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Harvard Business Review

Harvard Business Review October 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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1 min.
preparing for the new world

Never make predictions,” the baseball legend Casey Stengel once cautioned, “especially about the future.” It’s a good general rule, but we’re going to indulge ourselves this month anyway. In this issue a trio of McKinsey authors offer a sobering vision of the changing economic landscape—and some interesting ideas about how to manage it. In “The Future and How to Survive It” (page 48), Richard Dobbs, Tim Koller, and Sree Ramaswamy argue that we are at the end of what has been a remarkable and longrunning era of global growth. The business environment is about to become especially challenging for Western multinationals, which will have to cope with both a slowdown and agile new competitors. Global revenue will continue to increase, they write, but profits will fall back to earth. That will create…

2 min.
contributors

Tsedal Neeley’ experience as the only woman on a 10-person team working across several countries triggered her interest in studying global work management and prompted her to move from consulting to academe. Her formal research—which has taken her to more than a dozen countries—is deeply informed by her peripatetic childhood: By the time she went to Stanford to study for her PhD, she had lived on three continents. Her article appears on page 74. Richard Dobbs’s interest in emerging markets and the dynamics of global competition was sparked by his experience working for McKinsey in India in the early 1990s and a later stint for the firm in South Korea. He returned to London in 2014 to become a director of the McKinsey Global Institute. Dobbs, whose feature appears on page…

12 min.
it’s time to build a new hr

Complaints against human resources tend to be cyclical. When companies are struggling with labor issues, HR is a valuable partner. But when things are running smoothly, managers wonder what HR is doing for them. Cappelli argues that HR leaders have an enormous opportunity to separate the valuable from the worthless and secure huge payoffs for their organizations. He outlines some basic but powerful steps they can take. We can sum up our thoughts on Cappelli’s piece in two words: We agree. HR could be the ultimate differentiator in the competitive marketplaces of the future. But first “old HR” must be deconstructed. Great companies have been blowing it up for years, eliminating wasteful processes that don’t move the talent needle in their organizations. It’s critical to challenge historical norms, eliminate bureaucracy, deploy…

5 min.
when platforms attack

When a company pays new workers less than existing ones, the original employees scale back their effort by about 6%. “THE CONSEQUENCES OF HIRING LOWER-WAGE WORKERS IN AN INCOMPLETE-CONTRACT ENVIRONMENT,” BY JASON L. BROWN ET AL. Amazon famously began life as an online bookseller, but 20 years later there are few products you can’t buy on the site. For many goods, the company acts as a traditional retailer, earning a profit through markups. Other goods are offered by third-party sellers—merchants who pay to use Amazon as a sales platform, much as people pay to sell items on eBay. Platform business models, which use technology to link buyers and sellers, have never been hotter. Examples include Uber and Airbnb (which link passengers with drivers and travelers with lodgings, respectively) and technology companies such…

2 min.
“they’ve done an end run around us”

In the 1990s Stephen Herbert, a management consultant, began taking his daughter to a recreational paintball facility. First he watched, and then he began playing—and soon he was hooked. In 1998 he launched X Fire Paintball, which has stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and sells online. HBR recently talked with Herbert about Amazon’s entry into his niche—and how he fought back. Edited excerpts follow. Describe your relationship with Amazon. It’s a love-hate relationship. We get 80% of our revenue from online sales—mostly from Amazon, where we’re a third-party seller. They’re clearly the number one retailer, and they offer a lot. We use Fulfillment by Amazon, in which we provide the product and Amazon handles inventory and shipping. That minimizes my infrastructure, and they provide very high customer satisfaction. Where does the…

2 min.
do cmos really add value?

Companies with a CMO perform 15% BETTER, on average, than companies without one. It’s been a long-running debate in academic research and the business press: Do companies benefit financially from having a marketing executive in the C-suite? A widely cited 2008 study, for example, found that the presence of a chief marketing officer has no effect on firm performance— contradicting a 2003 paper showing that these leaders boost sales growth. Then came a 2012 Forbes article proclaiming, “The CMO is dead.” The uncertainty plays out inside organizations themselves: According to a recent survey, two-thirds of CMOs feel pressured by the board or the CEO to demonstrate the value of marketing. Seeking a once-and-for-all answer, a team led by Frank Germann, of Notre Dame, examined the question through a wider lens than those…