HBR IdeaCast

by Harvard Business Review (ideacast@hbr.org) · · · · 20 subscribers

A weekly podcast featuring the leading thinkers in business and management.

Felix Oberholzer-Gee, professor at Harvard Business School, says many organizations spend so much energy on strategy that it overwhelms with conflicting priorities. Instead, he argues companies should simplify and focus on two value drivers: customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction. By aligning strategic initiatives on these alone, leaders make their workers’ …
Gorick Ng, career advisor at Harvard, tried to learn about the world of work at an early age, helping his mother search job listings and send out resumes. To launch his own career, he studied hard in school, secured an Ivy League education, and landed a plum job. But he …
Scott Belsky, chief product officer at Adobe, says that creative workers are a bigger part of the economy than ever, thanks to new technologies, more gig work, and shifting norms following the pandemic. He recommends that leaders at all companies — not just those in traditionally creative fields — understand …
Melissa Bernstein, cofounder of the toy company Melissa & Doug, spent decades hiding her struggles with depression even as she launched and led a booming business focused on bringing joy to children and raised six of her own. She finally opened up to her family, colleagues, and the public and …
Alison Dachner, management professor at John Carroll University, and Erin Makarius, management professor at the University of Akron, say that an organization can become more competitive by implementing a stronger offboarding process. Their research shows that similar to the way universities maintain alumni networks, an offboarding strategy keeps former employees …
Anne-Laure Fayard, associate professor at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, was studying the effects of workplace design on employees long before the Covid-19 crisis. Now, she says, the trend of flexible schedules and hybrid offices - where some people come in, others work from home, and many do both - …
Lauren Smith, vice president at Gartner Research, says the pandemic is accelerating several key recruitment trends. She led a survey of thousands of job candidates and hiring managers that details the shift to virtual interviews, but also identifies other ongoing transitions that may be more important. The research points to …
Chad Sanders, a former tech executive and entrepreneur, says that people of color, especially Black men like him, often feel the need to assimilate to white corporate culture. They learn to code switch and downplay their race. But Sanders realized a few years into his career that, by trying to …
Christoph Senn, marketing professor at INSEAD, has spent years studying how top executives involve themselves in B2B sales. Some are very hands-off. Others make only social calls. Still others sit at the negotiating table. Outcomes vary widely. Senn explains the best combination of approaches for top executives engaging with core …
Bill Gates, philanthropist and founder of Microsoft, argues that, even as we work to end the global pandemic, we can't lose sight of another existential threat: climate change. He says that we need to take aggressive action to get to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and insists that regulation …
Muriel Wilkins, cofounder of the executive coaching firm Paravis Partners, says that starting a leadership role at a new company or via internal promotion is demanding. Doing so remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic is even more challenging. She says that new senior leaders must focus on two things: connectivity and …
Jennifer Aaker, a Stanford professor, and Naomi Bagdonas, an executive coach, say that, even in times of stress and crisis, leaders should use and encourage good humor and levity at work as a way of building employee morale and engagement. That doesn't mean you have to tell jokes all the …
Josh Baron and Rob Lachenauer, cofounders of BanyanGlobal Family Business Advisors, say that a family-run company has more flexibility than its publicly-traded counterpart to build a legacy and grow sustainably for the long term. But making critical decisions when there are family dynamics can be extremely challenging. They offer approaches …
Martin Lindstrom, founder and chairman of Lindstrom Company, says that many companies are still held back by doing things the way they've always done them, or failing to break down bureaucracy. For Lindstrom, it's not just about getting away from bureaucratic norms for the sake of innovation, but because so …
Mimi Nicklin, a business coach and executive, has seen many leaders blame poor performance and communication on generational differences. But she argues managers should spend less time forcing Millennial and Gen Z employees to conform to company culture and more time on perspective taking and listening. In her experience, practicing …
Marissa King, professor at Yale School of Management, has studied the strengths and weaknesses of different types of social networks. She argues that most of us have a natural style of networking: we favor tight social circles, or brokering across varied groups, or having an expansive list of contacts. But …
Colin Fisher, associate professor at University College London's School of Management, conducted in-depth studies at several companies to determine how managers can effectively help employees who need assistance without demoralizing them. He found that the most effective helpers were the ones who clearly communicated their intentions, timed their interventions at …
Nashater Deu Solheim, a forensic psychologist and leadership coach, says many people struggle to gain influence with those in their organization who don't report directly to them. That has only become more difficult in virtual office settings. But she says whether it comes to managing up to your bosses or …
Christina Maslach, professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, has been studying the causes of burnout, and its impact, for decades. She says that, in a year when everyone feels overwhelmed and exhausted, it's more important than ever for managers to recognize when and why employees are suffering …
Barry Nalebuff, professor at Yale School of Management and cofounder of Honest Tea, says too many companies shy away from cooperating with a competitor, and they’re leaving value on the table. He says even when working with other companies to find mutual benefits is not a clear win, cooperating may …