Risky Business: Communicating in Turbulent Times

Remember when communicating in high-risk situations seemed like something that companies operating in political hotspots required? Or formed part of contingency plans that you never fully expected to implement? 2020 has changed all that. With the coronavirus spreading across the globe, communicating in risk situations has become the function of companies and business leaders around the world. Yago de la Cierva, a professor of Managing People in Organizations at IESE, is an expert in communications, especially in crisis situations. He has advice… Read More

How to Manage a Workplace Gone Virtual

Remote working isn’t a new phenomenon. But during the coronavirus health crisis it’s suddenly become the exclusive mode of working for much of the world living under confinement measures. Sebastian Reiche, a IESE professor of Managing People in Organizations who has been researching virtual work for years, likens the challenges facing virtual team leaders to those faced by scuba teams, especially depth perception. If you’re currently in the water, he explains, you’ve got a good sense of the ocean’s depth. But if… Read More

Preparing Your People Division for an AI World

No one doubts that artificial intelligence (AI) is proving ever-more reliable at predicting what groceries you’re likely to buy, which movie you’d enjoy watching and how you’d normally answer an email. Few doubt that it has enormous potential in areas such as diagnosing illness and powering self-driving vehicles. But in managing people? For a human resources manager, much of the appeal of AI lies in the promise that algorithms can help eliminate human error and bias, helping us to make more rational,… Read More

Cultivating a Mission-Driven Workplace Through Positive Leadership

It’s no secret that employee engagement is the primary driver of corporate performance, yet its importance had never been quantified until relatively recently. The numbers speak for themselves: in their research of more than 400,000 global employees, Gallup and Queen’s School of Business were able to draw a direct line between firms with engaged employees and lower rates of absenteeism, turnover, safety incidents and quality defects. At the same time, their “good numbers” were up: these companies reported higher productivity, profitability, customer… Read More

6 Strategies for Maximizing the Matrix

Matrix structures have fallen in and out of favor since they first emerged in the 1960s yet have increasingly gained traction over the last 20 years amid the mounting pressures of globalization and competition. Sharing functions across the organization, matrix structures have separate chains of command, one for permanent function-based roles and another for short-term strategic projects. For employees, this means that they have at least one boss, a system which has its pros and cons. On the plus side, matrices allow… Read More

Build Your Team by Building Trust

As AI, automation and other technologies continue to gain traction, global firms will increasingly rely on the caliber of their talent pool as a source of competitive advantage. In this new landscape, team dynamics – defined as the unconscious system of behaviors and psychological processes within social groups – will be key to maximizing creativity, productivity and effectiveness. Like most relationships, optimal team dynamics don’t emerge on their own. Rather, they must be continuously nurtured in order to foster a climate of… Read More

To Step Up Your Leadership, First Take a Step Back

In our digitally driven world, technology is revolutionizing and reshaping the way we work, live and conduct business. It won’t be long before many of these technological advances become commoditized, prompting firms to increasingly rely on the caliber of their people to gain competitive advantage. According to Edward S. Hess, a professor at the University of Virginia and the author of Humility Is the New Smart: Rethinking Human Excellence in the Smart Machine Age, “Technology will require businesses to become much more… Read More

The Power of Non-Verbal Communication

Your words aren’t as important as the conviction, passion and energy behind them, as Mark Twain used to say. When delivering a speech, your non-verbal communication is at least as important – if not more – than what you actually say. When used well, body language is a powerful tool that can help you gain credibility and persuade your audience. A good command of public speaking and staging will enable you to persuade and convince by honestly and effectively communicating with your… Read More

7 Keys for Successful Strategy Execution

When faced with steering their firms in a new direction, CEOs can take months to craft a corporate strategy yet still fail to reach their destination. What’s missing to successfully translate strategy into action? Beyond blockbuster ideas and the best-laid plans, successful strategic leadership is built from the ground up, from thousands of concrete actions interweaved into the firm’s day-to-day. “Formulation and implementation shouldn’t be considered as separate processes,” says IESE Prof. Fabrizio Ferraro. “More importantly, they are not the outcome of… Read More

Hiring stars without misfiring

The European football transfer market set a new spending record last year: teams from the big five European leagues (England, Spain, Germany, France and Italy) invested, in a single summer, more than €3.5 billion in search of their star, €1.0 billion more than just two years earlier. And all indications are that in a few short years this figure will seem small. The world of football reflects like few others the escalation in the “war for talent,” a term coined more than… Read More