A New Model for Continuous Transformation...

A New Model for Continuous Transformation…

13/06/2024

Transformation programs have become ubiquitous, with more than one-third of large organizations engaged in some form of transformation at any given time. But the conventional model that most companies rely on for transformation has faltered in the wake of today’s rapidly changing business environment. Leaders need a fresh approach — one better suited to the […]

How to Fix Your Company’s Culture of Overwork..

How to Fix Your Company’s Culture of Overwork..

11/06/2024

Our relationship with work is becoming increasingly unhealthy. Levels of burnout and stress are at all-time highs. Even before the pandemic, the World Health Organization called stress the “health epidemic of the 21st century.” What is a major source of that stress? Our jobs. Microsoft has conducted several studies analyzing keystroke data and the use […]

What to Do When Your Team Blames You

What to Do When Your Team Blames You

25/04/2024

Paul, an executive coaching client, reached out distraught, asking for guidance after a painful team meeting. During a routine project review, his employee, Elena, expressed concerns about the team’s heavy workload, exclaiming: “Six months ago we laid off more than half of the team, but you never reduced the workload the way you promised. We’re […]

The Challenges of Becoming a Less Hierarchical Company

The Challenges of Becoming a Less Hierarchical Company

15/04/2024

Last March, Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg labeled 2023 the “Year of Efficiency” in a company-wide email, noting that “flatter is faster.” According to Zuckerberg, “It’s well-understood that every layer of a hierarchy adds latency and risk aversion in information flow and decision-making.” The consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, has echoed these sentiments, describing how unstructuring […]

Beyond Narcissism: How Leaders Can Avoid the Hubris Trap

Beyond Narcissism: How Leaders Can Avoid the Hubris Trap

12/04/2024

Overcoming the Hubris Syndrome Requires a Dose of Reality, Humility, and Humour Throughout history, leaders have been seduced by success, leading them down a path of hubris. This ancient Greek term, literally translating to “excess”, describes a state of exaggerated self-belief and arrogance. An extreme example is Xerxes, king of the Persian Empire. Feeling invincible […]

Ten Ways Boards Need to Transform

Ten Ways Boards Need to Transform

02/02/2024

How governance must pivot in the face of accelerating change. Boards are left with no option but to evolve. The confluence of macro-economic uncertainties, geopolitical tensions, climate change and digital disruption has led to unpredictable risks, a polarising society and more activist stakeholders. At the recent  INSEAD Directors Forum , experts discussed how governance must […]

Effective Networking Is About Giving, Not Just Taking

Effective Networking Is About Giving, Not Just Taking

01/02/2024

Developing professional relationships starts with adding value to others’ lives. Networking can feel a bit scary for many people. For human social relations, small is often beautiful. After all, for a lot longer than modern civilisation has existed, humans lived in small, close-knit hunter-gatherer groups of  about 150 individuals . In these groups, we felt […]

Leave Intuition to the Machines

Leave Intuition to the Machines

29/01/2024

Is it time for System 3 thinking by humans? Just two months after its launch in late 2022, ChatGPT reached 100 million monthly active users. Along with other advanced language models, it quickly started to encroach on territory traditionally exempt from automation, such as tasks requiring creativity, intuition and decision-making. So, what does this mean […]

Sustainability Is About Your Workforce, Too

Sustainability Is About Your Workforce, Too

01/12/2023

The EU has long been committed to improving worker well-being, claiming it wants to create more transparent and predictable working conditions for all its 182 million workers. Now, it’s moving ahead with this objective on a number of fronts: In recent years, many companies hired a chief sustainability officer and established a set of high-priority […]

What’s Fueling Burnout in Your Organization?

What’s Fueling Burnout in Your Organization?

29/11/2023

Organizations around the world are experiencing unprecedented levels of burnout, which is creating a significant — and under-recognized — cost to organizations in the form of quiet quitting, reduced innovation, and even spiraling healthcare costs. Many people are quick to point to an increase in overall workload as the culprit. But our research shows that […]

Ranked: The Most Innovative Countries in 2023

Ranked: The Most Innovative Countries in 2023

23/11/2023

Which countries are the global innovation powerhouses? In many ways, the past year has represented an inflection point in technological advancement. Almost overnight, OpenAI’s large language model ChatGPT became a household name and AI was within reach to the masses. Yet looking under the surface, innovation is influenced by several unseen factors, from the institutional […]

Employee experience still matters: Talent retention at Global Capability Centres

Employee experience still matters: Talent retention at Global Capability Centres

21/11/2023

Global capability centers (GCCs)1These large facilities concentrate workers and infrastructure that handle operations (for example, back-office functions, corporate business-support functions, contact centers, and middle office) and IT support (such as app development and maintenance, remote IT infrastructure, help desks, and research and analytics) to sustain productivity growth. face an enduring and worrisome challenge: how to […]

Taming the Guru: How to Handle Dominant Leaders

Taming the Guru: How to Handle Dominant Leaders

20/11/2023

Is your boss acting like a guru? Take charge by asserting yourself and setting clear boundaries. In the workplace, we are often in a semi-dependent state. We seek approval and guidance from colleagues and superiors, all while hiding our deepest vulnerabilities.  Our insecurities drive us to seek external validation, which shapes our actions and decisions. […]

How Does Self-Serving Attribution Affect Strategic Decisions?

How Does Self-Serving Attribution Affect Strategic Decisions?

30/10/2023

How a firm evaluates its past alliance performance can influence its choice between future alliances and acquisitions. The core tenet of performance feedback theory is that the evaluation of past performance shapes future behaviours and choices: We repeat the actions that have seemingly led us to success and avoid those that we believe have led […]

10 Signs Your Company Is Resistant to Change

10 Signs Your Company Is Resistant to Change

11/10/2023

Not every organization is eager to solve its problems. In the absence of an obvious performance crisis, leaders often clutch onto the status quo and underweigh its risks. This type of resistance to change can show up in many forms, some of them hard to decipher. Here are 10 signs your company may be trying […]

Research: How Some Companies Avoid Accusations of Greenwashing

Research: How Some Companies Avoid Accusations of Greenwashing

09/10/2023

Sustainability has rapidly become an indispensable part of corporate governance. But as companies commit to green practices, a worrying trend is also surfacing: Some corporations are painting themselves as green while failing to back their claims with concrete actions. Numerous examples abound: The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has recently banned a number of ads […]

How Deep Tech Can Drive Sustainability and Profitability in Manufacturing

How Deep Tech Can Drive Sustainability and Profitability in Manufacturing

06/10/2023

The days of operations that pursue speed, quality, and cost efficiency above all else have come to an end. Today, the objectives that manufacturers must pursue to ensure competitiveness have evolved. Sustainability, long seen as incompatible with these traditional goals, is now a strategic imperative. This raises a question for manufacturers: How can they make […]

What is prompt engineering?

What is prompt engineering?

05/10/2023

Let’s say you’re making spaghetti marinara for dinner. Sauce from a jar is perfectly fine. But what if you buy your tomatoes and basil from the farmers market to make your own sauce? Chances are it will taste a lot better. And what if you grow your own ingredients from your garden and make your […]

Creating a Cohesive Team for Corporate Transformation Projects

Creating a Cohesive Team for Corporate Transformation Projects

04/10/2023

The screenwriters’ strike that began last May, and the actors’ strike that followed in July, highlighted an employment model that has given Hollywood a highly flexible workforce for decades: The vast majority of people on a set are not studio employees but independent contractors or employees of other firms. Take, for example, the people who […]

Good Judgment Is a Competitive Advantage in the Age of AI

Good Judgment Is a Competitive Advantage in the Age of AI

02/10/2023

It wasn’t that long ago that AI was considered the domain of elite experts or data scientists. Companies spoke effusively about its potential to transform business, but only a fraction of their employees had access to it. With generative AI, the game has changed — suddenly everyone is a potential programmer thanks to tools like […]

The Next Supply-Chain Challenge Isn’t a Shortage — It’s Inventory Glut

The Next Supply-Chain Challenge Isn’t a Shortage — It’s Inventory Glut

02/10/2023

It’s March 2020. Store shelves sit empty, without any toilet paper or cleaning supplies in sight. Tablets and electronic devices are out of stock. Consumers are clamoring for the basics they need to suddenly work and learn from home and live under quarantine. Meanwhile, on Zoom calls and in email threads, company leaders around the […]

Tech-powered growth: Three things growth leaders do differently

Tech-powered growth: Three things growth leaders do differently

19/09/2023

Growth has always been important. In times of uncertainty, profitable growth is critical. The benefits of growth are undeniable. McKinsey’s analysis of more than 5,000 public companies shows that growth champions—companies that profitably outgrow their peers—create 80 percent more shareholder value than their peers over a ten-year period.1“Choosing to grow: The leader’s blueprint,” McKinsey, July […]

Smaller Companies Must Embrace Risk Management

Smaller Companies Must Embrace Risk Management

18/09/2023

There’s an unfortunate stereotype that risk management is boring. Risk managers are pessimistic clerks. Compliance officers are scaremongers. Too many managers think this way. As a result, risk management is an unloved and misunderstood discipline. Until disaster strikes, risk management is, for most, a painstaking and costly chore. In an increasingly volatile world, however, risk […]

When Your Vacation Wasn’t Exactly Relaxing

When Your Vacation Wasn’t Exactly Relaxing

16/09/2023

Vacations are meant to be rejuvenating. Time off can not only help you restore your mind, body, and soul, it also has a positive impact on your work life: One study found that employees who take 11 or more vacation days are more likely to receive a raise or bonus. However, not all vacations are […]

What Makes a Great Corporate Purpose Statement

What Makes a Great Corporate Purpose Statement

15/09/2023

Organizations in all sectors are increasingly required by their investors, customers, employees, and wider stakeholders to articulate a clear statement of corporate purpose. Purpose isn’t about profit maximization; it’s the reason the organization exists. A purpose statement should clearly explain how the organization will contribute to human, societal, or environmental goals. It needs to be […]

Where Should Your Company Start with GenAI?

Where Should Your Company Start with GenAI?

13/09/2023

To best understand generative AI (GenAI), look at it through bifocal lenses. Through the top lens, one sees the long view of big, looming issues, such as accuracy, privacy, and bias, as well as GenAI’s potential impact on “knowledge workers” and even economy-wide job losses and societal risks. While this view is important, we have […]

How to Be a Purpose-Driven Leader Without Burning Out

How to Be a Purpose-Driven Leader Without Burning Out

23/08/2023

When Robert Greenleaf coined the phrase “servant leadership” in a seminal 1970 essay, it was a much-needed improvement over the traditional command-and-control leadership model that had prevailed for centuries. “The servant-leader is servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead,” Greenleaf […]

How bold is your business transformation? A new way to measure progress

How bold is your business transformation? A new way to measure progress

22/08/2023

Today’s volatile business environment continues to challenge organizations no matter their size, industry, or geography. Just a few broad trends tell the story: new digital entrants are gobbling up market share across industries; ecosystem-based strategies are gaining ground; and companies committed to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria are increasingly attractive to employees and investors […]

3 Ways Our Brains Undermine Our Ability to Be a Good Leader

3 Ways Our Brains Undermine Our Ability to Be a Good Leader

21/08/2023

Robin, a perennial high achiever, has just been promoted to her first leadership position. But her first few months on the job have been tougher than expected: Her colleagues don’t joke around with her anymore, she’s pulled in different directions, and she’s constantly putting out fires. When one of her top performers suddenly leaves for […]

The Value of Digital Transformation

The Value of Digital Transformation

17/08/2023

“Show me the money!” Cuba Gooding Jr., playing Rod Tidwell, made those words a cultural touchstone in the movie Jerry McGuire. He was not just voicing his concerns about committing to a sports agent, played by Tom Cruise in this case; he was also questioning Cruise’s commitment. Business leaders, shareholders, and board members have increasingly […]

The triple play: Growth, profit, and sustainability

The triple play: Growth, profit, and sustainability

16/08/2023

Consistent and profitable growth has been hard to achieve since the global financial crisis, making it critical for companies to explicitly choose growth in their mindsets, pathways, and execution capabilities.1“Choosing to grow: The leader’s blueprint,” McKinsey, July 7, 2022. Many executives believe making that growth sustainable and inclusive requires inscrutable trade-offs, forgoing revenue and profit for the […]

Don’t Let Your Company’s Culture Stifle Leadership Development

Don’t Let Your Company’s Culture Stifle Leadership Development

11/08/2023

All too often, leadership development programs don’t adequately account for the culture, norms, and system within which the leader is working. Leaders may be asked to think long term in a culture that fixates on immediate results, or they may be taught to collaborate across organizational boundaries when they’re rewarded for work within their own […]

Using AI to Build Stronger Connections with Customers

Using AI to Build Stronger Connections with Customers

08/08/2023

The surge of generative artificial intelligence (AI) applications is spurring exciting innovations and consumer experiments, but it also worries many people who are concerned about data privacy or only being able to communicate with a company through a bot. These concerns are especially acute in industries where customer interactions and data privacy are critical, such […]

Managing Anxiety When There’s No Room for Error

Managing Anxiety When There’s No Room for Error

27/07/2023

In some arenas, mistakes are par for the course and not very costly. It doesn’t really matter if a designer starts over several times before producing a beautiful cover image, an inventor tries a hundred prototypes before finding the one that works, or an entrepreneur pivots from one idea to another based on customer feedback. […]

3 Steps to Prepare Your Culture for AI

3 Steps to Prepare Your Culture for AI

24/07/2023

As business leaders, today we find ourselves in a place that’s all too familiar: the unfamiliar. Just as we steered our teams through the shift to remote and flexible work, we’re now on the verge of another seismic shift: AI. And like the shift to flexible work, priming an organization to embrace AI will hinge […]

3 Ways to Make a Winning Board Presentation

3 Ways to Make a Winning Board Presentation

21/07/2023

For most executives, even those at the most senior level, a presentation to the board of directors is the most demanding test of leadership communications. Very few succeed. Conversations with more than 100 public and private boards directors over the last decade reveal that dissatisfaction with presentations is nearly universal. PowerPoint decks are too long, […]

13 Principles for Using AI Responsibly

13 Principles for Using AI Responsibly

19/07/2023

Love it or loath it, the rapid expansion of AI will not slow down anytime soon. But AI blunders can quickly damage a brand’s reputation — just ask Microsoft’s first chatbot, Tay. In the tech race, all leaders fear being left behind if they slow down while others don’t. It’s a high-stakes situation where cooperation […]

Four essential questions for boards to ask about generative AI

Four essential questions for boards to ask about generative AI

18/07/2023

Company executives are scrambling to understand and respond to generative AI. This technology is still nascent, but of those who have used it, few doubt its power to disrupt operating models in all industries. Here is a view of how CEOs might start preparing for what lies ahead.1“What every CEO should know about generative AI,” […]

The Simple Power of Communicating with Kindness

The Simple Power of Communicating with Kindness

14/07/2023

I believe that in every interpersonal communication, leaders should err on the side of kindness. This pronouncement is seemingly simple but it takes courage to live — especially now. We live in a world in which a host of issues are eating away at our connections with each other. Take lack of focus: When was […]

Staying ahead: How the best CEOs continually improve performance

Staying ahead: How the best CEOs continually improve performance

22/06/2023

Be humble, hungry. Most people know the fable The Tortoise and the Hare. In the story, the two animals challenge one another to a race to prove who is faster. The hare starts strong and is soon out of sight. Midrace, the hare lies down to rest, feeling certain that it’s going to win. After […]

Build a Strong Learning Culture on Your Team

Build a Strong Learning Culture on Your Team

21/06/2023

When Kendra Grant’s team was charged with designing and delivering learning experiences for 90,000 Walmart Canada associates, she knew as a senior learning-and-design director that the landscape of corporate learning needs was constantly changing. “Over time,” says Grant, now the principal of her own L&D practice, “we acknowledged that many of the problems we saw […]

How New CEOs Establish Legitimacy

How New CEOs Establish Legitimacy

19/06/2023

Corporate governance delegates tremendous authority to the chief executive. Yet authority alone provides a limited license to lead. We listen to those in authority because we’re required to do so; authority motivates via a follow-the-rules mechanism that will never encourage someone to go above-and-beyond the call of duty. A greater level of executive influence comes […]

Unlocking commerce in the metaverse

Unlocking commerce in the metaverse

16/06/2023

It’s hard to escape the metaverse. The emerging virtual world is the driving force behind the internet’s evolution, and consumers are increasingly seeking more immersive experiences and demanding the ability to interact with products and brands before making a purchase. That enthusiasm has the potential to drive $5 trillion in value creation by 2030,1Value creation […]

To Build a Top Performing Team, Ask for 85% Effort

To Build a Top Performing Team, Ask for 85% Effort

15/06/2023

The old management mindset An outdated way of thinking about peak performance is “maximum effort = maximum results.” It doesn’t actually work that way in reality, but many managers still believe that it does. They might talk a good game about “practicing self-care,” but their core assumptions are often more akin to a bad 1980s […]

How to Build Upon the Legacy of Your Family Business — and Make It Your Own

How to Build Upon the Legacy of Your Family Business — and Make It Your Own

13/06/2023

Founded by Henry Ford in 1903, the Ford Motor Company rocketed to success by mass-producing reliable, low-priced automobiles. When Henry’s son, Edsel, took the helm in 1918, he championed a different strategy for a new era. He sought to replace the Model T — iconic but outdated — with a more modern design geared to […]

When Scenario Planning Fails

When Scenario Planning Fails

24/05/2023

Over the past several decades, leaders have turned to scenario planning to identify future risks to their businesses. By analyzing things like revenues or margins across locations globally, this method allows leadership teams to design flexible long-term plans against a defined set of alternative external events and outcomes. The outputs can often include short-term financial […]

Innovation Doesn’t Have to Be Disruptive

Innovation Doesn’t Have to Be Disruptive

22/05/2023

Innovation driven by disruption generates a new market and growth, but often with terrible social costs: the destruction of existing companies and jobs and damage to communities. The Explanation Most innovators have taken for granted that the surest path to growth is creating a new market by destroying the existing one. That overlooks an alternative […]

Make It Safe for Employees to Speak Up — Especially in Risky Times

Make It Safe for Employees to Speak Up — Especially in Risky Times

19/05/2023

The World Uncertainty Index remains high. Bank failures, war, inflation, and layoffs are contributing to a growing sense of instability and unease. As an HR manager at a technology firm told us, “Just seeing your team decrease from 35 to 18 can be very scary; it brings forth strong anxiety and worry over your job.” […]

How Midsize Companies Can Access Capital in Turbulent Times

How Midsize Companies Can Access Capital in Turbulent Times

17/05/2023

Two years ago, I wrote a Harvard Business Review article about how middle market companies were under-served and over-charged for capital transactions. Nowadays, with all the turbulence in financial markets, a new kind of squeeze is on for mid-sized companies. For the past year or more, all kinds of economic warning signs have been flashing […]

Leading a Midsize Business Through Change

Leading a Midsize Business Through Change

15/05/2023

One of the sacred principles of change management is “stakeholder involvement,” i.e. engaging and including people who will be affected by the change in the process of making it happen. GE’s well known “change acceleration model,” or CAP, refers to it as “mobilizing commitment.” Kotter’s eight-step framework for change emphasizes doing this through “building a […]

How Midsize Companies Can Drive Digital Transformation

How Midsize Companies Can Drive Digital Transformation

12/05/2023

The last few years have brought unprecedented challenges, opportunities, and evolution for companies of all sizes. The middle market is no exception. In fact, the pandemic served as an accelerator for a number of initiatives that were perhaps just wishes and dreams for mid-sized companies a handful of years ago, but are now very much […]

Is Your Company as Strategically Aligned as You Think It Is?

Is Your Company as Strategically Aligned as You Think It Is?

10/05/2023

Picture this: You’re the CEO of a midsize company, and you just returned from an expensive, multi-day strategy retreat with your entire management team. You spent hours discussing the ins and outs of your strategy, and it left you and your employees feeling more aligned than ever. But are you actually on the same page? […]

How Midsize Companies Can Keep Up with AI

How Midsize Companies Can Keep Up with AI

08/05/2023

What do the internet, smartphones, social media, the metaverse, and generative AI have in common? Answer: they’re all part of the same, ongoing innovation movie. We’ve seen this movie before, and if the Fast & Furious series can create double-digit sequels (movie number 10 coming soon), we should expect the same from technology. Somehow, we […]

Bias Busters: The perils of executive typecasting

Bias Busters: The perils of executive typecasting

28/04/2023

Despite their best intentions, executives fall prey to cognitive and organizational biases that get in the way of good decision making. In this series, we highlight some of them and offer a few effective ways to address them. Our topic this time? The perils of executive typecasting The dilemma The new CFO at a medical-device […]

It Takes Versatility to Lead in a Volatile World

It Takes Versatility to Lead in a Volatile World

25/04/2023

The last three years have posed serious challenges for leadership. The inability of many leaders to rise to the occasion revealed that the talent crisis organizations thought they had before the pandemic is worse than they imagined. Research we conducted in the early stages of the Covid outbreak showed that leaders with a limited range […]

The next frontier of customer engagement: AI-enabled customer service

The next frontier of customer engagement: AI-enabled customer service

24/04/2023

How to engage customers—and keep them engaged—is a focal question for organizations across the business-to-consumer (B2C) landscape, where disintermediation by digital platforms continues to erode traditional business models. Engaged customers are more loyal, have more touchpoints with their chosen brands, and deliver greater value over their lifetime. Yet financial institutions have often struggled to secure […]

How to Equip Your Team to Problem Solve Without You

How to Equip Your Team to Problem Solve Without You

21/04/2023

Susan,* a client of Luis’ and a mentee of Kristin’s, managed her team with a fundamental belief that it was her job to “protect” them. Her belief was grounded in good intentions. She wanted her team to be happy and successful in a highly demanding and fast-moving organization. However, her approach constantly put her in […]

The 8 Responsibilities of Chief Sustainability Officers

The 8 Responsibilities of Chief Sustainability Officers

19/04/2023

The word “sustainability” has never been more popular in the corporate world. The number of companies appointing a chief sustainability officer (CSO) is rising rapidly: In 2021 more CSOs were hired than in the previous five years combined. But despite good intentions — and widespread acceptance of the importance of sustainability — there is still […]

A winning strategy for growth investors at a time of uncertainty

A winning strategy for growth investors at a time of uncertainty

18/04/2023

Growth equity has become one of private equity’s fastest-growing segments in recent years, but today’s market uncertainty has slowed that momentum: 2022 was a year of disruption. Investors faced a multitude of downside risks, including geopolitical tension, energy and food scarcity, rising inflation and interest rates, stock market volatility, and supply challenges triggered by the war […]

Why Business Leaders Must Resist the Anti-ESG Movement

Why Business Leaders Must Resist the Anti-ESG Movement

17/04/2023

The culture wars in the U.S. continue to rage, and they’ve come for business. Companies are being dragged into issues that stir emotions, such as abortion, gay and trans rights, racial and gender equity, and climate change. In particular, business is facing questions about its stance on societal issues mainly from the right side of […]

How Leaders Can Get the Feedback They Need to Grow

How Leaders Can Get the Feedback They Need to Grow

14/04/2023

When uncertainty is high, knowing where you stand — and learning about your mistakes while there’s still time to fix them — is more important than ever. To be able to adapt to changing conditions and ensure that your team continues to feel supported and motivated, you need to understand what you’re doing well — […]

Getting Employee Buy-In for Organizational Change

Getting Employee Buy-In for Organizational Change

10/03/2023

Most advice about building internal support for organizational change reiterates perfunctory platitudes, reminding leaders to communicate reasons for the change, or even to be excited about the change themselves. But in working with hundreds of companies going through organization change I’ve learned that this approach is simply not enough. In fact, research shows, that this […]

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lighthouses 2023

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lighthouses 2023

09/03/2023

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is at an inflection point: companies and institutions have demonstrated positive intent and increased discussion and activity, but data shows that progress is slow. In 2020, the global market for DEI—that is, dollars spent by companies on DEI-related efforts such as employee resource groups (ERGs)—was estimated at $7.5 billion and […]

Is It Time to Shake Up Your WFH Routine?

Is It Time to Shake Up Your WFH Routine?

08/03/2023

We’re approaching three years since the initial office exodus, where millions of people found themselves stationed at home full-time, overnight. The initial shock of that transition has worn off. So if you participated in the office flight, you’ve likely settled into some semblance of a routine. But is it time to make a change? As […]

11 Tech Trends to Watch in 2023

11 Tech Trends to Watch in 2023

07/03/2023

It can be tough to keep up with the rapid pace of innovation. Each new year delivers the full spectrum of progress from game-changing breakthroughs to incremental advancements in a wide variety of fields. In a noisy media landscape fueled by hype and speculation, it can be tough to know where true value is being […]

When Leaders Struggle with Collaboration

When Leaders Struggle with Collaboration

06/03/2023

A client of Luis’s, let’s call him Charlie, a senior executive reporting directly to the CEO, was recently given feedback that despite his outstanding performance, his colleagues struggled to work with him. Charlie’s drive to deliver results, his no-nonsense approach to offering his viewpoints, and the intensity with which he approached most everything made him […]

Research: Why Leaders Should Be Open About Their Flaws

Research: Why Leaders Should Be Open About Their Flaws

02/03/2023

In the late 1980s, Canon ran a commercial with professional tennis player Andre Agassi that launched an infamous slogan: Image Is Everything. For many years leaders of all respects have embraced that sentiment, doing everything they could to come across as powerful, strong, and flawless. Yet, recent research has found that effective leadership isn’t about […]

How to Motivate a Top Performer — When You Can’t Promote Them

How to Motivate a Top Performer — When You Can’t Promote Them

28/02/2023

In many work environments, promotions serve as one of the few indicators of career success and advancement. But promotions have a long feedback loop. They often take years to happen, which means they mask the growth happening across the months and years before a promotion is conferred. Promotions are also not entirely under an employee’s […]

Linking Executive Pay to Sustainability Goals

Linking Executive Pay to Sustainability Goals

24/02/2023

Global businesses have reached a sustainability inflection point. Stakeholder expectations and heightened investor scrutiny are putting organizations under pressure to articulate their societal roles more clearly, prioritize environmental and social objectives within their business strategies, and demonstrate progress to stakeholders. We also know that employees are prioritizing their employment decisions based on an organization’s purpose, […]

Rescuing ESG from the Culture Wars

Rescuing ESG from the Culture Wars

22/02/2023

In the past year, ESG investing has become caught up in America’s culture wars, as prominent GOP politicians claim that it is a mechanism investors are using to impose a “woke” ideology on companies. Former Vice President Mike Pence has railed against ESG in speeches and in an op-ed. A variety of Republican governors and […]

The power of goodbye: How carve-outs can unleash value

The power of goodbye: How carve-outs can unleash value

21/02/2023

The rationale for combining businesses into one company, or for splitting them apart, should be the same: to create more value. Yet we often hear leaders describe separations as the opposite of M&A integrations, at least in terms of “capturing value” in the near term. M&A, done well, unlocks value by realizing synergies. But it […]

Have Companies Become Too Specialized?

Have Companies Become Too Specialized?

16/02/2023

Starting in the late 1980s, a de-diversification wave swept through corporate America, on the premise that conglomerates and highly diversified companies would perform better by focusing on their core businesses. At first this strategic shift brought benefits: academic research undertaken at the time found that all this refocusing was, on balance, beneficial for companies. The […]

What Do Your Customers Want in 2023?

What Do Your Customers Want in 2023?

08/02/2023

For many of us, a new year represents a fresh start. New Year’s resolutions offer an annual opportunity to transform our lives for the better, whether that’s by improving our health, relationships, finances, or whatever else we find most important. This mindset can create new opportunities for businesses as well — but shifting needs and […]

How Women on Boards Navigate the “Warmth-Competence” Line

How Women on Boards Navigate the “Warmth-Competence” Line

03/02/2023

The road to gender parity on corporate boards has been a long one, but there are signs of progress. In 2022, for instance, 45% of new Fortune 500 board appointees were women and the percentage of women on these boards had risen to almost 30%. Yet, the point of being a director is not simply […]

How a CEO Can Create Psychological Safety in the Room

How a CEO Can Create Psychological Safety in the Room

01/02/2023

There’s a power dynamic in every room. If you’re the CEO and you’re in the room, you control that dynamic. Positional power is consolidated in your hands, and what you say and do can draw people out or make them recoil with anxiety and fear. In my work with hundreds of CEOs over the past […]

How to Talk with Your Team About the Elephant in the Room

How to Talk with Your Team About the Elephant in the Room

30/01/2023

No one mentions the hostility and blatant conflict between two team members. A colleague softens the data to avoid delaying the launch date of a project. At the Monday team meeting, the leader doesn’t mention the fact that two team members were fired the week before. These situations occur at many organizations, and they are […]

How Boards Can Guide Company Strategy on Social Issues

How Boards Can Guide Company Strategy on Social Issues

23/01/2023

For the past few years, we’ve been fielding calls from CEOs and other C-suite leaders who find themselves under increasing pressure to engage in — and take public positions on — issues that their companies would have considered outside their purviews only a few years ago. Recent research, including Edelman’s Trust Barometer, suggests that this pressure […]

5 Questions for Business Leaders to Ask in Uncertain Times

5 Questions for Business Leaders to Ask in Uncertain Times

18/01/2023

These days, it feels like we are living in the business world’s version of Billy Joel’s 1989 hit, “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” Inflation, geopolitical tensions, energy shortages, labor shortages, employees’ evolving expectations, rising interest rates, increasing cyber and data risks, insatiable investor expectations — the list goes on. Just like the song says, today’s […]

Digital transformations: The five talent factors that matter most

Digital transformations: The five talent factors that matter most

17/01/2023

Digital transformations—whether digitalizing an entire company or setting up a digital and advanced-analytics (DnA) start-up within the organization—are a significant challenge. We have frequently seen these transformations stumble along the way, and leaders often have difficulty sustaining any improvements over time. Across the transformation journey, talent and technology are critical to success, from planning and […]

Innovating in Uncertain Times: Lessons from 2022

Innovating in Uncertain Times: Lessons from 2022

16/01/2023

Economic uncertainty, social and political unrest, environmental catastrophe, and global health crises continue to impact people and businesses worldwide. Yet, amidst each of these disruptions, managers must maintain forward momentum to ensure their teams achieve success. This past year we’ve seen tech giants fall due to mismanagement, recklessness, economic turmoil, a lack of innovation, or […]