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5 must-read Harvard Business Review articles in December

Blog: The Enterprise Project - Digital Transformation

Each month, through our partnership with Harvard Business Review, we refresh our business library for CIOs with five new HBR articles we believe CIOs and IT leaders will value highly. The curated pieces below have been our most popular shares in 2020 – available again through the end of December. 

Happiness traps: How we sabotage ourselves at work

In this article, author Annie McKee points out that “close to two-thirds of employees in the United States are bored, detached, or jaded and ready to sabotage plans, projects, and other people” in their jobs. She challenges the reader to question why there is so much chronic unhappiness at work. In this article, McKee examines the three most common happiness traps – ambition, doing what’s expected of us, and working too hard – and the three emotional intelligence competencies that can help employees break free from happiness traps and cast off an outdated mindset.

Download “Happiness traps: How we sabotage ourselves at work

Emotional intelligence has 12 elements. Which do you need to work on?

One of the big traps of emotional intelligence is believing that as long as you are kind, respectful, and sensitive to the needs of others, you will excel in your career. While those traits are indeed important, it’s too narrow a definition of emotional intelligence, according to authors Daniel Goleman and Richard E. Boyatzis. Goleman and Boyatzis outline 12 competencies of emotional intelligence and argue that leaders must work to develop a balance of strengths across them all – from empathy and self-awareness to influence and teamwork. When all 12 characteristics are in harmony, excellent business results will follow, they claim. Download this Harvard Business Review article for their advice.

Download “Emotional intelligence has 12 elements. Which do you need to work on?

How to motivate yourself when you’re just not feeling work

Effective self-motivation sets high-achieving professionals apart, but most people struggle with this from time to time. Maybe you’ve been hitting “snooze” on an achievable goal for a while now. One reason it’s tricky: Motivation is highly personal. What works for you may not work every time – and may not work at all for someone else. However, after 20 years of research into human motivation, Ayelet Fishbach and her team uncovered four sets of tactics that work for most people, most of the time. In this Harvard Business Review article, Fishbach digs into each of these tactics – and how you can use them to make self-motivation a consistent part of your day-to-day.

Download “How to motivate yourself when you’re just not feeling work

To give a great presentation, distill your message to just 15 words

With a background in production for film, television, theater, and TEDx, Tricia Brouk knows what it takes to captivate an audience and connect through public speaking. “Fearless public speaking is about more than combating nerves,” she writes. “It’s about knowing the technique, the art, and the business of public speaking.” In this HBR article, she offers up five tactics to master before ever taking the stage. Download for her tips, including this one: “Start with the idea and why you are the right person to take the stage and deliver this big idea. While it must be a big idea, you need to be able to communicate it in 15 words or less.”

Download “To give a great presentation, distill your message to just 15 words

Discovery-driven digital transformation

Digital disruptors and new business models pose a huge threat to more traditional companies. But just because a threat is huge doesn’t mean the response needs to be, according to Rita McGrath and Ryan McManus. Large, traditional companies “would actually be much better off taking a more incremental approach to transformation over time,” they write in this HBR article. A step-by-step transformation works better for traditional firms than an all-or-nothing approach because bigger firms typically have a key advantage over startups: they have the resources to explore a variety of ideas and can more easily experiment with different processes and operations. For this reason, they have a better chance of responding effectively to a digital challenge. In this article, McGrath and McManus explain how larger organizations can learn their way toward a new digital business model.

Download “Discovery-driven digital transformation

Also read: 

IT talent strategy: New tactics for a new era

The year 2020 brings completely new IT talent challenges to organizations. In the decade ahead, technology talent will play a pivotal role in whether companies succeed or fail. This new research from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services identifies five talent practices CIOs should adopt now to ensure their organizations thrive in the future, offering insights from more than a dozen CIOs and talent experts. Download this report for real-world examples of how you can attract and cultivate the IT talent that will help you succeed. 

Download: “IT talent strategy: New tactics for a new era

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Harvard Business Review Top 5 articles for October 2015

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Check out these five thought-provoking HBR articles, curated especially for CIOs and IT leaders


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