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HBR IdeaCast

Business & Economics Podcasts

A weekly podcast featuring the leading thinkers in business and management.


Boston, MA


A weekly podcast featuring the leading thinkers in business and management.






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


How Generative AI Changes Strategy

Strategy is about making the future happen, not just reacting to it, according to author Gary Hamel. And with generative artificial intelligence, senior leaders suddenly wield an awesome new tool to change the fortunes of their organizations. The promise of generative AI is more than just a sweet hack to boost productivity and streamline operations. Its deeper potential lies in companies that rethink what they do and conjure brand-new, AI-first products and services. Simply put, generative AI is blasting open new strategic paths to create novel business opportunities, even as it brings serious risks and heightened competition. In this episode, How Generative AI Changes Strategy, HBR editor in chief Adi Ignatius speaks to Microsoft’s head of strategy Chris Young and Harvard Business School professor Andy Wu. They lay out the technology, its emerging value chains, and its main providers. They also break down the key choices and tradeoffs that large and small companies alike will be making in this fast-changing market. This is the fourth and final episode in the special series How Generative AI Changes Everything. Each week, HBR editor in chief Adi Ignatius and HBR editor Amy Bernstein have been hosting conversations with experts and business leaders about the impact of generative AI. Find those episodes on the impact on productivity, creativity, and organizational culture in the HBR IdeaCast feed. And for more on ethics in the age of AI, check out HBR’s Big Idea on implementing the new technology responsibly.


Stop Looking for the Perfect Job

One of the first things we learn about people is what they do for a living. But the link between work and identify has moved far beyond that, especially in certain industries, geographies, and cultures. Many of us put everything we have into our jobs, expecting our careers to fulfill us. Author Simone Stolzoff argues for a different approach. He wants us to find work that keeps us engaged and gives us the security we need, while still allowing us to define ourselves in other ways. Drawing on research and real-life stories, he explains what it means to have a "good enough" job, and why this shift in thinking could be good not just for individuals but also for teams and organizations. Stolzoff is the author of The Good Enough Job: Reclaiming Life from Work.


How Generative AI Changes Organizational Culture

Read just about any business history and you realize just how much a firm’s success depends on its culture. Without the right culture, you can't have successful innovation. You can't compete successfully. You can't thrive over the long term. So, if you want to lead your organization into a future that features generative artificial intelligence, you need to build the right culture for it. In this episode, How Generative AI Changes Organizational Culture, HBR editor Amy Bernstein speaks to two experts, Nitin Mittal and Tsedal Neeley, about how to adopt generative AI effectively and ethically within your organization. Mittal leads Deloitte’s global AI business and cowrote the book All-in On AI: How Smart Companies Win Big with Artificial Intelligence. Neeley is a professor at Harvard Business School and wrote the HBR article “8 Questions About Using AI Responsibly, Answered.” They discuss the risks, challenges, and emerging best practices of adapting organizational culture to generative AI. How Generative AI Changes Everything is a special series from HBR IdeaCast. Each week, HBR editor in chief Adi Ignatius and HBR editor Amy Bernstein host conversations with experts and business leaders about the impact of generative AI on productivity, creativity and innovation, organizational culture, and strategy. The episodes publish in the IdeaCast feed each Thursday in May, after the regular Tuesday episode. And for more on ethics in the age of AI, check out HBR’s Big Idea on implementing the new technology responsibly.


Breaking Through When You Feel Stuck

You don’t have to be a famous author to suffer from writer’s block. We all can get stuck in our thought processes and mired in our actions. That's true for leaders and managers as well, explains Adam Alter, a marketing professor at the NYU Stern School of Business. He has studied how people hit plateaus or roadblocks in their work and careers. And he shares different methods for breaking free, including one proven tactic that seems very wrong: doing nothing. Alter wrote the new book Anatomy of a Breakthrough: How to Get Unstuck When It Matters Most.


How Generative AI Changes Creativity

From prehistoric cave paintings to an inventor’s Eureka moment, creativity has always been described as a particularly human trait. But something strange can happen with generative artificial intelligence. Your ideas can take shape far faster. You also get ideas that you might never have imagined on your own. So, who is the creator here? What is creative work in the era of generative AI? What is innovation in this emerging world? In this episode, How Generative AI Changes Creativity, Adi Ignatius speaks with video artist and consultant Don Allen Stevenson III about how generative AI is disrupting creative work and the creative industry. Then Ignatius speaks to two innovation researchers, Jacqueline Ng Lane and David De Cremer, about changes to the creative process within organizations. Lane is a professor at Harvard Business School. De Cremer is a professor at the National University of Singapore Business School and a coauthor of the HBR article “How Generative AI Could Disrupt Creative Work.” How Generative AI Changes Everything is a special series from HBR IdeaCast. Each week, HBR editor in chief Adi Ignatius and HBR editor Amy Bernstein host conversations with experts and business leaders about the impact of generative AI on productivity, creativity and innovation, organizational culture, and strategy. The episodes publish in the IdeaCast feed each Thursday in May, after the regular Tuesday episode. And for more on ethics in the age of AI, check out HBR’s Big Idea on implementing the new technology responsibly.


A Marketing Professor and a Matchmaker Talk Personal Branding

Unless you're famous - or want to be - you might not think of yourself as a brand. But whether you're in a meeting or on social media, interviewing for a job or asking for a promotion, the way you carry yourself conveys a certain image to the people around you. Jill Avery studies marketing and is a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, and Rachel Greenwald is a professional matchmaker and dating coach. Together, they explain why a strong personal brand is important for professional success. They walk us through how to think about reputation, identify core values, and project our authentic selves. Avery and Greenwald wrote the HBR article “A New Approach to Building Your Personal Brand.”


How Generative AI Changes Productivity

How Generative AI Changes Everything is a special series from HBR IdeaCast. Each week, HBR editor in chief Adi Ignatius and HBR editor Amy Bernstein host conversations with experts and business leaders about the impact of generative AI on productivity, creativity and innovation, organizational culture, and strategy. The episodes publish in the IdeaCast feed each Thursday in May, after the regular Tuesday episode. Generative artificial intelligence is grabbing headlines with the widespread public excitement over tools like ChatGPT. And early academic research shows significant productivity gains in written communications, customer service, market research, computer coding, and professional analysis such as legal work. Meanwhile, the technology is rapidly evolving and getting better the more people use it. As a leader, it’s hard to stay ahead of the developments. In this episode, How Generative AI Changes Productivity, Amy Bernstein speaks with Karim Lakhani, a professor at Harvard Business School and a coauthor of the book Competing in the Age of AI: Strategy and Leadership When Algorithms and Networks Run the World. They discuss initial productivity gains for individuals from the technology, how that will scale across a workforce, and the pressing challenges facing organizational leaders.


Disruption Isn’t the Only Path to Innovation

Disruptive innovation has proven such a powerful idea that many people now equate innovation with market disruption. But INSEAD strategy professor Renée Mauborgne says there's a powerful way to create new markets without destroying jobs, companies, and communities: "nondisruptive creation." She explains how some entrepreneurs and companies have been able to grow billion-dollar businesses that are new markets rather than displacements of existing ones. Two examples are the microfinance industry and the firm Square. And she explains how leaders can seek out these opportunities to foster profitable growth with less social harm. With fellow INSEAD professor W. Chan Kim, Mauborgne wrote the new book Beyond Disruption: Innovate and Achieve Growth without Displacing Industries, Companies, or Jobs.


Special Series: How Generative AI Changes Everything

Generative AI seems to be everywhere right now, but what do you actually need to know? HBR IdeaCast is cutting through the noise in the special series How Generative AI Changes Everything. How will this new technology upend workforce productivity? What impact will it have on creativity and innovation? How can you build an internal culture that uses generative artificial intelligence and adopt it effectively in your organization? What could it mean for your company's strategy? Hosted by HBR editor in chief Adi Ignatius and HBR editor Amy Bernstein, you'll hear directly from the business leaders at the leading edge, as well as experts, who in some cases are questioning the ethics and speed of this rollout. If you want to understand what this technology means for your organization and how you can lead effectively, listen every Thursday in May in the HBR IdeaCast feed, after the regular Tuesday episode.


Reid Hoffman on Building AI and Other Tech More Responsibly

As a founding board member of PayPal, cofounder of LinkedIn, and a partner at Silicon Valley VC firm Greylock, Reid Hoffman has long been at the forefront of the U.S. tech industry, from the early days of social media to the launch of new artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT. He acknowledges that technologists are often better at seeing the benefits of their products and services than they are at predicting the problems they might create. But he says that he and his peers are working harder than ever to understand and monitor the downstream effects of technological advancements and to minimize risks by adapting as they go. He speaks about the future of A.I., what he looks for in entrepreneurs, and his hopes for the future. Hoffman is the host of the podcast Masters of Scale as well as the new show Possible.


Stop Neglecting Low-Wage Workers

Many people blame the shortage of low-wage workers on the enduring impact of the pandemic. But management professor Joseph Fuller and senior researcher Manjari Raman of Harvard Business School say that the real reason has been long in the making. Their studies show that companies view low-wage workers as people who will be in the job only for a short time. Instead, the researchers find that these employees are loyal and want development and a clear path to career advancement. The researchers share practical suggestions for how leaders and managers can do better in hiring, development, and mentoring. Fuller and Raman wrote the HBR article "The High Cost of Neglecting Low-Wage Workers."


How Managing Your Anxiety Can Make You a Better Leader

The business world has increasingly begun to recognize the importance of mental health, but we still have a long way to go in openly acknowledging our challenges with it. Writer, entrepreneur, and podcast host Morra Aarons-Mele says that when we take the time and energy to better understand and talk about our own issues, we can actually harness the learnings to become better managers and colleagues. She says that there are a number of ways to stop anxiety from spiraling and instead use it for good. She also has recommendations for organizations trying to enhance the mental health of their workforces. Morra Aarons-Mele is the article "How High Achievers Overcome Their Anxiety" and the book The Anxious Achiever: Turn Your Biggest Fears into Your Leadership Superpower.


A Forensic Accountant on How Companies Can Avoid Fraud and Scandal

From Theranos to Enron, we can't get enough of corporate scandals. We also can't get enough of the intriguing people who perpetrate them. But instigators of fraud are not all Disneyesque villains chasing money and power at any cost, says DePaul University accounting professor Kelly Richmond Pope. She studies white-collar crime and finds that besides intentional perpetrators, there are also accidental and righteous ones. And she shares real stories of these long-overlooked employees and explains exactly which behaviors and incentives should raise red flags for managers and leaders. Pope is the author of the new book Fool Me Once: Scams, Stories, and Secrets from the Trillion-Dollar Fraud Industry.


X’s Astro Teller on Managing Moonshot Innovation

How do you solve the world's toughest problems? Or find the next big thing in tech? Lots organizations fail to explore and take big bets on new ideas because they can't tolerate the mess of experimentation and the fear of failure. At X, Alphabet's dedicated innovation factory, they don't have that problem, and Astro Teller, Captain of Moonshots at X, can explain why. Undertaking projects on everything from rural communication to ocean health to machine learning, he and his teams operate with different creative mindsets and decision-making principles than many of us. He spoke with host Alison Beard at HBR at 100: Future of Business live virtual conference.


Brain Tech Is Getting Really Good. Here’s What Managers Need to Know

What seemed like science fiction for decades is now a reality: companies are selling wearable tech and monitoring devices that can sense people’s brain activity. Neurotechnology opens incredible opportunities for new products and safer workplaces. It also raises huge red flags for privacy and ethics. And managers and organizational leaders are on the front lines of these dilemmas, says Duke University School of Law professor Nita Farahany. She explains the commercial products based on neurotechnology, the impact on workers and organizations, and the need for regulations and corporate policies. Farahany wrote the book The Battle for Your Brain: Defending the Right to Think Freely in the Age of Neurotechnology.


Why You (and Your Company) Need to Experiment with ChatGPT Now

The online application ChatGPT and its integration into Microsoft search engines have put generative artificial intelligence technology in the hands of millions of people. Early adopters are using them in their daily jobs, and preliminary academic studies show big boosts in productivity. Managers can’t sit on the sidelines, says Ethan Mollick, an associate professor of management at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He argues that companies urgently need to experiment with ChatGPT and eventually develop policies for it. He explains the breakthrough, some promising uses, open questions, and what the technology could mean for workers, companies, and the broader economy. Mollick wrote the HBR article "ChatGPT Is a Tipping Point for AI."


IBM’s Ginni Rometty on Skill-Building and Success

For years, employers have used university degrees as a major requirement for hiring. But, for many jobs, success depends more on skills -- and the ability to adapt and learn -- than on piece-of-paper credentials. Ginni Rometty, former chairman and CEO of IBM, realized this early on -- first by watching her mother and other female relatives support their families and later by seeing what it took to rise to the top in her own career. At the helm of IBM from 2012 to 2020, she pushed the company to adopt skills-first recruitment and development practices, and now she's encouraging other organizations to do the same through her work at the non-profit OneTen. Rometty is coauthor of the HBR article “The New-Collar Workforce,” and the book Good Power: Leading Positive Change in Our Lives, Work, and World.


The Ins and Outs of the Influencer Industry

Online influencers are an increasingly important way for companies to find new customers and drive sales. Whether you're a marketer who wants to more effectively use social media or a consumer targeted by influencer content - in good ways and bad - you'll benefit from better understanding how the industry works. Emily Hund, researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, explains that it was born from not only increased connectivity but also Great Recession job cuts which forced people in creative fields to innovate. She argues that these are entrepreneurs who now have an impact on many different sectors of the economy and offers advice for both them and the brands wanting to develop better influencer marketing strategies. Hund is the author of the book The Influencer Industry: The Quest for Authenticity on Social Media.


Why Leaders Should Rethink Their Decision-Making Process

Many people believe that leaders instinctively make the best decisions based on past experience, almost like muscle memory. But Carol Kauffman, assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and the founder of the Institute of Coaching, says falling back on automatic patterns of behavior is often wrong—especially in a crisis or high-stakes choices. Instead, she explains a framework of stepping back, evaluating options, and choosing the tactics that work best in each situation. Kauffman is a coauthor, along with View Advisors founder David Noble, of the HBR article "The Power of Options" and the book Real-Time Leadership: Find Your Winning Moves When the Stakes Are High.


The Subtle Art of Disagreeing with Your Boss

Whether you're someone who enjoys ruffling feathers or the type of person who'd like to challenge the status quo but shies away, you'll benefit from understanding the best, research--backed ways to practice disagreement - even insubordination - while holding onto others' respect at work. Todd Kashdan is a psychology professor at George Mason University and the author of the book The Art of Insubordination: How to Dissent and Defy Effectively. He explains how contrarians, and those with ideas that run counter to the mainstream, can pick their battles, articulate their arguments, and gain allies along the way.