A weekly podcast featuring the leading thinkers in business and management.
What Sets Family Businesses Apart
Josh Baron and Rob Lachenauer, cofounders of BanyanGlobal Family Business Advisors, say that a family-run company has more flexibility than its publicly-traded counterpart to build a legacy and grow sustainably for the long term. But making critical decisions when there are family dynamics can be extremely challenging. They offer approaches to understand the real impact of ownership and effectively manage conflict. Lachenauer and Baron wrote “The Harvard Business Review Family Business Handbook: How to Build and Sustain a Successful, Enduring Enterprise.”
Goodbye Bureaucracy, Hello Common Sense
Martin Lindstrom, founder and chairman of Lindstrom Company, says that many companies are still held back by doing things the way they've always done them, or failing to break down bureaucracy. For Lindstrom, it's not just about getting away from bureaucratic norms for the sake of innovation, but because so many things workers do each and every day don't actually make much sense. He suggests workers, leaders, and organizations consider ways in which processes can be improved - and the ways these new processes can improve life for everyone. And he argues that companies should actually devote a team or department to making sure common sense is used throughout the organization. Lindstrom is the author of the book "The Ministry of Common Sense: How to Eliminate Bureaucratic Red Tape, Bad Excuses, and Corporate BS."
How Empathy Helps Bridge Generational Differences
Mimi Nicklin, a business coach and executive, has seen many leaders blame poor performance and communication on generational differences. But she argues managers should spend less time forcing Millennial and Gen Z employees to conform to company culture and more time on perspective taking and listening. In her experience, practicing empathy can vastly improve team collaboration and lead to better business and individual outcomes. Nicklin is the author of the book "Softening the Edge: Empathy: How Humanity’s Oldest Leadership Trait is Changing the World."
Stop Micromanaging and Give People the Help They Really Need
Colin Fisher, associate professor at University College London's School of Management, conducted in-depth studies at several companies to determine how managers can effectively help employees who need assistance without demoralizing them. He found that the most effective helpers were the ones who clearly communicated their intentions, timed their interventions at points when people were most receptive, and figured out a rhythm of involvement that best suited their needs. He shares examples from different firms to illustrate what works and what doesn't, in person and online. Fisher is the coauthor of the HBR article "How to Help (Without Micromanaging)."
Better Ways to Manage Up and Out
Nashater Deu Solheim, a forensic psychologist and leadership coach, says many people struggle to gain influence with those in their organization who don't report directly to them. That has only become more difficult in virtual office settings. But she says whether it comes to managing up to your bosses or out to your peers and clients, there are proven techniques to understand others’ thinking and win their respect. She explains her framework of preparation, behavior, and communication methods to do just that. Solheim is the author of the book “The Leadership PIN Code: Unlocking the Key to Willing and Winning Relationships.”
Why Burnout Happens — and How Bosses Can Help
Christina Maslach, professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, has been studying the causes of burnout, and its impact, for decades. She says that, in a year when everyone feels overwhelmed and exhausted, it's more important than ever for managers to recognize when and why employees are suffering and take steps to solve those problems. In her framework, burnout stems from not only large workloads but also lack of control, community, and/or reward and values mismatches. She notes that leaders have the ability to pull many of those levers to help their workers. Maslach is the author of "The Truth About Burnout" and a forthcoming book on the topic.