How to Increase Your Influence at Work

feb18-16-451291673-lokfung
lok fung/Getty Images

To be effective in organizations today, you must be able to influence people. Your title alone isn’t always enough to sway others, nor do you always have a formal position. So, what’s the best way to position yourself as an informal leader? How do you motivate colleagues to support your initiatives and adopt your ideas? How can you become a go-to person that others look to for guidance and expert advice?

What the Experts Say
Having influence in the workplace has “clear value,” says Dorie Clark, author of Entrepreneurial You. “You get more done and you advance the projects you care about and are responsible for,” which means “you’re more likely to be noticed, get promoted, and receive raises.” But gaining influence in the modern workplace is difficult, according to Nick Morgan, author of Power Cues. “It’s never been harder to influence others, because they’ve

Continue reading "How to Increase Your Influence at Work"

How to Fix the Most Soul-Crushing Meetings

feb18-16-139307363-emma-mayfield-photography
emma mayfield photography/Getty Images

Meetings are notoriously one of organizational life’s most insufferable realities. U.S. companies spend more than $37 billion dollars a year on them. Employees in American companies spend more than one-third of their time in them. And 71% of senior managers view them as unproductive. In one global consumer products company that I work with, my firm’s organizational assessment revealed an unusually intense degree of frustration over how much time was consumed by meetings, leaving “only evenings to do our day jobs,” according to one interviewee. In a meticulous inventory, we calculated the hours spent in meetings by directors and above across the enterprise (a population of about 500). They collectively spent more than 57,000 hours per year in recurring meetings. That’s the equivalent of six and a half years!

Better meeting techniques, like distributing agendas, holding stand-up meetings, or enforcing a no-device policy, are all well-intentioned

Continue reading "How to Fix the Most Soul-Crushing Meetings"

3 Reasons Global Firms Should Keep Investing in India

feb18-16-680672058-boris-sv
boris sv/Getty Images

A major debate has unfolded around India’s economic prospects. On the one hand, you have Prime Minister Modi declaring at the 2018 World Economic Forum that India’s economy, already the fifth largest in the world, will double, to $5 trillion, by 2025. On the other hand, you have the media pointing out the country’s shallow middle class, growing inequality and joblessness, and a trail of multinationals frustrated by the lack of China-like success in India.

While India remains a challenging market, there are at least three reasons global firms cannot overlook the country without consequences.

India has seen growth in infrastructure spending. The country has been increasing its spending on infrastructure such as airports, cities, hotels, ports, roads, bridges, hospitals, and power plants. During the past three years, for instance, the newly formed Andhra Pradesh State has made massive investments in building out its infrastructure. India has expanded its solar

Continue reading "3 Reasons Global Firms Should Keep Investing in India"

How Arizona Is Leading the Autonomous Vehicle Revolution – SPONSOR CONTENT FROM ARIZONA COMMERCE AUTHORITY

1200x627_HBR_AV feature image

Self-driving vehicles, once a science fiction technology, are rapidly becoming a reality that promises to transform our lives –   making it safer and more efficient to move people and goods, while reinventing our thinking about transportation.

Arizona, one of the leading cities for autonomous vehicles, is the proving ground for this transformative innovation.

This fleet of driverless cars — 600 Chrysler Pacifica mini-vans, operated by Google’s Waymo — can be seen today daily on the streets where companies like GM and Ford also are testing autonomous innovations. Arizona startup Local Motors developed “Ollie,” the self-driving bus here. And ride-sharing companies like Lyft and Uber have scaled their operations while deploying their own self-driving vehicles.

Under Governor Doug Ducey’s direction, the state has played a leading role in this dramatic evolution of mobility – and it’s done so by getting out of the way. Arizona’s focus on encouraging innovation, while ensuring

Continue reading "How Arizona Is Leading the Autonomous Vehicle Revolution – SPONSOR CONTENT FROM ARIZONA COMMERCE AUTHORITY"

Research: A Strong Privacy Policy Can Save Your Company Millions

feb18_15_-Osman-Rana_unsplash:HayonThapaliya
Osman Rana/Hayon Thapaliya/Unsplash

Cyberattacks are on the rise, with over 1,000 data breaches occurring at U.S. organizations in 2016 alone, most often through hacking or external theft. And it isn’t only violated firms that are hurt by these incidents. Studying hundreds of data breaches, our research has found that they create significant ripples that affect other companies in the industry.

Our research shows that data breaches sometimes harm a firm’s close rivals (due to spillover effects), but sometimes help them (due to competitive effects). What is more, we found that a good corporate privacy policy can shield firms from the financial harm posed by a data breach — by offering customers transparency and control over their personal information — while a flawed policy can exacerbate the problems caused by a breach. Together, this evidence is the first to show that a firm’s close rivals are directly, financially affected by its

W180118_MARTIN_HOWGOOD
Continue reading "Research: A Strong Privacy Policy Can Save Your Company Millions"

Power Can Corrupt Leaders. Compassion Can Save Them

feb18-15-corrupt-nguyen2
Andrew Nguyen/HBR Staff

In 2016 John Stumpf, then the CEO of Wells Fargo, was called before Congress to explain a massive scandal. For more than four hours, Stumpf fielded a range of questions about why the bank, which had over $1.8 trillion in assets, had created 2 million false accounts, and, after the fraud was discovered, fired 5,300 employees as a way of redirecting the blame. The recordings of the hearing are a shocking but illustrative case study of how leaders are at risk of being corrupted by power.

Stumpf’s appearance before Congress shows a man who had made it to the top of one of the world’s most valuable banks — and who seems to show an utter lack of ability to have compassion for other people. Even though his actions caused 5,300 people to lose their jobs, he seemed incapable of acknowledging their pain. Yes, he apologized, but he

Continue reading "Power Can Corrupt Leaders. Compassion Can Save Them"

Big Companies Are Embracing Analytics, But Most Still Don’t Have a Data-Driven Culture

feb18-15-525442823-PASIEKA
PASIEKA/Getty Images

For six consecutive years NewVantage Partners has conducted an annual survey on how executives in large corporations view data. Each year the response rate increases, and the reported urgency of making effective use of data increases as well. This year the results are both more encouraging and more worrisome than in the past.

Six years ago, the primary focus of questions and answers in the survey was big data, which was relatively new on the business scene. In the 2018 survey, the primary attention has moved to artificial intelligence. AI is now a well-established focus at these large, sophisticated firms. There is both a stronger feeling that big data and AI projects deliver value and a greater concern that established firms will be disrupted by startups.

The survey includes senior executives from 57 large corporations. The industry group with the most firms represented in the survey is one

Continue reading "Big Companies Are Embracing Analytics, But Most Still Don’t Have a Data-Driven Culture"

The Future of MBA Education

Scott DeRue, the dean of University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, says the old model of business school education is gone. It’s no longer good enough to sequester yourself on campus for two years before heading out into the world of commerce. DeRue discusses how the perceived value of an MBA education is changing in the digital era, and how MBA programs are innovating in response to individual and company demands.

Download this podcast

One Proven Way to Improve U.S. Health Care: Expand Medicare Advantage

feb18_13_HayonThapaliya
Hayon Thapaliya

The percentage of U.S. GDP spent on health care continues to rise, reaching 17.9% in 2017. At the same time, health insurance premiums have increased as much as 60% in the individual market in some states. The federal and state insurance exchanges have failed to rein in costs. Now, with the rollback of the mandate that individuals must purchase health insurance, the number of uninsured in the country will climb. Meanwhile, continued federal funding of the subsidy for insurance for the poor is uncertain.

It’s time for a better idea that addresses both cost and quality. That better idea is expanding the successful Medicare Advantage program to both Medicaid and employer-covered populations.

This Medicare program has a proven track record in preserving quality and generating customer satisfaction. If all Americans were covered by the program, selection bias — insurers seeking to cover healthier, more profitable people and

Continue reading "One Proven Way to Improve U.S. Health Care: Expand Medicare Advantage"

Study: Replying to Customer Reviews Results in Better Ratings

feb18-14-tlp918866-john-swope-life.jpg
hbr staff/john swope/life/Getty Images

Every now and then, firms make mistakes that leave their customers unsatisfied: a restaurant misplaces an order, a hotel’s air conditioning breaks down, or a dry cleaner damages a garment. With increasing frequency, disappointed customers share these negative experiences by writing online reviews, and many potential customers take these reviews into account when making choices about which firms to frequent. Because of this, even small service failures can have a lasting negative impact on a firm’s reputation — and financial performance.

In the age of consumer reviews and digital word-of-mouth, how can a firm participate in shaping its online reputation? There are standard service recovery strategies, such as offering perks and discounts to disappointed customers. Many managers have also started publicly responding to consumer reviews as a way to apologize and outline steps the firm has taken to avoid future service failures. Review platforms claim that

Continue reading "Study: Replying to Customer Reviews Results in Better Ratings"

Study: Replying to Customer Reviews Results in Better Ratings

feb18-14-tlp918866-john-swope-life.jpg
hbr staff/john swope/life/Getty Images

Every now and then, firms make mistakes that leave their customers unsatisfied: a restaurant misplaces an order, a hotel’s air conditioning breaks down, or a dry cleaner damages a garment. With increasing frequency, disappointed customers share these negative experiences by writing online reviews, and many potential customers take these reviews into account when making choices about which firms to frequent. Because of this, even small service failures can have a lasting negative impact on a firm’s reputation — and financial performance.

In the age of consumer reviews and digital word-of-mouth, how can a firm participate in shaping its online reputation? There are standard service recovery strategies, such as offering perks and discounts to disappointed customers. Many managers have also started publicly responding to consumer reviews as a way to apologize and outline steps the firm has taken to avoid future service failures. Review platforms claim that

Continue reading "Study: Replying to Customer Reviews Results in Better Ratings"

Research: What Happens to a Startup When Venture Capitalists Replace the Founder

feb18_14_514799794
GABRIEL BOUYS/Staff/Getty Images/Hayon Thapaliya

Entrepreneurs often seek external capital to accelerate their growth. This is especially true in hotly contested markets where fast growth can be the difference between success or failure. And yet this outside funding may come with strings attached, which can (and perhaps should) give entrepreneurs pause. Founders will likely find their influence diluted, in terms of both financial equity and their control over the board of directors. They may even find themselves out of a job if their investors decide to fire them and find a replacement.

Between 20% and 40% of founders do not remain in their original role (according to several academic estimates), typically replaced by a more-seasoned executive who might seem better positioned to scale the company and prepare it for the acquisition or IPO market. One would assume venture capitalists are rational actors who would not replace founders if it were not in the

Continue reading "Research: What Happens to a Startup When Venture Capitalists Replace the Founder"

You Can’t Hire Your Way to the Future. Instead, Leave No One Behind. – SPONSOR CONTENT FROM PWC

 

PwC image for sponsor content post

It’s the conundrum of the digital age: almost as soon as your company has fully implemented a new digital initiative, it’s on the verge of becoming obsolete.

Should you just move faster? Hire a more digitally savvy workforce and force them to move at lightning speed? Maybe. But the first step—and the most important—is to look closely at, and invest in, the human capital you already have.

Call it a “leave no one behind” strategy. If it sounds drastic, it is—for the future of your company. Your employees probably don’t have the skill sets they’ll need to successfully take on the digital and technological change ahead—change that is ever evolving.

You could have the best strategy and the latest technologies, but you can’t execute if your people lack the right digital skills. As it stands, 84 percent of CEOs are concerned about the pace of technological change; 76 percent

Continue reading "You Can’t Hire Your Way to the Future. Instead, Leave No One Behind. – SPONSOR CONTENT FROM PWC"

Should You Cover for a Friend’s Mistakes at Work?

feb18_13_158927102
Cachetejack/Getty Images

It’s nice to have a friend at work who cares about you and looks out for your best interests. Research has even shown that it contributes to your engagement. The benefits of having a friend at work are clear, but what about the downsides? What happens when your friend starts to let things slip? How do you handle it when you notice they aren’t keeping up? Should you cover for them?

As with most difficult situations at work, there isn’t one right answer. The approach you take depends on a variety of factors. First, how worrisome are the slips? Will they create significant problems for your team, or even your customer? Next, how self-aware is your friend about their harmful behavior and the impact it’s having? Finally, how is your friend’s manager handling the situation? Is anyone other than you noticing the problem? The answers to these questions will help you decide

Continue reading "Should You Cover for a Friend’s Mistakes at Work?"

4 Ways to Build an Innovative Team

feb18-13-808427610-Ben-Birchall---PA-Images
Ben Birchall/PA Images/Getty Images

One of the most common questions I get asked by senior managers is “How can we find more innovative people?” I know the type they have in mind — someone energetic and dynamic, full of ideas and able to present them powerfully. It seems like everybody these days is looking for an early version of Steve Jobs.

Yet in researching my book, Mapping Innovation, I found that most great innovators were nothing like the mercurial stereotype. In fact, almost all of them were kind, generous, and interested in what I was doing. Many were soft-spoken and modest. You would notice very few of them in a crowded room.

So the simplest answer is that you need to start by empowering the people already in your organization. But to do that, you need to take responsibility for creating an environment in which your people can

Continue reading "4 Ways to Build an Innovative Team"

Do Women’s Networking Events Move the Needle on Equality?

feb18-13-683860457-Martin-Konopka-EyeEm
Martin Konopka/EyeEm/Getty Images

Recently, I was flying home from the Conference for Women, where I had been invited to speak. I was carefully holding a copy of the conference program on my lap — my mom likes to save them, and I wanted to be a good son and bring her back an unwrinkled copy. The guy sitting next to me on the airplane noticed it and asked me about the conference. I told him it’s a series of nonprofits across the country that run conferences for women from all industries to talk about leadership, fairness, and success. He then surprised me by saying, “I’m all for equality, but I’m not sure what good a conference will do.” Done with the conversation, he put on his headphones, content in his cynicism as I stewed, trying to come up with the best, albeit incredibly delayed, response.

By the time I

Continue reading "Do Women’s Networking Events Move the Needle on Equality?"

How AI Is Changing Contracts

feb18_09_132075557
CSA Images/ Color Printstock Collection/Hayon Thapaliya/Getty Images

Contracting is a common activity, but it is one that few companies do efficiently or effectively. In fact, it has been estimated that inefficient contracting causes firms to lose between 5% to 40% of value on a given deal,  depending on circumstances. But recent technological developments like artificial intelligence (AI) are now helping companies overcome many of the challenges to contracting.

The main challenge firms face in contracting arises from the sheer number of contracts they must keep track of; these often lack uniformity and are difficult to organize, manage, and update. Most firms don’t have a database of all the information in their contracts – let alone an efficient way to extract all that data – so there’s no orderly and fast way to, for example, view complex outsourcing agreements or see how a certain clause is worded across different divisions. It

Continue reading "How AI Is Changing Contracts"

More and More CEOs Are Taking Their Social Responsibility Seriously

feb18-12-sb10067658ae-001-Ryan-McVay
Ryan McVay/Getty Images

Jana Partners, the activist hedge fund, isn’t known as a tree-hugging hippie sort of firm. Yet, last month it joined with the California State Teachers’ Retirement System to send a letter to Apple’s board warning about the effects of the company’s devices on children. The same month, Blackrock CEO Larry Fink sent a letter telling companies that his firm would consider social responsibility when making investments. And Mark Zuckerberg told investors that Facebook would be making changes to its platform that would help users in the long-term, even though, he warned, in the short-term the result would be users spending less time on it.

We are witnessing a big, transitional moment – akin to the transition from analog to digital, or the realization that globalization is a really big deal. Companies are beginning to realize that paying attention to the longer term, to the perceptions of their

Continue reading "More and More CEOs Are Taking Their Social Responsibility Seriously"

How Leaders Can Keep Their Cool in a Crisis

feb18-12-51597496-george-silk-life
george silk/life/Getty Images

The word crisis suggests something that happens infrequently. But these days, crises have become a regular state of affairs. Brands that you’d think would be fairly immune to scandal have found themselves embroiled in controversy. And those that deal with public relations challenges regularly have still been caught off guard by a customer insurgency. Some crises disappear quickly and others never seem to go away.

When it comes to a crisis happening, the question seems to no longer be “if” but “when.” Every leader needs to be prepared. By their very nature, crises put things in a whirlwind and emotions run high. So it’s imperative that leaders keep their cool and make smart decisions.

To get inside the eye of the storm, we spoke with executives who have had to successfully navigate crises of all kinds. Here’s what we learned:

You can’t pick your crisis. The

Continue reading "How Leaders Can Keep Their Cool in a Crisis"