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HBR IdeaCast

Author: Harvard Business Review

Subscribed: 47,627Played: 661,338


A weekly podcast featuring the leading thinkers in business and management from Harvard Business Review.
701 Episodes
Julie Zhuo, Facebook’s VP of product design, started at the company as its first intern and became a manager at the age of 25. Like many first-time bosses, she made many missteps and acted how she thought managers were supposed to act. Eventually, she grew to find joy in the role and today she leads hundreds of people. She says that becoming a great manager also helps you know yourself better. Zhuo is the author of the book "The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You."
Daisy Dowling, founder and CEO of Workparent, says that moms and dads with jobs outside the home don't have to feel stressed or guilty about trying to balance their professional and personal lives. The key is to tease apart the different challenges -- from coping with feelings of loss to managing practicalities -- and to adopt strategies to better guide you through each. She points out that while a lot of emphasis is placed on parental leave, and especially new mothers, people at all stages of parenting need practical, immediate, and effective solutions they can implement themselves. Dowling is the author of the HBR article "A Working Parent’s Survival Guide."
Matt Beane, assistant professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, finds that robots, machine learning, and AI are changing how we train for our jobs — not just how we do them. His study shows that robot-assisted surgery is disrupting the traditional learning pathway of younger physicians. He says this trend is emerging in many industries, from finance to law enforcement to education. And he shares lessons from trainees who are successfully working around these new barriers. Beane is the author of the HBR article “Learning to Work with Intelligent Machines.”
Ranjay Gulati, professor at Harvard Business School, says the most successful organizations tend to have one thing in common: a soul. Moving beyond culture, the "soul" of a growing start-up -- or a more established company -- is built on clear business intent, a strong connection to customers, and a stellar employee experience. Gulati says that leaders must think hard about preserving all three elements of the soul even as they scale and never lose sight of what makes their company special. He's the author of the HBR article "The Soul of a Start-Up."
Helen Lee Bouygues, founder of the Reboot Foundation, believes that a lack of critical thinking is responsible for many business failures. She says organizational leaders often rely too heavily on expertise and then jump to conclusions. Instead, leaders should deliberately approach each problem and devote time thinking through possible solutions. The good news, she says, is that critical thinking skills can developed and practiced over time. Bouygues is the author of the article "3 Simple Habits to Improve Your Critical Thinking."
Spencer Harrison, an associate professor at INSEAD, says that managers in any industry can learn from the success of the Marvel movie franchise. While some sequels lack creativity, Marvel manages to make each of its new releases just different enough, so consumers are not just satisfied but also surprised. Research shows that several strategies drive this success; they include bringing in different types of talent while also maintaining a stable core creative team then working together to challenge the superhero action-film formula. And, Harrison argues, leaders in other industries and functions can easily apply them to their own businesses. He is the co-author of the HBR article "Marvel's Blockbuster Machine."
Deborah Ancona and Kate Isaacs, researchers at MIT Sloan School of Management, say many companies struggle to be nimble with a command-and-control leadership culture. They studied Xerox’s R&D outfit PARC and the materials science company W.L. Gore & Associates and found these highly innovative organizations have three kinds of leaders: entrepreneurial, enabling, and architecting ones. These roles work together to give direction and avoid creative chaos. Ancona and Isaacs are coauthors of the HBR article "Nimble Leadership."
Eugene Soltes, associate professor at Harvard Business School, studies white-collar crime and has even interviewed convicts behind bars. While most people think of high-profile scandals like Enron, he says every sizable organization has lapses in integrity. He shares practical tools for managers to identify pockets of ethical violations to prevent them from ballooning into serious reputational and financial damage. Soltes is the author of the HBR article “Where Is Your Company Most Prone to Lapses in Integrity?”
Peter Cappelli, professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business and director of its Center for Human Resources, says managers at companies large and small are doing hiring all wrong. A confluence of changes, from the onslaught of online tools to a rise in recruitment outsourcing, have promised more efficiency but actually made us less effective at finding the best candidates. Cappelli says there are better, simpler ways to measure whether someone will be a good employee and advises companies to focus more on internal talent. He's the author of the HBR article "Your Approach to Hiring is All Wrong."
Sylvia Ann Hewlett, an economist and the founder of the Center for Talent Innovation, has studied the difference between mentoring and sponsorship and what leaders have to gain from the latter. She says it's important to seek out protégés who outperform, are exceptionally trustworthy, and, most importantly, offer skills, knowledge, and perspectives that differ from your own, so you can maximize the benefits for both parties. Hewlett brings real-world lessons from several successful pairings and tips on how to effectively launch and manage these long-term relationships. She's the author of the book "The Sponsor Effect: How to Be a Better Leader by Investing in Others."
Comments (30)

Luiza Holban-Fediuc

Inspiring episode

Aug 21st

Mauro Costa Neto

Great content

Jun 7th

David Young

It's ok podcast but it's full of endless episodes of some lecturer plugging a new book they wrote. Also would love some proper real-world business discussion as these academics seem too detached.

Jun 4th

Niclas Daniels


Apr 11th

Breechay Wi

great episode

Mar 26th

tej singh

Some great insights on how operational transparency can created a value enhancing effect on the business and a deeper connection between customers and the employees of the company some of who have never seen each other. good work and thanks for the efforts.

Mar 17th


I moved from the US to China. It’s been amazing and part of the reason is because I have so much more free time to do things that I enjoy because labor is really cheap here. I “outsource” all of those chores and responsibilities that I used to do in the US and just have much more time now. For example, we have maid services that’s like the equivalent of $5 per hour, so I never have to clean my apartment anymore. I have a nanny now who helps us cook dinner and take care of changing diapers and feeding our son, so I can spend more time reading and playing with him. It’s honestly made my life much more enjoyable, that I can’t imagine my life without these time saving services.

Mar 16th

Sriram Sreedhar

nice 👍

Mar 14th



Feb 26th



Feb 8th

hari Vavilala

who was the author of the book "becoming a X", no information available on web regarding this book. can someone give more details please

Dec 11th

Fabio Scalici

excellent episode

Oct 31st

Cesar Gama

I loved this one.

Oct 18th

Daniel Marina Huesca


Sep 15th

Daniel Marina Huesca

nice video

Sep 13th

Ardavan Nasiri


Sep 11th

Frank-Libby Ruljancich

we in

Jul 30th

Gaurav Deo

There is no new 1000 Rs note yet. only 200,500 & 2000.

Jul 21st

Seydou Soumare

Excellent contents.

Jul 13th

Shobhit Mehta

This could have been a good interview but the host blew it.

Jun 21st
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