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Cold Call

177 EpisodesProduced by HBR Presents / Brian KennyWebsite

Cold Call distills Harvard Business School's legendary case studies into podcast form. Hosted by Brian Kenny, the podcast airs every two weeks and features Harvard Business School faculty discussing cases they've written and the lessons they impart.

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Delivering a Personalized Shopping Experience with AI

May 17th, 2022


THE YES, a shopping app for fashion brands, uses a sophisticated algorithm to create and deliver a personalized store for every shopper, based on her style preferences, size, and budget. After launching the app in 2020, …

Can a Social Entrepreneur End Homelessness in the U.S.?

May 3rd, 2022


Community Solutions is a nonprofit founded in 2011 by Rosanne Haggerty, with the ambitious goal of ending chronic homelessness in America. Its “Built …

What Role Do Individual Leaders Play in Corporate Governance?

April 19th, 2022


From 1997 to 2012, Scott Tucker built a nationwide network of payday lending businesses, becoming a pioneer in online lending along the way. Many of …

Transforming Deloitte’s Approach to Consulting

April 5th, 2022


Pixel, started in 2014, helps facilitate open talent and crowdsourcing for Deloitte Consulting client engagements, to access specific expertise, …

How Etsy Found Its Purpose and Crafted a Turnaround

March 22nd, 2022


Etsy, the online seller of handmade goods, was founded in 2005 as an alternative to companies that sold mass-manufactured products. The company grew …

France Telecom: Corporate Restructuring and Employee Wellbeing

March 8th, 2022


The France Telecom case series follows the evolution of the organization from a national telephone monopoly to a private company facing severe …

How to Scale a Startup Marketplace for Used Furniture

February 22nd, 2022


AptDeco, a peer-to-peer marketplace for used furniture in the New York City area, was growing rapidly in the massive $120 billion furniture market, despite its complexity and high costs. Co-founders Reham Fagiri and …

How to Make Venture Capital Accessible for Black Founders: An Entrepreneur’s Dilemma

February 15th, 2022


In May of 2021, Kevin D. Johnson had just graduated from a rigorous Executive MBA program, and he needed to decide on his next career move. Johnson …

What’s Next for Nigerian Production Studio EbonyLife Media?

February 8th, 2022


After more than 20 years in the media industry in the UK and Nigeria, EbonyLife Media CEO Mo Abudu is considering several strategic changes for her media company’s future. Will her mission to tell authentic African …

Making Diverse Leadership a Priority at Whittier College

February 1st, 2022


In 2018, Linda Oubré was selected as the president of Whittier College in Los Angeles County – the first Black woman to serve in that role. The …

How Footwear Startup Allbirds Is Decarbonizing Fashion

January 25th, 2022


In 2021, the footwear startup Allbirds was extending its product range into apparel and expanding beyond its online store to open more retail stores around the world. It was also freely sharing its know-how and material …

Can Entrepreneurs and Governments Team Up to Solve Big Problems?

January 11th, 2022


In 2017, Shield AI’s quadcopter, with no pilot and no flight plan, could clear a building and outpace human warfighters by almost five minutes. It …

How Japan’s Recruit Holdings Regained Trust after a Scandal

December 14th, 2021


Recruit Holdings, an advertising media, staffing, and business support conglomerate was founded in Japan in 1960 by Hiromasa Ezoe. The company was …

TikTok: Super App or Supernova?

November 30th, 2021


TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, was launched in 2012 around the simple idea of helping users entertain themselves on their smartphones while on the Beijing Subway. By May 2020, TikTok operated in 155 countries and, …

Can Mass General Brigham Diversify Its Community of Innovators?

November 16th, 2021


In November 2019, Mass General Brigham (MGB) was the largest recipient of National Institutes of Health funding in the world. The Innovation Office, led by Chief Innovation Officer Chris Coburn, sought to capitalize on …

Innovating in the Feminine Care Market

November 2nd, 2021


Founded in 2014, Thinx, Inc. makes absorbent underwear that can be worn during menstruation. But the feminine care market had seen virtually no innovation in half a century because of the taboo against discussing the …

Should Global Beer Company Molson Coors Enter the Cannabis Beverages Business?

October 19th, 2021


In early 2019, global beer company Molson Coors was exploring how to enter the cannabis beverages business. At the time, cannabis had not yet been …

How the Clean Network Changed the Future of Global Technology Competition

October 5th, 2021


The Chinese telecom giant Huawei and other Chinese telecom firms, like ZTE, had been poised to lead the globe in 5G technology—until the U.S. State …

Why JPMorgan Chase Is Committed to Improving Racial Equity in Banking

September 21st, 2021


In 2020, JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced a $30 billion “Commitment to Advance Racial Equity.” This included investments in housing, small businesses, and financial literacy across the U.S., as well as in diversity, …

How to Lead through a Merger: US Airways and American Airlines

September 7th, 2021


In February 2013, US Airways announced that it would merge with American Airlines to create the world’s largest airline. During the acquisition …

Why Did Pet Concierge Startup Baroo Fail?

August 24th, 2021


In August 2017, Baroo Pet Care founder and CEO Lindsay Hyde wanted to continue expanding her pet services startup to new cities. In addition to …

The Science of Sales Conversations with Gong’s Amit Bendov

August 10th, 2021


Gong’s business proposition is simple: provide software that automatically captures, understands, and analyzes written and spoken sales conversations …

Mixing Sports and Money: Adidas and the Commercialization of the Olympics

July 27th, 2021


Horst Dassler, the son of the founder of Adidas, cultivated relationships with athletes and national associations – with the aim of expanding his …

Strategies for Underdogs: How Alibaba’s Taobao Beat eBay in China

July 13th, 2021


In 2007, Alibaba’s Taobao became China’s leading consumer e-commerce marketplace, displacing the once dominant eBay. How did underdog Taobao do it? And will it be able to find a way to monetize its marketplace and …

Procter & Gamble’s Lean Innovation Transformation

June 29th, 2021


When Kathy Fish became Procter & Gamble’s Chief Research, Development & Innovation Officer in 2014, she was concerned that the world’s leading consumer packaged goods company had lost its capability to produce a …

IKEA Navigates the Future While Staying True to Its Culture

June 15th, 2021


After years of success in providing quality furniture at affordable prices, Swedish furniture maker IKEA is challenged by the rise of online shopping and changing consumer behavior, plus the arrival of a new leader. The …

Running a Consumer Fintech Startup within Goldman Sachs

June 1st, 2021


Marcus by Goldman Sachs marked a dramatic shift for the 150-year-old financial institution, which historically had served only businesses and the …

How Georgia State University Increased Graduation Rates

May 18th, 2021


Georgia State University was facing a growing “summer melt” problem, where nearly 20 percent of incoming students never actually enrolled. The …

Reversing Brain Drain: Moving Talent to Middle America

May 4th, 2021


After decades of brain drain in rural America, Tulsa Remote is working to attract a diverse group of remote workers to live in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The …

What Went Wrong with the Boeing 737 Max?

April 20th, 2021


How did the evolution of Boeing’s organization and management lead to two tragic plane crashes within six months, in which a total of 346 people died?

Disrupting the Waste Management Industry with Technology

April 6th, 2021


Rubicon began with a bold idea: create a cloud-based, full-service waste management platform providing efficient service anywhere in the U.S. Their …

Managing Future Growth at an Innovative Workforce Education Start-up

March 23rd, 2021


Guild Education is an education marketplace that connects employers and universities to provide employees with “education as a benefit.” The Denver-based company is transforming traditional tuition-assistance programs …

A Family Business at a Crossroads: Scaling and Succession

March 9th, 2021


In 2000, Rohit Gera turned his family’s boutique real estate development firm in Pune, India, into a dynamic innovator in housing solutions for urban …

Can Historic Social Injustices be Addressed Through Reparations?

March 2nd, 2021


Survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre and their descendants believe historic social injustices should be addressed through reparations.

Harvard …

Examining Race and Mass Incarceration in the United States

February 23rd, 2021


The late 20th century saw dramatic growth in incarceration rates in the United States. Of the more than 2.3 million people in U.S. prisons, jails, and detention centers in 2020, 60 percent were Black or Latinx.

Harvard …

Fostering Authenticity and Employee Engagement at John Deere

February 16th, 2021


As the first Black female factory manager to lead a John Deere plant, Rosalind Fox must figure out how to build relationships with her staff, who are …

Developing Resilience on the Path to Becoming a CEO

February 9th, 2021


As a Black female CEO, Shellye Archambeau is no stranger to adversity. Becoming a leader was her goal since high school, and she achieved it through …

Using Empathy and Curiosity to Overcome Differences

February 2nd, 2021


Bill Riddick, an African-American community leader and counselor, must find a way to bridge the divide between Black and white community leaders, who …

Engaging Community to Create Proactive, Equitable Public Safety

January 19th, 2021


Melvin Carter, the mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota, swept into office in 2018, promising to improve equity. In his campaign, he had spoken from …

Using Behavioral Science to Improve Well-Being for Social Workers

January 5th, 2021


For family social workers, coping with the hardships of children and parents is part of the job. But that can cause a lot of stress. Is it possible for financially constrained organizations to improve social workers’ …

Dove: Maintaining a Brand with Purpose

December 22nd, 2020


Unilever’s Dove soap became a brand with purpose when it launched the “Campaign for Real Beauty” to combat media-driven stereotypes of female beauty. But now Dove is facing criticism about its other brands that …

Uber’s Strategy for Global Success

December 8th, 2020


As Uber entered unique regional markets around the world – from New York to Shanghai, it has adapted its business model to comply with regulations …

Evaluating Innovative Health Care Solutions for Obesity

November 24th, 2020


From Weight Watchers to bariatric surgery, innovations for combatting obesity abound. But which will do the most good for society and yield the best …

The Challenges of Commercializing Fertility

November 10th, 2020


Entrepreneur Christy Jones is trying to create a new venture to help women preserve their eggs and postpone motherhood. But what would an …

Growing a Manufacturing Company with a Social Mission

October 27th, 2020


Nehemiah Manufacturing, a Cincinnati, Ohio-based company that builds fast-moving consumer goods, turned a social mission to hire convicted felons into a competitive advantage, providing the company with decreased …

Can Entrepreneurs Make Mobile Voting Easy and Secure?

October 13th, 2020


Making voting more accessible through technology could allow more people to take part in elections. But it also poses critical downsides, if the …

Employee Performance vs. Company Values: A Manager’s Dilemma

September 29th, 2020


As we celebrate the five-year anniversary of Cold Call, we welcome a special guest, Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria to discuss the classic …

Is Happiness at Work Really Attainable?

September 15th, 2020


Simón Cohen, founder of Henco Logistics, transformed a small Mexican logistics company into a major player within the industry. Cohen credits the firm’s focus on employee happiness as the key ingredient to its success — …

How to Launch a New Biosciences Product: Start Small or Dive in?

September 1st, 2020


C16 Biosciences wants to replace palm oil, a major contributor to deforestation and climate change, with a lab-grown substitute. But CEO Shara Ticku …

Testing New Contact Tracing Approaches in a Pandemic

August 18th, 2020


Singapore officials added a nationwide, Bluetooth-based contact tracing program called TraceTogether to their suite of Covid-19-fighting strategies, which already included human-led tracing. The new digital program’s …

Glossier Built a Cult Brand and a Digital Community, but What’s Next?

August 4th, 2020


The digital-first, direct-to-consumer beauty brand Glossier considers marketing strategies that move away from organic community support and toward influencer marketing and paid media. But what does that mean for its …

Starbucks Commits to Raising Awareness of Racial Bias

July 21st, 2020


After a highly publicized act of racial discrimination by a Starbucks employee against two African American men in one of its stores in 2018, the company closed its 8,000 U.S. coffee shops for a day of unconscious bias …

SmileDirectClub Looks Beyond Direct-to-Consumer Marketing

July 7th, 2020


Harvard Business School professor Len Schlesinger and RSE Ventures Co-founder Matt Higgins discuss why direct-to-consumer channel businesses, like …

Is It Time for Big Apple Circus to Fold the Tent?

June 23rd, 2020


By 2016, the Big Apple Circus had weathered many storms in its 38 seasons as one of the most well-known New York City nonprofits. But with ticket sales and charitable giving in steep decline, the future for this beloved …

In a Pandemic, What’s the Best Strategy for the Global Vaccine Alliance?

June 9th, 2020


How should the vaccine alliance, Gavi, respond to the worldwide need for a vaccine for the Covid-19 pandemic? Harvard Business School professor Tarun …

Can the “Cummings Way” Live on After the Founder Retires?

May 26th, 2020


After 50 years at the helm of Cummings Properties, billionaire and philanthropist Bill Cummings is winding down his roles at both the family business …

Autonomous Vehicles are Ready to Disrupt Society, Business, and You

May 12th, 2020


The rise of autonomous vehicles has enormous implications for business and society. Harvard Business School professors Bill Kerr and Elie Ofek

Is the Healthiest Building in the World Worth the Rent?

April 28th, 2020


Healthy buildings and superior air quality are increasingly important as people spend 90% of their lives indoors. Harvard professors John Macomber

Fortnite Was a Blockbuster for Epic Games, What’s the Encore?

April 14th, 2020


In the ever-changing video games industry, Epic Games, the maker of the incredibly popular Fortnite multi-player game, considers whether it could …

Bringing the Case Method Online

April 7th, 2020


In this special episode of Cold Call, Brian Kenny speaks with Harvard Business School professor Srikant Datar about how Harvard Business School …

Controlling the Emotion of Negotiation

March 31st, 2020


Two siblings, Thomas and Sally Campbell, are faced with selling their childhood home. They need to make several difficult decisions, all the while …

Do Universities Need 2U to Create Digital Education?

March 3rd, 2020


2U, an online program management provider, believed it was the strongest partner to enable the digital transformation of universities by allowing them to offer a variety of courses to a new student profile. Harvard …

Global Ocean Trust: Protecting the Blue Planet in New Ways

February 18th, 2020


Following a successful career in finance, Torsten Thiele has devoted himself full-time to the challenging cause of ocean conservation and …

Why Backstage Capital Invests in “Underestimated” Entrepreneurs

February 4th, 2020


Harvard Business School professor Laura Huang, whose new book “Edge” explores methods for turning adversity into professional advantage, is joined by …

China-based Fuyao Glass Considers Manufacturing in the U.S.

January 21st, 2020


Not many Chinese companies open manufacturing facilities in the U.S., but automotive glass maker Fuyao is considering just that. Harvard Business …

Can Capitalism Be Fixed by Making Companies More Just?

January 7th, 2020


Harvard Business School professors Ethan Rouen and Charlie Wang explore whether capitalism is broken and if JUST Capital’s performance evaluation …

Under Pressure, OXXO Rethinks the Convenience Store

December 17th, 2019


Mexican convenience store chain OXXO dominated its market — until its chief rival doubled in size almost overnight. Harvard Business School professor

Why CalSTRS Chooses to Engage with the Gun Industry

December 3rd, 2019


Should large institutional investors divest or engage if they have an issue with a company? Harvard Business School professor Vikram Gandhi discusses …

Lessons from IBM in Nazi Germany

November 19th, 2019


Harvard Business School professor Geoff Jones discusses his case, “Thomas J. Watson, IBM and Nazi Germany,” which explores the options and …

Can the Robin Hood Army Grow with Zero Financial Resources?

November 5th, 2019


In 2014, Neel Ghose (MBA 2019) created The Robin Hood Army, an organization entirely based on volunteer work that used food redistribution as a …

Goldman Sachs’ $500 Million Bet on Small Businesses

October 15th, 2019


Launched in the midst of the financial crisis in 2009, Goldman Sachs’ “10,000 Small Businesses” program provided free business education, a network …

How a New Leader Broke Through a Culture of Accuse, Blame, and Criticize

September 17th, 2019


Children’s Hospital & Clinics COO Julie Morath sets out to change the culture there by instituting “Blameless Reporting,” a policy which mandates …

At, Innovation Means Constant Failure

September 3rd, 2019


Harvard Business School professor Stefan Thomke discusses how past experience and intuition can be misleading when attempting to launch an innovative …

Should a Pension Fund Try to Change the World?

August 20th, 2019


Harvard Business School professors Rebecca Henderson and George Serafeim discuss the efforts of Hiro Mizuno, CIO of GPIF, the Japanese Government …

Super Bowl Ads Sell Products, but Do They Sell Brands?

August 6th, 2019


Much of the advertising purchased during the Super Bowl is about selling corporate brands rather than products. Harvard Business School professor

JUUL: Leading the Vaping Revolution

July 16th, 2019


In his case, “JUUL and the Vaping Revolution” (co-authors: John Masko and Sarah Mehta), Harvard Business School professor Mike Toffel discusses the …

The Controversial History of United Fruit

July 2nd, 2019


Harvard Business School professor Geoffrey Jones, an expert in business history, discusses the overthrow of President Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala in …

In the Platform Economy, Upwork Searches for Better Matches in the Cloud

June 25th, 2019


Stephane Kasriel, the CEO of Upwork, the leading platform for freelance labor, considers different pricing solutions and ways to improve the matching …

Can Khan Academy Scale to Educate Anyone, Anywhere?

June 18th, 2019


Khan Academy is an online global education nonprofit launched in 2006 by Sal Khan with the mission to “provide a free world-class education for anyone, anywhere.” After a dozen years, expansion into 40 class subjects, …

Israel Turns 70: Does It Need a Rebrand?

June 4th, 2019


Israel celebrated its 70th anniversary in May of 2018, but its brand image internationally was less than ideal. Market research revealed that many people associated Israel only with military conflict. Harvard Business …

If the Key to Business Success Is Focus, Why Does Amazon Work?

May 21st, 2019


Harvard Business School professor Sunil Gupta explores the infiltration of Amazon into dozens of industries including web services, grocery, online …

Managers: Are You Prepared to Handle Religion in the Workplace?

May 7th, 2019


Challenges related to managing religion in the workplace are on the rise, as are religious discrimination claims and monetary settlements, in the …

Would You Live in a Smart City Where Government Controls Privacy?

April 16th, 2019


Toronto is experimenting with smart city concepts envisioned by Google spin-off Sidewalk Labs. Harvard Business School professors Leslie John and

Can Mark Zuckerberg Rebuild Trust in Facebook?

April 3rd, 2019


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced a “crucible moment,” a point in his life that would test him and potentially shape him as a leader, in March 2018 …

Will Startup Fishbowl Become the Social Media App for Your Industry?

March 22nd, 2019


Fishbowl’s founders have built a social media platform allowing professionals to connect anonymously and with candor within their companies and …

How Helena Rubinstein Used Tall Tales to Turn Cosmetics into a Luxury Brand

March 12th, 2019


Harvard Business School professor Geoff Jones discusses his case entitled “Helena Rubinstein, Making Up the Modern Woman,” which examines the career …

Pursuing Precision Medicine at Intermountain Healthcare

February 26th, 2019


What happens when Intermountain Healthcare invests resources in an innovative precision medicine unit to provide life-extending, genetically targeted …

The Delicious History of Hershey Chocolate

February 13th, 2019


Have you ever wondered how Hershey chocolate came to be so popular? Harvard Business School professor Nancy Koehn discusses her case entitled “Candy …

How Wegmans Became a Leader in Improving Food Safety

January 29th, 2019


Harvard Business School professor Ray Goldberg discusses his case study, “Wegmans and Listeria: Developing a Proactive Food Safety System for …

Can Miguel McKelvey Build the “Culture Operating System” at WeWork?

January 9th, 2019


How deeply does the culture of a startup matter? Can it be shaped? Harvard Business School professor Jeffrey Rayport discusses his case “WeWork” …

Using Fintech to Disrupt Eastern Bank from Within

December 18th, 2018


Was Eastern Labs a huge success or an expensive mistake? Eastern Bank CEO Bob Rivers innovates from within by partnering with fintech entrepreneur Dan O’Malley to launch a completely automated small business lending …

Honda Created a Civic for Very Light Jets: How High Will it Fly?

December 5th, 2018


After thirty years of research and development, the HondaJet is now the top selling jet in the very light jet segment of the market. Harvard Business …

Building a Nonprofit Marketplace System to Feed America

November 19th, 2018


Feeding America is the third largest nonprofit in America, managing a network of more than 200 food banks nationwide. Harvard Business School …

Could Big Data Replace the Creative Director at the Gap?

November 7th, 2018


Is it time to throw out the creative director and rely on big data to predict what consumers want to wear next? Harvard Business School professor

Vodafone’s Innovative Approach to Advanced Technologies

October 24th, 2018


Harvard Business School professor Bill Kerr discusses how Vodafone, one of the largest companies in the telecommunications space, incorporated …

Baseball’s Billy Beane Shows Companies the Power of Data

October 10th, 2018


Oakland Athletics General Manager Billy Beane brought a data driven and unconventional approach to winning baseball games. By setting strategy and …

Did Entrepreneur Ernesto Tornquist Help or Hurt Argentina?

September 19th, 2018


Harvard Business School professor Geoffrey Jones examines the career of Ernesto Tornquist, a cosmopolitan financier considered to be the most …

Should U.S. Companies Still Care About the Paris Climate Change Agreement?

September 5th, 2018


American President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change just over a year ago. What does that mean for the role of …

Two Million Fake Accounts: Sales Misconduct at Wells Fargo

August 17th, 2018


Coming out of the financial crisis, Wells Fargo was one of the world’s largest and most successful banks, viewed as a role model in how to manage in …

The Transformation of Microsoft

July 10th, 2018


In early 2015, Amy Hood, CFO of Microsoft, and the rest of the senior leadership team faced a set of fundamental choices. The firm had opportunities …

LA Philharmonic Shows the American Symphony Orchestra Isn’t Dead Yet

June 27th, 2018


The Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra faced real challenges, as all U.S. orchestras did: an aging subscriber base, disinterest from younger audiences, and development of a pipeline of donors for the future. Harvard …

How Chase Sapphire Made Credit Cool for Millennials

June 13th, 2018


The Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card was one of the hottest product launches in 2016 enthusiastically received by millennial consumers, a group that had previously eluded JPMorgan Chase and its competitors. Harvard …

Careem: Riding the First Unicorn in the Middle East

May 29th, 2018


Ride-hailing service Careem, the “Uber of the Middle East,” experienced expansion so dramatic that it monitored its growth target every 15 minutes. Was this a fabled startup unicorn? But doubling the size of the company …

Candy Crush was a Blockbuster; Can King Digital Capitalize?

May 9th, 2018


Riccardo Zacconi was the co-founder and CEO of King Digital Entertainment, the video game company that had quickly established itself as the world’s leading maker of casual games for mobile devices after the sensational …

Why JPMorgan Chase is Investing Millions in Detroit

April 25th, 2018


JPMorgan Chase is working with local economic- and workforce-development organizations, small businesses, philanthropies, and the mayor. The goal? To put in place a series of investments to help turn around the …

How a Coal Polluter Became a Renewable Energy Leader

April 3rd, 2018


Enel, Italy’s state-owned power company, was one of Europe’s largest coal users and polluters. Now it is recognized as a leader in renewable energy …

Trump’s Populism: What Business Leaders Need to Understand

March 21st, 2018


In the 2016 United States presidential election, candidates from both major political parties used anti-establishment messaging to appeal to …

Could a New Business Model Make Clinical Drug Trials More Accessible to Patients?

March 5th, 2018


Dr. Brian Alexander at the Dana-Farber Cancer Center in Boston was in the process of launching a new type of clinical trial: an adaptive platform …

Black Business Leaders Series: John Rogers and the Importance of Hiring Minority-Owned Services Firms

February 13th, 2018


The African American CEO of a money management firm publicly criticizes the Fortune 500 for paying lip service to diversity. His board urges him to …

Black Business Leaders Series: Oprah’s Path to Authentic Leadership

January 31st, 2018


Oprah Winfrey believes in sharing the experiences that led her to become the wealthiest woman in the entertainment industry and the first African …

One Love: Managing a Movement Against Relationship Violence

January 23rd, 2018


The One Love Foundation is a group dedicated to the prevention of relationship violence through education. Harvard Business School professor Tom …

Leadership Lessons from the Young Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 11th, 2018


As the Montgomery Bus Boycott starts, the young Martin Luther King, Jr. faces challenges to his leadership goals, strategic vision, and personal and …

How to Monetize Happiness

January 3rd, 2018


Inspired by research linking happiness and productivity, the Japanese multinational conglomerate Hitachi Ltd, invested in developing “people …

Does Time Pressure Hinder or Facilitate Creativity at Work?

December 4th, 2017


Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amabile discusses her case, “Creativity Under the Gun at Litmus Corporation” — how managers can create the …

Language and Globalization: The Mandate to Speak English at Rakuten

November 15th, 2017


Japan’s largest online retailer Rakuten is rapidly expanding into global markets. In order to ensure the success of the organization, but also to …

Could a Hackathon Help Solve the Heroin Crisis?

October 31st, 2017


What’s the value of crowdsourcing technological solutions to societal problems? Could a hackathon help solve the heroin crisis in Cincinnati, Ohio? …

Telemundo: The Fastest Growing TV Network in the United States

October 11th, 2017


With about 54 million Hispanics in the U.S. who have an estimated buying power of 2.3 trillion dollars, it’s no wonder Telemundo is the fastest …

How to Promote Home Delivery of Prescription Drugs? Give Employees a “Nudge”

October 3rd, 2017


Bob Nease, chief scientist at Express Scripts, wants to promote home delivery of prescription drugs by mail — a process proven to lower error rates, increase cost savings, and improve medication adherence. But, if …

State Street’s SHE: Investing in Women Leaders

September 19th, 2017


Financial returns are important, but for many companies, using capital to influence positive outcomes is just as important. Enter impact investing and the example of State Street’s SHE, a gender diversity index ETF …

Faber-Castell Doubles Down on the Pencil

September 5th, 2017


Faber-Castell is a 255-year-old company that makes pencils. How does an established company like this think about innovation, particularly if and …

Does Le Pliage Help or Hurt the Longchamp Luxury Brand?

August 22nd, 2017


Longchamp’s Le Pliage is one of the fashion world’s most successful products, a cultural icon across the globe. But managing the low priced, nylon …

Pal’s Sudden Service: Taking Fast Food to the Next Level

August 8th, 2017


Pal’s Sudden Service has developed a unique operating model and organizational culture in the fast food restaurant business. With an emphasis on …

From Don Draper to Big Data: The Revolution in Advertising

July 21st, 2017


Advertising in the digital age bears little resemblance to the “Mad Men” depiction — the Don Drapers of advertising have been replaced by big data …

ShotSpotter: A Gunfire Detection Business Looks for a New Market

June 19th, 2017


ShotSpotter provides gunfire detection sensors to cities across the United States. CEO Ralph Clark is interested in taking the company beyond the …

Building India’s First $100 Billion Company

May 30th, 2017


It’s a common challenge for almost every startup: how much and how fast to grow. But Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of the Indian mobile payments and commerce platform Paytm, knows that he wants to take his company to …

Reversing the Losing Streak on Sesame Street

May 16th, 2017


When CEO Jeffrey Dunn took over Sesame Street in 2014 and made a licensing arrangement with HBO, many people were skeptical this would take the …

Leading Your Team to the Top of Mt. Everest

May 2nd, 2017


What does it take to successfully lead a team to the top of the highest peak in the world? First-year students find out as they participate together …

Making Health Insurance Consumers Actually Like

April 18th, 2017


Health insurance that consumers like? Doesn’t sound possible, but South African company Vitality is doing just that. By focusing on consumer-driven health insurance ideas like paying customers to take care of …

Why German Businesses Support, Train, and Hire Syrian Refugees

April 4th, 2017


Germany took in a million Syrian refugees in 2015, buoyed by the knowledge that these people could contribute strongly to the country’s economy. But …

Cost-cutting Leads to Turbulence in the Airline Industry

March 21st, 2017


Is it possible to retain brand value after cutting costs and services dramatically just to stay alive? The airline industry has struggled with this question for decades in the face of economic downturns, changes in …

IDEO Is Changing the Way Managers Think About Thinking

March 3rd, 2017


IDEO’s human-centered design thinking is a systematic process used to help create new products and services. And, the best part? They are open about …

Black Business Leaders Series: Franklin Leonard, “Black List” Mastermind

February 22nd, 2017


Using crowdsourcing to develop an annual list of Hollywood’s hottest unproduced screenplays, Harvard graduate Franklin Leonard took the negative term …

Black Business Leaders Series: A Remarkable Legacy of Firsts, Maggie Lena Walker

February 15th, 2017


Growing up in the heart of the Confederacy, Maggie Lena Walker started work as a laundress at age nine. At the urging of her mother and mentors, she turned to education, and used it to propel her life forward — …

Black Business Leaders Series: Putting Diversity to Work

January 26th, 2017


In theory, most companies would love to diversify their workforce. In practice, hiring specifically to increase diversity can cause a variety of …

Black Business Leaders Series: The Entrepreneurship Behind Ebony Magazine

January 26th, 2017


For more than seven decades, Ebony Magazine has chronicled the most important African-American issues, personalities, and interests of its time, including operating essentially as the journal of record for the Civil …

Can Wynton Marsalis and Lincoln Center Save Jazz Music?

January 18th, 2017


Research says that people imprint on music in their dating years, and carry those tastes with them through the rest of their lives. Lately, this has spelled trouble for jazz music, which is failing to attract new and …

The American Food Paradox: Growing Obese and Going Hungry

January 3rd, 2017


One third of the U.S. population is obese, even as 50 million Americans often struggle to find enough to eat. And all that in a country where 40% of …

Target’s Expensive Cybersecurity Mistake

December 20th, 2016


There is a joke in the cybersecurity community that there are two kinds of companies: those that know they’ve been hacked, and those that haven’t found out yet. The Target Corporation learned this the hard way during …

How Wayfair Built a Furniture Brand from Scratch

December 7th, 2016


Wayfair has been around since the early days of ecommerce. But where it now exists as a single, popular brand, it was once an unaffiliated collection …

Digital Change: Lessons from the Newspaper Industry

November 18th, 2016


On the internet, content may be king, but connecting users is the key to building an empire. The Norwegian media giant Schibsted learned this lesson the hard way, and then used it to thrive in an online news market …

Building Affordable Health Care in Paradise

November 14th, 2016


By some accounts, only 5-6% of people around the world get the cardiac treatment they need to survive. The rest perish. This statistic highlights the stark need for affordable, quality health care that can be delivered …

Managing in the Real World: How to Make Gray-Area Decisions

November 3rd, 2016


An unfortunate but necessary part of a manager’s job is having to let underperforming employees go. Knowing when and how to take that step with the company’s, the employee’s, and your own best interests in mind is a …

The Crash and the Fix of

November 1st, 2016


The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare for short, had three goals: make health insurance available, required, and affordable for everyone. There was just one problem — the launch of the website was a …

Oktoberfest: Making Money Off of Tradition

October 4th, 2016


Oktoberfest began as a raucous wedding celebration in Germany more than 200 years ago and has since grown into a worldwide phenomenon. Munich, alone, hosts some 6.4 million guests (who consume almost 8 million liters of …

Innovation Under Constraint: Constructing a Turnaround at Lego

October 4th, 2016


Lego has been helping children piece together dreams and build their imaginations for decades, and has become one of the world’s most popular toys …

Netflix Wins Big by Betting on “House of Cards”

October 4th, 2016


Before “House of Cards” was an internationally-renowned and critically acclaimed hit series, it was a total shot in the dark. Luckily for the small film studio behind it, Netflix saw it as a shot worth taking. Harvard …

Behind Apple’s Tax Situation, an Unprecedented Financial Policy

October 4th, 2016


Most people know Apple as one of the richest and most successful companies in the world, but it wasn’t always that way. In 1997, the company suffered …

What Building a “Jeopardy!” Robot Taught IBM About Innovation

October 4th, 2016


It’s a good bet that winning a game show isn’t often on the list of top priorities at large companies. So how was it that building a robot to do just …

Why College Rankings Keep Deans Awake at Night

October 4th, 2016


College represents one of the biggest decisions and investments many consumers will ever make. But can they really trust the rankings available to …

How Modest Investors Can Still Bet Big

October 4th, 2016


A novel idea: give loyal customers a chance to buy shares in a company they love. That’s the premise behind LOYAL3, which uses the democratizing …

How to Fix a Broken Global Team

October 4th, 2016


Increasingly, almost every team is a global team in some capacity. This presents a difficult challenge for managers everywhere, and especially for …

Who Makes the Eyes for Driverless Cars?

October 4th, 2016


Though Google has become the U.S. face of the driverless car movement, other global companies have been developing similar technology for more than a …

Hold Onto Your Complexity: Bringing Multiple Identities to Work

October 4th, 2016


Carla Ann Harris has blazed trails and excelled at institutions like Harvard and Morgan Stanley. But doing so has required her to strike a careful …

A Better World Through Brewing

October 4th, 2016


Since brewing is a marketing-driven business, finding ways to differentiate a beverage from its competition is crucial. Heineken’s chief marketing officer took a novel approach: take the complicated processes of …

Who Owns Space?

October 4th, 2016


Entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are tapping into their vast personal wealth to make commercial space travel a reality. In the process, they’re revitalizing a listless national space program. Harvard Business …

The Real Cost of Ignoring Mental Health in the Workplace

October 4th, 2016


The statistics are startling: about one-third of American workers suffer from chronic work stress; $27 billion worth of work days are lost to mental …

Walmart: Changing the World for Better or Worse?

October 4th, 2016


Can big companies fix big problems? Are they responsible for doing so? As the third-largest employer in the world, any move Walmart makes reverberates around the globe. Yet despite its many successes and innovations, …

The Key to Keeping Resolutions? Betting Against Yourself

September 19th, 2016


It’s been a few months since many of us made New Year’s resolutions. Have you stuck with yours? Harvard Business School professor Leslie John studies …

A Map of Economic Renewal Begins in Maine

September 19th, 2016


Maine has had one of the worst state economies in the country the last few years. But something special is happening there of late that could change …

The Team Sport of Scaling a Business

September 19th, 2016


For entrepreneurs, size and scale don’t have to come at the cost of agility. Fabricio Bloisi, a 21-year-old Brazilian college graduate, proved that …

For the Hotel Business, it’s TripAdvisor or Bust

September 19th, 2016


Research says that 85% of people will make a purchase after reading online reviews about a product or service. This has had huge implications for the hotel industry and helps explain why TripAdvisor, a massive …

The Amazing Life of One of America’s Earliest Black Female Entrepreneurs

September 19th, 2016


Though not everyone may know her name, Madam C.J. Walker helped invent what have become staples of our modern country and economy: national sales forces, corporate social responsibility, and, yes, even basic haircare. …

The Space Shuttle Columbia’s Final Mission

September 19th, 2016


No organization wants to fail. But even for the best and the brightest, failure is inevitable, and occasionally that failure can be catastrophic. …

The Power of Presence at the Podium

September 19th, 2016


Running for office requires a lot of public speaking. But often, it’s what candidates aren’t saying that can make or break their campaigns. Take the case of Dan Silver, an experienced congressional candidate who leaves …

A Microchip in Your Medicine

September 19th, 2016


Digitally-enabled prescription medication may sound futuristic. Thanks to Proteus, the future is now. The company has developed the technology to …

Designing a Great Community

September 19th, 2016


How do you manage a community, grow it, and sustain it? Threadless has done it since 2007 by crowdsourcing its T-shirt designs and selling the best …

Planning Change: Lessons from the World of Retail

September 19th, 2016


Ron Johnson’s career path has featured stops at some of the world’s largest and most innovative retailers, including Target, Apple, and J.C. Penney. At each stop, Johnson learned invaluable lessons, like how to build on …

Leadership from Below

September 19th, 2016


Harvard Business School professor Rohit Deshpande discusses lessons for leaders from the heroic and selfless acts of the Taj Palace staff during the …

A Hard Sell: Bringing Cultured Beef to Market

September 19th, 2016


In the hundred-plus years since journalist Upton Sinclair shined a light on the deplorable conditions in the U.S. meat packing industry in his groundbreaking exposé, The Jungle, per capita meat consumption for Americans …

The Long Run: The Impact of Brain Injuries on the NFL

September 19th, 2016


Today’s NFL is fast-paced and hard-hitting. Though players are well-compensated, many wonder about the long-term cost of those violent collisions on …

Bringing “Moneyball” to the NBA

September 19th, 2016


Are people better off as a result of your presence? Harvard Business School professor Frances Frei discusses her case “Discovering Hidden Gems: The …

Making the Case for a New Kind of Classroom

September 19th, 2016


There are no grade levels, no official start times, and teachers get stock options. Is AltSchool the school of the future? Harvard Business School …

Dangerous Mines: Saving Lives Through Leadership

September 16th, 2016


Cynthia Carroll’s breathtaking story about taking decisive action in the face of a complex and dangerous situation. Harvard Business School professor

Cold Calling Stella McCartney

September 16th, 2016


With her unique leadership style and innovative approach to green fashion, Stella McCartney shows that a luxury brand can be sustainable. Harvard …

Cold Call Introduction

September 16th, 2016


Host Brian Kenny introduces Cold Call, the official podcast of the Harvard Business School. Cold Call distills the Business School’s legendary case …

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