Use Art to Reignite Your Team’s Motivation

26/03/2021

As we reach the one-year mark of working from home, remote teams are at risk of losing motivation. By drawing on techniques used by creatives, business leaders can revitalize teams and spark fresh momentum and innovation. For example, studies show that jazz musicians’ improvisational skills are achieved via heightened sensory activity in the brain alongside a […]

Giving Critical Feedback Is Even Harder Remotely

19/02/2021

Delivering constructive feedback is nerve-wracking in the best of times — most managers don’t want to crush their employees’ spirits. These tough conversations are even harder to have as multiple crises and their side effects wear on, which can make the negativity bias that often accompanies them even worse. To top it all off, a […]

WFH Doesn’t Have to Dilute Your Corporate Culture

12/02/2021

The pandemic pushed many organizations to become fully remote, and the experience has been better than many imagined. As a result, a hybrid working model that embraces the best of both remote and office-based work awaits many workers and companies on the other side of the crisis. Adapting to this new working model might seem […]

Transformation in uncertain times: Tackling both the urgent and the important

10/02/2021

In ordinary times, successful leaders continually strive to master the balance between the urgent and the important, both in their organizations and their daily schedules. But today’s CEOs face unprecedented financial, health and safety, and operational challenges. For them, the problem isn’t balancing the urgent with the important. It’s that most everything is both urgent […]

How to Support an Employee with a Chronic Health Condition

03/02/2021

In the United States, 60% of adults have at least one chronic health condition: illnesses or conditions like chronic pain and fatigue that last at least one year and require ongoing management or restrict an individual’s activities. These numbers don’t include Covid-19 “long-haulers,” or the 10% of those who experience lingering symptoms, such as difficulties with […]

7 Strategies to Build a More Resilient Team

27/01/2021

Announcing Q4 results that exceeded Wall Street’s expectations, Apple CEO Tim Cook identified resilient, high-functioning teams as a key element that fortified the company in the midst of the pandemic’s unprecedented challenges. “Even though we’re apart, it’s been obvious this year that around the company, teams and colleagues have been leaning on and counting on […]

The next normal arrives: Trends that will define 2021—and beyond

14/01/2021

Businesses have spent much of the past nine months scrambling to adapt to extraordinary circumstances. While the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet won, with a vaccine in sight, there is at least a faint light at the end of the tunnel—along with the hope that another train isn’t heading our way. 2021 […]

How Did Business’s Role in Society Change in 2020?

12/01/2021

The year 2020 was incredibly rough, but with one big bright spot at the end. A once-in-a-century global pandemic — an unfathomable tragedy — devastated lives and economies. But in a miraculous display of scientific prowess, Pfizer, Moderna, and other pharmaceutical companies produced what appeared to be highly effective Covid-19 vaccines by December. After a year of […]

Cross-Team Meetings Don’t Have to Be a Waste of Time

08/01/2021

There is a frustrating familiarity about meetings with other departments, with an outcome you can predict even before the conversation begins: Heads will nod, there will be vague statements or a call for more data, and then unfailingly, you’ll repeat the same conversation repeated next time. Eyes roll, progress stalls, yet no one calls out […]

With vaccines on the horizon, here’s how business leaders can plan ahead |

10/12/2020

Still, many questions remain and in all my years of scenario planning, I’ve never seen uncertainty like that which has arisen from the COVID-19 pandemic. Leaders are in need of guidance as to how to plan for the months ahead. Salesforce has been tracking the many uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 since March and developed a range […]

Overcoming pandemic fatigue: How to reenergize organizations for the long run

02/12/2020

Pandemic fatigue: it’s plaguing organizations and employees right now. In 2020, we’ve endured a global pandemic, a massive economic crisis, and widespread social unrest. Layer on top of that forces that are fundamentally reshaping societies—technological innovation, business-model disruption, societal inequality, and workforce automation—and it’s clear that an epidemic of stress has been building, with the […]

In a Pandemic, We Buy What We Know

01/12/2020

llustration by Rocio Egio  Back in May, Unilever’s CEO predicted that consumers would eat healthier during the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the CEO of McDonald’s remains confident they’ll return to Big Macs and other familiar favorites. Certainly, both can’t be right. Or can they? Organic and healthy food sales are in fact surging — but so […]

When do you need a chief restructuring officer?

23/11/2020

In less than a year, however, the ailing company’s cash situation had stabilized, avoiding the possibility of an abrupt insolvency. The company had found new sources of liquidity, and millions of euros in working capital were freed up thanks to improved short-term cash management. Lenders and other key stakeholders got behind the balance-sheet restructuring. What […]

The conflicted Continent: Ten charts show how COVID-19 is affecting consumers in Europe

19/11/2020

While these trends can be observed across the Continent, there is also significant variance in how different countries and age groups react to the crisis. In the following charts, we will look both at the big picture and at the most striking outliers. 1 1. The insights in this article are based on a survey […]

Navigating Office Politics When There Is No Office

07/11/2020

Across jobs, companies, and industries, people’s success has always depended not just on what they produce or deliver, but also on their ability to navigate the murky waters of office politics. A great deal of scientific research has explored the hidden potent forces underlying the formal and informal power dynamics in any group or organization, […]

A rolling disruption: COVID-19’s implications for private equity and portfolio companies | McKinsey

02/11/2020

The global COVID-19 pandemic shows few signs of relenting—in fact, in addition to its dual burden on lives and livelihoods, it is triggering civil unrest, new concerns about economic inequality, geopolitical tensions, and many other effects. The pandemic is more than an epidemiological event; it is a complex of profound disruptions. The pandemic is more […]

Agile resilience: Lessons from COVID-19

29/10/2020

Organizations able to absorb and adapt to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic successfully are, by definition, resilient. Many also find themselves making decisions at a speed, which would have been unthinkable in pre-COVID-19 times. What characterizes these organizations? What creates this kind of resilience? And how can organizations apply the lessons learned from the […]

How to Make Rational Decisions in the Face of Uncertainty

28/10/2020

Johannes Schwaerzler/EyeEm/Getty Images As we’re battling a virus that scientists still don’t fully understand, watching the stock market sink, then soar, then sink again, and facing a contentious election, the future seems completely unpredictable (instead of merely as unpredictable as it has always been). When we feel such heightened uncertainty, our decision-making processes can break […]

4 Tips for Effective Virtual Collaboration

14/10/2020

PM Images/Getty Images Team collaboration done right is a powerful force to align a group of individuals to accomplish a common goal in the most effective way possible. But even the best collaborations, filled with smart, capable, and experienced team members, can be a struggle. Done wrong, collaborative projects can feel like a waste of […]

How COVID-19 has pushed companies over the technology tipping point–and transformed business forever

09/10/2020

In just a few months’ time, the COVID-19 crisis has brought about years of change in the way companies in all sectors and regions do business. According to a new McKinsey Global Survey of executives, 1 1. The online survey was in the field from July 7 to July 31, 2020, and garnered responses from […]

Lessons from Chinese Companies’ Response to Covid-19

28/08/2020

The past months have provided an opportunity to study a once-in-a-lifetime moment — how companies function during an unprecedented global pandemic while also navigating an accelerated shift to digital operations. China was weeks ahead of the rest of the world in dealing with the pandemic and its fallout, so their experience is of interest. We […]

3 Behavioral Trends That Will Reshape Our Post-Covid World

27/08/2020

Colin Hawkins/Getty Images Typically, consumers’ supermarket shopping habits are stable and slow to change. When people do dramatically change their behavior around buying food and beverages, it’s usually driven by a major life event such as having a baby, moving to a new town, or changing jobs. The Covid-19 crisis is, of course, changing everyone’s life […]

From surviving to thriving: Business after coronavirus

04/08/2020

The 1966 World Cup marked a low point for Brazilian soccer. Although the winner of the previous two tournaments, the team was eliminated in the first round, and its star player, Pelé, failed to perform. Fouled frequently and flagrantly, he threatened never to return to the World Cup. Many wondered if Brazil’s glory days were […]

Innovation in a crisis: Why it is more critical than ever…

30/07/2020

John F. Kennedy once observed that the word “crisis” in Chinese is composed of two characters—one representing danger, the other opportunity. He may not have been entirely correct on the linguistics, but the sentiment is true enough: a crisis presents a choice. This is particularly true today. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended nearly every aspect […]

CEO’s guide to COVID-19: Restarting after the crisis

23/07/2020

As governments in Europe announce plans to end the lockdown, a new phase in the COVID-19 pandemic is upon us. It is a time for hope but also for caution. The end of the lockdown will not spell a return to the old “normal”, nor will it be universal. The opening will take different shapes, […]

COVID-19 and reskilling the workforce

21/07/2020

Imagine a crisis that forces your company’s employees to change the way they work almost overnight. Despite initial fears that the pressure would be too great, you discover that this new way of working could be a blueprint for the long term. That’s what leaders of many companies around the globe are finding as they […]

Does working from home cut or increase energy use?

05/07/2020

The study’s authors reviewed existing research into the impact of home-working.They found of the 39 studies analyzed, 26 suggested that home-working cuts energy use through reduced travel to work and office energy consumption. Only eight studies suggest the impact was neutral or negative. But once a wider range of impacts are included, such as non-work […]

Product simplicity for CPG companies

01/07/2020

Even before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, complexity in consumer goods was increasing at an accelerated rate. The evidence can be seen all around: in grocery stores alone, new product launches have risen dramatically, from around 20,000 in 1996 to 39,000 two decades later. The evolving retail landscape has created new and different ways […]

How business leaders can plan for the next normal

30/06/2020

Dealing with the coronavirus crisis and its aftermath could be the imperative of our times. Indeed, we have argued that it augurs the “imminent restructuring of the global economic order.” As Ian Davis, one of our previous managing partners, wrote in 2009 in the midst of the global financial crisis: “For some organizations, near-term survival is […]

How supply chain transparency can improve decision-making

23/06/2020

Faced with major disruption events, decision makers need to get their heads around the why and when to act (the reaction) before working out how best to mitigate the impacts (the response). The speed of reaction and the efficacy of response will decide the ultimate outcomes for people and the environment. With COVID-19, this process […]

Coronavirus and the future of international cooperation | World Economic Forum

23/06/2020

In a matter of months, the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the world almost beyond recognition. And yet the international cooperation that is so essential to confront a shared threat has been nowhere to be found. This should not be a surprise: our failure to respond effectively to the COVID-19 crisis reflects deeply entrenched – and […]

Setting up small and medium-size enterprises for restart and recovery

19/06/2020

Governments’ economic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have included an array of measures to help people and businesses weather the storm. Small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) are in an especially difficult position. Plunging demand has forced them to lay off workers, and many don’t have the financial resources to survive in this climate. In many […]

Preparing for the next normal via digital manufacturing’s scaling potential

17/06/2020

The coronavirus pandemic is changing manufacturing operations to a degree never before seen. As organizations and leaders seek to ensure the health and safety of their people, they are also reacting to supply-chain shifts that are impacting sourcing and distribution logistics. Supplier resilience is being brought into sharp focus, and labor shortages are bringing many […]

Digital collaboration for a connected manufacturing workforce

15/06/2020

Many experts predicted that with the coming of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), automation and advanced technologies would rapidly displace factory jobs and workers world-wide. Thus far, this prediction has not panned out. In fact, our research with the World Economic Forum (WEF) reveals that leading factories (“Lighthouses”) have invested significantly in people. And the […]

How CHROs Have Met the Moment

12/06/2020

Richard Kolker/Getty Images In the past, at big company moments, it was often the CEO and CFO breaking the news to employees, shareholders, and other stakeholders. A distinctive feature of the coronavirus pandemic has been to elevate the role of the CHRO, who is often visibly helping CEOs manage the present and lead their companies […]

No longer on autopilot: Lessons for CFOs from COVID-19

12/06/2020

We’re now months past the first reports of global infections and deaths from the novel coronavirus, and CFOs and finance teams have done the hard work of leading their organizations through the immediate crisis—for instance, helping to ensure the safety and protection of employees, suppliers, and other key stakeholders; collaborating across functions; assessing liquidity and […]

Digital adoption through COVID-19 and beyond

11/06/2020

By now, most C-suite executives have led their companies to digitize at least some part of their business to protect employees and serve customers facing mobility restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. As one CEO of a large tech company recently stated, “We are witnessing what will surely be remembered as a historic […]

How Investors Can Navigate Pandemic-Related Risk in Emerging Markets

01/06/2020

HBR Staff/artpartner-images/Getty Images Long after developed markets have Covid-19 relatively under control, the virus will remain a threat in emerging markets, where uneven governance, weak health systems, dense urban slums, and high rates of poverty multiply the challenges of fighting the pandemic. In a few countries there are already early signs of political instability and […]

Supple supplies – Businesses are proving quite resilient to the pandemic

30/05/2020

IF A VENGEFUL deity were to design a weapon to wield against the global supply chains that characterise modern business, it might well hit on a virus which hit production facilities all around the world. In the face of covid-19, though, the sinews of business have, for the most part, held up remarkably well. Air […]

Driving digital change during a crisis: The chief digital officer and COVID-19

29/05/2020

Amid the humanitarian crisis that has upended lives and cast a veil of uncertainty over the future, one thing is clear: we are living in a much more digital world. As governments around the world institute nationwide lockdowns, the demand for digital services and products, from both customers and employees stuck at home, has hit […]

Good Leaders Can Overcome Institutional Inertia in a Crisis

28/05/2020

Justin Pumfrey/Getty Images Although Covid-19 is clearly a catastrophe, it offers what every social scientist craves: a “natural experiment” that allows us to compare different responses to similar shocks. We have already learned much about what does and doesn’t work in tackling the virus itself. We can also glean profound lessons about the role of […]

Direct-To-Consumer Brands Are Finding New Ways To Engage With Customers

27/05/2020

Even before the pandemic arrived, acquisition channels and costs were on the top of mind for a lot of direct-to-consumer brands. Since they can’t rely on exposure through big retail chains and online marketplaces, they have to find their own ways to reach customers while staying cost-effective. A lot has changed in the world over […]

The digital-led recovery from COVID-19: Five questions for CEOs…

27/05/2020

There’s a popular meme going around that neatly captures the tipping point of digital. It’s a short questionnaire asking who is driving your digital transformation. The first two options are “CEO” and “chief digital officer.” Below that, highlighted with a bright red circle, is “COVID-19.” The coronavirus pandemic is a humanitarian crisis that continues to […]

Onboarding a New Leader — Remotely

26/05/2020

Michael Blann/Getty Images Imagine that you have a new supply-chain leader starting next week. You hired her to do supply-chain transformation before the crisis took hold. But now she is joining remotely and inheriting a remote team, and her short-term, urgent priorities are very different from what they appeared to be before the pandemic. As […]

How to Talk to Your Team When the Future Is Uncertain

09/05/2020

As the coronavirus pandemic escalates and disruptions to business-as-usual continue, managers are grappling with the unknown. You don’t know when your employees will be able to return to the office or how different things will be when they do. Regardless, you need to be in constant communication with your team. What information — and how […]

How the CPG industry can prepare for the next normal

07/05/2020

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the globe, threatening both lives and livelihoods, consumer-packaged-goods (CPG) manufacturers continue to play an important role: producing essential items we all rely on for our health and well-being. CPG leaders have focused on meeting this demand while guarding the safety of employees and customers. At the same time, forward-thinking […]

How the Coronavirus Crisis Is Redefining Jobs

06/05/2020

Martin Barraud/Getty Images The outbreak of Covid-19 has forced organizations into perhaps the most significant social experiment of the future of work in action, with work from home and social distancing policies radically changing the way we work and interact. But the impact on work is far more profound than just changing where people work; […]

Managing manufacturing organizations during coronavirus

01/05/2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the globe, manufacturing organizations face significant operational challenges. Some companies have temporarily shuttered factories in response to government restrictions or falling demand, but others are facing significant increases in demand for essential supplies. Frontline manufacturing staff can’t take their work to the relative safety of their homes. Plant leaders […]

Positive leadership during the COVID-19 crisis

30/04/2020

For business leaders, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated unprecedented change. More than ever, the health of businesses is urgently and visibly linked with the health of workforces, the health of our society, and the health of our planet. Previously unimaginable shifts in our daily lives are compelling companies to adapt quickly and identify creative, unconventional […]