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Harvard Business Review Special Issues

Harvard Business Review Special Issues Fall 2017

Harvard Business Review OnPoint makes it fast and easy to put HBR’s ideas to work. Handpicked by HBR’s editors to bring readers the most relevant ideas and insight on a single business topic, these collections include full-text articles, summaries of key points, and suggestions for further reading, plus content selected from hbr.org.

:
United States
言語:
English
出版社:
Harvard Business School Publishing
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この号

2
smart solutions

IT IS WONDERFULLY SATISFYING when you arrive at an elegant solution to a problem. As your career advances, the problems you must solve grow in size and complexity, as does the impact of your decisions. In this light, coming up with quick, simple answers is not always the easiest, or the best, thing to do. Before diving into solutions mode, leaders can benefit from taking a step back to consider the question posed by the title of Thomas Wedell- Wedellsborg’s article “Are You Solving the Right Problems?” In a study of 106 C-suite executives, he found that 85% of them agreed that their organizations were bad at diagnosing problems. Tackling the wrong issues wastes time and money. The author advises reframing, to identify what the real problem may be, which opens…

6
how to act quickly without sacrificing critical thinking

AN UNBRIDLED urgency can be counterproductive and costly. If you’re too quick to react, you can end up with shortsighted decisions or superficial solutions, neglecting underlying causes, and create collateral damage in the process. But if you’re too deliberative and slow to respond, you can get caught flatfooted, potentially missing an opportunity or allowing an emergent challenge to consume you. To balance these two extremes, you need reflective urgency—the ability to bring conscious, rapid reflection to the priorities of the moment—to align your best thinking with the swiftest course of action. In my work coaching leaders at every level through a variety of management dilemmas, I’ve developed three strategies to practice reflective urgency: Diagnose your urgency trap. To get started, you must identify what’s limiting your quality thinking time—the habitual, unconscious, and often…

3
the problem-solving process that prevents groupthink

MOST PEOPLE aren’t good at creative problem solving for two reasons: (1) They are not trained in how to be creative. (2) They don’t understand group dynamics well enough to harness their power to help groups maximize their creativity. Resolving the first issue requires getting your employees to learn more about the way they think—a tall order for managers. The second issue, though, is well within your ability to change. A key element of creativity is bringing existing knowledge to bear on a new problem or goal. The more people who can engage with that problem or goal, the more knowledge there is to work on it. Unfortunately, quite a bit of research demonstrates that the traditional brainstorming methods first described by Alex Osborn in the 1950s fail. When groups get together…

3
three problems talking can’t solve

CONSTRUCTIVE CONVERSATIONS are a vital part of any leader’s job description. But the importance of conversation and communication as a leadership skill is something that can often go unexamined. Extensive evidence now shows that there is a time and place for conversation— and that any leader or aspiring leader would probably benefit from a more serious consideration of the pitfalls of some types of dialogue. Critically, the nuances that lie within and around conversations are often as important as the conversations themselves. Let’s look at three situations in which conversations per se may not be the answer to effective leadership: “All talk and no action.” Conversations may create the illusion that something is being done or that one is progressing, when all that is occurring is communication without the necessary action. We…

5
the google way of attacking problems

ONE FRIDAY AFTERNOON in 2002, long before his company became a household verb, Larry Page walked into the office kitchen and posted some printouts of results from Google’s AdWords engine. On top, in big, boldface letters, he wrote, “THESE ADS SUCK.” In most companies, this would be seen as cruel—an arrogant executive publicly humiliating his hapless employees for shoddy work—but not at Google. In fact, Page’s unusual act was a show of confidence, defining a tough problem he knew his talented engineers would want to solve. In their book How Google Works (Grand Central Publishing, 2014), Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg describe what happened next. By early Monday morning, a group of engineers sent out an e-mail with a solution that not only resolved the AdWords problem but also helped transform Google…

6
cognitively diverse teams solve problems faster

IT’S CLEAR that in recent decades the endeavor to achieve a more representative workforce has had an impact. When we look at the executive teams we work with as consultants, we see more diversity in gender, ethnicity, and age. Most people think that the more diverse teams are in these areas, the more creative and productive they will be. But we have found no correlation between this type of diversity and performance. During the past 12 years, we have run a strategic execution exercise that requires participants to formulate and execute a strategy to achieve a specified outcome against the clock. The groups have an average size of 16 and include senior executives, MBA students, general managers, scientists, teachers, and teenagers. Our observations have been consistent: Some groups have fared exceptionally well…