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Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?

There are three popular explanations for the clear under-representation of women in management, namely: (1) they are not capable; (2) they are not interested; (3) they are both interested and capable but unable to break the glass-ceiling: an invisible career barrier, based on prejudiced …

These Binary Prints by Alex Trochut Show Different Portraits in Light and Darkness

In an attempt to explore “duplicity in two-dimensional surfaces,” illustrator, designer and typographer Alex Trochut invented and patented a way to …

Slingshot Your Career

Praise Entrepreneurs, Not Cubicle Capitalists

Last week, I observed six senior Fortune 100 executives discussing a desperately-needed digital strategy. They each sported the obligatory hallmarks of business success: expensive Italian suits, carefully manicured hairstyles and company-issued smartphones resting on dark leather compendiums. You …

Innovation Isn’t an Idea Problem

When most organizations try to increase their innovation efforts, they always seem to start from the same assumption: “we need more ideas.” They’ll start talking about the need to “think outside the box” or “blue sky” thinking in order to find a few ideas that can turn into viable new products or …

Data.gov redesign preview modernizes public data delivery

While we know the government's spying on our personal data, what's it doing with all of the <i>public</i> info it gathers? President Obama's answer to that question was creating Data.gov, a portal that publishes, among other things, public school funding amounts. Four years on, though, and the site looks …

How to deal with corruption in India (and any other emerging market)

One of the worst things that can happen to a big company in an emerging market is to get caught greasing an official’s palm. Firms working in places like India, China, and Russia risk breaking anti-corruption laws both there and in their own countries. Cadbury India, a unit of US sweets …

Corruption

Should Your Website Be Using Adaptive Design?

In today’s multiscreen world, 27% of all web traffic comes from smartphones, tablets, and various other devices. And if your business depends on the web for revenue, then you likely know about responsive web design — which automatically adjusts layouts to fit different screen sizes. Responsive …

Debunking Myths About Highly-Skilled Immigration and the Global Race for Talent

Talk to the founders of Silicon Valley startups and they will tell you that the single greatest obstacle they face after they obtain funding is the dearth of skilled talent. They say this is limiting their ability to innovate. A group of tech CEOs told President Obama in March that five companies …

Think Carefully About Where You Put the Office Bathroom

Working From My Bean Bag Chair Treadmill Desk<p>New Work Order: From Google and Pixar to Innocent… The Future of the Office Starts Here<p>The Independent<p>That’s what everyone’s favorite late CEO did when he designed Pixar’s offices in 1986. Instead of putting the bathrooms (and café and mailboxes and gift …

Read Fiction and Be a Better Leader

An interview with <b>Joseph Badaracco</b>, Harvard Business School professor.<p>SARAH GREEN: Welcome to the HBR IdeaCast from Harvard Business Review. I’m Sarah Green. I’m talking today with Harvard Business School professor Joseph Badaracco. One of his courses that he teaches at HBS revolves around …

The Most Effective Ways to Make It Right When You Screw Up

After promising your boss you would complete an important assignment on time, you realize you’re behind and it’s going to be late. You unintentionally leave a colleague out of the loop on a joint project, causing him or her to feel frustrated and a bit betrayed. On the subway, you aren’t paying …

Mobile Shopping’s Data Goldmine

Mobile shopping is here to stay whether retailers like it or not. Some 44% of shoppers use their smartphones while they’re shopping; more than a third of them are comparing prices. The impact of mobile research can be profound, affecting the buying behavior of nearly 90% of mobile shoppers, …

What Inspiring Leaders Do

What do top executives want from their leaders? IBM recently asked this question of 1,700 CEOs in 64 countries. The three leadership traits that most mattered were the ability to focus intensely on customer needs, the ability to collaborate with colleagues — and the ability to inspire.<p>Our own …

A New Framework for Customer Segmentation

Her confession was blurted out in the midst of our first conversation about the new digital marketing strategy which we would eventually advise them on: “You know, I don’t think I believe in segmentation anymore.” She said it fast and softly, almost in hope that the sounds around us would make it …

Give Your Performance Management System a Review

Nearly every mid to large size company in the world now has some kind of performance management system, a process that in theory should help people set to achieve goals and ultimately drive performance. Yet only 14% of organizations are actually happy with their performance management system as it …

Ten Charts That Show We’ve All Got a Case of the Mondays

If you’re in a workplace in America right now, chances are most of the people around you are pretty checked out. You might even be plodding through the day yourself, counting down the hours until you can fly out the door. Or you’re doing your very best to make your unhappiness known to anyone …

Don’t Just Create Value; Capture It

In my recent HBR article, <i>The New Dynamics of Competition</i>, I present a new analytical tool called Value Network Maps, which I explain below.<p>These Maps are an outgrowth of exciting new work by strategy scholars developing a mathematical model of firm strategy that I refer to as the Value Capture …

How CIOs Can Change the Game

The findings are sobering: almost half of CEOs view their CIOs as out of step with the business and about the same percentage think IT should be a commodity service, purchased as needed. We tackled this thorny issue in a webinar sponsored by the Harvard Business Review, Dell, and CIO.com called …

Pricing Strategies People Love

An interview with <b>Sandeep Baliga</b> and <b>Jeff Ely</b>, professors at the Kellogg School of Management and Northwestern University. For more, see The Power of Purple Pricing.<p>SARAH GREEN: Welcome to the HBR IdeaCast from Harvard Business Review. I’m Sarah Green. I’m talking today with Sandeep Baliga and Jeff …

A new ecosystem

THE industry’s worst fears haven’t been realized—quite the reverse. Our correspondents discuss how professional journalists and media companies are …

KAL's cartoon

print-edition iconPrint edition | The world this week<p>Jun 1st 2013<p>Reuse this content<p>About <i>The Economist</i>

print-edition icon

IN SEPTEMBER 2000 the heads of 147 governments pledged that they would halve the proportion of people on the Earth living in the direst poverty by …

Apple: An end to skeuomorphic design?

The tech giant looks like it is ditching its fondness for apps and programs that look like real-world products. Is this a good thing?<p>Why do most smartphones make a clicking noise, like a camera shutter closing, when you take a picture with them? Why do the virtual pages of a book on a tablet appear …

UI Design

Innovation lessons Tesla Motors style

Our pick of the week’s science and tech stories, including all-electric cars, a fiendish maths problem solved and extreme cancer blogging.<p>Unheralded mathematician bridges prime gap<br>Erica Klarreich | Simons Foundation | 19 May 2013<br>Fundamental problem solved by little-known researcher “whose talents …

Tesla

The best science and technology pictures of the week

The most amazing pictures from the last seven days – including a a tornado, dancing robots and therapy for a sickly turtle.<p><b>More stunning image galleries:</b><p>A drone at sea, a curious lemur and a dramatic landing from space<p>Tiny robots, printable guns and a sunken German bomber<p>Dramatic storms, face …

Photos

Google Plans to Fund, Develop Wireless Networks in Emerging Markets

Google Inc. is working to connect a billion or more new people to the Internet.<p>The Silicon Valley company is deep in the throes of a multipronged …

Emerging Markets

Why Tumblr Was a Massive Steal for Yahoo

The blockbuster acquisition of Tumblr by Yahoo for $1.1 billion — all cash — has been portrayed as a gigantic gamble on the part of the acquirer. …