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5 must-read Harvard Business Review articles in February

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. Check out the curated pieces below, available to readers through the end of February. 

How to harness the digital transformation of the Covid era

While there is no doubt that COVID-19 accelerated the pace of digital transformation, many of the trends we’ve seen over the last year were well established before the pandemic. In this HBR article, authors Federica Saliola and Asif M. Islam examine how technology transformed businesses in 2020 – and how the ongoing pandemic is increasing the urgency of corresponding policy responses. “The pandemic has pushed societies to an inflection point where embracing technology is no longer an option but a necessity. It has also made workers more vulnerable. With the right steps and actions, businesses and governments can take the crisis as an opportunity to build for the future,” they write. Download this article for their tips and key priorities for businesses and governments. 

Download “How to harness the digital transformation of the Covid era

Storytelling can make or break your leadership

Jeff Gothelf, speaker, publisher, and author of four books and dozens of articles, knows that storytelling is key to inspiring an audience – and leading an organization. In this HBR article, he rounds up five characteristics that he’s found make the most compelling, effective stories. Through relatable examples, Gothelf demonstrates how being audience-specific, contextualizing, and humanizing the story can increase the likelihood that messages will be well received and understood. For example, he writes, “Specificity reduces anxiety. If you give your audience practical advice and clear direction, you empower them to take action and make your story their own.” Get more of Gothelf’s practical tips in this article. 

Download “Storytelling can make or break your leadership

How to win with machine learning

Advances in machine learning have enabled companies to vastly improve their products, but if you are not Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, winning with machine learning can be tricky. “As more companies deploy machine learning for AI-enabled products and services, they face the challenge of carving out a defensible market position, especially if they are latecomers,” according to the authors of this HBR article. Professors Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, and Avi Goldfarb outline the three critical questions businesses must ask themselves to determine their competitive advantage with ML: Do you have enough training data? How fast are your feedback loops? How good are your predictions? Download this article to learn how to evaluate your business against these three critical benchmarks. 

Download “How to win with machine learning

How to recover when your career gets derailed

Career setbacks happen to the best of us, so it’s best to be prepared. But when they are significant – and unexpected – simple fixes like revamping your LinkedIn page or tapping your network won’t cut it. In this article, Virginia Buckingham shares her personal experience of how the 9/11 tragedy derailed not only her career, but her entire life. For anyone facing a setback that feels impossible to overcome, Buckingham’s experience demonstrates that it is possible. In this article, she shares four lessons she learned from the experience that may help someone going through a challenging time in their career. The power of traumatic, intense, and unplanned roadblocks in a career can transform you as a leader, she writes.

Download “How to recover when your career gets derailed

Boost your resistance to phishing attacks

According to research, phishing attacks account for 90 percent of all data breaches. Despite the lengths that companies go to to train and educate their employees about these risks, 30 percent of fraudulent emails are opened. Based on their research, Ryan Wright and Matthew Jensen outlined three ways to improve the effectiveness of security training. For example, adding a competitive element – such as a leaderboard – can be a game changer. This article also includes an interview with chief information security officer at Fannie Mae, Christopher Porter, who oversees security training for nearly 7,500 employees. Learn how he crafts security lessons that are more likely to stick. 

Download “Boost your resistance to phishing attacks

Also read: 

IT leadership in the next normal

The next normal has arrived, and CIOs play a central and critical role in whether organizations thrive in this reality. This research from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services identifies four focus areas for CIOs and  IT organizations, based on interviews with CIOs and CTOs from Abbott, Adobe, Equifax, Johnson & Johnson, Qualcomm, Raytheon, Toyota Financial Services, and University of Alabama at Birmingham, and other tech executives. Download this report to learn the 10 new leadership rules these executives are embracing.

Download: “IT leadership in the next normal

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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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