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Harvard Business Review

Harvard Business Review

March/April 2021
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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.

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Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Harvard Business School Publishing
Frequency:
Bimonthly
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6 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
how to tell a know-it-all he’s wrong

IN 2007, when I was an editor at Time magazine, Steve Jobs visited our office to give us a peek at Apple’s newest gadget: the iPhone. We passed the device around the conference table carefully, as if it were a moon rock. When we handed it back to Jobs, he slam-dunked it on the floor to demonstrate its durability. Jobs knew how to win over a room—even in a small group, his confidence and showmanship were mesmerizing. After that meeting—and again years later, when reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of the Apple cofounder—I wondered what it must have been like to work for him. On one hand, what an opportunity to observe an extraordinary genius at close range. On the other, Jobs was a know-it-all and a bully, so how could subordinates…

2 min.
contributors

As a young lawyer, Jodi L. Short became interested in how businesses police themselves. In some areas, such as labor standards, companies in global supply chains aren’t even subject to regulations; they create their own rules and privately monitor compliance with them. “Labor abuses in global supply chains are among the most pressing human-rights issues,” says Short, now a professor at UC Hastings Law. That concern led her and her coauthor Michael W. Toffel to research how corporations can ensure that suppliers provide decent working conditions. 108 Manage the Suppliers That Could Harm Your Brand Noel Capon recognized the importance of keyaccount management early on in his career as a Columbia Business School marketing professor. “I knew that corporations lived or died by their ability to attract, retain, and grow customers,” he…

5 min.
reengineering the recruitment process

THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC has upended many traditional business practices. When it comes to recruiting, the crisis has not so much disrupted as accelerated shifts in the talent landscape that were already under way, leaving many companies poorly served by their current hiring practices. In a period of steep unemployment, it might seem that companies looking to add workers would be in the driver’s seat. But job openings have also been rising in recent months, meaning that competition for top talent remains keen—and in uncertain times, bringing on the right people is more important than ever. A recent study from research and advisory firm Gartner examines those shifts in the workforce landscape and lays out a road map for navigating the new one. The researchers identified three trends that are rendering traditional…

3 min.
“we are seeing talent emerge in unlikely places”

As the global head of talent acquisition at health tech giant Philips, Cynthia Burkhardt oversees the filling of some 15,000 positions a year. She spoke with HBR about how the company is adjusting recruitment practices during the Covid-19 pandemic. Edited excerpts follow. How has the pandemic changed the talent market? We’ve been talking for some time about the dispersion of skills outside tech clusters, but Covid has accelerated the timeline. People in lockdown have embraced online learning, and now we are seeing talent emerge in unlikely places. One example is a chef whose restaurant had to close, so she taught herself to program in [the computer language] Python. How has this changed your approach to recruiting? Our approach is different for managers and business leaders. For business leaders, we try to speak their language…

2 min.
this job may be hazardous to your health

It goes without saying that the role of chief executive is highly stressful—and that stress can take a toll on health. A new study quantifies the effects, with sobering results. The researchers collected birth and death data on 1,605 CEOs of large U.S. public companies who were appointed before the enactment of anti-takeover laws in many states—generally, in the late 1980s. By protecting against incursions from corporate raiders, the laws presumably alleviated some of the stress of the top job. Controlling for factors including CEO age, industry affiliation, and firm location, the researchers found that each year of service under the protective laws lowered mortality rates by an average of 4% to 5%—roughly equivalent to extending life spans by two years. Next the researchers looked at the 648 CEOs in the…

1 min.
a silver lining for female founders

Most entrepreneurs leave their ventures at some point and seek to reenter the workforce as paid employees. What kind of reception do they find? According to a new study, it depends in part on their gender—and when it comes to attracting a potential employer’s interest, female founders have an advantage over men. Over several months in 2017 and 2018, the researchers created and submitted 1,223 applications for marketing and HR positions advertised on a leading U.S. job website. Each employer received applications from two fictitious candidates, one who had previously founded a company and one who had not. The two had equivalent experience in jobs comparable to the one posted on the site. The gender of the applicants was varied randomly. Among the male applicants, far fewer founders than nonfounders were…