5 Harvard Business Review articles CIOs should read this month

From career advice to artificial intelligence and everything in between, these HBR articles cover the critical topics IT leaders care about most
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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 the month.

Reinventing Your Leadership Team 

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We’re living in a digital world and digitization is required for businesses to succeed. So, what should companies strive for in pursuit of their next transformation in order to gain a competitive advantage? A reinvention of leadership! And that requires fundamental changes in top leaders—not just in individuals’ capabilities but in the way they collectively steer the ship. In this HBR report, PwC experts draw on their research at 12 prominent global firms to point out leadership contradictions. How can you be a great visionary and an expert executor at the same time? Download to find out why the improvement of leadership teams is an urgent imperative as well as what specific behaviors and actions CEOs should implement. 

Download: Reinventing Your Leadership Team

Agile Doesn’t Work Without Psychological Safety 

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Agile has gained astonishing momentum during the last two decades, even beyond software development. There’s agile HR, agile project management, agile customer service, agile sales, agile operations, agile C-suite, and so on. Why do so many organizations who undertake agile transformations fail in their attempts? How can your team reap the rewards of agile? Author and CEO Timonthy R. Clark conducted interviews with leading agile experts and evaluated several agile teams to discover that many aren’t following the first value of the Agile Manifesto: “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.” Download this report to find out what’s preventing you from delivering the fast, frictionless, scalable solutions you envisioned. Hint: you need to increase psychological safety to foster a collaborative, successful agile team. 

Download: Agile Doesn’t Work Without Psychological Safety

Digital Transformation Changes How Companies Create Value 

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Digital transformation is about changing where value is created, and how your business model is structured. Some parts of digital transformation are straightforward and easy to implement, while other aspects completely change how companies work. More often these days, value creation is occurring on the outside rather than the inside, and from external partners instead of internal employees. Labeled an “inverted firm,” this change in organizational structure affects the technology but also the people who manage that technology. Executives must understand and undertake partner relationship management, partner data management, partner product management, platform governance, and platform strategy. They must learn how to motivate people they don’t know to share ideas they don’t have. Read on to learn how to run an inverted firm and uncover the new rules for creating value, according to professors from Boston University and Dartmouth College. 

Download: Digital Transformation Changes How Companies Create Value

Unconscious Bias Training That Works 

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Unconscious Bias training is important for any company seeking a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce. We’re all guilty of snap judgments and preconceived notions, so by raising awareness of our own internal biases about people’s character – often based on race and gender – we’re creating more opportunities for fairer hiring practices and promotions, not to mention a massive improvement for interactions among customers and colleagues. So how can unconscious bias training be most effective? By teaching attendees how to manage their biases and practice new behaviors, plus tracking their progress. Provide them with information that contradicts stereotypes and allows them to connect with other employees whose journeys and life experiences are different from their own. And this isn’t a one-time thing; it entails a long journey and structural organizational changes. Download this report to find out how behavioral scientist Francesa Gino and Harvard Business School professor Katherine Coffman help employees overcome denial and act on their awareness, develop the empathy that combats bias, diversify their networks and commit to overall improvement.  

Download: Unconscious Bias Training That Works

The 4 Pillars of Successful Digital Transformations 

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Digital transformation means different things to different leaders. Therefore, it can be difficult to know where you should be focusing investment — and what kind of digital transformation you’re after. The authors of this HBR article outline four pillars of digital transformation: IT uplift, digitizing operations, digital marketing, and new ventures. The best starting point for your company depends on your digital maturity as well as your industry. Download this article to discover how to plan your digital transformation accordingly.

Download: The 4 Pillars of Successful Digital Transformations

Katie Sanders
Katie Sanders is the Content and Community Manager for The Enterprisers Project, seeking contributors who have expertise that can be shared with an audience of CIOs and IT leaders. She is eager to provide quality thought leadership and insights, leaving readers with actionable takeaways they can implement in their own organizations.

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