Which Data Skills Do You Actually Need? This 2×2 Matrix Will Tell You.

Jorg Greuel/Getty Images

Data skills — the skills to turn data into insight and action — are the driver of modern economies.  According to the World Economic Forum, computing and mathematically-focused jobs are showing the strongest growth, at the expense of less quantitative roles.


So whether it’s to maximize the part we play in data-driven economic growth, or simply to ensure that we and our teams remain relevant and employable, we need to think about transitioning to a more data-skewed skillset. But which skills should you focus on? Can most of us expect to keep pace with this trend ourselves, or would we be better off retreating to shrinking areas of the economy, leaving data skills to the specialists?

To help answer this question, we rebooted and adapted an approach we took to prioritizing Microsoft Excel skills according to the benefits and costs of acquiring them. We

Continue reading "Which Data Skills Do You Actually Need? This 2×2 Matrix Will Tell You."

3 Steps for Engaging Health Care Providers in Organizational Change

Westend61/Getty Images

One of the hardest things about introducing innovation or change in organizations is getting people on board. This is especially true in health care.

As health care organizations are being pressured to cut costs, reduce medical errors, and adopt both standardized processes and new innovations, providers are being asked to give up established and comfortable ways of working. They are having to spend more time on documentation, see more patients in a day, and use unfamiliar processes and tools. For many staff, physicians, and nurses, these changes mean less time healing patients and fostering wellness — the reasons they became health care professionals. Naturally, many start to question the direction of their organization, as these new behaviors and practices appear to conflict with the values of their profession.

When staff view innovations and changes as clashing with longstanding patient care values, they are less likely to adopt new behaviors

Continue reading "3 Steps for Engaging Health Care Providers in Organizational Change"

Refreshing Websites

Every year or two I refresh the formatting on this website along with a few others that I help manage and generate content for. I work with a great firm called Valet that I really like and everything is hosted on Pantheon, so the process works smoothly for me.

In addition to the refresh on Feld Thoughts, I also just refreshed Venture Deals (which used to be Ask the VC) and Startup Revolution. Amy and I also recently put up a website for the Anchor Point Foundation (our foundation). And, Seth and Micah did a big refresh on the Foundry Group website.

As part of this, each of them now has a separate subscribe by email option in addition to an RSS feed. If you want to skip searching for it and just subscribe, click on the following links as you desire.

The Trade War with China Could Accelerate 3-D Printing in the U.S.

SAUL LOEB/Getty Images

Vice President Pence just made it all but official: The United States is in a cold war with China. Fed up with Beijing’s industrial espionage, market manipulation, and cyber attacks on the West, coupled with its bullying of neighbors and repression at home, the Trump administration announced a series of strong steps to fight back.

Since the Chinese think their time on the global stage has come, they aren’t likely to back down anytime soon. That spells trouble for American manufacturers with global supply chains. Undoubtedly, it will accelerate the reshoring of items now sourced in China. As companies rethink their supply chains, they ought to seriously consider embracing a new manufacturing technology that’s now ready for prime time: 3-D printing.

No longer relegated to trinkets and prototyping, 3-D printing, which is also called additive manufacturing, is now moving into mass production. Printer makers have

Continue reading "The Trade War with China Could Accelerate 3-D Printing in the U.S."

What Can Big Businesses Learn About Innovation from Social Entrepreneurs? – SPONSOR CONTENT FROM QATAR FOUNDATION

Big businesses struggling in an era of rapid transformation can learn a lot from the experiences of social entrepreneurs finding and adapting innovative solutions in difficult contexts. In the 1990s, when Afghanistan was being ravaged by war, a bootstrapped initiative started by a former refugee was able to succeed where multi-million dollar projects funded by governments and large-scale development organizations could not. Believing that the best route to long-term empowerment for women was through education, Sakena Yacoobi created an underground network of schools that operated out of private homes. Despite resistance from local militias to allowing women to attend school, the project grew over time to help millions of children attain invaluable literacy and critical thinking skills. As the winner of the WISE Prize for Education in 2015, Yacoobi’s initiative is one of many that we at Qatar Foundation support to harness the potential of innovation for social development.

Case Study: When Two Leaders on the Senior Team Hate Each Other

kuritafsheen/Getty Images

The feedback in the 360-degree reviews was supposed to be anonymous. But it was crystal clear who’d made the negative comments in the assessment of one executive.

Lance Best, the CEO of Barker Sports Apparel, was meeting with Nina Kelk, the company’s general counsel, who also oversaw human resources. It had been a long day at the company’s Birmingham, England, headquarters, and in the early evening the two were going over the evaluations of each of Lance’s direct reports. Lance was struck by what he saw in CFO Damon Ewen’s file. Most of the input was neutral, which was to be expected. Though brilliant and well respected, Damon wasn’t the warmest of colleagues. But one person had given him the lowest ratings possible, and from the written remarks, Lance could tell that it was Ahmed Lund, Barker’s head of sales. One read: “I’ve never worked with a bigger

Continue reading "Case Study: When Two Leaders on the Senior Team Hate Each Other"

I Ran 4 Experiments to Break My Social Media Addiction. Here’s What Worked.

Barcroft/Getty Images

Social media can connect us to new ideas, help us share our work, and allow previously unheard voices to influence culture. Yet it can also be a highly addictive time-sink if we’re not careful about our goals, purpose, and usage.

Over the last two years, I conducted four different experiments to monitor my own behavior, implementing trackers and blockers in order to better understand how social media usage affected my productivity. My goal was to see if by interrupting my daily behavior I could change my “default settings” and have more time for deep, focused work.

In the end, these four experiments opened my eyes about my relationship to social platforms, and taught me effective strategies to maximize the benefit of these social tools while limiting the downsides.

The first step was collecting data. Before beginning my experiments, I tracked my daily behavior to better understand

Continue reading "I Ran 4 Experiments to Break My Social Media Addiction. Here’s What Worked."

Return On Investment

One of the claims made by people is that the millennial generation doesn’t care about return on investment.  I think that will be a short lived phenomena.  ROI is one of the unbiased metrics you can use to analyze a portfolio.  People who don’t care about ROI are people who don’t need ROI.

Here is a case in point. I went to Ycharts and charted Altria which is a tobacco company, the S&P, and an index of solar stocks for the last ten years. I picked solar because it’s a “feel good about yourself I don’t care about return category”. Here are the results.

MO Chart

MO data by YCharts

I am sorry. If you were 21 in 2008 and put money into solar and then looked back ten years at 31 you might wonder if you should have a chat with your 21 year old self.  Imagine if you are Continue reading "Return On Investment"


I heard about a cool program that helps NYC tech companies build more diverse teams. It is called Winternships.

The program is run by a group called WiTNY (Women in Tech and Entrepreneurship in NY) which is a three year-old collaboration between Cornell Tech and CUNY to drive more female students into tech majors or minors, and into the NYC tech ecosystem.

It works like this:

A Winternship is a paid, three-week internship experience during the January academic recess for freshman and sophomore women in tech. Participating companies design an ‘immersion’ experience in their business – students sit in on meetings, meet executives, go on site visits — and they work together on a challenge project that they pitch on the last day. WiTNY identifies students based on a match between your needs and their skills. Their team will even help you craft the Wintern experience if you want.


Continue reading "Winternships"

Debating Minimum Wage, and Reflections on a Year of #MeToo

Youngme Moon, Mihir Desai, and Felix Oberholzer-Gee are back with Season 2 of After Hours! In this episode, they debate whether the federal minimum wage should be raised, offer their personal reflections on a year of the #MeToo movement, and share their picks for the week.

Download this podcast

For interested listeners:

HBR Presents is a network of podcasts curated by HBR editors, bringing you the best business ideas from the leading minds in management. The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Harvard Business Review or its affiliates.

To Land a Great Job, Talk About Why You Love Your Work


When interviewing for your next job, how can you impress your recruiter and increase your chances of securing a job offer? Of course you may wish to emphasize your ambitions and goals you hope to achieve as a result of working at the company — your extrinsic motivation for the job. But to what extent should you also emphasize your love for your work and what you hope to achieve as part of the process of working at the company? This comprises your intrinsic motivation for the job, and most of us understand how important it can be to sustained engagement at work; but do recruiters care to hear this?

Our research suggests that they do — and that job applicants aren’t taking advantage of that. Indeed, we have found that people fail to predict the power of such a statement of intrinsic motivation on the impression they

Continue reading "To Land a Great Job, Talk About Why You Love Your Work"

Help Your Team Measure Customer Experience Data More Accurately

Tomekbudujedomek/Getty Images

Customer experience (CX) goes beyond measuring the relationship between customers and companies; it is also about quantifying the hundreds of regular interactions and residual memories that influence future behavior. Specific tools like journey mapping and touchpoint management are keys that employees can use to unlock the code for many in-store and in-person experiences. But it’s important for your team to understand the context in which data is being used to make company-wide decisions.

The balanced scorecard was initially popularized in the early 1990s as a way for companies to look at varying aspects of the business, from customer satisfaction, to financial well-being to operational outcomes, all in one simple read-out. It looks like this:


A shortcoming with the balanced scorecard is that it gives companies a “false sense of data.” When leaders have even small amounts of data, it can be easy to assume they know

Continue reading "Help Your Team Measure Customer Experience Data More Accurately"

Why Doctors Need Leadership Training

STOCK4B-RF/Getty Images

Medicine involves leadership. Nearly all physicians take on significant leadership responsibilities over the course of their career, but unlike any other occupation where management skills are important, physicians are neither taught how to lead nor are they typically rewarded for good leadership. Even though medical institutions have designated “leadership” as a core medical competency, leadership skills are rarely taught and reinforced across the continuum of medical training. As more evidence shows that leadership skills and management practices positively influence both patient and healthcare organization outcomes, it’s becoming clear that leadership training should be formally integrated into medical and residency training curricula.

In most professions, the people who demonstrate strong leadership skills are the ones who take on greater leadership responsibilities at progressive stages of their careers. In medicine, physicians not only begin managing and directing teams early in their careers, but they rise through the ranks uniformly.

Continue reading "Why Doctors Need Leadership Training"

How Competition Is Driving AI’s Rapid Adoption

Tomohiro Ohsumi /Getty Images

Artificial intelligence (AI) is engendering all kinds of breathless headlines, from being able to play Go to spotting rare cancer tumors. But how will AI impact the economy in broad terms? The answer hinges on both on what AI can be used for and the dynamics of a competitive race to adopt AI that’s set to unfold between firms.

New research from the McKinsey Global Institute simulates the potential global macroeconomic impact of five powerful technologies (computer vision, natural language, virtual assistants, robotic process automation, and advanced machine learning). It finds that AI could (in aggregate and netting out competition effects and transition costs) deliver an additional $13 trillion to global GDP by 2030, averaging about 1.2% GDP growth a year across the period. This would compare well with the impact of steam during the 1800s, robots in manufacturing in the 1900s, and IT during

Continue reading "How Competition Is Driving AI’s Rapid Adoption"

Brands Shouldn’t Believe Everything They Read About Themselves Online

Michael Heim/Getty Images

“Don’t believe everything you hear” is good advice — especially in an era of fake news and alternative facts. The same goes for managers who often rely on social-sentiment analysis to get a handle on what consumers think of their brands.

Social-sentiment analysis is the process of algorithmically analyzing social posts, comments, and behaviors and categorizing them into positive, negative, or neutral. Many companies use it to understand how their customers are feeling about their brands.

We recently conducted an extensive social-sentiment analysis with a team of researchers at Boston University’s Emerging Media Studies program as part of our Experience Brand Index research this past spring. In that research, we asked 4,000 consumers in the United States and United Kingdom about their actions and interactions with a wide range of brands over the last six months. These experiences were rated across more than a dozen dimensions, and we

Continue reading "Brands Shouldn’t Believe Everything They Read About Themselves Online"

Alumni New Venture Challenge

At Chicago Booth they have had the New Venture Challenge (NVC) for a long time now.   A friend of mine who is a local VC here in Chicago once told me you’d have a pretty good fund going long the winner of the NVC year after year.

In a brand extension, Booth has created the Social New Venture Challenge (SNVC) and the Global New Venture Challenge (GNVC).  Critics might say it dilutes the brand but the truth is innovation can happen anywhere, not just the full time MBA program.  Booth attracts some pretty high quality people in all of its programs.  You might say you’d have a pretty strong network if you just networked with people who graduated from Chicago Booth.

Since my classmates and I started Hyde Park Angels in 2007, entrepreneurship has become one of the top concentrations at Booth.  It used to be finance.

The school Continue reading "Alumni New Venture Challenge"

How to Blow a Presentation to the C-Suite

Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

Divya, a director who leads a large engineering team, was invited to a two-day retreat with the CEO and senior executives of her Fortune 50 company. She and 30 of her high-potential peers were excited to rub shoulders with the leadership team.

The purpose of the retreat was to expose up-and-coming leaders to broader challenges, expand their network across silos, and, of course, give them an opportunity to connect personally with C-suite executives.

The session kicked off with participants dividing into small teams to tackle company-wide strategic challenges. This was a rare opportunity to present directly in front of the CEO, so Divya and her teammates worked hard to research their assigned topic, frame the specific challenge, and debate different ideas and solutions. Instead of hanging out at the bar after dinner, they worked far into the night finalizing their presentation. Divya was selected as the spokesperson

Continue reading "How to Blow a Presentation to the C-Suite"

2018’s Biotech IPO Bonanza: View From the After Market

2018 has so far been another gangbuster year for biotech IPOs: the first three quarters of the year have delivered nearly 50 new biotech offerings, reinforcing the strong new issuance performance of the past 6 years.

With lots of pundits raising concerns about the market overheating with positivity on good days, or over-selling negativity on bad days, it’s worth reflecting on how the data this year actually matches up in terms of post-IPO share performance versus prior years.

Geoffrey Porges at Leerink recently put out a great report looking at the entire IPO window from 2013-2018 and the returns generating by new biotech offerings. It’s as you might expect: the measure of central tendency of the performance distribution (medians, means) are not attractive, but, the best winners, roughly 20% at the top and reflective of the Pareto power law, captured most of the share price and valuation gains.


Continue reading "2018’s Biotech IPO Bonanza: View From the After Market"

Motion Photos

Motion Photos is a feature available on Google’s Pixel Phones. It captures a bit of video as you are taking a photo.

I’ve always wondered how to share those photos with the motion in them, which you can’t do when you send them as jpeg files.

It turns out you can export them from your phone as gif files. For some reason, the Google Photos app on the web, which does allow you to see the Motion Photos on the web, does not support the export to gif feature.

So this is how you do it:

To convert your motion photo into a video or GIF, follow these steps:

Step 1: Open the Google Photos app on your device.

Step 2: Open the motion photo that you want to share. Then tap the three-dot icon at the top-right corner. From the menu, select Export.

Google Photos Motion Pictures 4
Google Photos Motion Pictures 5

Step 3: You will get

Google Photos Motion Pictures 6
Continue reading "Motion Photos"