HBR IdeaCast

HBR IdeaCast

United States

A weekly podcast featuring the leading thinkers in business and management from Harvard Business Review.

Episodes

582: The Talent Pool Your Company Probably Overlooks  

Robert Austin, a professor at Ivey Business School, and Gary Pisano, a professor at Harvard Business School, talk about the growing number of pioneering firms that are actively identifying and hiring more employees with autism spectrum disorder and other forms of neurodiversity. Global companies such as SAP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise are customizing their hiring and onboarding processes to enable highly-talented individuals, who might have eccentricities that keep them from passing a job interview — to succeed and deliver uncommon value. Austin and Pisano talk about the challenges, the lessons for managers and organizations, and the difference made in the lives of an underemployed population. Austin and Pisano are the co-authors of the article, “Neurodiversity as a Competitive Advantage” in the May-June 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review.

581: Blockchain — What You Need to Know  

Karim Lakhani, Harvard Business School professor and co-founder of the HBS Digital Initiative, discusses blockchain, an online record-keeping technology that many believe will revolutionize commerce. Lakhani breaks down how the technology behind bitcoin works and talks about the industries and companies that could see new growth opportunities or lose business. He also has recommendations for managers: start experimenting with blockchain as soon as possible. Lakhani is the co-author of the article “The Truth About Blockchain” in the January-February 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review.

580: Which Type of Entrepreneur Are You?  

Chris Kuenne, entrepreneurship lecturer at Princeton, and John Danner, senior fellow at the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business talk about one of the least understood factors that leads to success at scale: the personality of the company founder. Their research describes four distinct types of highly successful entrepreneurial personalities: the Driver, the Explorer, the Crusader, and the Captain. While popular culture currently celebrates big-ego personalities in the mold of Steve Jobs, the interview guests show how different kinds of people succeed at that level. Kuenne and Danner are co-authors of the new book, “Built for Growth: How Builder Personality Shapes Your Business, Your Team, and Your Ability to Win.”

579: Why Finance Needs More Humanity, and Why Humanity Needs Finance  

Mihir Desai, professor at Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School, argues for re-humanizing finance. He says the practice of finance, with increasing quantification, has lost touch with its foundations. But he says finance can be principled, ethical, even life-affirming. And demonizing it or ignoring it means that the rest of us – those not in finance – risk misunderstanding it, which has all kinds of implications for how we make decisions and plan for our futures. Desai is the author of the new book, "The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return." He also writes about finance and the economy for hbr.org.

578: 4 Behaviors of Top-Performing CEOs  

Elena Botelho, partner at leadership advisory firm ghSmart, talks about the disconnect between the stereotype of the CEO and what research shows actually leads to high performance at that level. She says the image of the charismatic, tall male with a top university degree who’s a strategic visionary and makes great decisions under pressure is a pervasive one. However, research shows that four behaviors more consistently lead to high performance in the corner office: 1) deciding with speed and conviction 2) engaging for impact 3) adapting proactively 4) delivering reliably. Botelho is the co-author of the article “What Sets Successful CEOs Apart” in the May-June 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review.

577: Why Doesn't More of the Working Class Move for Jobs?  

Joan C. Williams, director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, discusses serious misconceptions that the U.S. managerial and professional elite in the United States have about the so-called working class. Many people conflate "working class" with "poor"--but the working class is, in fact, the elusive, purportedly disappearing middle class. Williams argues that economic mobility has declined, and explains why suggestions like “they should move to where the jobs are” or "they should just go to college" are insufficient. She has some ideas for policy makers to create more and meaningful jobs for this demographic, an influential voting bloc. Williams is the author of the new book, “White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America.”

576: How to Survive Being Labeled a Star  

Jennifer Petriglieri, professor at INSEAD, discusses how talented employees can avoid being crushed by lofty expectations -- whether their own, or others'. She has researched how people seen as "high potential" often start to feel trapped and ultimately burn out. Petriglieri discusses practical ways employees can handle this, and come to see this difficult phase as a career rite of passage. She’s the co-author of “The Talent Curse” in the May-June 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review.

575: Low-Risk, High-Reward Innovation  

Wharton professor David Robertson discusses a "third way" to innovate besides disruptive and sustaining innovations. He outlines this approach through the examples of companies including LEGO, GoPro, Victoria's Secret, USAA, and CarMax. It consists of creating a family of complementary innovations around a product or service, all of which work as a system to carry out a single strategy. Robertson's the author of "The Power of Little Ideas: A Low-Risk, High-Reward Approach to Innovation."

574: Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant on Resilience  

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg talks about returning to work after her husband’s death, and Wharton management and psychology professor Adam Grant discusses what the research says about resilience. In this joint interview, they talk about how to build resilience in yourself, your team, and your organization. They’re the authors of the new book, "Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy."

573: Our Delusions About Talent  

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, professor of business psychology at University College London, dispels some of the myths that have persisted in the 20 years since McKinsey coined the phrase “war for talent.” He argues the science of talent acquisition and retention is still in its early stages. Chamorro-Premuzic is the CEO of Hogan Assessments and the author of the book “The Talent Delusion: Why Data, Not Intuition, is the Key to Unlocking Human Potential.”

572: To Reinvent Your Firm, Do Two Things at the Same Time  

DEK: Scott D. Anthony, Innosight managing partner, discusses why established corporations should be better at handling disruptive threats. He lays out a practical approach to transform a company’s existing business while creating future business. It hinges on a “capabilities link,” which means using corporate assets—that startups don’t have—to fight unfairly. He also discusses the leadership qualities of executives who effectively navigate their companies’ imminent disruption. Anthony is the coauthor of the new book, “Dual Transformation: How to Reposition Today’s Business While Creating the Future.”

571: Dealing with Conflict Avoiders and Seekers  

Amy Gallo, HBR contributing editor, discusses a useful tactic to more effectively deal with conflict in the workplace: understanding whether you generally seek or avoid conflict. Each personality style influences how you approach a particular conflict, as well as how your counterpart does. Gallo talks about how to escape the common pitfalls of conflict seekers and conflict avoiders, so that you can improve your work and your relationships. She’s the author of the “HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict.”

570: How Personalities Affect Team Chemistry  

Deloitte national managing director Kim Christfort talks about the different personality styles in an organization and the challenges of bringing them together. Her firm has developed a classification system to help companies better understand personality styles and capitalize on their cognitive diversity. She and Suzanne M. Johnson Vickberg coauthored the article, "Pioneers, Drivers, Integrators, and Guardians" in the March-April 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review.

569: The Rise of Corporate Inequality  

Stanford economist Nicholas Bloom discusses the research he's conducted showing what’s really driving the growth of income inequality: a widening gap between the most successful companies and the rest, across industries. In other words, inequality has less to do with what you do for work, and more to do with which specific company you work for. The rising gap in pay between firms accounts for a large majority of the rise in income inequality overall. Bloom tells us why, and discusses some ways that companies and governments might address it. He’s the author of the Harvard Business Review article, “Corporations in the Age of Inequality.” For more, visit hbr.org/inequality.

568: Break Out of Your Managerial Bubble  

Hal Gregersen, executive director of the MIT Leadership Center at Sloan School of Management, says too many CEOs and executives are in a bubble, one that shields them from the reality of what’s happening in the world and in their businesses. The higher you rise, the worse it gets. Gregersen discusses practical steps top managers can make to ask better questions, improve the flow of information, and more clearly see what matters. His article “Bursting the CEO Bubble” is in the March-April 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review.

567: Making Intel More Diverse  

Danielle Brown, Intel Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, talks about the corporation’s $300 million initiative to increase diversity, the largest such investment yet by a technology company. The goal is to make Intel’s U.S. workforce mirror the talent available in the country by 2020. Brown breaks down what exactly Intel is doing, why the corporation is doing it, where it’s going well (recruiting), where it’s not going as well (retention), and what other companies can learn from Intel’s experience.

566: Reduce Organizational Drag  

Michael Mankins, Bain & Company partner and head of the firm's Organization practice, explains how organizations unintentionally fail to manage their employees' time and energy. He also lays out what managers can do to reduce what he calls organizational drag. Mankins is a coauthor of "Time, Talent, Energy: Overcome Organizational Drag and Unleash Your Team’s Productive Power."

565: Globalization: Myth and Reality  

Pankaj Ghemawat, professor at NYU Stern and IESE business schools, debunks common misconceptions about the current state and extent of globalization. (Hint: the world is not nearly as globalized as people think.) He also discusses how popular reactions in Europe and the U.S. against globalization recently could affect the global economy, and how companies will need to adapt to the new reality. Ghemawat is the author of several books on globalization, including “World 3.0” and most recently “The Laws of Globalization and Business Applications.”

564: Why You Should Buy a Business (and How to Do It)  

Richard S. Ruback and Royce Yudkoff, professors at Harvard Business School, spell out an overlooked career path: buying a business and running it as CEO. Purchasing a small company lets you become your own boss and reap financial rewards without the risks of founding a start-up. Still, there are things you need to know. Ruback and Yudkoff are the authors of the “HBR Guide to Buying a Small Business.”

563: Escape Your Comfort Zone  

Andy Molinsky, professor of organizational behavior at Brandeis International Business School, discusses practical techniques for getting outside of your comfort zone, and how that can develop new capabilities and experiences that can help your career. His new book is “Reach: A New Strategy to Help You Step Outside your Comfort Zone, Rise to the Challenge and Build Confidence.”

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