Harvard Business Review July - August 2018

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 ceo vs. the clock

The demands and complexity of leading a company are mind-blowing. A CEO oversees both functional and business unit agendas and answers to a multitude of constituents—shareholders, customers, employees, the board, the media, the government, and the community. And because CEOs aren’t robots, they also need to make room for family, friends, exercise, and other nonwork interests. There aren’t enough hours in the day. How a leader spends his or her time is telling. “A CEO’s schedule (and indeed, any leader’s schedule), then, is a manifestation of how the leader leads and sends powerful messages to the rest of the organization,” write Michael Porter and Nitin Nohria in “How CEOs Manage Time” (page 42). The authors, whose ongoing 12-year study of CEO time use is the most detailed and comprehensive of its…


Kristie Rogers never thought she’d wind up in a state prison, but she found herself there on a daily basis while researching Televerde, a B2B marketing firm staffed by female prison inmates. An assistant professor at Marquette University, Rogers was curious about why employees so often tell researchers they don’t feel respected at work. This pushed her to explore the dynamics of respect in a place where they would stand out—a company whose workers are also inmates. “Breakthrough technologies rewrite rules and customs and are sometimes celebrated, even vilified,” says Tarun Khanna, a professor at Harvard Business School. “In creating my own ventures that coexist in the U.S. and Asia, I realized that the vacuum in rules and customs in which breakthrough technologies operate share the limited-rules environments of fast-growing emerging…


AGILE AT SCALE HBR ARTICLE BY DARRELL K. RIGBY, JEFF SUTHERLAND, AND ANDY NOBLE, MAY–JUNE 2018 When implemented correctly, agile innovation teams almost always result in higher productivity and morale, faster time to market, better quality, and lower risk than traditional approaches can achieve. What if a company were to launch dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of agile teams? Could whole segments of the business learn to operate in this manner? As enticing as such a prospect is, turning it into a reality can be challenging. Companies often struggle to determine which functions should be reorganized into multidisciplinary agile teams and which should not. And it’s not unusual to launch dozens of new agile teams only to see them bottlenecked by slow-moving bureaucracies. Perhaps the reason the authors see agility mostly in this…

finding the perfect pace for product launches

Early this fall, if tradition holds, Apple will introduce one or more new iPhones—an unveiling that’s among the year’s biggest events in consumer electronics. The smartphone helped make Apple the world’s most valuable company, even though Samsung and other rivals introduce new products much more frequently. That paradox led V. Kumar, a marketing professor at Georgia State University, and his colleagues Amalesh Sharma and Alok Saboo, to wonder: If a company wants to maximize shareholder value, what’s the optimal number of new products to launch in a given time frame? Does it matter whether the launches are spread out or bunched together, and whether a new product is similar to the rest of the company’s current product portfolio? Managers don’t need an academic study to recognize that launches take a toll…

in practice   ellen donahue-dalton

Launching a product requires close choreography between product development and marketing, so there are benefits to maintaining a careful pace and rhythm. HBR recently spoke with Ellen Donahue-Dalton, executive vice president and chief marketing and customer experience officer at Medecision, a population health management software company based in Dallas, about new research on the importance of those factors. Edited excerpts follow. Why is this research relevant to your work? We’re coming off an 18-month period in which we launched 10 new products. That’s two or three times as many as we’d typically launch in that time frame. So we’ve been thinking a lot about the pace and regularity of product releases, the resources required, and how to learn from each launch. What determines when to launch a product? We release new software…

customer compatibility drives satisfaction and profits

In theory, a retail bank’s branch should be well equipped to serve customers seeking a wide array of transactions, from depositing checks to wiring funds to buying a money order. But a series of three studies suggests that this strategy has a downside. In one, researchers looking to understand the drivers of customer satisfaction examined 58,294 face-to-face banking transactions, finding that nearly a quarter of the variance in satisfaction derived from differences among customers (rather than, say, factors relating to employees or location). To parse those differences, the researchers analyzed the customer satisfaction evaluations submitted by 149,389 people interacting with 166 banks over a period of five years. They learned that the further a customer deviates from a branch’s typical client, either in terms of demographics or in the type…