A weekly podcast featuring the leading thinkers in business and management.
Improve Your Impromptu Speaking
We all know that leaders need to captivate audiences and effectively convey their ideas. But not every speaking opportunity can be prepared and practiced. That's why it's so important to learn the skill of speaking off-the-cuff, and Matt Abrahams, lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and host of the podcast Think Fast, Talk Smart, has advice to help. He explains how to stay calm in these situations, craft a compelling message, and ensure you've made a good impression. Abrahams is author of the book Think Faster, Talk Smarter: How to Speak Successfully When You’re Put on the Spot as well as the HBR article “How to Shine When You’re Put on the Spot.”
How Companies Can Recommit to Their DEI Goals
After the summer of 2020 in the United States, many organizations made a big push to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in their ranks and operations. But now, many fear that that momentum is slipping, especially in the face of economic headwinds. Laura Morgan Roberts, organizational psychologist and professor at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, says it is time to recommit to these efforts by creating the conditions for all workers to flourish. She explains four freedoms that organizations can foster to allow employees to become their best selves — and even be able to fade into the background when they choose. Roberts wrote the HBR Big Idea article “Where Does DEI Go From Here?”
People with Disabilities Are an Untapped Talent Pool
It is now accepted wisdom that increasing the diversity of your workforce in any dimension can improve both organizational culture and performance. But one group — people living with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities — continues to be overlooked by many companies. Luisa Alemany, associate professor at London Business School, has studied workplaces that do recruit and hire employees with disabilities and found that it can be a true source of competitive advantage. She explains four main ways this talent strategy benefits the firm. She’s the coauthor, along with Freek Vermeulen, of the HBR article “Disability as a Source of Competitive Advantage.”
If You Want Culture Change, Create New Stories
Many leaders realize they need to change their organization’s culture to save the business. But employees usually resist change and stick to past norms. Jay Barney, professor at the University of Utah’s Eccles School of Business, studied leaders who successfully led culture change and found one thing in common: they created and spread stories. He says it's not about making up stories but taking action — in authentic, yet theatrical and memorable ways. The new stories then emanate throughout the workforce and rewrite the old narrative. Barney explains the six rules of this practice that leaders need to follow. He’s a coauthor, with Manoel Amorim and Carlos Júlio, of The Secret of Culture Change: How to Build Authentic Stories That Transform Your Organization and the HBR article “Create Stories That Change Your Company’s Culture.”
Leading a Workforce Empowered by New AI Tools
New AI technology enables anyone to become a programmer — opening doors to faster analytics and automation but also presenting big challenges. Organizations need policies and strategies to manage the chaos created by what Tom Davenport calls “citizen developers.” Davenport is a professor of management and information technology at Babson College, and he’s been studying how employees are using new AI tools and how companies can both encourage and benefit from this work. He suggests practical ways for team and organizational leaders and IT departments to best oversee these efforts. Davenport is coauthor of the HBR article “We’re All Programmers Now” and the book All-in On AI: How Smart Companies Win Big with Artificial Intelligence.
How One Ukrainian Company Cultivated Resiliency Amid War
Companies plan for crises and aim to be resilient and adaptive in the face of all kinds of risks, but it’s always easier said than done. And perhaps none of these threats is as serious as war. That’s what Roman Rodomansky had to prepare his company for. He’s the cofounder and COO at Ralabs, a Ukrainian software development company. As Russia prepared to invade his home country, Rodomansky and his leadership team crafted a plan to survive and keep serving clients. He shares how his firm put people first, communicated with customers, and managed to become resilient. Rodomansky wrote the HBR article “A Cofounder of Ralabs on Leading a Ukrainian Start-Up Through a Year of War.”