HBR IdeaCast

HBR IdeaCast

United States

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

Episodes

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.”

562: Business Leadership Under President Trump  

Larry Summers, former U.S. treasury secretary, is calling on American business leaders to stand up to President Donald Trump. Summers sharply criticizes the administration’s protectionist agenda, and he says it’s time for executives to call out how those policies undermine the economy and the country's best interests in the long term.

561: Generosity Burnout  

Senior leaders Brad Feld, Sarah Robb O’Hagan, Mike Ghaffary, Heidi Roizen, and John Rogers Jr. discuss burning out on giving, the techniques they use to avoid it, and how they recognize it in their employees.

560: Stopping and Starting With Success  

Jerry Seinfeld shares his insights into innovation, self-criticism, and how to know when to quit. The U.S. comedian conquered 1990s television with his sitcom and is now finding a new audience for his online talk show, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee."

559: Voices from the January-February 2017 Issue  

Roger Martin of Rotman School of Management, Paul Zak of Claremont Graduate University, Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School, comedian Jerry Seinfeld, and HBR Editor-in-Chief Adi Ignatius respectively discuss customer loyalty, the neuroscience of trust, entrepreneurship in Africa, the source of innovation, and the new, hefty magazine. For more, see the January-February 2017 issue.

558: Collaborating Better Across Silos  

Harvard Law School lecturer Heidi K. Gardner discusses how firms gain a competitive edge when specialists collaborate across functional boundaries. But it’s often difficult, expensive, and messy. The former McKinsey consultant is the author of the new book, “Smart Collaboration: How Professionals and Their Firms Succeed by Breaking Down Silos.”

557: Restoring Sanity to the Office  

Basecamp CEO Jason Fried says too many people find it difficult to get work done at the workplace. His company enforces quiet offices, fewer meetings, and different collaboration and communication practices. The goal is to give employees bigger blocks of time to be truly productive.

556: The Secret to Better Problem Solving  

Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg discusses a nimbler approach to diagnosing problems than existing frameworks: reframing. He’s the author of “Are You Solving the Right Problems?” in the January/February 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review.

555: What Superconsumers Can Teach You  

Eddie Yoon, author of "Superconsumers" and growth strategy expert at The Cambridge Group, explains how companies can find their most passionate customers and use their invaluable insights to improve products and attract new customers.

554: The "Jobs to be Done" Theory of Innovation  

Clayton Christensen, professor at Harvard Business School, builds upon the theory of disruptive innovation for which he is well-known. He speaks about his new book examining how successful companies know how to grow.

553: Handling Stress in the Moment  

HBR contributing editor Amy Gallo discusses the best tactics to recognize, react to, and recover from stressful situations. She's a contributor to the "HBR Guide to Managing Stress at Work."

552: How Focusing on Content Leads the Media Astray  

Bharat Anand, author of The Content Trap and professor at Harvard Business School, talks about the strategic challenges facing digital businesses, and explains how he and his colleagues wrestled with them when designing HBX, the school's online learning platform.

551: Why the White Working Class Voted for Trump  

Joan C. Williams, distinguished professor and director of the Center for WorkLife Law at UC Hastings, discusses the white working class voters who helped elect Republican Donald Trump as U.S. President, and why Democrat Hillary Clinton did not connect with them.

550: A Leadership Historian on the U.S. Presidential Election  

Harvard Business School professor Nancy Koehn talks about the surprising election of businessman Donald Trump as U.S. president, and what leaders throughout history can tell us about bridging divides and leading in times of uncertainty.

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