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

Global Negotiations: Avoiding Cultural Blind Spots

Whether it’s to mediate conflict, achieve a consensus or gain alignment among team members, business leaders are continually negotiating. And as markets become increasingly globalized, they sometimes encounter an added layer of complexity: negotiating across cultures. “Culture entails more than language, traditions, values and norms: it’s also about how we process and prioritize information. Whether we recognize them or not, we all have cultural blind spots that can undermine our ability to effectively negotiate,” says Prof. Kandarp Mehta of IESE’s Entrepreneurship Department… Read More

Are You as Digital as You Think?

We’re all digital, right? We use technology constantly at work – not to mention at home – to communicate, organize and produce. But while it’s true that we’re surrounded by technology, you may not be as digital as you think. Developing a digital mindset in the workplace goes far beyond adopting the latest technological tools to make work easier or more efficient (though that’s important, too). The digital mindset has to do with fundamentally re-thinking the way you approach your business. And… 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

Trends for 2020 and Beyond: Defining Purpose

U.S. presidential elections. The moment of truth for Brexit. Negative interest rates. Heightened scrutiny of tech giants. Escalating U.S.-China trade tensions. Slowing global growth. There will be much for businesses to watch out for on the economic and geopolitical fronts during 2020. But one of the biggest trends for the year may also be one of the most enduring: purpose. Businesses across the globe are rediscovering the need to find purpose in what they do, and are looking at ways to implement… Read More

Integrating Design Thinking: 6 Key Factors

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein While the world’s most famous physicist wasn’t an expert in design thinking, he certainly made a good case for it! More than a process, design thinking is an approach that helps organizations address complex, human-centered problems and better serve their end-users by challenging prevailing assumptions, identifying novel concepts and delivering superior solutions. To this end, design thinking leverages a robust set of… Read More

Global Industry: The Last Frontier of Digital Disruption

Digital disruption has unleashed numerous effects, upending global businesses and shortening company life cycles, particularly for organizations in the service and retail sectors. Light on assets, these firms are able to rapidly scale their operations by leveraging platform-based business models and new technologies to quickly train their workforce. But what about industry? Like all sectors, global manufacturers have felt the effects of technological change, geopolitical turbulence and evolving markets, shifts that have forced them to increase their agility and flexibility in order… 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

Innovate Like an Entrepreneur, Even if You Aren’t One

  If you work at a startup, innovation is part of your day-to-day. But if you’re at a more established company, particularly a larger one, the pace of change is likely slower. But that shouldn’t stop you from innovating and, in fact, the survival of your company may depend on it. Disruptive examples abound, but take hospitality company Hilton. Founded 100 years ago, it has hotels and other properties with around 850,000 rooms across the globe and a market capitalization of about… Read More