Israel Turns 70: Does It Need a Rebrand?


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Israel turned 70 years old in May of 2018, but its brand image internationally was less than ideal. Market research revealed that many people associated Israel primarily with military conflict. Harvard Business School professor Elie Ofek discusses efforts to rebrand the country in his case, “Israel at 70: Is it Possible to (re)Brand a Country?”

Biotech Startups And The Hard Truth Of Innovation


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Gary Pisano’s recent Harvard Business Review piece, The Hard Truth About Innovative Cultures, beautifully frames up how innovative corporate environments are frequently misunderstood. Innovative startups aren’t just about being cool and nimble, having beer taps in the kitchen, or an endless bounty of swag. Pisano sums up the harder, harsher reality of truly innovative environments: “These cultures are not all fun and games.”

Pisano’s piece struck a huge chord with my own experience working with both large pharma and small startups over the past 20 years.  And many of the observations are in line with my post from July 2017 on Distinctive Biotech Corporate Cultures.

While reading Pisano’s piece, my brain kept saying “Yes!” and “So true!” every few sentences.  I tweeted out my endorsement of the piece back in January but have finally gotten around to blogging on it; in this post, Continue reading “Biotech Startups And The Hard Truth Of Innovation”

Executive Ambitions


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Do you want the corner office someday? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Mike Troiano, a venture capitalist and former executive. They talk through what to do when you’re falling off the executive track, you’re moving up but don’t believe in the company’s strategy, or you have a rival who could block your path to the C-suite.

Avoiding the Expertise Trap


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Sydney Finkelstein, professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, says that being the most knowledgeable and experienced person on your team isn’t always a good thing. Expertise can steer you wrong in two important ways. It can stop you from being curious about new developments in your field. And it can make you overconfident about your ability to solve problems in different areas. He says that, to be effective leaders, we need to be more aware of these traps and seek out ways to become more humble and open-minded. Finkelstein is the author of the HBR article “Don’t Be Blinded By Your Own Expertise.”

A Theoretical Physicist (and Entrepreneur) on Why Companies Stop Innovating


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Safi Bahcall, a former biotech CEO, began his career as a theoretical physicist before joining the business world. He compares the moment that innovative companies become complacent ones to a glass of water freezing, becoming ice. The elements are the same, but the structure of the company has changed. Bahcall offers ways for growing companies to avoid these inevitable forces and continue to innovate. He’s the author of the book “Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries” and the HBR article “The Innovation Equation.”

Why Are We Still Promoting Incompetent Men?


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Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a psychologist and chief talent scientist at ManpowerGroup, says we’re not picking leaders in the right way. While we should be promoting people based on their competence and potential, it’s often the incompetent, overconfident candidates — most of them men — who get ahead. Studies show that, by many measures, women are actually better equipped to become strong, successful managers. But the solution to getting more of them into the executive ranks isn’t quotas or other initiatives that mandate gender diversity. To improve leadership across the board, we need to focus on the metrics proven to enhance performance and set higher standards for everyone. Chamorro-Premuzic is also a professor of business psychology at University College London and Columbia University, and the author of the book “Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?: (And How to Fix It)” (Harvard Business Review Press, 2019).