713: The Tipping Point Between Failure and Success
Dashun Wang, associate professor at Kellogg School of Management, crunched big datasets of entrepreneurs, scientists, and even terrorist organizations to better understand the fine line between failure and success. One surprising finding is that people who experience early failures often become more accomplished than counterparts who achieve early successes. Another insight is that the pace of failure is an indicator of the tipping point between stagnation and eventual success. Wang is a coauthor of the study in the journal Nature: “Quantifying the dynamics of failure across science, startups and security.”
712: Why Cybersecurity Isn’t Only a Tech Problem
Thomas Parenty and Jack Domet, cofounders of the cybersecurity firm Archefact Group, say that most organizations are approaching cybersecurity all wrong. Whether they're running small companies or working in multinational corporations, leaders have to think beyond their IT department and technology systems to instead focus on protecting their businesses' most important assets from attack. They need to work across functions and geographies to identify key risks, imagine potential threats and adversaries, and develop a plan for combating them. Parenty and Domet are the authors of the HBR article “Sizing up your Cyber Risks,” as well as the HBR Press book "A Leader’s Guide to Cybersecurity."
711: A Nobel Prize Winner on Rethinking Poverty (And Business)
Esther Duflo, an MIT economist, won the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for her experimental approach to alleviating global poverty. Duflo’s early life working at a non-governmental organization in Madagascar and volunteering in soup kitchens in her native France inspired her to study economics and research the root causes of poverty. With her fellow Nobel winners Abhijit Banerjee of MIT and Michael Kremer of Harvard, Duflo showed that effective policies often go against conventional wisdom and popular economic models. The only way to find out what works, she argues, is to rigorously test solutions on the ground, and she encourages businesses to do the same. With Banerjee, Duflo also wrote the new book "Good Economics for Hard Times."
710: To Truly Delight Customers, You Need Aesthetic Intelligence
Pauline Brown, former chairman of North America for the luxury goods company LVMH, argues that in additional to traditional and emotional intelligence, great leaders also need to develop what she calls aesthetic intelligence. This means knowing what good taste is and thinking about how your services and products stimulate all five senses to create delight. Brown argues that in today's crowded marketplace, this kind of AI is what will set companies apart -- and not just in the consumer products and luxury sectors. B2B or B2C, small or large, digital or bricks-and-mortar, all organizations need to hire and train people to think this way. Brown is the author of the book "Aesthetic Intelligence: How to Boost It and Use It in Business and Beyond."
709: Why “Connector” Managers Build Better Talent
Sari Wilde, a managing vice president at Gartner, studied 5,000 managers and identified four different types of leaders. The surprising result is that the “always on” manager is less effective at developing employees, even though many companies encourage supervisors to give constant feedback. Instead, the “connector” manager is the most effective, because they facilitate productive interactions across the organization. Wilde explains what the best connector managers do, how to be one, and how to work for one. With Jaime Roca, Wilde wrote the book “The Connector Manager: Why Some Leaders Build Exceptional Talent -- and Others Don’t.”