You Are Browsing ‘HBR’ Category

What Military Service Could Teach MBAs

In 1980, almost 60% of large, public companies in America were headed up by a male military veteran. By 2006, a mere 6.2% of these businesses had a CEO with military experience. These numbers, from a January National Bureau of Economic Research working paper by Efraim Benmelech and Carola Frydman, aren’t necessarily surprising. As the duo explained to me over email, “the decline in military CEOs is a reflection...

Insurance Companies’ Untapped Digital Opportunity

Consumers fumed over the rollout of Healthcare.gov and the state health insurance exchanges last fall. First, they couldn’t get online. Then, once they did, the information was hard to understand. For consumers accustomed to easy shopping on Amazon or eBay, choosing a health insurance plan online was an exercise in frustration. That frustration highlights how important it is for insurers – not only health...

Get Your Virtual Team Off to a Fast Start

Whether you’re a virtual team leader or team member, there’s no honeymoon period anymore. The pressure to be productive from Day 1 is enormous. We can certainly do a better job of on-boarding people to teams, especially when teams are not co-located. Too often on-boarding plans consist of a dozen or more documents that team members are supposed to read and digest on their own. What’s missing at so many...

Executives Must Face Their Own Mortality

Matters came to a head for Zara, an operations executive in an IT company, when her husband Bruce found her hyperventilating on their kitchen floor at 6 a.m. on Christmas morning. “She was close to total collapse. After work the night before, she had gotten everything ready for Christmas. Our deal is that I take over on Christmas day, so that morning, she should have stayed in bed with a coffee while I did...

Increase Workplace Flexibility and Boost Performance

The potential benefits of workplace variability are numerous — increased morale, motivation, and the ability to attract and retain talent — yet many managers don’t know where to start. Others are afraid that performance could suffer or something important could fall through the cracks. Even the most employee-oriented managers have concerns about having employees work outside of normal work hours or at...

The Heretic’s Guide to Getting More Done

Are you working endlessly but not accomplishing all you want? Mystified that continuous attention to work is not resulting in satisfactory progress toward your goals? So focused on work that you’re not thinking about or doing much else? If so, you may not be giving your brain the benefit of adequate downtime. A recent article in Scientific American, Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime, summarizes the evidence...

Midsize Companies Must Prioritize Ruthlessly

The world is littered with the hollowed-out shells of firms that tried to do too much and spent too big trying to grow too fast. Many of those firms were midsize companies; they didn’t have the resources of the big firms to sustain setbacks, nor were they scrappy like most small companies, making do with the resources they had. I have interviewed more than 100 leaders of midsize companies in the last three...