Harvard Business Review

Improving the practice of management and its impact in a changing world.

Articles from Contributor

Winning in Baseball and Business

When you’re on the hook to launch a new product or service, you need to answer a critical question: How many customers will buy it? It’s tempting to jump right in, assuming everyone will want your fantastic new offering. But before you put the resources into building, marketing, and launching a product, it pays to research just how …

Make Your Slides Memorable

When you present data, people in your audience don’t have time to pour through the numbers. They need to quickly understand by glancing at the slide, reading the title, and looking at the basics of the visuals. Don’t make it hard for them by making your slides complex. Start by asking, “What would I like people to remember about …

Want the Job? Do a Project

No matter how well you interview, more and more hiring organizations will ask you to participate in a real-world project before they extend an offer. They want to test your ability to do the job, whether you’re redesigning a social media campaign, documenting a tricky bit of software, or editing a keynote presentation. Proceed with …

Choose Connection Over Conflict

It feels good to win an argument. But in every fight there’s a loser too, and your counterpart may leave the discussion feeling discouraged and disengaged. Instead of combating, try connecting:

  • Set rules of engagement. If you’re heading into a meeting that could get testy, outline rules to make it a productive, inclusive …

Get a Job Offer from a Stranger

A good network is important when searching for a job. But if you don’t already know the right people, you need to expand your reach. People you don’t know yet can be just as helpful as those you do. Here’s how:

  • Define your professional goals. Write down your objectives and make sure you can tell a cohesive story about …

Give Feedback That Crosses Cultures

Giving critical feedback is an essential part of a manager’s job. But people in Shanghai don’t provide feedback in the same way as people in Strasbourg or Stockholm, so how can do your job when you’re working across cultures? Here are three tips:

  • Learn the new rules. Read up on the values, beliefs, and assumptions people …

Stop Going to So Many Meetings

How can you get any work done when you’re in meetings all day? You can’t. But instead of griping, be more discerning about which meetings you got to. Before saying yes to invitation, ask yourself, “If I was sick on the day of this meeting, would it need to be rescheduled?” If you answer “no,” then decline the meeting and try …

Job Seekers: Focus on Achievements

The whole point of résumés and cover letters is to sell your skills. Rather than simply listing the responsibilities in the positions you’ve held (as many candidates do), call out specific ways you’ve made a difference in those roles. Suppose you’re in sales: Did you exceed your annual targets? By what percentage? Or, if you’re …

Use Your Crowd to Source Ideas

Skilled networkers use their contacts as a source of quick feedback and even solutions to challenges of all sorts. If your network is strong, you’re connected to well-placed colleagues, suppliers, customers, and fellow executives in your field — a host of experts who can help you at a moment’s notice. For example, if you’re …

Improve Your Ability to Anticipate Crises

Most leaders, even highly skilled ones, aren’t great at detecting ambiguous threats on the periphery of their business. But to be successful, you need to pick up weak signals from both inside and outside the organization. To get better at this critical skill, talk to your customers, suppliers, and other partners to understand their …

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