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

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

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

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

The Power of Purpose-Driven Brands

Before the arrival of the internet, millennials and Simon Sinek urging us to “start with the why”, marketing strategists were more concerned with communicating an offering’s features (What does your product or service do? What need does it fulfill?) and its positioning (How is it different/better than the competition?) than the corporate values that support it. Since then, millennials came of age and began questioning traditional profit-based business models. More socially aware than previous generations, they want their work to drive positive… Read More

Starting a New Job? We Can Help You Through It

It’s a time of new beginnings: a new academic year, new seasons of sports and entertainment. Some executives are also starting a new job around this time of year, either because they’re changing companies or switching positions within the same company. If you’re in this situation, or are planning to make a move sometime in the future, we’ve got 10 tips to start off on the right foot in your new position, based on research by IESE professor Guido Stein. Be social… Read More

When It’s Time to Decide, What Does Your Intuition Say?

When managers learn to take decisions, they are taught that there are two elements to take into account: the analytic and the intuitive. However, we tend to pay more attention to the rational process: how to gather the correct information, when to know if we have sufficient data, whether we should reconsider our sources, what criteria to use to increase our chances for success, etc. Rational analysis only goes so far, however, and, after that, it is intuition that guides the final… Read More

Trust: The Human Force that Binds You to Success

What do you need to delegate with confidence? Trust. No more, no less. Mutual trust transforms impersonal interactions to a place where everyone feels fully invested in shared goals and strategy. And yet it’s easy to overlook the importance of cultivating trust across the organization. The “Economic Value” of Trust Without trust there are some basic things that as humans we could not do – like leaving a child at school. Or eating a meal cooked by someone else in a restaurant…. Read More