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Harvard Business Review

Harvard Business Review November/December 2020

For over 80 years, Harvard Business Review magazine has been an indispensable and unrivaled source of ideas, insight, and inspiration for business leaders worldwide. Each issue contains breakthrough ideas on strategy, leadership, innovation and management. Now, newly redesigned, HBR presents these ideas in a smart new design with improved navigation and rich infographics. Become a more effective leader by subscribing to Harvard Business Review.

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United States
Harvard Business School Publishing
$27.82(Incl. tax)
$130.38(Incl. tax)
6 Issues

in this issue

16 min
is your marketing organization ready for what’s next?

AUTHORS Associate professor, Goizueta Business School Professor, Terry College of Business Professor, Kelley School of Business COO, MarCaps marketing has never been more complex. Sweeping advances in technology have revolutionized and fragmented the discipline, while societal issues such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the climate crisis have raised expectations for marketers’ social performance. This combination of diverse forces has transformed how the marketing function must work, requiring that it become more agile, interdependent, and accountable for driving company growth. It’s no wonder that leaders are uncertain about marketing’s role and anxious about its performance. Our survey of marketing managers at 493 companies found that just 20% of those in traditional corporations are satisfied with the effectiveness of their departments; the percentage is only marginally higher among those in digital-native companies. With…

16 min
rethinking the on-demand workforce

AUTHORS Professor, Harvard Business School Program director, Managing the Future of Work, HBS Managing director and senior partner, BCG Managing director and partner, BCG In this era of chronic skills shortages, rapid automation, and digital transformation, companies are confronting a growing talent problem, one that has the potential to become a strategic bottleneck. How can they find people with the right skills to do the right work at just the right time? The half-life of skills is shrinking fast, and many jobs now come and go in a matter of years. Not only that, but major demographic changes are under way: Boomers are aging out of the workforce, and Millennials and Gen Z are taking over, bringing with them very different priorities about who should do what work—and where, when, and how it should get done. To…

2 min
stop censoring fake reviews

Review platforms are effective only if a consumer can trust the content. To that end, they deploy sophisticated algorithms that can accurately detect fraudulent reviews. The question then becomes: What to do with the results? Some sites, including Amazon, censor fake reviews and publicize that fact—indeed, they sometimes sue the suspected perpetrators. Others, such as Google Local and Flipkart, quietly delete them. Still others—most notably Yelp—leave them up while flagging them as potentially fraudulent. A research team devised a series of experiments to determine which tactic works best. In the first experiment, the researchers created two versions of a review site and asked participants to log on and choose the restaurant they thought was best. Half saw fraudulent reviews, tagged as such, along with legitimate ones; the other half saw only legitimate…

1 min
idea in brief

THE PROBLEM Leaders are finding it difficult to think clearly about the role of the marketing function and are anxious about its performance. Yet their efforts to transform marketing have at times been stymied by the lack of a clear methodology for defining its job and designing its work. THE FRAMEWORK The authors offer a practical framework for clarifying how marketing can contribute to company growth by delivering distinctive types of value to customers and to the organization itself. THE RESULT Companies across industries have applied this framework to reveal the gap between their existing and needed areas of focus; to determine which capabilities to develop, which to sustain at their current level, and which to scale down, outsource, or automate; and to redesign their marketing functions to deliver on a new value proposition.…

11 min
how i did it the ceo of iberdrola on committing to clean energy

I will never forget the day Íñigo de Oriol e Ybarra, the former chairman of Iberdrola, asked me to join the company as its new CEO. Iberdrola was the second-largest Spanish utility, after the state-owned Endesa. At the time, I was leading Airtel Movil, the Spanish mobile telecom company that in just five years had become the main competitor of Telefónica. Airtel had recently been acquired by Vodafone, and I had been asked to stay on under the new parent company. But I got a surprise call from Íñigo de Oriol, whom I knew by reputation. He asked me to meet him at a Madrid hotel bar frequented by the city’s top executives, bankers, and politicians. I walked in at 7 pm and found him at a central table. He got…

5 min
what should shawn recommend to the board?

GEOFF EDWARDS is an executive creative director at GALE and a cofounder of Saturday Morning Shawn should discontinue the Overseer brand and immediately build a new one from scratch. While Carla is right that rebranding has a hefty price tag, this is a “pay now or pay later” situation. Consumers are savvy, and many will easily discover Overseer’s racist backstory. In particular, Millennials and Gen Z—the fastest-growing customer segments—are often unwilling to associate with brands that conflict with their values. Cork needs to make the investment in rebranding now to avoid losing current and future customers. A full rejection of Overseer would allow the company to demonstrate its values and commitment to diversity. Yes, Shawn will have to answer to the CEO, the board, and other stakeholders, including the bottlers and distillers, but…