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Why Even the Best Forecasters Sometimes Miss the Mark

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Forecasters are human, and forecasting models, for all their dispassion, are built by people. But specialists in forecasting say that despite their limitations, they remain a strong improvement over pure guesswork.

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What It’s Like When a Stay-at-Home Dad Goes Back to Work

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Almost a year ago, our family upended itself and moved from Boston, our home of nearly 15 years, to central Virginia so my husband could accept a position at Southern Virginia University, an up-and-coming liberal arts university.

With a PhD in molecular biology from Columbia University, Roger had published a paper in Nature and was pursuing a promising ...

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The Paradox of Workplace Productivity

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At its most basic, productivity is the amount of value produced divided by the amount of cost (or time) required to do so. And while this equation seems simple enough on the surface, the strategies for optimizing it have evolved dramatically over the last two decades. Technology has enabled massive personal productivity gains — computers, spreadsheets, email, and other advances have made it possible for a knowledge worker to seemingly produce more ...

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Is It Possible to Defog America’s Corporate Financial Reports?

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Almost nobody can fully understand big companies’ dense, complex and overlong financial statements, and all of those issues are only getting worse. That part is obvious. Why it’s happening is not.

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The Questions Executives Should Ask About 3D Printing

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Most hearing aids in the U.S. are now custom-made on 3D printers. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the first 3D-printed pills. Carmakers have started using 3D technology to produce parts. And last year saw the first demonstration of a digital printer producing multilayer, standards-based circuit boards. Imagine the changes afoot in the pharmaceutical, medical device, automotive, and consumer electronics industries.

3D printing is poised to redefine global manufacturing and distribution. ...

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Innovative Companies Get Their Best Ideas from Academic Research — Here’s How They Do It

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vincent tsui FOR HBR

Since World War II, the U.S. has been an innovation superpower. In virtually every advanced field, whether it’s information technology, biotechnology, agriculture, or renewable energy, America holds a leading position. Other nations may challenge in one field or another, but no one can match its depth and breadth.

To account for its success, many point to America’s entrepreneurial culture, its tolerance for failure and its unique ...

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Social Media Is Too Important to Be Left to the Marketing Department

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When customers need help, they expect companies to offer it quickly and through multiple social media channels — but most companies aren’t set up to do that. Some companies increase their social media staff to offer live responses during big events like the Super Bowl or the Grammys, but then they return to predominately one-way social media or content marketing. Since 2013 the number of customers who expect a response through social ...

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Outsider CEOs Are on the Rise at the World’s Biggest Companies

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It was hard to be more of an insider at The Walt Disney Company than COO Thomas Staggs. The 26-year company veteran had been widely seen as the heir apparent to CEO Bob Iger — that is, until Staggs abruptly stepped down this month. News headlines trumpeted “Walt Disney Co Investors on Edge” and “Disney’s Succession Plan in Disarray.” With Iger’s contract ending in 2018, the company said its board “will broaden ...

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The Mindset That Leads People to Be Dangerously Overconfident

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Even in a presidential campaign filled with startling soundbites, this one stands out: “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters,” Donald Trump told a group of Iowa supporters.

A recent article in Politico described Trump as the “American Silvio Berlusconi,” the flamboyant and controversial former Italian prime minister who once referred to himself publicly as “the best political leader in Europe ...

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George Washington: America’s First Entrepreneur

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A new book by University of Virginia professor Edward Lengel explores the business acuity of the first U.S. president.

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