dave Wheeler for HBR
Even the best sales forces can’t keep every good salesperson. Loss of salespeople to competitors occurs frequently in high-growth industries in which the demand for experienced salespeople exceeds the supply, such as in fast-evolving technology markets. Poaching of salespeople also occurs when sales are driven largely by relationships. For example, wealth management companies frequently recruit advisors who have built a strong book of business at competitive firms.
Companies facing high sales force turnover situations can try to reduce undesirable loss of salespeop [...]
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When it comes to cybersecurity, the chains of communication that exist within an organization, if they exist at all, are often a mess. Multiple conversations about cyber risks are happening across a multitude of divisions in isolation. At the same time, members of the C-suite are measuring their potential impact using different metrics — financial, regulatory, technical, operational — leading to conflicting assessments. CEOs must address these disconnects by creating a culture that promotes open communication and transparency about vulnerabilit [...]
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For decades, we’ve often thought of leadership profiles in unique buckets—two popular varieties were the “visionaries”, who embrace strategy and think about amazing things to do, and the “operators”, who get stuff done. We intuitively knew that there must be leaders that span these areas, but in fact, few do. According to a global survey of 700 executives across a variety of industries conducted by Strategy&, the strategy consulting division of PwC, only 8% of company leaders were said to excel at both strategy and execution.
At some point, we all confront a stressful life event or personal crisis that threatens to distract us from work. Perhaps it’s tending to a sick family member, coping with your own illness, or dealing with a divorce. These are all incredibly tough situations to navigate personally — let alone professionally. Should you disclose what’s happening to your manager and colleagues? How do you ask for what you need, such as flexible hours or a reduced workload? And how do you know if you should take a leave of absence?
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Recent leaked reports suggest trouble for the proposed merger of AT&T and Time Warner, an $85 billion deal first announced over a year ago. Last Wednesday, government sources claimed the Department of Justice’s antitrust division was demanding that AT&T sell Turner Broadcasting channels, including CNN, as a condition for approving the deal — and that AT&T had refused, setting up a possible court challenge.
Later stories reported it was AT&T that had offered to sell CNN. But CEO Randall Stephenson immediately denied both [...]
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With news of data breaches, ransomware attacks, and zero-day vulnerabilities making headlines, cybersecurity is likely appearing even more frequently on the agenda in many board meetings. After all, no company wants to become the next brand on the front page of the Wall Street Journal or have their executives testify in front of Congress.
But while cybersecurity is now on the agenda at board meetings, this doesn’t mean that board members understand how to tackle the issue. After all, most board members have expertise in other forms of risk, and not in how to [...]
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Few industries are being disrupted as drastically as the retail industry. Pioneers of new business models, such as Alibaba and Amazon, are launching innovations in rapid succession, such as voice ordering and real-time pricing, while simultaneously building scale and driving down costs. More retail purchases are moving online, and a growing number of manufacturers now sell to consumers directly, cutting out retailers entirely. Making matters more challenging, these shifts are happening across practically every retail category – books, entertainment, housewa [...]
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It’s no secret that people like to finish things; there’s something deeply and inexplicably satisfying about crossing the last item off a to-do list or acquiring the final piece of a collectible set. But just how far are people willing to go to achieve “completeness”? Recent research I conducted with Leslie John, Elizabeth Keenan, and Michael Norton of Harvard Business School investigated whether it’s possible to harness this desire to motivate people in specific ways.
In a series of studies, we used visual cues a [...]
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There is a broad assumption in society and in education that the skills you need to be a leader are more or less transferable. If you can inspire and motivate people in one arena, you should be able to apply those skills to do the same in another venue.
But recent research is rightly challenging this notion. Studies suggest that the best leaders know a lot about the domain in which they are leading, and part of what makes them successful in a management role is technical competence. For example, hospitals managed by doctors perform better than those managed by pe [...]
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Peter Drucker said: “Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.” This and a slew of similar maxims reflect a common view of strategy execution: that it’s distinct from strategy, harder to pull off than defining a strategy, and therefore more critical to success — underpinned by seemingly indisputable virtues such as diligence, discipline, consistency, alignment, and focus. But such a simplistic view of execution can be misleading and can reduce actual impact.
In fact, several frequently observed tr [...]
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As topics like automation, artificial intelligence, and skills retraining dominate conversations about the future of work, some predict catastrophic job loss and a dystopian future where legions of unskilled workers languish unemployable in the margins. Others, like O’Reilly Media’s Tim O’Reilly, aren’t so pessimistic. They remind us that we’ve been here before and that, rather than simply increasing efficiency and cutting costs, emerging technologies can [...]
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Public speaking tends to be a love-or-hate pursuit. Some professionals loathe the prospect, wishing it weren’t required of them. Others — and I hear from many – dream of developing a paid speaking career on the side.
Indeed, the economics can be enticing. Top speakers in the corporate world often command $20,000-$35,000 for one-hour keynotes, and I’ve developed a healthy six-figure side business doing so. Business celebrities like Malcolm Gladwell bring in far more (back in 2008, it was widely reported that he received $80,000 for one enga [...]