700: Dematerialization and What It Means for the Economy — and Climate Change
Andrew McAfee, co-director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, explains how the U.S. economy is growing and actually using less and less stuff to do so. Thanks to new technologies, many advanced economies are reducing their use of timber, metals, fertilizer, and other resources. McAfee says this dematerialization trend is spreading to other parts of the globe. While it’s not happening fast enough to stop climate change, he believes it offers some hope for environmental protection when combined with effective public policy. McAfee is the author of the book “More from Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources—and What Happens Next.”
699: What Great Coaching Looks Like
Richard Boyatzis, professor at Case Western Reserve University, says that every professional can benefit from having a coach — and serving as one for someone else. He says that a coaching relationship moves beyond mentoring or sponsoring in that it focuses on long-term values and aspirations. The best coaches encourage a positive mindset and ask probing questions to help people make the best choices, not only in their careers but also in their personal lives. Boyatzis is coauthor of the HBR article "Coaching for Change."
698: The Inherent Failures of Long-term Contracts — and How to Fix Them
Oliver Hart, Nobel-winning Harvard economist, and Kate Vitasek, faculty at the University of Tennessee, argue that many business contracts are imperfect, no matter how bulletproof you try to make them. Especially in complicated relationships such as outsourcing, one side ends up feeling like they're getting a bad deal, and it can spiral into a tit for tat battle. Hart and Vitasek argue that companies should instead adopt so-called relational contracts. Their research shows that creating a general playbook built around principles like fairness and reciprocity offers greater benefits to both businesses. Hart and Vitasek, with the Swedish attorney David Frydlinger, cowrote the HBR article "A New Approach to Contracts."
697: How African-Americans Advance at Work — And What Organizations Can Do To Help
Laura Morgan Roberts, professor at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business, says that organizations are still falling short on promoting racial diversity, particularly in their most senior ranks. While many large companies have "inclusion" initiatives, most leaders still shy away from frank discussions about how the experiences of their black employees and executives -- including their feelings of authenticity and potential for advancement -- differ from those of their white peers. She points to several ways we can change these dynamics. With David Thomas and Anthony Mayo, Morgan Roberts is co-author of the book “Race, Work, and Leadership: New Perspectives on the Black Experience.”
696: The Challenges (and Triumphs) of a Young Manager
Julie Zhuo, Facebook’s VP of product design, started at the company as its first intern and became a manager at the age of 25. Like many first-time bosses, she made many missteps and acted how she thought managers were supposed to act. Eventually, she grew to find joy in the role and today she leads hundreds of people. She says that becoming a great manager also helps you know yourself better. Zhuo is the author of the book "The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You."