HBR Articles

Take the stress out of taking time off
By Elizabeth Grace Saunders

Time management coach Elizabeth Grace Saunders begins this article with a dismal statistic: Over half of Americans leave some of their hard-earned vacation days on the table. “I’ve observed that pre-vacation work stress typically falls into two buckets: completing work before your departure and being away from the office. Both of these categories can trigger guilt and even fear,” she writes. In this article, she presents a solution: a four-step preparation plan that can set professional up for success. By planning ahead, partnering with peers, and clearly outlining what will not be completed while away, professionals can truly unplug and enjoy their time off. 

Collaborative Intelligence: Humans and AI
By H. James Wilson and Paul R. Daugherty

When it comes to artificial intelligence, there are common fears and misconceptions that hold individuals and businesses back – for instance, that AI will replace humans in the workforce. But that’s not the most likely outcome, according to H. James Wilson and Paul R. Daugherty, and in fact, businesses that deploy AI as a means to displace employees will not achieve significant performance improvements, they argue. In this Harvard Business Review article, they clearly break down the specific skills both humans and machines bring to the table and why a collaborative approach is the best path forward in the AI age. Further, Wilson and Daugherty provide use cases from businesses who have successfully put the power of collaborative intelligence to work. 

How to get yourself invited to important meetings
By Nina A. Bowman

Have you ever felt the sting of being left out of a meeting you believed you should have been invited to? It seems counterintuitive since most of us try to avoid meetings whenever possible. But when an invitation snub sends misleading signals to your team or keeps you out of an important discussion, you may need to take steps to understand why you don’t have a seat at the table, suggest executive coach Nina A. Bowman. In this Harvard Business Review article, she shares tips for professionals to assess their own value and showcase why they should be invited to important meetings. She also provides all too common scenarios, like the peer who intentionally excludes others, and specific tactics for handling each. 

3 transitions that test even the best leaders
By Cassandra Frangos

Cassandra Frangos is an author and consultant who studies successful leaders and how they make it to the top. Through her research and interviews, she’s also learned what makes them fail. “I found that executives whose careers had been derailed shared many commonalities. Specifically, I found that C-suite executives are vulnerable to career failure when they are in the midst of one of three common transition scenarios,” Frangos writes in this Harvard Business Review article. A leap into leadership can saddle executives with more than they bargained for, for instance. In this article, Frangos dives into three of the toughest transitions leaders face and offers tips to avoid getting tripped up on the way to the top. 

How to create a purpose-driven organization
By Robert E. Quinn and Anjan V. Thakor

Professors Robert E. Quinn and Anjan V. Thakor studied hundred of organizations and found that: “When an authentic purpose permeates business strategy and decision making, the personal good and the collective good become one. Positive peer pressure kicks in, and employees are reenergized. Collaboration increases, learning accelerates, and performance climbs.” Striving to be a purpose-driven company seems like a no-brainer based on Quinn and Thakor’s assessment, yet many executives intentionally avoid working on their firm’s purpose, they say. In this Harvard Business Review article, Quinn and Thakor offer up an eight-step framework for managers to embrace a purpose that the entire organization can get on board with. It’s more than just a lofty idea, they say. “People who find meaning in their work don’t hoard their energy and dedication. They give them freely, defying conventional economic assumptions about self-interest. They grow rather than stagnate. They do more – and they do it better.” 

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