …

The Art of Giving and Receiving Advice

Seeking and giving advice are central to effective leadership and decision making. Yet managers seldom view them as practical skills they can learn and improve. Receiving guidance is often seen as the passive consumption of wisdom. And advising is typically treated as a matter of “good …

A Second Chance to Make the Right Impression

Romualdo Faura<p>Years ago a friend of mine, Gordon, interviewed for a position at a prominent university. During his daylong visit to campus, he had lunch with a senior faculty member (let’s call him Bob) who had final say over the hire. After their food arrived, Bob said of his meal, “You know, this …

Your Digital Strategy Shouldn’t Be About Attention

Are they talking about your brand? Around the clock? From Facefriend to Tweeter to Instapal?<p><i>Pssst.</i><p>That’s probably not the right question.<p>Today, too many strategists believe that a clever plan to win the internet’s attention is a good digital strategy.<p>It’s not. Why? The painful truth is: attention …