5 must-read Harvard Business Review articles in February

5 must-read Harvard Business Review articles in February

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

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February 04, 2019
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 February.

How to resolve conflicts with a remote coworker

Avoiding confrontation is a natural tendency. “Most of us avoid or delay uncomfortable conversations even with people who sit beside us,” says author Liane Davey in this Harvard Business Review article. “Now imagine how easy it is to let concerns fester when your teammate is two time zones away,” she writes. This avoidance can be troubling for both the remote and the in-office colleagues, as rapport and trust start to deteriorate. In this article, Davey provides tried and true techniques for delivering feedback and resolving conflicts with remote colleagues. She even includes scripts that both remote and in-office teammates can use to have more effective and respectful conversations. Download this article to learn more. 

Download “How to resolve conflicts with a remote coworker

Why companies won’t let bad projects die

Are your people overloaded with initiatives? The answer to that question is most likely “yes” if leaders don’t have a clear objective for every project, or struggle to kill pet projects that no longer support the big picture strategy. Rose Hollister and Michael D. Watkins make the case for this argument and say it’s all too common in this Harvard Business Review article. They explore the seven most common root causes of initiative overload and offer an assessment that leaders can use to determine whether their own organizations are exhibiting any red flags. They even outline the go-to “fixes” companies use that only make the problems worse – for instance, making across-the-board cuts. Download this article to learn whether initiative overload is affecting your organization, and get Hollister and Watkins’ step-by-step process to deal with the problem. 

Download “Too many projects

Why design thinking works

Jeanne Liedtka studied 50 projects from a range of sectors over the course of seven years, and she believes that design thinking has the power to unleash creativity and radically improve processes. The reason? Because design thinking gets around the biases and behavioral norms that block innovation, she argues. In this Harvard Business Review article, she explores why organizations’ efforts to innovate often fall short – whether they are trapped in their own expertise and experience, confronted by too many disparate but familiar ideas, or, ultimately afraid of change. She then dives into the design thinking elements that can counter each of these innovation blockers to improve the outcome. Download this article for Liedtka’s prescriptive advice. 

Download “Why design thinking works

How to collaborate with a perfectionist

We all want colleagues who care about the quality of their work. But perfectionists, with often unrelenting standards, are a different story entirely. In this Harvard Business Review article, author Alice Boyes says perfectionists can be hard to collaborate with productively, leading to conflict, missed deadlines, and poor working relationships. She provides five suggestions for smoother encounters. Download this article for tips on setting logical limits on tasks, keeping perfectionists focused on the big picture versus the minute details, setting boundaries around your own time, and more. “By understanding some of the common habits of perfectionists you can better understand their perspective and struggles. In doing so, you open the door to a healthy relationship in which you can learn from one another and build a more harmonious work environment,” she writes.

Download “How to collaborate with a perfectionist

Emotional intelligence has 12 elements. Which do you need to work on? 

The best managers often have high levels of emotional intelligence, or EI. But a common misconception persists that EI is all about being kind, respectful, and sensitive to the needs of others. According to authors Daniel Goleman and Richard E. Boyatzis, that’s too narrow a definition. In order to excel, leaders need to develop a balance of strengths across the suite of 12 EI competencies. When leaders take the time to better understand their EI strengths and where they have room to grow, excellent business results will follow. This Harvard Business Review article provides more insight on this topic.

Download: "Emotional intelligence has 12 elements. Which do you need to work on?

Also read: 

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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