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Why the Most Productive People Don’t Always Make the Best Managers
andy sacks/Getty Images When a company needs a supervisor for a team, senior leaders often anoint the team’s most productive performer. Some of these stars succeed in their new role as manager; many others do not. And when they fail, they tend to leave the organization, costing the company double: Not only has the team lost its new manager, but it’s also lost the best individual contributor. And the failure can be personally costly for the new manager, causing them to doubt their skills, smarts, and future career path. Everyone loses. Why, then, do some fail while others suc [...]
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How AI Can Improve How We Work
Paul Daugherty and James Wilson, senior technology leaders at Accenture, argue that robots and smarter computers aren’t coming for our jobs. They talk about companies that are already giving employees access to artificial intelligence to strengthen their skills. They also give examples of new roles for people in an AI workplace. Daugherty and Wilson are the authors of the new book Human + Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI. Download this podcast [...]
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The Element of Surprise Is a Bad Strategy for a Trade War
anucha sirivisansuwan/Getty Images On the campaign trail, presidential candidate Donald Trump often slammed American leaders for publicly telegraphing their ISIS strategy. “Whatever happened to the element of surprise, OK? We announce we’re going after Mosul,” he said during the last debate with his opponent. “I have been reading about going after Mosul now for about — how long is it, Hillary, three months? These people have all left. They’ve all left. The element of surprise.” President Trump is now deploying the “element of surprise̶ [...]
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The Power of Leaders Who Focus on Solving Problems
Antonio Iacobelli/Getty Images In front of a packed room of MIT students and alumni, Vivienne Ming is holding forth in a style all her own. “Embrace cyborgs,” she calls out, as she clicks to a slide that raises eyebrows even in this tech-smitten crowd. “Really. Fifteen to 25 years from now, cognitive neuroprosthetics will fundamentally change the definition of what it means to be human.” She’s referring to the work that interests her most these days, as cofounder of machine learning company Socos and a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Center for Theo [...]
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Why Great Networkers Are Sometimes Bad for Creative Projects
Laura Schneider for HBR Imagine you are putting together a team for an important project. You have two candidates for the last slot. First, there’s Tess. She has not only a lot of relevant experience but also a wide network in the industry. She seems to know all about the emerging trends; her colleagues marvel at her creativity. Then there’s Cyril, who is competent and has deep skills and knowledge, but does not have Tess’s broad network. You can only choose one. It seems like a no-brainer. Decades of research have explained why people like Tess can come up with creati [...]
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Leaders, Stop Avoiding Hard Decisions
HBR Staff Too many leaders avoid making tough calls. In an effort not to upset others or lose status in the eyes of their followers, they concoct sophisticated justifications for putting off difficult decisions, and the delay often does far more damage than whatever fallout they were trying to avoid. In fact, hard decisions often get more complicated when they’re deferred. And as a leader gets more senior, the need to make hard calls only intensifies. In our ten-year longitudinal study of more than 2,700 leaders, 57% percent of newly appointed executives said that decisions were m [...]
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PR Agencies Need to Be More Diverse and Inclusive. Here’s How to Start.
HBR Staff Over the last year, there has been no shortage of avoidable PR nightmares for leading corporate brands. In January, fashion retailer H&M came under fire for an advertisement featuring a young black boy in a green hoodie bearing the words “coolest monkey in the jungle.” Last year Pepsi faced criticism for its ad featuring Kendall Jenner and imagery from the Black Lives Matter movement, as did Dove for an ad on Facebook that depicted a black woman turning into a white woman. Most recently, Heineken faced pressure to withdraw its ad featuring the slogan [...]
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You May Be a Workaholic If
Nancy Rothbard, a professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, draws a distinction between workaholism and working long hours. She explains the health consequences of being addicted to your work. She also gives practical advice for managing work addiction, whether it’s you who’s suffering, your direct report, boss, peer, or partner. Rothbard is the coauthor of the HBR article “How Being a Workaholic Differs from Working Long Hours — and Why That Matters for Your Health.” Download this podcast [...]
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Black Professional Men Describe What It’s Like to Be in the Gender Majority but the Racial Minority
PM Images/Getty Images It’s no secret that black people are widely underrepresented in the highest-status professional jobs. Even when they have Harvard MBAs, black women are generally absent in leadership positions at most Fortune 500 companies, and black men are in high-ranking roles in only a handful. Researchers who have examined black women in corporate settings generally highlight their unique experiences not just as black workers but as black women workers. Dealing with racism and sexism means that black women in these settings face particular challenges [...]
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Simple Changes to Job Ads Can Help Recruit More Police Officers of Color
Drew Angerer/Staff/Getty Images The United States is experiencing a human capital crisis at all levels of government. Even among graduates of public affairs programs, the interest in joining the public sector is dwindling as Baby Boomers retire and Millennials look elsewhere to make an impact on society. But this is more than a numbers issue. For public services to be delivered more effectively, the government workforce needs to diversify. Studies have shown that when public servants more closely match the communities they serve, outcomes improve either because the public servants themselves [...]
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Why Apps for Managing Chronic Disease Haven’t Been Widely Used, and How to Fix It
HBR Staff In an era where nearly every consumer good and service — from books and groceries to babysitting and shared rides — can be purchased through an electronic transaction on a mobile device, it seems reasonable to think that more and more of our health care can also be managed using apps on mobile devices. Proponents of these apps see the potential of digital technologies to shift care provision from physicians’ offices and hospitals to the patient’s home or anywhere with reasonable Wi-Fi connectivity. The potential benefits of digital health seem [...]
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Career Transitions
Do you want to shake up your career? In this episode of HBR’s advice podcast, Dear HBR:, Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Whitney Johnson, the author of Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work. They talk through what to do when you’ve trained for one career and long for another, when you reenter the workforce after a long gap, and when you want to move into management. Download this podcast Listen to more episodes and find out how to subscribe on the Dear HBR: page. Send in your questions about workplace dilemmas by emailing Dan and [...]
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