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What’s Missing from Annual Reports

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As a shareholder of several companies, I receive many updates and reports. Even though I know how to dissect the financials and pull out any relevant ratios, I’m not satisfied with the story that these reports tell me. Nor, I’d suggest, are most shareholders. Many choose not to receive an annual report at all, online or in hard copy — and few of those who do actually read what they get. Who ...

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Stop Using Battle Metaphors in Your Company Strategy

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The economist Fritz Machlup wrote an essay about weaselwords: “words concealing voids of thought . . . used to avoid commitment . . . which destroy the force of a statement as a weasel ruins an egg by sucking out its content.” Machlup was talking about how economists often use words like “structure” instead of empirical cause-and-effect linkages. Ironically, after years of books, articles, and MBA programs dedicated to strategic thinking, ...

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How to Write a Resume That Stands Out

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The resume: there are so many conflicting recommendations out there. Should you keep it to one page? Do you put a summary up top? Do you include personal interests and volunteer gigs? This may be your best chance to make a good first impression, so you’ve got to get it right.

What the Experts Say
“There’s nothing quick or easy about crafting an effective resume,” says Jane Heifetz, a resume expert and founder ...

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Your Boss Won’t Say Yes If Emotions Are Running High

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Pitching an idea to higher-ups inevitably stirs emotions. You feel a sense of investment and urgency — it’s your baby, after all. By making a compelling case to redesign a key process or develop a promising new offering, for instance, you can have a big impact on productivity or revenue. (And if you fail to get buy-in, the organization might suffer — along with your career.) Further complicating matters, decision makers ...

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How to Prevent Experts from Hoarding Knowledge

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Asked if he would be willing to share his hard-earned knowledge with others in the company before he retired, the engineer laughed. “Why would I do that?” he asked. “First off, I don’t owe this company anything more. I’ve given 35 years to this outfit, and I hope they miss me when I’m gone. Or,” he added with a bit of a twinkle, “hire me back at double pay as a ...

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Hospital Coalitions Save Money and Improve Care

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It used to be that hospitals and health systems operated as islands, selecting and purchasing medical supplies, devices and medications in isolation, and keeping their operational and leadership practices to themselves. Now, because of ever-increasing financial stress and clinical demands, hospitals are engaging in deep forms of collaboration to reduce costs and improve outcomes for patients. The result is enhanced performance for all involved.

Geographical purchasing coalitions began forming roughly 10 years ago ...

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Setting the Record Straight on Managing Your Boss

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Everyone knows how helpful it is to have a positive relationship with your boss and that it’s up to you to make it work. But do you know how to best interact with your manager to get what you need, support her success, and excel at your job?

Chances are you’ve gotten some advice on this topic — from a well-meaning friend, a mentor, or even an article or book. But ...

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Strategic Humor: Cartoons from the January-February 2015 Issue

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Enjoy these cartoons from the January–February issue of HBR, and test your management wit in the HBR Caption Contest. If we choose your caption as the winner, you will be featured in an upcoming magazine issue and win a free Harvard Business Review Press book.

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“All in favor, look up from your cell phones.”

Kaamran Hafeez


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What a Hitchhiking Robot Can Teach Us About Automated Coworkers

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Courtesy of Norbert Guthier

When we set out to see if a robot could hitchhike across Canada, we were trying to initiate discussions about trust, notions of safety, and about our attitude towards technology. We also wanted to see, of course, whether a robot could hitchhike across the country, relying only on the goodwill and help of strangers. But the response was more profound than we could ...

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5 Ways to Get Better at Asking for Help

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It seems like leaders are always lamenting the lack of cooperation and collaboration in their organizations. But more often than not, the culprit isn’t their employees’ unwillingness to give others a hand — it’s the fact that most people simply don’t, or won’t, ask for help.

Why? First, asking for help is often perceived as a sign of weakness or ignorance, implying that someone can’t get their work done on their own. A ...

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