Harvard Business Review November/December 2019

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.

United States
Harvard Business School Publishing
6 期号


the truth about ceo tenure

THE LEADERS ON OUR 2019 list of the world’s best-performing CEOs demonstrate remarkable longevity. They’ve held their jobs for an average of 15 years, more than twice the average tenure of an S&P 500 CEO. They’ve prospered by outperforming their peers both financially and on increasingly important environmental, social, and governance measures. (Though once again, there’s a discouraging dearth of women on the list—a result of the dearth of women at the helm of public companies.) Of course, no CEO—even the executives atop our ranking—can excel on all fronts all the time. This reality raises a question that boards and investors must deal with: How can you tell if a down quarter is a blip or the beginning of a long-term trend? More to the point, how do you know if…


Geoff Donaker became Yelp’s 10th employee in 2005; the following year he was named COO. During stints at that firm and at eBay, he saw that more-granular rating systems yielded better reviews and helped consumers avoid inferior suppliers. Donaker met Harvard Business School’s Mike Luca while the latter was investigating the impact of Yelp reviews on restaurant revenue. In their article in this issue, written with HBS doctoral student Hyunjin Kim, they discuss how to create review systems that avoid three common pitfalls: a dearth of reviews, biased ratings, and unscrupulous reviewers. 122 Designing Better Online Review Systems A year before retiring as CEO of Medtronic, at age 58, Bill George talked with a therapist about how his sense of self might be affected and how he could continue making a difference.…

the secrets of successful female networkers

ONE OFT-CITED REASON WHY more female executives don’t advance to top management jobs is their lack of access to informal organizational and industry networks. Some people blame unconscious bias: High-ranking men connect more easily with other men. Others cite professional and personal obligations, from office housekeeping to child-rearing, that disproportionately fall to women, leaving them less time to develop professional relationships. But some female leaders do establish strong networks—and they win greater influence and more-senior positions as a result. What are they doing differently? A new study sheds light on their strategies. “I was talking with many women about how to improve their networks, the challenges they face, and what they and their organizations could do better, and I realized that all the studies on the issue were pretty old and narrow,”…

“you’re closer to everyone than you think”

Julie Lodge-Jarrett has worked at Ford Motor Company for 21 years, holding positions around the world. Currently the chief talent officer, she leads an initiative to encourage colleagues to develop better networks among the company’s 73,000 salaried employees. She spoke with HBR about the special challenges female professionals face when trying to make connections. Edited excerpts follow. As a female executive, how have you approached networking? During my career, I’ve often been the only woman in the room. In developing a network, I always made sure it was authentic and purposeful. I didn’t reach out to people because I thought they were important and I wanted them to know me. I tried to figure out whom I needed to know and why and set up meetings to pick their brains. When…

when directors have hidden ties to rival companies, firms profit

Direct ties among the members of rival companies’ boards have long been prohibited, owing to their potential to reduce competition and confer unfair advantage. But a new study finds that ties of a less obvious nature endure and significantly affect company fortunes. The researchers surveyed directors at 509 medium-size and large U.S. companies from 2007 to 2013 and subsequently interviewed more than two dozen of them. They also gathered demographic and board membership information on the directors from publicly available databases and analyzed the firms’ financial returns. They learned that boards have, on average, 2.2 members who are friends with a competing company’s CEO, and that this happens in large part because headhunters solicit board candidates from the chief executives of competing firms. Survey results indicated that such ties help firms…

the pros and cons of having a few big customers

Not all customers are created equal. Particularly in B2B sectors, many firms have a few vital customers that provide a disproportionate share of revenue—and sales teams focus on those accounts. There can be advantages to having a handful of VIP clients: The approach is efficient (it requires a smaller sales force and less prospecting than otherwise); the steady stream of repeat orders can stabilize cash flow; and the reliance demonstrated by a key account is a convincing testimonial. But depending on just a few accounts can also be risky (what happens if one defects?), and large buyers might use their status to negotiate better prices, hurting profitability. A new study looks at how all this plays out for young companies. Researchers examined the financial records of 1,023 firms that went public…