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HBR IdeaCast


A weekly podcast featuring the leading thinkers in business and management.

Popular episodes

How to Use All Your Vacation — And Really Unplug

Dec 7 • 27:58
When was the last time you really took a sustained break from work? No emails. No calls. No taking care of that one little thing. For most of us — particularly in the United States -- it's been too long. As we head into the end-of-year holidays, we asked University of Texas psychology professor Art Markman and Cornell University associate professor Kaitlin Wooley to expl...

One Way to Fight the Great Resignation? Re-recruit Your Current Employees.

Nov 30 • 26:26
Debbie Cohen and Kate Roeske-Zummer, cofounders of HumanityWorks, are sounding an alarm bell for employee retention. Record numbers of people are quitting their jobs due to burnout and better opportunities. Those resignations leave their former colleagues burdened with even more work and a sense of despair. Cohen and Roeske-Zummer argue that employers should re-recruit the...

Why the Highest Paying Jobs So Rarely Go to Women

Nov 23 • 23:31
Companies pay disproportionately high salaries to CEOs and other high-powered professionals willing to live and breathe their jobs, on-call 24/7, ready to pick up and travel. It's a phenomenon Harvard historian and economist Claudia Goldin calls "greedy work" and she says it's a big reason why the pay gap between men and women persists -- because the people typically taske...

In a New Role? Here’s How to Hit the Ground Running

Nov 16 • 26:22
Rob Cross, management professor at Babson College, says people are changing jobs more than ever and too often falling short when they do. Surveys show nearly half of people promoted within their own companies are underperforming 18 months later. And up to half of executives in new roles are seen as eventual disappointments. Cross says research shows that’s because today’s ...

The Future of Work is Projects – So You’ve Got to Get Them Right

Nov 9 • 23:56

Companies of every size in every industry and part of the world are basing more of their work around projects. And yet research shows that nearly two-thirds of those efforts fail. Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez, who has studied projects and project management for decades, explains how we can do better. He offers advice on the right way to frame projects, how to structure organiza...

Anti-Bias Policies That Really Work in Customer Service

Nov 2 • 24:24
Alexandra Feldberg and Tami Kim, assistant professors at Harvard Business School and the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, respectively, say companies are overlooking an important place to root out bias: on the front lines with customers. While many firms are promoting a more equitable workforce through their HR functions, too few firms even realize how cos...

Find Focus in a Chaotic World

Oct 26 • 27:10
If you're feeling distracted, mentally fogged, and unable to pay attention to (or focus on if attention is in hed) the task at hand, you're not alone. The human brain is highly susceptible to often unproductive mind-wandering, and modern technology has only made the problem worse. But we all know that the best work comes when you're able to really zero in on an idea or pro...

Algorithms Won’t Solve All Your Pricing Problems

Oct 19 • 26:34
Marco Bertini, marketing professor at Esade Business School, says more and more companies are turning to pricing algorithms to maximize profits. But many are unaware of a big downside. The constant price shifts can hurt the perception of the brand and its products. He warns that overreliance on artificial intelligence and machine learning without considering human psycholo...

Tech’s Exponential Growth – and How to Solve the Problems It’s Created

Oct 12 • 24:29
Technological development is happening faster than ever and changing our lives in fundamental ways. The companies behind all these new gadgets and services are no doubt the greatest corporate success stories of our age. But entrepreneur and investor Azeem Azhar worries that our public institutions haven't kept pace with the industry, which has created an exponential gap be...

First He Saved Unilever. Now He Wants to Save Capitalism.

Oct 5 • 24:41
Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever, led a dazzling career in consumer goods, from Procter & Gamble to Nestlé to the British multinational. His experience fending off a hostile takeover bid taught him that the doctrine of shareholder capitalism is wrong. He believes there’s a better way of doing business, one that embraces all stakeholders — not just stockholders — and imp...

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