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HBR IdeaCast

Author: Harvard Business Review

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A weekly podcast featuring the leading thinkers in business and management.
907 Episodes
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We all know that creativity is the backbone of innovation and, ultimately, business success. But we don't always think deeply about how creative people get their ideas and the steps we might take to do the same. Gabriella Rosen Kellerman, a physician and chief product and chief innovation officer at BetterUp, and Martin Seligman, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, say there are four types of creativity -- integration, splitting, figure-ground reversal, and distal thinking -- and explain how each shows up at work. Amid startling advances in artificial intelligence, people who hone these skills will set themselves apart. Kellerman and Seligman are the authors of the HBR article “Cultivating the Four Kinds of Creativity” and the book Tomorrowmind.
By hosting the podcasts How I Built This and Wisdom from the Top, Guy Raz has won an inside look at how visionary leaders build their own careers and incredible companies. While many leaders have unique qualities that help them succeed, he has identified three behaviors that consistently rise to the surface. These leaders create a culture of collaboration. They encourage risk-taking. And they allow for failure. Raz shares stories of leaders of everything from Starbucks to Proctor & Gamble.
Even in a slowing economy, the battle to attract and retain talent persists. But employers need to look beyond what people are currently demanding — whether it’s higher salaries, more stock options or the flexibility to work from home. Studies show that, over the long term, employees also find value in aspects of work that they overlook in the short term, such as community and opportunities for growth. Professor Amy Edmondson and INSEAD associate professor Mark Mortensen offer up strategies for a holistic talent acquisition and retention strategy that incorporates more lasting benefits, even if workers aren't asking for them right now. Edmondson and Mortensen are the authors of the HBR article "Rethink Your Employee Value Proposition."
It's the start of a fresh year, and optimism is in the air. But if you want happiness to extend far beyond your New Year's resolution, Robert Waldinger says you can take some inspiration from the longest-running study of happiness out there. He’s a psychiatrist who runs the Harvard Study of Adult Development. The longitudinal research has followed individuals and their families for nine decades. He shares what makes people happiest in the long run and how their work factors into that. Waldinger is the author of the new book "The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness."
Best of IdeaCast 2022

Best of IdeaCast 2022

2023-01-0326:195

From incivility for frontline workers to struggles with hybrid work to actual progress made since the murder of George Floyd, HBR IdeaCast spent 2022 sharing impactful management research and exploring the social and business trends that affect workers and leaders. Join hosts Alison Beard and Curt Nickisch as they listen in on some of their favorite interviews of the year. They share what made these conversations so memorable and insightful and why they’re still worth a listen—or a re-listen—in 2023. Alison’s and Curt’s Picks: The Positives—and Perils—of Storytelling Let’s Protect Our Frontline Workers from Rude Customers Fighting Bias and Inequality at the Team Level Sad, Mad, Anxious? How to Work Through Your ‘Big Feelings’ NASA’s Science Head on Leading Space Missions with Risk of Spectacular Failure Advice from the CEO of an All-Remote Company
In The New World of Work video series, host and HBR Editor in Chief Adi Ignatius explores how top-tier executives see the future and how their companies are trying to set themselves up for success. Each week, he interviews a top leader live on LinkedIn, and in this special IdeaCast episode, he speaks with LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky on how his company adapted during the pandemic (and after) and how he approaches growth, talent management, and more. You can browse previous episodes of The New World of Work on the HBR YouTube channel and follow HBR on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on future live interviews. Ignatius also shares an inside look at these conversations —and solicits questions for future discussions — in a newsletter just for HBR subscribers. If you’re a subscriber, you can sign up here.
For decades, actor-producer-director Ron Howard has made popular and critically acclaimed movies while also maintaining a reputation for being one of the nicest guys in Hollywood. He explains how he turned early TV gigs into long-term success and why he often involves his cast and crew members in creative decisions. His latest film is Thirteen Lives.
Managing rapid growth is a huge challenge for young businesses. Even start-ups with glowing reviews and skyrocketing sales can fail. That’s because new ventures and corporate initiatives alike have to sustain profitability at scale, according to Harvard Business School senior lecturer Jeffrey Rayport. He has researched some of the biggest stumbling blocks to long-lasting success and explains how to make the tricky transition out of the start-up phase successfully. With professors Davide Sola and Martin Kupp of ESCP Business School, Rayport cowrote the HBR article “The Overlooked Key to a Successful Scale-Up.”
Over the past few years, organizations around the world have invested in diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives with varying results. But to achieve lasting change, they'll need to commit to that work for much longer, says Ella Washington, organizational psychologist and professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Her research shows that companies move toward DEI maturity in five stages (aware, compliant, tactical, integrated, and sustainable) and each takes time to work through. She explains why some organizations get stuck, and how to overcome those challenges. Washington is author of "The Necessary Journey: Making Real Progress on Equity and Inclusion" and the HBR article "The Five Stages of DEI Maturity."
From corporate social responsibility to ESG to “doing well by doing good,” an increasing number of organizations are pursuing positive social impact, and it’s not just nonprofits and government agencies. But incorporating social impact into a for-profit business raises all kinds of system dilemmas, says Jacob Harold, a cofounder of the philanthropy data platform Candid and the former CEO of GuideStar. He explains a bundle of tools that can be used together to create meaningful change. Harold wrote the new book “The Toolbox: Strategies for Crafting Social Impact.”
From videos of drunk and disorderly airline passengers to stories of hospital visitors angrily refusing to wear masks, customer-facing work seems to have gotten a lot more difficult – even dangerous -- over the past few years. It's important that organizations understand the experience of frontline workers now, and help to better protect their employees, says Christine Porath, professor of management at Georgetown University. She's studied incivility for 20 years, and has spoken to workers in many industries in the last few years about what it's like working with customers today - with stress, anger, and incivility seemingly on the rise. And she has advice for managers and leaders. Porath is the author of the HBR Big Idea article "Frontline Work When Everyone Is Angry."
Companies offer sponsorship programs to help a more diverse group of high performers and future leaders advance. But the efforts can often misfire. Herminia Ibarra, professor at London Business School, says that’s because these arranged developmental relationships can lack authenticity and meaningful paths for action. She explains the key distinctions of mentorship and sponsorship and recommends that companies focus on two vital qualities: public advocacy and relational authenticity. Ibarra wrote the HBR article “How to Do Sponsorship Right.”
From politics to sports to business, we tend to glorify those who persevere, show grit, never give up. But former professional poker player and consultant Annie Duke argues that there is also great value in quitting — whether it’s a project, job, career, or company. She walks us through the biases that keep us stuck in the status quo even when other paths would be more fruitful and explains how to make better decisions. Duke is the author of "Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away.”
The number of women—especially women of color—in leadership ranks at the world’s largest companies remains desperately small. Tina Opie, associate professor of management at Babson College, offers a new practice for women to lift each other up and fight systemic bias in the workplace, something she calls “shared sisterhood.” The idea is to be more honest with each other, forming truer bonds. That involves listening, understanding yourself, and a willingness to take risks. With University of Iowa management professor Beth Livingston, Opie wrote the new book “Shared Sisterhood: How to Take Collective Action for Racial and Gender Equity at Work.”
In the early 1990s, publishers told science journalist Daniel Goleman not to use the word “emotion” in a business book. The popular conception was that emotions had little role in the workplace. When HBR was founded in October 1922, the practice of management focused on workers’ physical productivity, not their feelings. And while over the decades psychologists studied “social intelligence” and “emotional strength,” businesses cultivated the so-called hard skills that drove the bottom line. Until 1990, when psychologists Peter Salovey and John Mayer published their landmark journal article. It proposed “emotional intelligence” as the ability to identify and manage one's own emotions as well as those of others. Daniel Goleman popularized the idea in his 1995 book, and companies came to hire for “EI” and teach it. It’s now widely seen as a key ingredient in engaged teams, empathetic leadership, and inclusive organizations. However, critics question whether emotional intelligence operates can be meaningfully measured and contend that it acts as a catchall term for personality traits and values. 4 Business Ideas That Changed the World is a special series from HBR IdeaCast. Each week, an HBR editor talks to world-class scholars and experts on the most influential ideas of HBR’s first 100 years, such as disruptive innovation, shareholder value, and scientific management. Discussing emotional intelligence with HBR executive editor Alison Beard are: Daniel Goleman, psychologist and author of Emotional Intelligence Susan David, psychologist at Harvard Medical School and author of Emotional Agility Andy Parks, management professor at Central Washington University Further reading: HBR: Leading by Feel, with Daniel Goleman New Yorker: The Repressive Politics of Emotional Intelligence, by Merve Emre HBR: Emotional Agility, by Susan David and Christina Congleton Book: Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman
Nouriel Roubini, professor emeritus at NYU’s Stern School of Business, says that a confluence of trends – from skyrocketing public and private debt and bad monetary policies to demographic shifts and the rise of AI – are pushing the world toward catastrophe. He warns of those interconnected threats, but also has suggestions for how political and business leaders can prepare for and navigate through these challenges. He draws on decades of economic research as well as his experience accurately predicting, advising on, and observing responses to the 2008 global financial crisis, and he's the author of "Megathreats: Ten Dangerous Trends that Imperil our Future, and How to Survive Them.”
The idea that maximizing shareholder value takes legal and practical precedence above all else first came to prominence in the 1970s. The person who arguably did the most to advance the idea was the business school professor Michael Jensen, who wrote in Harvard Business Review and elsewhere that CEOs pursue their own interests at the expense of shareholders' interests. Among other things, he argued for stock-based incentives that would neatly align CEO and shareholder interests. Shareholder primacy rapidly became business orthodoxy. It dramatically changed how and how much executives are compensated. And it arguably distorted capitalism for a generation or more. Critics have long charged that maximizing shareholder value ultimately just encourages CEOs and shareholders to feather their own nests at the expense of everything else: jobs, wages and benefits, communities, and the environment. The past few years have seen a backlash against shareholder capitalism and the rise of so-called stakeholder capitalism. After reigning supreme for half a century, is shareholder value maximization on its way out? 4 Business Ideas That Changed the World is a special series from HBR IdeaCast. Each week, an HBR editor talks to world-class scholars and experts on the most influential ideas of HBR’s first 100 years, such as disruptive innovation, scientific management, and emotional intelligence. Discussing shareholder value with HBR editor in chief Adi Ignatius are: Lynn Paine, professor at Harvard Business School Mihir Desai, professor at Harvard Business School Carola Frydman, professor at Kellogg School of Management Further reading: HBR: CEO Incentives—It’s Not How Much You Pay, But How, by Michael C. Jensen and Kevin J. Murphy New York Times: A Friedman doctrine‐- The Social Responsibility Of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, by Milton Friedman HBR: The Error at the Heart of Corporate Leadership, by Joseph L. Bower and Lynn S. Paine U.S. Business Roundtable: Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation, 2019
In 2021, the U.S. space agency NASA launched a spacecraft toward a pair of asteroids more than 11 million kilometers away. The target? The smaller of the two asteroids, just 170 meters wide. The success of the $300 million, seven-year project demanded careful coordination of scientists, engineers, and project managers across different national space agencies. It also required strong leadership from NASA's head of science, Thomas Zurbuchen. He shares his path to an executive role at NASA, his management philosophies, and how he oversees trailblazing space missions with high risk of failure.
In the 1980s, Clayton Christensen cofounded a startup that took over a market niche from DuPont and Alcoa. That experience left Christensen puzzled. How could a small company with few resources beat rich incumbents? It led to his theory of disruptive innovation, introduced in the pages of Harvard Business Review in 1995 and popularized two years later in The Innovators Dilemma. The idea has inspired a generation of entrepreneurs. It has reshaped R&D strategies at countless established firms. And it has changed how investors place billions of dollars and how governments spend billions more, aiming to kickstart new industries and spark economic growth. But disruption has taken on a popular meaning well beyond what Christensen’s research describes. Some critics argue that the theory lacks evidence. Others say it glosses over the social costs of lost jobs of bankrupted companies. And debate continues over the best way to apply the idea in practice. 4 Business Ideas That Changed the World is a special series from HBR IdeaCast. Each week, an HBR editor talks to world-class scholars and experts on the most influential ideas of HBR’s first 100 years, such as shareholder value, scientific management, and emotional intelligence. Discussing disruptive innovation with HBR editor Amy Bernstein are: Rita McGrath, professor at Columbia Business School Felix Oberholzer-Gee, professor at Harvard Business School Derek van Bever, senior lecturer at Harvard Business School Further reading: HBR: What Is Disruptive Innovation?, by Clayton M. Christensen, Michael E. Raynor, and Rory McDonald New Yorker: The Disruption Machine: What the Gospel of Innovation Gets Wrong, by Jill Lepore Business History Review: How History Shaped the Innovator’s Dilemma, by Tom Nicholas HBR: Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave, by Joseph L. Bower and Clayton M. Christensen
No industry has had more impact than technology over the past few decades. Tech companies have changed the way we live, work, and interact with each other. They’ve helped us in a lot of ways, but they’ve also created some big problems. Kara Swisher is a journalist, entrepreneur, and host of the podcast On with Kara Swisher. She’s had a front row seat to the tech industry’s evolution and interviewed all of its biggest players. She speaks with us about key trends — past, present, and future — and the lessons she’s learned as not just an observer but also a media entrepreneur herself along the way.
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Comments (92)

Drew W

Error at 1 minute 42 seconds: 11 million km, not 11 km

Oct 18th
Reply

Farhad Rad

#Mahsa_Amini

Oct 1st
Reply

Delafrouz

#mahsa_amini

Oct 1st
Reply

danial

great episode, thanks. I have a comment about the Synergy effect. Some products, especially commodity goods will have better performance selling on Amazon than on a direct channel such as the company website. Because for example, the customer wants to shop for all needed things in the kitchen or for a special event such as moving, and here she wouldn't use multiple channels and have multiple shipments on her doorstep.

Aug 26th
Reply

Hamid

thanks alot

Aug 23rd
Reply (1)

Hamid

thanks alot

Aug 13th
Reply

mobina_hsni

amazingly well ; i enjoyed

Aug 8th
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GBH

Ms. Gerhardt's certainly has done solid groundwork in researching and understanding cultural differences within the workforce. That said, large Enterprise firms which are highly segmented and siled often view age differently then does for example a online music startup. The former will typically have a broader, and more diverse workforce both age-based, and culturally whereas in this example the music platform company by their own blog post accounts has a workforce well under 40, is this unconscious or a more deliberate form of bias? Does her research show that smaller Internet companies tend to hire people much like themselves? In my experience having worked at a large professional services firm until being Riff'd at age 60, age bias and discrimination was not even a recognized or discussed topic, during my nine years at this firm. Ethnic and cultural biases both unconscious and conscious were often discussed at great length. Lastly large firms towards the reactive and not proactive stance and execution against societal challenges, therefore it would not seem intuitive to believe that exploring, discussing, understanding, and implementing the contributions, and learning differences amongst the five age groups she mentioned would be on most large firms radar let alone development plan.

Mar 15th
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Hosein Vahdat

Amazing episode. thanks to all, especially Antonio

Mar 9th
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Slavic Jakubko

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Feb 23rd
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Red Arrow

Nowadays, it's not easy without work!

Feb 23rd
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Timo Marquez

What about when the gaslighter is the CEO ?

Jan 12th
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Felipe Dutra

Great episode!! So many valuable tips!

Sep 7th
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kagimub

Truth is always the best policy. Thank you for this episode. #Honesty

Aug 18th
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Mike Wood

n

Jul 13th
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Huw Williams

ifbplki

Jul 4th
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Shabnam Seyf

listening to this in June 2021 and it feels strange!

Jun 17th
Reply

Ehsan Teymouri

hi. how can I find transcription?

Jan 29th
Reply

Kyle Gonzales

interesting topic!

Sep 30th
Reply

Anthony Bowers

Brilliant episode. I don't wear a hoodie

Aug 29th
Reply
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