650 episodes

A weekly podcast featuring the leading thinkers in business and management.

HBR IdeaCast Harvard Business Review

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 27 Ratings

A weekly podcast featuring the leading thinkers in business and management.

    Algorithms Won't Solve All Your Pricing Problems

    Algorithms Won't Solve All Your Pricing Problems

    Marco Bertini, marketing professor at Esade Business School, says more and more companies are turning to pricing algorithms to maximize profits. But many are unaware of a big downside. The constant price shifts can hurt the perception of the brand and its products. He warns that overreliance on artificial intelligence and machine learning without considering human psychology can cause serious damage to the customer relationship. And he outlines steps managers should take, including implementing guardrails, overrides, and better communication tactics. With London Business School professor Oded Koenigsberg, Bertini wrote the HBR article "The Pitfalls of Pricing Algorithms."

    • 26 min
    Tech's Exponential Growth - and How to Solve the Problems It's Created

    Tech's Exponential Growth - and How to Solve the Problems It's Created

    Technological development is happening faster than ever and changing our lives in fundamental ways. The companies behind all these new gadgets and services are no doubt the greatest corporate success stories of our age. But entrepreneur and investor Azeem Azhar worries that our public institutions haven't kept pace with the industry, which has created an exponential gap between digital haves and have nots. He offers recommendations on how bridge the divide and achieve growth with broader societal benefits. You can hear more from Azeem Azhar on his HBR Presents podcast, Exponential View.

    • 24 min
    First He Saved Unilever. Now He Wants to Save Capitalism.

    First He Saved Unilever. Now He Wants to Save Capitalism.

    Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever, led a dazzling career in consumer goods, from Procter & Gamble to Nestlé to the British multinational. His experience fending off a hostile takeover bid taught him that the doctrine of shareholder capitalism is wrong. He believes there’s a better way of doing business, one that embraces all stakeholders — not just stockholders — and improves the environment. He cofounded the consultancy IMAGINE to further sustainable goals, and he shares his advice for the next generation of leaders. With Andrew Winston, Polman wrote the new book “Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More than They Take”.

    • 24 min
    How to Make Strategic Career Decisions, Even in a Crisis (Back to Work, Better)

    How to Make Strategic Career Decisions, Even in a Crisis (Back to Work, Better)

    When it comes to work, it's easy to focus on the near term: the next meeting, project, promotion. The global pandemic pushed many of us even further into heads-down mode. But Dorie Clark, author of the book The Long Game: How to Be a Long-Term Thinker in a Short-term World, wants everyone to step back, take a breath, and start thinking longer term about what you really want to do and how to progress toward those goals. She offers advice on how to ignore social media distractions, balance priorities, cultivate patience, and make the right strategic decisions. Clark also wrote the HBR article "Feeling Stuck or Stymied."

    • 28 min
    The Innovation System Behind Moderna’s Covid-19 Vaccine

    The Innovation System Behind Moderna’s Covid-19 Vaccine

    Noubar Afeyan, cofounder and chair of Moderna Therapeutics and CEO of Flagship Pioneering, says that the breakthrough innovation behind the company’s Covid-19 vaccine came not as a stroke of luck, but from a repeatable process. He outlines a system called “emergent discovery” that involves working back from future ideals, pioneering in novel spaces, encouraging unreasonable ideas, and persistently questioning hypotheses. And he says this process applies to other industries besides life sciences. Afeyan is the coauthor, with HBS professor Gary Pisano, of the HBR article "What Evolution Can Teach Us About Innovation."

    • 21 min
    Can Big Tech Reform Itself?

    Can Big Tech Reform Itself?

    Mehran Sahami, a Stanford professor and former Google employee, wants to see a reset from the technology industry. For the past few decades, the world's technologists (many of whom become its corporate executives and venture capitalists) have been taught to prioritize optimization and efficiency without thinking a whole lot about ethics. The result has been stunning corporate success but significant costs to society. Sahami argues that regulation can certainly help right the balance. But he also believes that tech company leaders and employees can shift their mindsets and practices to ensure they're serving the greater good, not just themselves. He's the coauthor, along with Rob Reich and Jeremy Weinstein, of "System Error: Where Big Tech Went Wrong and How We Can Reboot."

    • 26 min

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