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Use Sales Linguistics to Structure Winning Presentations

During the past few months I’ve sat through hundreds of presentations while attending conferences and the company meetings of my clients. Overall, I would rate half of them as being average and a quarter of them as just plain terrible. How can we all work to improve those numbers?<p>There’s an …

Six Components of a Great Corporate Culture

The benefits of a strong corporate culture are both intuitive and supported by social science. According to James L. Heskett, culture “can account for 20-30% of the differential in corporate performance when compared with ‘culturally unremarkable’ competitors.” And HBR writers have offered advice …

The Ripple Effects You Create as a Manager

Each one of us holds a set of beliefs and attitudes — a mindset — that determines how we interpret and respond to situations. That mindset shapes how we interact with others, and therefore it also affects the people we work with — in ways both subtle and profound. A person with a distrustful …

Will You Ever Be Taken Seriously?

Your palms are sweaty. You stumble over your words. You don’t seem to be getting a clear message across. You look around the table — everyone is more senior than you — both in age and title. You wonder if you’ll ever be taken seriously. Sound familiar? If so, you are among many who experience what …

New Research: What Sets Effective Middle Managers Apart

Over the past 20 years, no group has endured greater pain and humiliation within organizations than mid-level managers (MLMs — managers from two levels below the CEO down to the line managers). Before the IT revolution, MLMs wielded genuine power within companies, acting as gatekeepers of crucial …

How to Listen When Someone Is Venting

Disclaimer: It’s probably not a good idea to read this before you eat.<p>I still remember how it felt when, as a medical student, I drained my first abscess in a patient. We called the procedure “I & D” which stands for “Incision and Drainage” (I told you not to read this just before you eat).<p>When you …

The Unexpected Antidote to Procrastination

A recent early morning hike in Malibu, California, led me to a beach, where I sat on a rock and watched surfers. I marveled at these courageous men and women who woke before dawn, endured freezing water, paddled through barreling waves, and even risked shark attacks, all for the sake of, maybe, …

The Secret to Effective Motivation

An interview with <b>Heidi Grant Halvorson</b> and <b>E. Tory Higgins</b>, authors of <i>Focus: Use Different Ways of Seeing the World to Power Success and Influence</i>. For more, see the article Do You Play to Win–or to Not Lose?<p>SARAH GREEN: Welcome to the HBR IdeaCast from Harvard Business Review. I’m Sarah Green. I’m …

What Is Organizational Culture? And Why Should We Care?

If you want to provoke a vigorous debate, start a conversation on organizational culture. While there is universal agreement that (1) it exists, and (2) that it plays a crucial role in shaping behavior in organizations, there is little consensus on what organizational culture actually is, never …

Establish Credibility in a New Job

How to Get Others to See Your Potential

Overcoming people’s past perceptions of you isn’t easy. When I launched my consulting business seven years ago, I was astonished to find — years later — that acquaintances and even friends hadn’t kept up with my career transition. They’d ask about my past work in politics or nonprofit advocacy, …

Define Your Organization’s Habits to Work More Efficiently

We don’t often think about the way we usually operate at work, whether we’re performing an informal five-step process for evaluating a new proposal, or setting priorities for managing our time. But our ability to improve the ways we do things depends on defining and shaping our daily habits of mind …

The Graduation Advice We Wish We’d Been Given

<i>In this time of hope and decorative mortarboards, we reached out to some of our favorite writers, asking them: What do graduates really need to know about the world of work? Their answers are below.</i><p><b>Heidi Grant Halvorson</b> <br>Associate director for the Motivation Science Center at the Columbia University …

Why Your Company Should Use the Kickstarter Model to Innovate

In an impressively short time, Kickstarter has quickly become the go-to high-impact mashup of crowdsourcing sensibility and entrepreneurial endeavor. If you’ve got a genuinely creative idea — or even a “me, too with a twist” — Kickstarter’s “crowd funding” platform offers a genuinely innovative way …

How to Create True Customer Advocates

Who sells your products or services? This may seem like a silly question, the answer being of course, the sales & marketing team. But increasingly, the most important person selling what you’re offering is — your customer.<p>More specifically, your customer <i>advocates</i>. And, as buyers increasingly expect …

Hire Yourself a Great First Manager

Whether you are just graduating with a Bachelor’s, MBA, or some other graduate degree, you have probably heard how hard it is to find a job. But before you to take any opportunity that comes your way, stop and think: Far worse than continuing to look for a while longer is having a job with a bad …

Embrace the Business Model That Threatens You

If your company is already well established and has smart management, it is likely that it will become a <i>hybrid</i> in the next ten years, blending its legacy business with a new business model that is rising to threaten it. Take Walmart, for example. After suffering several years of Amazon’s online …

How To Get Better at Spotting Opportunities

To be a successful entrepreneur – or really, a successful anything – you need to be able to recognize an opportunity when you see one. Specifically, you need to be able to identify a problem or gap, and come up with an innovative solution. (Of course you also need to be able to execute that …

Why Some Companies Last and Others Don’t

An interview with <b>Michael Raynor</b>, director at Deloitte Services LP and coauthor of the article Three Rules for Making a Company Truly Great. For more, see his book.<p>SARAH GREEN: Welcome to the HBR IdeaCast from Harvard Business Review. I’m Sarah Green. I’m talking today with Michael Raynor, a …

Network transparency: How future mobile networks could be built in glass windows

Ericsson(s eric) engineers have begun experimenting with a new type of cell site – one embedded inside a window. As demand for mobile data grows, …