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Harvard Business Review

Harvard Business Review June 2015

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.

Pays:
United States
Langue:
English
Éditeur:
Harvard Business School Publishing
Fréquence:
Bimonthly
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2 min.
man, machine, and work

Your fear of robots is entirely reasonable. Popular culture has bombarded us with unforgettable images of devilish automatons. They’re murderous (HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey); they’re uppity (Cutie in Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot); and—more to the point here—they steal our jobs (the droids in Karel Čapek’s R.U.R., the 1920 play that coined the word “robot”). HBR has considered the robotic threat over the years, most memorably in a 1981 piece by the labor expert Robert Schrank. Written as a parable, the article imagined what would happen to the workforce once robots took over. Schrank came up with a novel twist: “Blue-collar people could buy their own robots, and the robots would work for them. Somewhat like a New York taxi medallion.” All this tees up the June Spotlight: “Man and Machine.”…

1 min.
contributors

In his experience working with leading brands, Niraj Dawar found that each brand’s team believed that its product category was unique and that its offerings succeeded because of their distinctiveness. “But as an outsider, what I could see were commonalities,” he says. “The brands were central to their categories and in some cases, such as BMW and L’Oréal, also differentiated.” So he and his Ivey Business School colleague Charan Bagga decided to find out if they could draw strategic insights from mapping brands along those two dimensions. See what they came up with on page 90. Gordon Bennett, a sculptor based in Brooklyn, fashions whimsical robots out of found objects. Inspired by Modern Age design, he brings a midcentury aesthetic to his work, which is featured in this month’s Spotlight section,…

4 min.
how deloitte killed forced rankings

Recently, Deloitte discovered that it was spending close to 2 million hours a year on a performance management system that wasn’t working. So the firm set out to design a nimbler, more individualized system—with no cascading objectives, no annual reviews, and no 360-degree feedback. The goal of this reinvention, say Buckingham and Goodall, is to shift the focus to fueling future performance rather than assessing the past. I commend Deloitte for the radical change. The problem with performance evaluations is that they’re often weird annual conversations that have nothing to do with what happens throughout the year. Adobe has done something even more radical. Like Deloitte, it figured out that evaluations took a huge amount of time and were driving out its best people. So it got rid of yearly evaluations…

1 min.
the latest on sales compensation

Many popular approaches to compensating and motivating salespeople are based on theory. The past decade, however, ushered in a new wave of research analyzing companies’ sales and pay data and involving experiments with actual salespeople. The findings call some standard practices into question. Chung explains the evolution of this research and suggests the best ways to apply it. Without sales, there is no company. Putting a cap on your salespeople puts a cap on the sales for your business. The top-notch salespeople will go elsewhere if they’re not compensated appropriately. Brett Berhoff, founder and CEO, 17LXB Great article. Analyzing empirical compensation data is the future. The ability to view not only a single company’s data but an aggregated and anonymized set of data across an industry will change the way companies pay their…

2 min.
ceos need mentors too

De Janasz and Peiperl conducted a two-year study of how new chief executives of large organizations get feedback. Although CEOs usually have had mentors earlier in their careers, once they get to the top, their options narrow. But to keep raising their game—and usefully challenge their thinking—these leaders need wise advice. As an executive coach, I was glad the article offered a distinction between coaching and mentoring, since the two are often used interchangeably. At the risk of seeming to promote coaching over mentoring, I’ll say that unless mentors have developed good dialogue skills, there’s a risk that they will operate with the attitude of “This worked for me, and it will work for you, too.” The best coaches, on the other hand, do not operate with a one-size-fits-all approach or…

3 min.
what makes salespeople tick?

For more than three decades, Andris Zoltners, the pioneer of sales analytics, has been studying the best ways to organize and pay salespeople. In an interview in April, he shared some of his insights, including those about common mistakes companies make. I’m not sure about the overriding focus on achieving sales targets implicit in the interview. Target achievement is enabled by a host of factors, some uncontrollable and some not even visible. Having a sales number as a defined goal often leads to the bulk of time being spent on “negotiating targets” instead of on the market. A plan in which 40% of compensation is salary, 40% is incentive pay linked to a lead metric, and only 20% is linked to meeting a final sales number could be the way out. (If…