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Featured Leadership Articles

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The Question Every Executive Should Ask

Kaiser Permanente’s CEO says leaders need to ask how well employees’ intelligence is put to work.

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Rethinking the East Asian Leadership Gap

Western multinationals looking for East Asian leaders may need to explore their cultural biases.

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Leadership Development’s Epic Fail

Most leadership development programs focus on competencies but fail to view leaders as individuals.

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Structured Management

The Importance of Structured Management Practices

April 18, 2017 | Nicholas Bloom, Erik Brynjolfsson, Megha Patnaik, Itay Saporta-Eksten, and John Van Reenen

New research suggests that a particular set of management practices, which the authors call structured management, is tightly linked to performance and success. For instance, consistent hiring, performance review, and incentive practices are as important to productivity as research and development investments, and more than twice as important as IT implementation. The research shows that manufacturing plants using more structured management practices have higher productivity and profitability.

What Executives Need to Know About Cybersecurity

To Improve Cybersecurity, Think Like a Hacker

To protect their organizations from cyberthreats, companies need to understand how hackers go about their work. The authors’ research suggests that hackers’ attacks typically involve four steps: identifying vulnerabilities; scanning and testing; gaining access; and maintaining access.

What Executives Get Wrong About Cybersecurity

Frontiers |

Cyberattacks are in the news. All kinds of organizations — ranging from Target Corp.and Bangladesh Bank to the Democratic National Committee in the United States — have fallen victim to them in recent years. MIT cybersecurity expert Stuart Madnick explains some of the biggest cybersecurity risks businesses face today — and what executives should do to decrease their companies’ vulnerabilities.

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Improving Decision-Making Processes

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The Most Underrated Skill in Management

Articulating what problem you’re trying to solve is an important (and underrated) management skill.

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Embracing a Strategic Paradox

If handled well, conflicting demands in a business can be sources of creativity and opportunity.

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Stop Jumping to Solutions!

To get the best results from a decision matrix, managers should expand the options used to frame it.

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How Scenario Planning Influences Strategic Decisions

New research finds scenario-based decision making helps increase executives’ strategic flexibility.

How Business Culture Is Changing

The End of Corporate Culture as We Know It

We are evolving toward the age of networked enterprise, in which the traditional hierarchies of the corporation will be supplanted by self-organizing systems collaborating on digital platforms. In this environment, strong cultures may turn from assets to liabilities.

The Need for Culture Neutrality

Companies today work with an incredibly diverse array of people. To thrive, these organizations need culturally neutral, globally coherent leadership standards. These standards should promote needed outcomes without prescribing behaviors, since some behaviors are outside of the cultural norms in some countries. Inevitably, significant advantage will accrue to companies that ready their people for truly global leadership.

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Managing Your Career

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Please Go Away (and Spend More Time Somewhere Else)

When times are uncertain, it is more important than ever to break routine and see what’s happening for ourselves.

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How to Reconnect for Maximum Impact

Some reconnections are more beneficial than others. The challenge is selecting the best ones.

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What Makes Work Meaningful — Or Meaningless

There’s no single formula for making work meaningful — but poor management is a universal obstacle.

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How Digital Media Will Bring Out Our Best Selves in the Workplace

Frontiers |

The best use of digital technology is assisting human workers to maximize innate capabilities.

Navigating Workplace Conflicts

The Smart Way to Respond to Negative Emotions at Work

March 13, 2017 | Christine M. Pearson

It is impossible to block negative emotions from the workplace. Whether provoked by bad decisions, misfortune, poor timing, or employees’ personal problems, no organization is immune from trouble. And trouble agitates bad feelings. However, in many workplaces, negative emotions are brushed aside; in some others, they are taboo. Unfortunately, the author’s research suggests that neither of these strategies is effective. Instead, insight and readiness are key to developing effective responses.