5 must-read Harvard Business Review articles in November

5 must-read Harvard Business Review articles in November

Check out these five thought-provoking HBR articles, curated especially for CIOs and IT leaders

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November 05, 2018
Harvard Business Review Top 5 articles for October 2015

Each month, through our partnership with Harvard Business Review, we refresh our Business Library for CIOs with five new HBR articles we believe CIOs and IT leaders will value highly. These curated pieces are available now through the end of November.

Why great success brings out the worst of our personalities

Have you ever wondered why some of the most successful entrepreneurs throughout history – from Elon Musk to Howard Hughes – are also known for their difficult personality quirks? There’s a reason for this, suggest Darko Lovric and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic in this Harvard Business Review article. “Success often strengthens the undesirable side of people’s personalities, perhaps because power lowers their motivation to positively manage their reputation,” they write. “The more power and influence you have, the less interested you will be in pleasing other people and in keeping your dark side in check.” In this article, they present four psychological factors that can help propel leaders to the top – but then take them down once they find success. 

Download “Why great success can bring out the worst parts of our personalities

Plan a better meeting with design thinking

Consider the statistics outlined by Maya Bernstein and Rae Ringel in this Harvard Business Review article: Executives spend 40 to 50 percent of their working hours in meetings; 73 percent acknowledge they do other work during meetings; 25 percent of meetings are spent discussing irrelevant issues; and despite these numbers, organizations on average hold more than 3 billion meetings each year. If meetings are inevitable, how can leaders ensure they are as productive as possible? The answer is design thinking, argue Bernstein and Ringel. In this article, they present a four-step plan to help leaders re-think meetings – from who they invite, to how they craft the agenda, to how they can continuously improve their approach to meetings. 

Download “Plan a better meeting with design thinking

Collaboration without burnout

As much as 85 percent of leaders’ work time is spent collaborating via email, meetings, and phone calls with customers and colleagues – leaving precious little time for focused individual work. This imbalance can quickly lead to burnout, suggest Rob Cross, Scott Taylor, and Deb Zehner in this Harvard Business Review article. By acknowledging the reasons leaders take on more collaborative work than they can handle, they can start to take steps to collaborate more efficiently and preserve personal work time when necessary, the authors say. In this article, Cross, Taylor, and Zehner provide practical advice to minimize collaborative overload and scenarios that show how these tips can work in practice. 

Download “Collaboration without burnout

How to control your emotions during a difficult conversation

If just the thought of initiating a tough conversation with a colleague makes your palms sweat, it may be wise to take a new approach. In this Harvard Business Review article, Amy Gallo explains why difficult conversations at work trigger our natural fight or flight response – and offers five simple tips to help leaders keep their cool. These strategies not only benefit the person employing them, but also can make the conversation a little easier and more productive. From practicing mindfulness, to reciting a helpful mantra, to the importance of taking a break when conversations get heated, these practical tips are essential tools in emotional intelligence for leaders. 

Download “How to control your emotions during a difficult conversation

Generalists versus specialists: How to balance your team

There’s a place for both generalists and specialists on your team – but it’s not always clear where each fits best. When it comes to hiring new employees, a strong case can be made for both generalists and specialists. In fact, researchers Florenta Teodoridis, Michael Bikard, and Keyvan Vakili dove into numerous studies on this topic and found them split on the best approach to take. So they conducted their own research to determine the circumstances best suited for generalists and others where specialists shine. In this Harvard Business Review article, they share their findings, which can help leaders find the perfect balance on their teams. 

Download “When generalists are better than specialists, and vice versa


Transformation Masters: The new rules of CIO leadership

Are you leading by an outdated rulebook? To transform and compete in the face of disruption, top CIOs and CDOs – true transformation masters – are rewriting the rules of IT leadership. Download this report to learn their secrets for breaking down walls, resetting expectations, and leading in a completely new model.  

Download: "Transformation Masters: The new rules of CIO leadership"

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Carla Rudder is a writer and content manager on The Enterprisers Project.

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