5 must-read Harvard Business Review articles

Check out these five thought-provoking HBR articles, curated especially for CIOs and IT leaders
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Harvard Business Review Top 5 articles for October 2015

Each month, through our partnership with Harvard Business Review, we refresh our resource library with five new HBR articles we believe CIOs and IT leaders will value highly. Check out the curated pieces below, available to readers through the end of May.

Our work-from-anywhere future

Before the pandemic, people were already starting to ask, “Do we really need to all be together in an office?” And now that organizations and individuals have learned how to perform well while being distributed, many are wondering if work from anywhere is here to stay. Prithwiraj (Raj) Choudhury, associate professor for Harvard Business School, has spent five years studying the best practices and culture of work from anywhere companies and the upsides for individuals, organizations, and society at large. In this article, he offers a guide for other companies that want to make work from anywhere a long-term perk – including how to address potential concerns, from communication and problem-solving, to knowledge sharing, to performance evaluation, to camaraderie. Download this article to help decide whether work from anywhere is right for your company.

Download “Our work-from-anywhere future

How to identify – and mitigate – risks to your career

When it comes to career planning, being too optimistic could hurt you in the long run. For instance, if your career path assumes you’ll be in the same role, with the same company, working with the same team a year from now, then you are not taking into account the potential risks that could threaten your vision of the future, suggest Jonathan Brill and Dorie Clark in this article. Brill and Clark developed a three-step framework that anyone can use to ensure their career plans are robust – no matter what the future holds. “By proactively looking at the range of possible futures, you can avoid unnecessary risks, solve problems before they occur, and make sure your efforts today yield better returns tomorrow,” they write. Learn how to do just that by following the actionable advice in this article. 

Download “Identify – and mitigate – risks to your career

Give your remote team unstructured time for collaboration

One of the biggest challenges of working remotely is the inability to informally ask questions and share information. Even with intentional team building – like virtual happy hours and games – remote workers still report feeling disconnected from their co-workers, notes Barbara Z. Larson in this article. Larson asked Mark Strassman, an executive with 20 years of experience leading remote teams, about his three favorite ways to collect and collaborate with colleagues virtually. All three are surprisingly simple to implement and could have a big impact on curbing remote work fatigue and burnout. Download this article and learn why and how to offer three techniques for unstructured virtual collaboration: virtual coworking, hotwalls, and open office hours. 

Download “Give your remote team unstructured time for collaboration

Put employees at the center of your post-pandemic digital strategy

Employees who had to shift to urgent new priorities and maintain a “fire-fighting” pace of work to deal with the challenges of remote work are now at risk of burnout. Rather than continuing down the same path, it might be time to pause, reflect, and rethink digital transformation strategy to ensure your people still feel connected to the big picture vision. In this article, transformation expert and coach Behnam Tabrizi, creator of the Brightline Transformation Framework, discusses how leaders can use this approach to level set their post-pandemic strategy. “This approach aligns the ‘inside-out’ – which means aligning every employee’s most important personal aspiration with the ‘outside-in,’ where employees understand and embrace the company’s strategic vision, so that everyone is working toward the same objectives,” he writes. Download this article for insight into how – and why – organizations should embrace this approach now. 

Download “Put employees at the center of your post-pandemic digital strategy

Productivity is about your systems, not your people

Many people swear by their personal productivity hacks, whether that’s the elusive “inbox zero,” time boxing their calendars, or even their good old pen and paper to-do list. However, these and other individual techniques and preferences fall short when working in a complex organization with interdependencies among people and teams. To make a true impact on the productivity of an entire organization, improvements must be made on a systems level, writes Daniel Markovitz in this article. Here he provides four strategies companies can adopt to make work more visible, define communication best practices, reduce scattershot emails, and empower everyone to be more productive in their day to day. 

Download “Productivity is about your systems, not your people

Also read:

IT leadership in the next normal

The next normal has arrived, and CIOs play a central and critical role in whether organizations thrive in this reality. This research from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services identifies four focus areas for CIOs and  IT organizations, based on interviews with CIOs and CTOs from Abbott, Adobe, Equifax, Johnson & Johnson, Qualcomm, Raytheon, Toyota Financial Services, and University of Alabama at Birmingham, and other tech executives. Download this report to learn the 10 new leadership rules these executives are embracing.

Download: "IT leadership in the next normal"

Carla Rudder is a writer and editor for The Enterprisers Project. As content manager, she enjoys bringing new authors into the community and helping them craft articles that showcase their voice and deliver novel, actionable insights for readers.  

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