5 must-read Harvard Business Review articles in March
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 March.
In the past year, the pandemic achieved what even the most well-planned change initiatives often fail to do – it created the sense of urgency necessary for innovation. Without emotional and existential pressure, innovation projects have to compete with other goals and initiatives that take up precious time and resources. What lessons can leaders learn from the pandemic that can help them innovate even where there is no crisis? In this article, Ron Ashkenas, coauthor of the Harvard Business Review Leader’s Handbook, shares three essential tips for instilling a greater sense of urgency in innovation. For instance, he writes, “Injecting zest into a change projects makes it clear that the effort is not ‘business as usual’ or one more project on top of many others. The short-term drive to get a result forces people to treat it as a priority and find the time to jump in.” Download this article to learn more.
If you are feeling more and more disconnected with your co-workers lately, you are not alone. Problems that could once be solved during a brief hallway chat now seem to require multiple emails, Slacks, and a Zoom for good measure. “Organic collaboration is almost impossible when you’re working remotely,” writes time management coach Elizabeth Grace Saunders. “For team collaboration to work remotely, you and your teammates must be clear and strategic about how you will collaborate.” In this article, Saunders teaches how to be more purposeful about how you invest in team collaboration. Download this article for her tips to make sure you and your team are aligned on your goals and most effectively moving ahead in accomplishing them.
Download “4 tips for effective virtual collaboration”
There are two common – but completely opposite – reactions to uncertainty. Some people prefer to hunker down, only focus on the short-term, and cling to the status quo. On the other end of the spectrum, when predictability is stripped away, some people turn to reinvention and the wide variety of career paths they could take. In this article, consultants and leadership coaches David Lancefield and Dorie Clark highlight five strategies for the latter group – tips that can help anyone leverage the power of uncertainty for career growth. Even if you are in the “hunker down” category, their practical, actionable advice can help better prepare you for whatever the future may bring, from thinking through worst – and best – case scenarios, to simple steps to nurture your network. Download this article to learn more.
Setbacks happen, and the negative feelings that accompany them can either hold people back in their careers or motivate them to work harder next time. Leaders can play an important role in helping teams and individuals turn disappointment into positive growth. “Many leaders either try to rescue people from negative emotions or retreat from them,” writes Dane Jensen in this article. “Neither approach is effective because both simply paper over strong feelings, ignoring the energy seething underneath.” Jensen shares three key moments where leaders can have a more positive influence when team members are going through tough times. By engaging intentionally, helping people uncover their own self-coach, and channeling energy into action, leaders can help turn something painful into something positive.
Download “Turn your team’s frustration into motivation”
Organizations that are contemplating using AI tools to make personnel decisions are wise to proceed with caution. After all, algorithms based on biased data will also be biased. On the other hand, there is enormous promise in an algorithm that can treat everyone with the same attributes equally versus a hiring manager who may favor candidates from their own alma mater, for example. In this article, professor Peter Cappelli outlines four important considerations that can help organizations determine if using AI in personnel decisions is the right move. Notably, he makes it clear that for all of its potential downsides – such as the inability to explain the criteria behind algorithmic decisions – exploring AI tools may be no worse than an organization’s current hiring practices. The upside? The use of AI can help drive organizations toward better, less biased data in the hiring process.
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“