5 must-read Harvard Business Review articles in September

5 must-read Harvard Business Review articles in September

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

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September 02, 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 September.

3 core principles of successful remote work

Offering remote work options is seen not just as a good idea these days, but a necessary one to attract a larger talent pool. But while more companies are jumping on the remote work bandwagon, not every one sees the same results. In this article Sean Graber, CEO of Virtuali, highlights a blind spot that may be to blame: “Many companies focus too much on technology and not enough on process,” he writes. “This is akin to trying to fix a sports team’s performance by buying better equipment. These adjustments alone might result in minor improvements, but real change requires a return to fundamentals.” Companies that want to make remote work successful must focus on three core principles: communication, coordination, and culture, he argues. You may have the best videoconferencing system money can buy, but without processes that support these core principles, you remote work efforts could fail.

Download “Why remote work thrives in some companies and fails in others

How to speak up in a meeting, and when to hold back

Wonder who will get picked for the next promotion at your company? Pay attention to who speaks up the most during meetings, says Allison Shapira, author of Speak with Impact: How to Command the Room and Influence Others. “How we speak off the cuff can have a bigger impact on our career trajectory than our presentations or speeches, because every single day we have an opportunity to make an impact,” she writes. Practice speaking up in every meeting, Shapira suggests. In this article, she provides three tips anyone can use to gain confidence. Taking it further, she offers three considerations for when and why you should hold back. For instance, speaking up just to show off will not help you create trust with your colleagues. Follow Shapira’s tips to use your voice strategically and raise your visibility as a thought-leader.

Download “How to speak up in a meeting, and when to hold back

5 ways to leave your work stress at work

In this article, CEO coach Sabina Nawaz shares the all-too-relatable story of Firaz, a newly-appointed leader who was letting his work stress seep into his family life. “Although he was physically present at the dinner table, his mental attention was captured by a new text pinging every few minutes. He became irritated over small things. He often fell asleep when he should have been awake (like while reading to his kids) and was awake when he should have been asleep (at 3 am),” she writes. If this sounds like you, Nawaz offers five tips for proactively managing stress and regaining control over your life. Small changes in how you talk about your stress, or building in transition time between work and home can have a big impact on overall happiness, says Nawaz.

Download “5 ways to leave your work stress at work

How to challenge your own expertise

Creativity and outside-the-box thinking are prized in new talent. Are leaders who have spent their careers becoming experts in their field held to the same standard? If left unchecked, expertise can impede performance and hurt organizations, says Sydney Finkelstein, management professor at Dartmouth’s Tuck School. In this article, he provides seven warning signs that you are too trapped in your own experiences and expertise to think creatively. “Do you feel ‘old’ and out of touch in your job? Do others seem uncomfortable challenging your assumptions and ideas? Are market developments beginning to take you by surprise?” Finkelstein asks. He then goes on to offer in-depth advice on how to challenge your expertise, seek out fresh ideas, and embrace experimentalism to kickstart a new, more creative chapter of your career.

Download “Don’t be blinded by your own expertise

3 ways to make empathy part of your culture

Empathy is key to success – both personal and organizational. Research shows that “empathic workplaces tend to enjoy stronger collaboration, less stress, and greater morale, and their employees bounce back more quickly from difficult moments such as layoffs,” notes Stanford University psychology professor Jamil Zaki. Company leaders who know these facts may say empathy is high on their list of ideals, but if social norms in the organization say otherwise, empathy may never become part of the culture. Fortunately for these companies, empathy is contagious, and people may be eager to adopt new, kinder, and more productive norms. In this article, Zaki provides three ways leaders can recognize and nurture empathic behaviors throughout the organization to begin changing culture “organically, collectively, and often from the bottom up.”

Download “Making empathy central to your company culture

Also read: 

Executive's guide to real-world AI

Is your company ready and willing to pursue artificial intelligence? New research from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services explains how to move past the hype and lay a true foundation for AI. Featuring interviews and case studies from top technology executives at companies including Adobe, 7-Eleven, Bayer Crop Science, Caesar's Entertainment, Capital One, Discover, Equifax, and Raytheon, this report will arm you with practical examples of how you can get started with AI and begin building an advantage over your competitors.  

Download: "An Executive's guide to real-world AI"

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

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