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The Comprehensive Case for Investing More VC Money in Women-Led Startups
Only 8% of venture capital (VC) firms in the U.S. have female partners, and that lopsided gender composition may be hurting venture capital performance portfolios. The evidence suggests that having no female partners makes VC firms less likely to invest in female-founded or female-led firms. But what much of the VC world might not realize, is that female-led firms may have a higher rate of return on average than male-led firms. First Round Capital, for example, touts its success at funding more women entrepreneurs than the national average. According to First Round Capital’s review of th [...]
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Will Today’s Devastating Weather Change Business the Way Hurricane Katrina Did?
Nicholas Blechman for HBR Twelve years ago, Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans. Eleven years ago, Walmart launched its sustainability initiative, deeply affecting how business has been done since then. It wasn’t a coincidence. During the hurricane and immediate recovery, the government at all levels was overwhelmed by the human and economic needs. It couldn’t deliver basic services like water. But large companies, with their extensive resources and logistics expertise, stepped up. Walmart discovered what it was capable of. An important shift in how the retail giant appro [...]
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How to Help Someone Discover Work That Excites Them
Much has been written on a leader’s role in motivating, engaging, and bringing out the best in others. Yet research suggests there is still much more that could be done. Frequently cited is the 2014 Deloitte study that found that “up to 87% of America’s workforce is not able to contribute to their full potential because they don’t have passion for their work.” This passion gap is important because “passionate workers are committed to continually achieving higher levels of performance.” Robert Kaplan, author of What You’re Really Meant to Do, [...]
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How to Quantify Sustainability’s Impact on Your Bottom Line
Humanity has an urgent need to fight climate change, and businesses can play a key role in doing so. But we recognize that, in many businesses, resources are often allocated according to short-term, bottom-line pressures. We thus wanted to figure out a way to help executives quantify the financial benefits of reducing their firm’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We chose Brazil’s beef industry as the location of our case study, both for the size and complexity of the industry and for its impact on the planet. We found that sustainable and deforestation-free practices created signif [...]
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Sales Bonuses Are Supposed to Motivate, So Don’t Waste Them on Easy Targets
Most companies pay salespeople a combination of a salary, a commission, and a bonus for hitting a quota, putting a portion of their pay at risk.  The belief is that at-risk pay motivates salespeople to work hard and direct effort towards sales activities that encourage achievement of sales goals. In reality, however, many of the commissions and bonuses companies pay salespeople aren’t truly at risk–and as a result, the company may be spending money in ways that produce little in the way of extra effort or motivation. Pay mix – the ratio of fixed pay (base salary) to vari [...]
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How to Work from Home When You Have Kids
Finally: You’ve got the chance to work remotely. Maybe it’s due to the structure of your new job, or organization; maybe it’s part of that new corporate work/life initiative; or maybe it’s the result of months of lobbying the higher-ups. Regardless, you’ve won the prize that many — or most — working parents dream of. No commute, no office distractions, no one looking disapprovingly at you when you duck out of the office for a pediatrician’s appointment. Just you, a comfortable home office, and the opportunity to spend more time with your [...]
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Severe Weather Threatens Businesses. It’s Time to Measure and Disclose the Risks
Photo by Annie Spratt The weather affects consumers’ behavior in terms of what products they buy, where they buy them, and in what quantity. Even if a business knows how normal weather affects its earnings, unexpected abnormal weather events present their own risks. Research shows that abnormal weather disrupts the operating and financial performance of 70% of businesses worldwide.  When weather conditions are on average adverse over days, weeks, or entire seasons, shortfalls in sales cause reduced cash flows and can lead to financial distress and business failure. These disrupti [...]
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How to Motivate Employees to Go Beyond Their Jobs
Marion Barraud for HBR Every day, employees make decisions about whether they are willing to go the extra mile in ways that contribute to their organization’s success. These are important decisions because research shows that when employees are willing to go beyond their formal roles by helping out coworkers, volunteering to take on special assignments, introducing new ideas and work practices, attending non-mandatory meetings, putting in extra hours to complete important projects, and so forth, their companies are more efficient and effective. As a result, a critical task for success [...]
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The Tragic Crash of Flight AF447 Shows the Unlikely but Catastrophic Consequences of Automation
The tragic crash of Air France 447 (AF447) in 2009 sent shock waves around the world. The loss was difficult to understand given the remarkable safety record of commercial aviation. How could a well-trained crew flying a modern airliner so abruptly lose control of their aircraft during a routine flight? AF447 precipitated the aviation industry’s growing concern about such “loss of control” incidents, and whether they’re linked to greater automation in the cockpit. As technology has become more sophisticated, it has taken over more and more functions previously performed [...]
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SAS Partner Firms Help You Get the Most Out Of SAS
SAS is one of the most popular tools widely used in data analytics to access,analyze and resolve data of all sizes. Most of the time, businessesor individuals find it difficult to make the most out of their SAS based systems due to ordinary SAS support and associated services. Well, that should not worry you now! Today, you can avail full advantage from your SAS system by hiring a trusted firm which can offer you plethora of beneficial SAS services. Some of these crucial services are mentioned below: SAS Installation: Specialists can install and deploy SAS for different sized environmen [...]
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The Case for Stock Buybacks
Laura Schneider for HBR If paying excessive CEO salaries is the most maligned use of corporate funds, stock buybacks may well take second place. Conventional wisdom is that CEOs buy back stock to manipulate the short-term stock price. They fund the buyback by cutting investment, and so firm value suffers in the long-term. As Senator Elizabeth Warren argued, “stock buybacks create a sugar high for the corporations. It boosts prices in the short run, but the real way to boost the value of a corporation is to invest in the future, and they are not doing that.” The UK Government is [...]
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Who Empathizes with Machiavellian or Narcissistic Leaders?
Have you ever worked with a leader who manipulates others to get their own way? Or is there someone in your team who is so completely self-obsessed that they disregard other’s opinions and contributions? Hostile personality characteristics such as these might help people climb the career ladder, but it could be a very lonely journey to the top — unless their colleagues also share these personality characteristics. In our research, we replicated previous findings that leaders with negative personality traits were perceived by their subordinates as displaying poorer leadership behavi [...]
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