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

Building and Leveraging Networks

In many corporate scenarios, what looks good on paper doesn’t always translate into business growth. Take a quick glance at the latest headlines and you’ll find shaky M&As, corporate collapses and organizations falling short of the mark because they undervalued the core driver of business performance: their people. Truth be told, much of the work in global firms gets done on the sidelines of organizational charts, through informal connections that cut across functions, divisions and regions. These highly adaptive informal networks solidify… Read More

The Search for Talent: Are You Sure You Know Who You’re Looking For?

In the olden days – think 10 years ago! – the search for talent was a straightforward affair. Not anymore! In the wake of the economic recovery and demographic shifts, companies in many global markets have gone from posting ads and passively waiting for résumés to struggling to fill job vacancies. The competition to attract and retain talent is especially steep in sectors like IT, engineering and health care, sometimes leading to a backlog of open positions. The talent-deficit challenge is especially… Read More

A Dozen Trends for 2019

What to expect from 2019? From plateauing global growth to catering to increasingly picky consumers, there’s lots on the economic and business horizons to watch out for. Here, our professors choose a dozen of the key trends that may impact your business in the coming year. Slowing global growth While the world’s economies are still in expansion, there are more and more signs that growth may slow down. “Growth in 2019 will remain strong, but it seems to have plateaued. We have… Read More