Harvard Business Review March - April 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


how tech is transforming hr

Three years ago HBR published a feature titled “Why We Love to Hate HR…and What HR Can Do About It.” In it, Wharton’s Peter Cappelli argued that the current business environment, in which talent is an ever-scarcer resource, presents an enormous opportunity to change the common view of HR as little more than the enforcer of often-tiresome rules and regulations. That widespread view, while overstated, is not wholly unfounded. Many HR departments have long embraced the rules- and planning-based model that took shape when business leaders thought in terms of five-year plans and employees followed predictable career paths. But corporate survival today requires the capacity for rapid change, and forward-thinking HR departments are transforming themselves to meet the demand for evolving skills and work models. They’re taking their cues from a…


Hui Chen was an in-house counsel at Microsoft in New York City when 9/11 occurred. It rocked her deeply and spurred her to study theology, but just a year after being ordained, she realized that she was better suited to the law. She moved into compliance—the subject of the feature she wrote with Eugene Soltes, of Harvard Business School. “To me, the greatest risk in life is not living your values and potential,” says Chen. “Compliance is one of the ways I get to help organizations live their values.” For 30 years David Wessel chronicled the evolution of the economy for the Wall Street Journal—looking for the themes that connected academic theory to policy debates and the news. Over the past year he was struck by one theme in particular: the…

the leader’s guide to corporate culture

HBR ARTICLE BY BORIS GROYSBERG, JEREMIAH LEE, JESSE PRICE, AND J. YO-JUD CHENG, JANUARY–FEBRUARY 2018 Executives are often confounded by culture, because much of it is anchored in unspoken behaviors, mindsets, and social patterns. Many leaders either let culture go unmanaged or relegate it to HR, where it becomes a secondary concern for the business. This is a mistake, because properly managed, culture can help them achieve change and build organizations that will thrive in even the most trying times. This article describes four levers for evolving a culture. Here are a few observations about each one. Articulate the aspiration: Be strategic about who is articulating the aspiration. Public articulation of a culture change by someone other than key leaders significantly dilutes the message, delaying acceptance and readiness for execution by management…

why you should rotate office seating assignments

When corporate workspaces are reorganized, many employees view the process as nothing but a nuisance. Desks are cleared, boxes are packed, daily work is disrupted—for what, exactly? Design firms have long touted the benefits of such changes, promising that when people are able to circulate more freely and to randomly encounter different sets of colleagues, they’re more communicative, collaborative, and creative. Some managers believe that too: When Steve Jobs was planning a new headquarters for Pixar, he famously located the large central bathrooms in the building’s atrium, requiring employees to walk some distance to use the facilities—but creating unplanned “collisions” meant to spark innovation. Dozens of research studies have backed up these contentions. But the financial return on investment for office reconfigurations has been hard to prove—until now. Sunkee Lee, a professor…

in practice katie burke

“ IT MAKES THE COMPANY LESS CLIQUE-Y” Katie Burke is the chief people officer at HubSpot, a Boston-based marketing-software company with nearly 2,000 employees. She recently spoke with HBR about her firm’s approach to rotating seat assignments. Edited excerpts follow. How does HubSpot’s office space reflect the organization’s culture? From the start we wanted to be collaborative and antihierarchical and to prevent “corner office syndrome,” where executives are isolated from employees and certain teams don’t engage with others. So we’ve always had open offices. We also do a seat reshuffle roughly every three months, though that can vary by team and office location. Why make people switch desks so often? Our founders realized that in every office there are good seats and bad seats, so they set up a lottery in which everyone,…

only men get credit for speaking up

One of the defining behaviors of a leader is the willingness to speak up when working as part of a team. In two studies, researchers found that individuals who do so often gain the respect of peers, increase their status, and emerge as group leaders—but the phenomenon holds only for certain people and modes of expression. The studies, which involved West Point cadets working on group projects and volunteers listening to recordings of people speaking to a work group, distinguished between promotive voice (providing ideas for improving the group) and prohibitive voice (pointing out problems or offering criticisms). “Across both studies…we saw the same pattern of results,” the researchers write. “Men who spoke up with ideas [promotive voice] were seen as having higher status and were more likely to emerge…