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The HBR IdeaCast, from the publishers of Harvard Business Review, Harvard Business Press, and hbr.org, is a weekly audio podcast, bringing you the analysis and advice of the leading minds in management.

The HBR IdeaCast, from the publishers of Harvard Business Review, Harvard Business Press, and hbr.org, is a weekly audio podcast, bringing you the analysis and advice of the leading minds in management.
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Boston, MA


The HBR IdeaCast, from the publishers of Harvard Business Review, Harvard Business Press, and hbr.org, is a weekly audio podcast, bringing you the analysis and advice of the leading minds in management.






Harvard Business Publishing 60 Harvard Way Boston, MA 02163 USA 6177837400


620: McKinsey's Head on Why Corporate Sustainability Efforts Are Falling Short

Dominic Barton, the global managing partner of McKinsey&Company, discusses the firm’s sustainability efforts. He talks about the wake-up call he got about sustainability and how he tries to convince CEOs hesitant to make it part of their business model that doing so will improve company performance. He says he sees companies thinking about the environment. “But the speed and scale of what we need to do — I don’t think it’s sufficient.”


619: Harvard's President on Leading During a Time of Change

Drew Gilpin Faust, the president of Harvard University, talks about leading the institution through a decade of change, from the financial crisis to the Trump era. Faust discusses how communicating as a leader is different from communicating as an expert, the surprising ways her study of U.S. Civil War history prepared her for the top job, and what it's like to be the first female president in the University's four-century history.


618: Make Tools Like Slack Work for Your Company

Tsedal Neeley, a professor at Harvard Business School, and Paul Leonardi, a management professor at UC Santa Barbara, talk about the potential that applications such as Slack, Yammer, and Microsoft Teams have for strengthening employee collaboration, productivity, and organizational culture. They discuss their research showing how effective these tools can be and warn about common traps companies face when they implement them. Neeley and Leonardi are co-authors of the article "What Managers...


617: The CEO of Merck on Race, Leadership, and High Drug Prices

Ken Frazier, the CEO of the pharmaceutical company known as MSD outside of North America, discusses his upbringing and how it influences his leadership as chief executive. He is one of the few African-American CEOs in the Fortune 500, and shot to prominence after resigning from a council advising the Trump White House. Frazier discusses the importance of values in leadership and how Merck thinks about R&D and drug prices.


616: The Future of MBA Education

Scott DeRue, the dean of University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, says the old model of business school education is gone. It's no longer good enough to sequester yourself on campus for two years before heading out into the world of commerce. DeRue discusses how the perceived value of an MBA education is changing in the digital era, and how MBA programs are innovating in response to individual and company demands.


Introducing Dear HBR:

What should you do when you become the boss? HBR's new advice podcast Dear HBR: has the answers. In this bonus episode, Dear HBR: co-hosts Alison Beard and Dan McGinn answer your questions with the help of Harvard Business School professor Alison Wood Brooks, an expert on behavioral insights. They talk through what to do when your direct reports are older than you, how to be a likeable leader, and what to say if you're not ready to be in charge.


615: Does Your Firm See You as a High Potential?

Jay Conger, a leadership professor at Claremont McKenna College, goes behind the scenes to show how you can get on, and stay on, your company's fast track. He demystifies how companies (often very secretly) develop and update their list of high-potential employees. And he discusses five critical "X factors" his research has shown are common to high-potential employees. Conger is the co-author of the new book, "The High Potential's Advantage: Get Noticed, Impress Your Bosses, and Become a...


614: Women at Work: Make Yourself Heard

In this special episode, HBR IdeaCast host Sarah Green Carmichael introduces Harvard Business Review’s new podcast “Women at Work,” about women’s experiences in the workplace. This episode about being heard tackles three aspects of communication: first, how and why women’s speech patterns differ from men’s; second, how women can be more assertive in meetings; and third, how women can deal with interrupters (since the science shows women get interrupted more often than men do). Guests:...


613: Controlling Your Emotions During a Negotiation

Moshe Cohen, a senior lecturer at Boston University's Questrom School of Business, says you can't take the emotion out of a negotiation. After all, negotiations revolve around conflict, risk, and reward — which are inherently emotional. Instead of sidelining your feelings, understand them. Cohen explains how to understand your triggers and use your emotions and those of your counterparts to your advantage.


612: For Better Customer Service, Offer Options, Not Apologies

Jagdip Singh, a professor of marketing at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, explains his research team’s new findings about customer satisfaction. He says apologizing is often counterproductive and that offering customers different possible solutions is usually more effective. He discusses what companies can do to help service representatives lead interactions that leave a customer satisfied—whether or not the problem has been solved. Singh’s research...


611: Why Leaders Should Make a Habit of Teaching

Sydney Finkelstein, a professor of management at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, encourages leaders to approach their direct reports like teachers. As Finkelstein explains, being a teacher-leader means continually meeting face to face with employees to communicate lessons about professionalism, points of craft, and life. He says it’s easy to try and that teaching is one of the best ways to motivate people and improve their performance. Finkelstein is the author of “The...


610: Hiring the Best People

Patty McCord, Netflix’s former Chief Talent Officer, sees hiring as constant matchmaking. Building a team of people that gets amazing work done, she says, requires managers to really know what they need, and for HR to actually understand the workings of the business. She says money should not be the reason someone leaves and that we should stop using words like “poaching” and “firing.” McCord is the author of “How to Hire,” in the January–February 2018 issue of Harvard Business Review.


609: Breaking Down the New U.S. Corporate Tax Law

Mihir Desai, a professor of finance at Harvard Business School, breaks down the brand-new U.S. tax law. He says it will affect everything from how corporate assets are financed to how business are structured. He predicts many individuals will lower their tax burdens by setting themselves up as corporations. And he discusses how the law shifts U.S. tax policy toward a territorial system of corporate taxes, one that will affect multinationals and national competitiveness. Finally, Desai...


608: Making Unlimited Vacation Time Work

Aron Ain, the CEO of Kronos Incorporated, explains why unlimited vacation can be in the best interests of employees and the organization. He describes how his software company tracks requests for time off and the conversations he's had with skeptical managers and longtime employees. Ain says the "open vacation" program benefits the business and serves as a template for other companies figuring out how to make unlimited vacation work for them.


607: How Technology Tests Our Trust

Rachel Botsman, the author of “Who Can You Trust?", talks about how trust works, whether in relation to robots, companies, or other people. Technology, she says, speeds up the development of trust and can help us decide who to trust. But when it comes to making those decisions, we shouldn’t leave our devices to their own devices.


606: Box’s CEO on Pivoting to the Enterprise Market

Aaron Levie, the CEO of Box, reflects on the cloud storage company’s entry into the enterprise market. He was skeptical about pivoting away from consumers, and it was challenging. But by staying disciplined with the product and deeply understanding market trends, they've made the strategic shift from B2C to B2B work.


605: Why More CEOs Should Be Hired from Within

Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a senior adviser at the global executive search firm Egon Zehnder, makes the case for finding a company’s next CEO inside the firm. But to find the best contenders, organizations have to learn what to look for, how to find it, and how to nurture it. Fernández-Aráoz is the co-author of the new HBR article “Turning Potential into Success: The Missing Link in Leadership Development.”


604: Dow Chemical's CEO on Running an Environmentally Friendly Multinational

Andrew Liveris, the CEO of Dow Chemical, discusses the 120-year-old company’s ambitious sustainability agenda. He says an environmentally driven business model is good for the earth—and the bottom line. Liveris is one of the CEOs contributing to Harvard Business Review’s Future Economy Project, in which leaders detail their company’s efforts to adapt to and mitigate climate change.


603: When ‘Best Practices’ Backfire

Freek Vermeulen, an associate professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at the London Business School, argues that too many companies are following so-called best practices that are actually holding them back. They do it because of deep-seated industry tradition—and because it’s hard to know how seemingly successful business models will hold up over the long term. That’s why, he says, organizations should avoid benchmarking and instead routinely test their business practices before...


601: Astronaut Scott Kelly on Working in Space

Scott Kelly, a retired U.S. astronaut, spent 520 days in space over four missions. Working in outer space is a lot like working on earth, but with different challenges and in closer quarters. Kelly looks back on his 20 years of working for NASA, including being the commander of the International Space Station during his final, yearlong mission. He talks about the kind of cross-cultural collaboration and decision making he honed on the ISS, offering advice that leaders can use in space and...


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