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Harvard Business Review

Harvard Business Review January/February 2021

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

12 min
how to talk to your cfo about sustainability

AUTHORS Director, NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business Senior research scholar, NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business SUSTAINABILITY By now most companies have committed to improving their environmental, social, and governance performance. Such sustainability efforts have increasingly become table stakes. And yet many CFOs still see them as a cost rather than a source of value. That makes it hard to unlock the internal financing needed to scale them up. Nonfinancial metrics such as carbon emissions can reveal hundreds of millions of dollars in sustainability-related savings and growth. Most recent studies show a correlation between sustainability and financial performance. Our own research finds that for many companies, nonfinancial metrics such as carbon emissions can reveal hundreds of millions of dollars in sustainability-related savings and growth. In large companies it can be billions. Why don’t more CFOs see…

3 min
tina turner

“I never considered giving up on my dreams. You could say I had an invincible optimism.” HBR: You’ve had so many ups and downs in your life and career. What have you learned? TURNER: I used to be baffled about why I had to endure so much abuse, because I hadn’t done anything to deserve it. After I began practicing Buddhism, I realized that my hardships could give me a mission—a purpose. I saw that by overcoming my obstacles, I could build indestructible happiness and inspire others to do the same. Then I could see everything that came my way, both the highs and the lows, as an opportunity for self-improvement and for sparking hope in others. How else has your spirituality—your Baptist upbringing and your Buddhist practice—driven you? Of everything I’ve done to…

5 min
should su yee grant melissa’s request to go part-time?

ELIZABETH MCKINNON is a co-CEO of Environmental Justice Australia. The best thing Su Yee can do is become a trailblazer for flexible and part-time work schedules. Going part-time doesn’t have to be an off-ramp for a career. Su Yee is worried that her protégé is making a mistake and feels slightly betrayed. But Melissa is obviously bright, ambitious, and hardworking. She could very well be back up and running on a full-time, five-day-aweek schedule within a year or two and go on to do great things at SG. Su Yee should not make assumptions about Melissa’s intentions or her future. Communication is key. Su Yee needs to put aside her dismay and have a frank conversation with Melissa about what she wants and how to make it work in a way that benefits…

3 min
mediating factors: how sustainability improves performance

Innovation A focus on sustainability can spark innovation in design, process, products, and services. In 2012 Nike used sustainable design principles to develop Flyknit, a recycled polymer woven into the shoe upper, resulting in a lighter, higher-performance athletic shoe. Flyknit produces 60% less manufacturing waste than traditional methods do, and it helped create a robust business: Shoes sold under the Flyknit brand have become a $1 billion business. Operational efficiency A sustainability strategy can improve operational efficiency, and thus cut costs, by reducing waste and the use of natural resources. Consider Nestlé’s sustainability strategy, which centers on water conservation. In the company’s manufacturing operations in drought-prone South Africa, improvements in wastewater reduction and water recovery increased plant production by 32% from 1997 to 2001 while reducing water and water management costs by 12%. Sales…

11 min
the former ceo of guardian on using values to drive strategic planning

WHEN HURRICANE SANDY hit the mid-Atlantic coast, in October 2012, I was at my home in Westchester County, New York. It’s an old house, surrounded by old trees, so as the rain battered my windows and the wind shook the walls, I took shelter with my dog under a center-hall desk. But I was less worried about myself than about the thousands of Guardian employees who live across New Jersey and New York, within commuting distance of our Lower Manhattan headquarters. I had become CEO of the insurance company—which offers life, disability, and dental policies and administers family and medical leave—just over a year before. How would we help our people and our company get through this? Because the electricity had gone out, I listened for the news on a crank…

21 min
the rules of co-opetition

AUTHORS Professor, NYU Stern School of Business Professor, Yale School of Management STRATEGY the moon landing just over 50 years ago is remembered as the culmination of a fierce competition between the United States and the USSR. But in fact, space exploration almost started with cooperation. President Kennedy proposed a joint mission to the moon when he met with Khrushchev in 1961 and again when he addressed the United Nations in 1963. It never came to pass, but in 1975 the Cold War rivals began working together on Apollo-Soyuz, and by 1998 the jointly managed International Space Station had ushered in an era of collaboration. Today a number of countries are trying to achieve a presence on the moon, and again there are calls for them to team up. Even the hypercompetitive Jeff Bezos…