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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.
788 Episodes
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Chad Sanders, a former tech executive and entrepreneur, says that people of color, especially Black men like him, often feel the need to assimilate to white corporate culture. They learn to code switch and downplay their race. But Sanders realized a few years into his career that, by trying to fit in, he was failing to leverage the strengths he'd developed growing up as a minority in the United States. After digging into the stories of successful Black leaders, he discovered some common threads to their leadership styles, including empathy, resilience and creative thinking, and he has advice for rising Black executives who want to put those attributes to work as well as the organizations who employ them. Sanders is the author of "Black Magic: What Black Leaders Learned from Trauma and Triumph."
Christoph Senn, marketing professor at INSEAD, has spent years studying how top executives involve themselves in B2B sales. Some are very hands-off. Others make only social calls. Still others sit at the negotiating table. Outcomes vary widely. Senn explains the best combination of approaches for top executives engaging with core customers. And he shares how account managers and other employees can benefit from knowing their leader’s style. Senn is the coauthor, with Columbia Business School's Noel Capon, of the HBR article "When CEOs Make Sales Calls."
Bill Gates, philanthropist and founder of Microsoft, argues that, even as we work to end the global pandemic, we can't lose sight of another existential threat: climate change. He says that we need to take aggressive action to get to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and insists that regulation isn't enough. Businesses need to pave the way forward by investing much more heavily in climate-friendly innovation. Gates speaks with HBR editor in chief Adi Ignatius about his new book, "How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need."
Muriel Wilkins, cofounder of the executive coaching firm Paravis Partners, says that starting a leadership role at a new company or via internal promotion is demanding. Doing so remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic is even more challenging. She says that new senior leaders must focus on two things: connectivity and credibility. And she explains how to build those attributes when much of the job is performed virtually. Wilkins is the host of the new HBR Presents podcast “Coaching Real Leaders.”
Jennifer Aaker, a Stanford professor, and Naomi Bagdonas, an executive coach, say that, even in times of stress and crisis, leaders should use and encourage good humor and levity at work as a way of building employee morale and engagement. That doesn't mean you have to tell jokes all the time. Instead, figure out what kind of humor works best for you and learn to pinpoint the opportunities for using it to best effect. They explain what makes things funny (hint: surprise) and the pitfalls managers should avoid. Aaker and Bagdonas are the authors of the book “Humor, Seriously: Why Humor is a Secret Weapon in Business and Life.”
Josh Baron and Rob Lachenauer, cofounders of BanyanGlobal Family Business Advisors, say that a family-run company has more flexibility than its publicly-traded counterpart to build a legacy and grow sustainably for the long term. But making critical decisions when there are family dynamics can be extremely challenging. They offer approaches to understand the real impact of ownership and effectively manage conflict. Lachenauer and Baron wrote “The Harvard Business Review Family Business Handbook: How to Build and Sustain a Successful, Enduring Enterprise.”
Martin Lindstrom, founder and chairman of Lindstrom Company, says that many companies are still held back by doing things the way they've always done them, or failing to break down bureaucracy. For Lindstrom, it's not just about getting away from bureaucratic norms for the sake of innovation, but because so many things workers do each and every day don't actually make much sense. He suggests workers, leaders, and organizations consider ways in which processes can be improved - and the ways these new processes can improve life for everyone. And he argues that companies should actually devote a team or department to making sure common sense is used throughout the organization. Lindstrom is the author of the book "The Ministry of Common Sense: How to Eliminate Bureaucratic Red Tape, Bad Excuses, and Corporate BS."
Mimi Nicklin, a business coach and executive, has seen many leaders blame poor performance and communication on generational differences. But she argues managers should spend less time forcing Millennial and Gen Z employees to conform to company culture and more time on perspective taking and listening. In her experience, practicing empathy can vastly improve team collaboration and lead to better business and individual outcomes. Nicklin is the author of the book "Softening the Edge: Empathy: How Humanity’s Oldest Leadership Trait is Changing the World."
Colin Fisher, associate professor at University College London's School of Management, conducted in-depth studies at several companies to determine how managers can effectively help employees who need assistance without demoralizing them. He found that the most effective helpers were the ones who clearly communicated their intentions, timed their interventions at points when people were most receptive, and figured out a rhythm of involvement that best suited their needs. He shares examples from different firms to illustrate what works and what doesn't, in person and online. Fisher is the coauthor of the HBR article "How to Help (Without Micromanaging)."
Nashater Deu Solheim, a forensic psychologist and leadership coach, says many people struggle to gain influence with those in their organization who don't report directly to them. That has only become more difficult in virtual office settings. But she says whether it comes to managing up to your bosses or out to your peers and clients, there are proven techniques to understand others’ thinking and win their respect. She explains her framework of preparation, behavior, and communication methods to do just that. Solheim is the author of the book “The Leadership PIN Code: Unlocking the Key to Willing and Winning Relationships.”
Christina Maslach, professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, has been studying the causes of burnout, and its impact, for decades. She says that, in a year when everyone feels overwhelmed and exhausted, it's more important than ever for managers to recognize when and why employees are suffering and take steps to solve those problems. In her framework, burnout stems from not only large workloads but also lack of control, community, and/or reward and values mismatches. She notes that leaders have the ability to pull many of those levers to help their workers. Maslach is the author of "The Truth About Burnout" and a forthcoming book on the topic.
Barry Nalebuff, professor at Yale School of Management and cofounder of Honest Tea, says too many companies shy away from cooperating with a competitor, and they’re leaving value on the table. He says even when working with other companies to find mutual benefits is not a clear win, cooperating may still be better than not cooperating. He shares how Honest Tea, Apple, Ford, and other firms analyze and capitalize on opportunities without giving up their secret sauce. Nalebuff is the author, with NYU Stern professor Adam Brandenburger, of the HBR article "The Rules of Co-opetition."
Race at Work is an HBR Presents podcast hosted by Porter Braswell about the role race plays in our careers and lives. In this episode, he speaks with Donna Johnson, former chief diversity officer at Mastercard, about leading the charge on changing company culture and how diversity can drive real business results.
Jeff John Roberts, an author and journalist, dug deep into the world of cryptocurrency to figure out what the rest of us really need to know about it. He acknowledges that the proliferation and volatility of digital currencies can make them seem like a fad but argues that the oldest among them -- bitcoin -- and the blockchain technology behind it are here to stay because they offer a more efficient way for companies and consumers to transact. He describes in plain English how crypto works and explains why now is the time for forward-thinking business leaders to understand -- and adapt to -- this new kind of currency. Roberts is the author of the book "Kings of Crypto: One Startup's Quest to Take Cryptocurrency Out of Silicon Valley and Onto Wall Street."
Joseph Fuller, professor at Harvard Business School, and Allison Bailey, senior partner at Boston Consulting Group, say that the Covid-19 pandemic is only accelerating a recent trend of companies turning to digital talent platforms for highly skilled workers. The need for agility and specialized skills has more firms seeking help with projects. Meanwhile, more workers are joining these online marketplaces for the promise of greater flexibility and agency. Fuller and Bailey explain how organizations can strategically employ this on-demand workforce to unlock value. With HBS researcher Manjari Raman and BCG partner Nithya Vaduganathan, they wrote the HBR article "Rethinking the On-Demand Workforce."
Women at Work is a podcast from Harvard Business Review that looks at the struggles and successes of women in the workplace, hosted by HBR's Amy Bernstein, Amy Gallo, and Emily Caulfield. In this episode, you'll hear about the tension that comes from feeling like you are a shy person, but also an ambitious one who want to lead a team. Former clinical psychologist Alice Boyes gives advice on the professional advantages of certain personality traits related to shyness — like sensitivity and thoughtfulness — and discusses strategies to overcome the aspects of them that may hold you back at work.
Sunil Gupta, Harvard Business School professor, has spent years studying successful digital strategies, companies, and leaders, and he's made Amazon and its legendary CEO Jeff Bezos a particular areas of focus. Drawing on his own in-depth research and other sources, including a new collection of Bezos' own writing, "Invent and Wander," Gupta explains how Amazon has upended traditional corporate strategy by diversifying into multiple products serving many end users instead of focusing more narrowly. He says that Bezos's obsession with the customer and insistence on long-term thinking are approaches that other companies and senior executives should emulate.
Ellen Ernst Kossek, management professor at Purdue University, is researching how the pandemic is putting an enormous strain on working parents and the new challenge that poses for their managers. She shares how supervisors can offer much-needed consistency and predictability for working parents on their teams. She also outlines specific ways to give working parents more flexibility while still holding them accountable. Kossek is the coauthor, with Kelly Schwind Wilson and Lindsay Mechem Rosokha, of the HBR article "What Working Parents Need from Their Managers."
Suzanne Peterson, associate professor at Thunderbird School of Global Management, says many talented professionals get held back from leadership roles because of relatively intangible reasons. She argues aspiring managers can intentionally alter their everyday interactions in small ways to have a large influence on their professional reputation. She explains how to adopt markers of different leadership styles to be seen as both influential and likable. Peterson is a coauthor of the HBR article “How to Develop Your Leadership Style: Concrete Advice for a Squishy Challenge.”
Tsedale Melaku, sociologist at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, and David Smith, professor at the U.S. Naval War College, have been looking at the ways people with the most power in society and organizations can become better allies to those who have less authority and influence. In the United States, that typically means white men helping their female co-workers or colleagues of color to advance. In an era when the push for gender and racial equity is gaining momentum, Melaku and Smith join host Alison Beard in a live taping that includes audience questions about the right ways to call out microaggressions, hold senior management to account, and use majority group privilege to help those in the minority. Melaku and Smith are the coauthors, along with Angie Beeman and Brad Johnson, of the HBR article "Be a Better Ally."
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Comments (75)

CastBox Test

hhhh

Mar 5th
Reply

Ehsan Teymouri

hi. how can I find transcription?

Jan 29th
Reply

Kyle Gonzales

interesting topic!

Sep 30th
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Anthony Bowers

Brilliant episode. I don't wear a hoodie

Aug 29th
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Anthony Bowers

Really enjoyed this episode. Turning potential into achievements.

Aug 23rd
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Anthony Bowers

The shift from IT afterthought to CIOs being front and centre has been hard and fast.

Aug 3rd
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SJ

no

Jul 29th
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Anthony Bowers

Food for thought!

Jul 29th
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Carolyne Gardner

anyone else experiencing poor sound quality?

Jul 28th
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Anthony Bowers

Great to hear about her life's work. I wonder how things have come along re the protection of gold resources and the effect this has on women globally

Jul 26th
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Anthony Bowers

The Cubicle...I am still not sold on this. Meaningful relationships require a degree of intimacy that you dont get in an open office cubicle

Jul 23rd
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Ali Maleki

A chapter of the book "The inevitble" talks about a similar subject as this episode. It is also interesting to read.

Jul 22nd
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Anthony Bowers

Is polling still relevant after so many high profile misses? #yougov

Jul 21st
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Anthony Bowers

Hadoop

Jul 21st
Reply

Yi Luo

The power of vulnerability

Jul 14th
Reply

Anthony Bowers

habits

Jul 8th
Reply (1)

Giovanna Andrade

I listened to this so many times. Appreciateyou so much James Clear ^^

Jun 30th
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Francis Valencia

mine plays fine (June 4)

Jun 4th
Reply

Annette Gabriel

It's saying an error message "cannot be played due to a broken source" hopefully someone can reload the episode?

May 27th
Reply

Annette Gabriel

There seems to be a problem with the episode? Can't play can't download. Hopefully someone can take a look. Thanks!

May 26th
Reply
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