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Cold Call

Cold Call

By HBR Presents / Brian Kenny

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.


Can Remote Surgeries Digitally Transform Operating Rooms?

Launched in 2016, Proximie was a platform that enabled clinicians, proctors, and medical device company personnel to be virtually present in operating rooms, where they would use mixed reality and digital audio and visual tools to communicate with, mentor, assist, and observe those performing medical procedures. The goal was to improve patient outcomes. The company had grown quickly, and was now entering strategic partnerships to broaden its reach. Founder and CEO Nadine Hachach-Haram aspired for Proximie to become a platform that powered every operating room in the world, but she had to carefully consider the company’s partnership and data strategies in order to scale. What approach would position the company best for the next stage of growth?
12/09/23·19m 6s

As Social Networks Get More Competitive, Which Ones Will Survive?

In early 2023, the entertainment app TikTok reached close to one billion users globally, placing it fourth behind the leading social networks: Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Can all four of these networks continue to attract audiences and creators -- or will growing social media competition eliminate one or more of these big players?
29/08/23·32m 44s

Ryan Serhant: How to Manage Your Time for Happiness

In 2020, just a few months after the US began to shut down in order to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus, Serhant had time to reflect on his career as a real estate broker in New York City. He considered whether he should stay at his current real estate brokerage or launch his own brokerage during a pandemic. Each option had very different implications for his time and flexibility.
15/08/23·28m 13s

Can Business Transform Primary Health Care Across Africa?

mPharma, headquartered in Ghana, is trying to create the largest pan-African health care company. Their mission is to provide primary care and a reliable and fairly priced supply of drugs in the nine African countries where they operate. Co-founder and CEO Greg Rockson needs to decide which component of strategy to prioritize in the next three years. His options include launching a telemedicine program, expanding his pharmacies across the continent, and creating a new payment program to cover the cost of common medications. Rockson cares deeply about health equity, but his venture capital-financed company also must be profitable. Which option should he focus on expanding?
01/08/23·31m 57s

Diversity and Inclusion at Mars Petcare: Translating Awareness into Action

In 2020, the Mars Petcare leadership team found themselves facing critically important inclusion and diversity issues. Unprecedented protests for racial justice in the U.S. and across the globe generated demand for substantive change, and Mars Petcare's 100,000 employees across six continents were ready for visible signs of progress. How should Mars’ leadership build on their existing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and effectively capitalize on the new energy for change?
18/07/23·34m 18s

How Unilever Is Preparing for the Future of Work

Launched in 2016, Unilever’s Future of Work initiative aimed to accelerate the speed of change throughout the organization and prepare its workforce for a digitalized and highly automated era. But despite its success over the last three years, the program still faces significant challenges in its implementation. How should Unilever, one of the world's largest consumer goods companies, best prepare and upscale its workforce for the future? And is it even possible to lead a systematic, agile workforce transformation across several geographies while accounting for local context?
04/07/23·29m 23s

Elon Musk’s Twitter Takeover: Lessons in Strategic Change

In late October 2022, Elon Musk officially took Twitter private and became the company’s majority shareholder. He needed to take decisive steps to succeed against the major opposition to his leadership from both inside and outside the company. What short-term actions should Musk take to stabilize the situation, and how should he approach long-term strategy to turn around Twitter?
20/06/23·31m 19s

The Opioid Crisis, CEO Pay, and Shareholder Activism

In 2020, AmerisourceBergen Corporation agreed to settle thousands of lawsuits filed nationwide against the company for its opioid distribution practices, which critics alleged had contributed to the opioid crisis. AmerisourceBergen’s legal and financial troubles were accompanied by shareholder demands aimed at holding the company’s leadership accountable for their role in the addiction crisis. Should the board reduce the executives’ pay, or would that ignore the larger issue of a business’s responsibility to society?
06/06/23·23m 23s

The Entrepreneurial Journey of China’s First Private Mental Health Hospital

The city of Wenzhou in southeastern China is home to the country’s largest privately owned mental health hospital group, the Wenzhou Kangning Hospital Co, Ltd. It’s an example of the extraordinary entrepreneurship happening in China’s healthcare space. But after its successful initial public offering (IPO), how will the hospital grow in the future?
23/05/23·26m 25s

Can Robin Williams’ Son Help Other Families Heal Addiction and Depression?

Zak Pym Williams, son of comedian and actor Robin Williams, had seen how mental health challenges, such as addiction and depression, had affected past generations of his family. He began considering proactive strategies that could help his family’s mental health, and he wanted to share that knowledge with other families. But how can Pym Williams help people actually embrace those mental health strategies and services?
09/05/23·21m 28s

Sweden’s Northvolt Electric Battery Maker: A Startup with a Mission

In Stockholm, Sweden an upstart battery maker, Northvolt, is trying to recreate the value chain for European car manufacturers making the switch to EVs. With two founders from Tesla and two experienced financiers at the helm, the company seems bound for success. But can they partner with government, scale fast enough, and truly be part of the climate solution?
28/04/23·30m 44s

Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi: Transforming Lives with Access to Credit

James Mwangi, CEO of Equity Bank, has transformed lives and livelihoods throughout East and Central Africa by giving impoverished people access to banking accounts and micro loans. He’s been so successful that in 2020 Forbes coined the term “the Mwangi Model.” But can we really have both purpose and profit in a firm?
27/04/23·22m 50s

How Martine Rothblatt Started a Company to Save Her Daughter

When serial entrepreneur Martine Rothblatt (founder of Sirius XM) received her seven-year-old daughter’s diagnosis of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH), she created United Therapeutics and developed a drug to save her life. When her daughter later needed a lung transplant, Rothblatt decided to take what she saw as the logical next step: manufacturing organs for transplantation. Rothblatt’s entrepreneurial career exemplifies a larger debate around the role of the firm in creating solutions for society’s problems. If companies are uniquely good at innovating, what voice should society have in governing the new technologies that firms create?
26/04/23·20m 38s

Using Design Thinking to Invent a Low-Cost Prosthesis for Land Mine Victims

Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS) is an Indian nonprofit famous for creating low-cost prosthetics, like the Jaipur Foot and the Stanford-Jaipur Knee. Known for its patient-centric culture and its focus on innovation, BMVSS has assisted more than one million people, including many land mine survivors. How can founder D.R. Mehta devise a strategy that will ensure the financial sustainability of BMVSS while sustaining its human impact well into the future?
25/04/23·24m 45s

Our All-Time Favorite Episodes of Cold Call

Cold Call is celebrating 200 episodes with a special five-part series during the week of April 24, 2023. Each day that week, Cold Call will release a new episode. To kick off the week-long celebration, the show’s producers have each picked their three favorite episodes from the archives for listeners to revisit.
24/04/23·26m 49s

A Rose by Any Other Name: Supply Chains and Carbon Emissions in the Flower Industry

Headquartered in Kitengela, Kenya, Sian Flowers exports roses to Europe. Because cut flowers have a limited shelf life and consumers want them to retain their appearance for as long as possible, Sian and its distributors used international air cargo to transport them to Amsterdam, where they were sold at auction and trucked to markets across Europe. But when the Covid-19 pandemic caused huge increases in shipping costs, Sian launched experiments to ship roses by ocean using refrigerated containers. The company reduced its costs and cut its carbon emissions, but is a flower that travels halfway around the world truly a “low-carbon rose”?
11/04/23·23m 34s

BMW’s Decarbonization Strategy: Sustainable for the Environment and the Bottom Line

In mid-2022, many automakers were announcing deadlines by which they would stop selling ICE vehicles altogether, buoyed by investment analysts and favorable press. While this would reduce tail-pipe emissions, it ignored the fact that the production of EVs—and especially their batteries—increases emissions in the supply chain. BMW decided to focus on lifecycle emissions and pursued a flexible powertrain strategy by offering vehicles with several options: gasoline and diesel-fueled ICE, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and battery electric vehicles. But that approach received a frostier reception in the stock market. Can BMW convince stakeholders that its strategy is good for the environment and the company’s financial performance?
28/03/23·22m 17s

Can AI and Machine Learning Help Park Rangers Prevent Poaching?

The Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) was created by a coalition of conservation organizations to take historical data and create geospatial mapping tools that enable more efficient deployment of park rangers to prevent poaching. SMART had demonstrated significant improvements in patrol coverage, with some observed reductions in poaching. Then a new analytic tool, the Protection Assistant for Wildlife Security (PAWS), was created to use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to try to predict where poachers would be likely to strike. Jonathan Palmer, Executive Director of Conservation Technology for the Wildlife Conservation Society, already had a good data analytics tool to help park rangers manage their patrols. Would adding an AI- and ML-based tool improve outcomes or introduce new problems?
14/03/23·21m 50s

Muhammad Ali: A Case Study in Purpose-Driven Decision Making

Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr, rose from a poor family in segregated Louisville, Kentucky to international fame, winning three heavyweight boxing titles and becoming a civil rights leader and role model for millions of people around the world. How did he do it? Harvard Business School professor Robert Simons discusses how Ali made decisions throughout his life and career to leave a lasting impact on the world.
28/02/23·25m 44s

Does It Pay to Be a Whistleblower?

In 2013, soon after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had started a massive whistleblowing program with the potential for large monetary rewards, two employees of a U.S. bank’s asset management business debated whether to blow the whistle on their employer after completing an internal review that revealed undisclosed conflicts of interest. Should they escalate the issue internally or report their findings to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission? Harvard Business School associate professor Jonas Heese discusses the potential risks and rewards of whistleblowing.
14/02/23·27m 51s

Addressing Racial Discrimination on Airbnb

For years, Airbnb gave hosts discretion to accept or reject a guest after seeing little more than a name and a picture, believing that eliminating anonymity was the best way for the company to build trust. But after research provided evidence that Black hosts received less in rent than hosts of other races and showed signs of discrimination against guests with African American sounding names, the company had to decide what changes to make. Should they change the design of the platform to reduce discrimination? And what’s the best way to measure the success of any changes?
31/01/23·20m 43s

Nestlé’s KitKat Diplomacy: Neutrality vs. Shared Value

In February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, and multinational companies began pulling out of Russia, in response. At Switzerland-based Nestlé, chief executive Mark Schneider had a difficult decision to make. Nestlé had a long tradition of neutrality that enabled it to operate in countries regardless of their political systems and human rights policies. But more recently the company had embraced Michael Porter’s “shared value” paradigm, which argues that companies have a responsibility to improve the business community and the health of their communities. What should Schneider do?
17/01/23·23m 31s

Wordle: Can a Pandemic Phenomenon Sustain in the Long Term?

Wordle went from a personal game, created by a developer for his girlfriend, to a global phenomenon with two million users in just a few months. Then The New York Times made an unexpected bid to acquire it. But will Wordle outlast other pandemic pastimes?
03/01/23·22m 35s

Metaverse Seoul: How One City Used Citizen Input to Pilot a Government-Run Metaverse

In May 2022, the Seoul Metropolitan Government in Seoul, South Korea, launched the pilot of Metaverse Seoul, a virtual version of Seoul’s mayor’s office. As they worked towards building a broad, immersive, online government platform, they hoped to gain insights from citizens about everything from popular local tourist sites that could be experienced virtually to government services that could be delivered in the metaverse. But to do that, the team had to figure out how to solicit ideas from citizens and then determine which ideas to put to use.
13/12/22·24m 25s

How Will Gamers and Investors Respond to Microsoft’s Acquisition of Activision Blizzard?

In January 2022, Microsoft announced its acquisition of the video game company Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. The deal would make Microsoft the world’s third largest video game company, but it also exposes the company to several risks. First, the all-cash deal would require Microsoft to use a large portion of its cash reserves. Second, the acquisition was announced as Activision Blizzard faced gender pay disparity and sexual harassment allegations. That opened Microsoft up to potential reputational damage, employee turnover, and lost sales. Do the potential benefits of the acquisition outweigh the risks for Microsoft and its shareholders?
29/11/22·18m 55s

Planning the Future for Harlem’s Beloved Sylvia’s Restaurant

Sylvia’s Restaurant, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in August 2022, is a testament to the values instilled by the founder and matriarch, Sylvia Woods. She cultivated a strong community around her soul food restaurant in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood that has continued to thrive, even after her passing a decade ago. Amid business expansions and succession planning, the legacy of Sylvia Woods continues to live on. But as Sylvia’s grandson takes over the business, a new challenge faces him and his family: what should the next 60 years of Sylvia’s look like?
15/11/22·27m 27s

Marie Curie: A Case Study in Breaking Barriers

Marie Curie, born Maria Sklodowska from a poor family in Poland, rose to the pinnacle of scientific fame in the early years of the twentieth century, winning the Nobel Prize twice in the fields of physics and chemistry. At the time, women were simply not accepted in scientific fields. So Curie had to overcome enormous obstacles in order to earn a doctorate at the Sorbonne and perform her pathbreaking research on radioactive materials. How did she plan her time and navigate her life choices to leave a lasting impact on the world?
01/11/22·23m 41s’s Make-or-Break Logistics Dilemma

In late 2013, Ryan Cohen, cofounder and then-CEO of online pet products retailer, was facing a decision that could determine his company’s future. Cohen was convinced that achieving scale would be essential to making the business work and he worried that the company’s third-party logistics provider (3PL) may not be able to scale with’s projected growth or maintain the company’s performance standards for service quality and fulfillment. But neither he nor his cofounders had any experience managing logistics, and the company’s board members were pressuring him to leave order fulfillment to the 3PL. What should Cohen do?
18/10/22·29m 17s

Corporate Governance and Growth Strategy at Capital SAFI

Asset management firm Capital SAFI wanted to attract new strategic investors and expand to other countries beyond Bolivia. Founder, chairman and CEO Jorge Quintanilla Nielsen knew that having the right corporate governance in place was critical to achieve this goal. The firm’s board had evolved over time, but would new investors be impressed by those measures or were additional improvements needed?
04/10/22·28m 23s

Larry Fink at BlackRock: Linking Purpose to Profit

In 2014, Larry Fink started writing letters to the leaders of some of the largest publicly listed companies, urging them to consider the importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. Fink is the chairman and CEO of BlackRock, one of the largest asset management houses in the world. The firm’s success was rooted in its cost-effective, passive investment products that rely on tracking indices and funds. But Fink wanted his firm to engage with the companies in which they invest and hold them accountable for their social and environmental impacts. What role should investors play in urging business leaders to take ESG issues more seriously and enforcing compliance?
20/09/22·30m 1s

Reinventing an Iconic Independent Bookstore

In 2020, Kwame Spearman made the career-shifting decision to leave a New York City-based consulting job to return to his hometown of Denver, Colorado, and take over an iconic independent bookstore, The Tattered Cover. Spearman saw an opportunity to reinvent the local business to build a sense of community after the pandemic. But he also had to find a way to meet the big challenges facing independent booksellers amid technological change and shifting business models.
06/09/22·28m 0s

Management Lessons from the Sinking of the SS El Faro

Captain Michael Davidson, of the container ship SS El Faro, was determined to make his planned shipping trip on time—but a hurricane was approaching his intended path. To succeed, Davidson and his fellow officers had to plot a course to avoid the storm in the face of conflicting weather reports from multiple sources and differing opinions among the officers about what to do. Over the 36-hour voyage, tensions rose as the ship got closer and closer to the storm. When the ship ultimately sunk on October 1, 2015, it was the deadliest American shipping disaster in decades. But who was to blame for the tragedy and what can we learn from it?
23/08/22·36m 17s

A Lesson from Google: Can AI Bias be Monitored Internally?

Dr. Timnit Gebru was the co-lead of Google’s Ethical AI research team –until she raised concerns about bias in the company’s large language models and was forced out in 2020. Her departure sent shockwaves through the AI and tech community ad raised fundamental questions about how companies safeguard against bias in their own AI. Should in-house ethics research continue to be led by researchers who best understand the technology, or must ethics and bias be monitored by more objective researchers who aren’t employed by companies?
09/08/22·25m 10s

Can Bombas Reach New Customers while Maintaining Its Social Mission?

Bombas was started in 2013 with a dual mission: to deliver quality socks and donate much-needed footwear to people living in shelters. By 2021, it had become one of America's most visible buy-one-give-one companies, with over $250 million in annual revenue and 50 million pairs of socks donated. As Bombas continued expanding, the company struggled to determine what pace of growth would best allow it to reach new customers while maintaining its social mission.
26/07/22·23m 35s

Can the Foodservice Distribution Industry Recover from the Pandemic?

At the height of the pandemic in 2020, US Foods struggled, as restaurant and school closures reduced demand for foodservice distribution. The situation improved after the return of indoor dining and in-person learning, but an industry-wide shortage of truck drivers and warehouse staff hampered the foodservice distributor’s post-pandemic recovery. That left CEO Pietro Satriano to determine the best strategy to attract and retain essential workers, even as he was tasked with expanding the wholesale grocery store chain (CHEF’STORE) that US Foods launched during the pandemic lockdown.
12/07/22·17m 53s

Scaling a Fintech Startup for the Greater Good

Esusu launched in 2018 with a rotational savings product and continued growing their fintech startup in late 2019 with Esusu Rent, a rent reporting tool that enables renters to improve their credit scores. In March 2020, co-founders Abbey Wemimo and Samir Goel were working to determine how best to scale Esusu to advance their mission of promoting financial inclusion in the U.S. Harvard Business School assistant professor Emily Williams discusses how the two co-founders decided how to allocate resources and scale their business.
28/06/22·20m 8s

What Does It Take to Close the Opportunity Gap in America’s Labor Market?

In the wake of George Floyd’s killing and widespread protests for social justice in the United States, OneTen was formed by a coalition of 40 large companies to address the disparity in job opportunities for African-Americans without four-year college degrees. Their goal was to provide one million jobs in 10 years. But in order to do that, OneTen had to analyze the underlying problems and formulate recommendations for both system-level problems and those that manifest themselves at an organizational level.
14/06/22·33m 8s

Corruption: New Insights for Fighting an Age-Old Business Problem

Corruption is as old as humanity, with cases documented as far back as the Egyptian dynasties. While the World Bank estimates that international bribery exceeds $1.5 trillion annually, the larger and more subtle effects of corruption on economies and populations is incalculable. Harvard Business School professors Geoff Jones and Tarun Khanna explore how corruption uniquely affects business in emerging markets, and why it should be addressed by the public and private sectors.
31/05/22·22m 49s

Delivering a Personalized Shopping Experience with AI

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, the founders must decide whether to continue developing the algorithm to deliver on the company’s customer value proposition or to focus their resources on new customer acquisition, with the idea that more users on the app would improve the algorithm's performance.
17/05/22·34m 27s

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

Community Solutions is a nonprofit founded in 2011 by Rosanne Haggerty, with the ambitious goal of ending chronic homelessness in America. After they were awarded a $100 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation, Haggerty and her team had to decide how to prioritize projects and spending to maximize the grant’s impact.
03/05/22·26m 30s

What Role Do Individual Leaders Play in Corporate Governance?

From 1997 to 2012, Scott Tucker built a nationwide network of payday lending businesses, becoming a pioneer in online lending along the way. But in 2012 federal prosecutors indicted Tucker on several criminal charges that he violated disclosure requirements. Harvard Business School associate professor Aiyesha Dey discusses the role of individual leaders in the corporate governance system, as well as their responsibility for creating a positive corporate culture that embodies ethics, self-restraint, and a commitment to serve.
19/04/22·21m 20s

Transforming Deloitte’s Approach to Consulting

Pixel helps facilitate open talent and crowdsourcing for Deloitte Consulting client engagements. But while some of Deloitte’s principals are avid users of Pixel’s services, uptake across the organization has been slow, and in some pockets has met with deep resistance. Balaji Bondili, head of Pixel, must decide how best to grow Deloitte Consulting’s use of on-demand talent, as consulting companies and their clients face transformative change.
05/04/22·22m 21s

How Etsy Found Its Purpose and Crafted a Turnaround

Etsy, the online seller of handmade goods, grew substantially but remained unprofitable in its first decade. But after it was almost bought out by private equity firms, a new CEO arrived with a mission to save the company financially and, in the process, save its soul. Harvard Business School professor Ranjay Gulati discusses CEO Josh Silverman’s purpose-driven turnaround at Etsy.
22/03/22·27m 1s

France Telecom: Corporate Restructuring and Employee Wellbeing

The France Telecom case series follows the evolution of the organization from a national telephone monopoly to a private company facing severe challenges. As increasing pressure mounted internally to make changes and 22,000 jobs were lost between 2006 and 2009, the culture at France Telecom shifted from one where employees were proud to work to one where the physical and mental wellbeing of some employees became increasingly fragile. Did corporate leaders push employees too far, creating unacceptable levels of stress and unhappiness? Editor’s note: This episode discusses suicide. If you or anyone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please use this list of suicide crisis lines around the world to seek help.
08/03/22·32m 25s

How to Scale a Startup Marketplace for Used Furniture

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 Kalam Dennis were considering different options to scale the business, including converting sellers into buyers and vice versa, finding superusers to fuel the supply for their platform, expanding to new markets, and rebranding with a sustainability focus. What’s the best way for them to scale?
22/02/22·24m 34s

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

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 was the founder and CEO of a successful media company, but his career goals had shifted during business school. He wanted to use his talents to help other Black entrepreneurs access capital and provide opportunities to create intergenerational wealth. Johnson evaluated his four options: work full-time at an online platform dedicated to connecting Black founders with funding, join a BIPOC-focused venture capital ("VC") firm, pursue a job at an established VC firm, or continue scaling his media company. Which should he choose?
15/02/22·26m 12s

What’s Next for Nigerian Production Studio EbonyLife Media?

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 stories to the world be advanced by distributing films and TV shows direct to customers? Or should EbonyLife instead distribute its content through third-party streaming services, like Netflix?
08/02/22·26m 1s

Making Diverse Leadership a Priority at Whittier College

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 student body had been slowly evolving to represent the growing diversity of the surrounding area, but the college’s leadership remained largely white and male. Harvard Business School professor Debora Spar and Oubré discuss how she galvanized support among the college’s constituents, while working to diversify the college’s staff, administration, and board of trustees.
01/02/22·30m 58s

How Footwear Startup Allbirds Is Decarbonizing Fashion

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. Harvard Business School professor Mike Toffel and Allbirds co-founder and co-CEO Joey Zwillinger discuss the growing environmental impact of the fashion industry and how the company managed the tension between advancing its mission to decarbonize fashion and staying ahead of competitors.
25/01/22·31m 49s

Can Entrepreneurs and Governments Team Up to Solve Big Problems?

Harvard Business School professor Mitch Weiss and Brandon Tseng, Shield AI’s CGO and co-founder, discuss the challenges entrepreneurs face when working with the public sector, and how investing in new ideas can enable entrepreneurs and governments to join forces to solve big problems.
11/01/22·22m 22s

How Japan’s Recruit Holdings Regained Trust after a Scandal

Recruit Holdings, an advertising media, staffing, and business support conglomerate was founded in Japan in 1960 by Hiromasa Ezoe. The company was built on the principle that the company should add value to society. But in 1988, Recruit hit rough waters when Ezoe sold 2.8 million shares in a subsidiary before it went public to 76 Japanese leaders in politics, business, and media. The "Recruit Scandal," as it was called, resulted in the resignation of Japan’s prime minister and his entire cabinet. Thirty years later, Recruit has become a global conglomerate, with $16 billion in sales in 2017. How did the company not only survive, but thrive after its insider trading scandal?
14/12/21·23m 46s

TikTok: Super App or Supernova?

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 had roughly one billion monthly active users, placing it in the top ranks of digital platforms globally. But the app had drawn the attention of competitors, regulators, and politicians -- especially in the U.S., where commercial success was critical to its long-term enterprise value. Would TikTok become the first “Super App” with a global footprint, or did it run the risk of becoming a supernova that shone brightly only for a passing moment?
30/11/21·28m 5s

Can Mass General Brigham Diversify Its Community of Innovators?

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 that funding – with the goal of commercializing research done at the hospital to generate revenue and improve patient care. But CEO Anne Klibanski and other key stakeholders had a serious concern: although women comprised approximately 40 percent of the medical researchers and physicians at MGB, the percentage of women participating in innovation activities lagged behind. Can the leadership team identify the main sources of the disparities and find the right strategy to expand and diversify MGB’s community of innovators?
16/11/21·22m 9s

Innovating in the Feminine Care Market

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 topic of menstruation. As a result, the startup was competing against large incumbents like Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson. Can CEO Maria Molland lead a marketing strategy that confronts those taboos in order to bring innovation to the feminine care market?
02/11/21·26m 30s

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

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 legalized in Canada. Initially the company had planned to test a few products in a small geography in Canada to see if there might be a viable market opportunity. But the team charged with developing an entry strategy recommended a more aggressive move: pulling forward $65 million to build a facility in Canada to produce cannabis beverages and seize first-mover advantage. That sudden change in direction gave then-CEO Mark Hunter pause. Should he approve the request, or push the team back to the original, more conservative plan?
19/10/21·25m 52s

How the Clean Network Changed the Future of Global Technology Competition

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 Department embarked on a global campaign to challenge the market dominance of Chinese firms with the Clean Network program. Did that initiative create a new era of multilateral, democratic governance of the internet, or a “splinternet” forcing participants to choose between the U.S. and China?
05/10/21·30m 37s

Why JPMorgan Chase Is Committed to Improving Racial Equity in Banking

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, equity, and inclusion initiatives within the bank. Harvard Business School professor emeritus Joe Bower and Alice Rodriguez, head of community impact, managing director at JPMorgan Chase, discuss the implementation of that commitment and how it aligns with the bank’s longer-term growth strategy.
21/09/21·26m 44s

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

In February 2013, US Airways announced that it would merge with American Airlines to create the world’s largest airline. During the acquisition integration process, CEO Doug Parker had to determine how best to combine the two airlines’ core systems, operating processes, and leadership teams, as well as the appropriate scope and speed of strategic changes. Harvard Business School senior lecturer David Fubini discusses how Parker approached those decisions in the case, “Merging American Airlines and US Airways.”
07/09/21·26m 26s

Why Did Pet Concierge Startup Baroo Fail?

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 raising venture capital, she needed to consider her growth strategy. Should she continue focusing on the needs of her early adopters or start tailoring Baroo’s services to more mainstream customers? And how fast is too fast to grow? Hyde (MBA 2014) joins Harvard Business School entrepreneurship Professor Tom Eisenmann to discuss how an early false positive signal from investors set an unsustainable course for her startup.
24/08/21·28m 37s

The Science of Sales Conversations with Gong’s Amit Bendov

Gong’s business proposition is simple: provide software that automatically captures, understands, and analyzes written and spoken sales conversations to help sales teams sell more effectively. But can technology that leverages conversational insights make a measurable impact on a company's bottom line?
10/08/21·27m 27s

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

Horst Dassler, the son of the founder of Adidas, cultivated relationships with athletes and national associations – with the aim of expanding his family’s sports apparel business. In doing so, he created the first sports sponsorships for the Olympics, and ultimately became a key force behind the commercialization of sports today. Harvard Business School professor Geoffrey Jones explores the pros and cons of the globalization and commercialization of sport in his case, spanning from the 1930s to the 1970s, “Horst Dassler, Adidas, and the Commercialization of Sport.”
27/07/21·23m 26s

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

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 ensure future success? Harvard Business School professor Felix Oberholzer-Gee discusses his case, “Alibaba’s Taobao,” and related strategy lessons from his new book, Better, Simpler Strategy: A Value-Based Guide to Exceptional Performance.
13/07/21·29m 46s

Procter & Gamble’s Lean Innovation Transformation

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 steady stream of disruptive innovations. In addition, intensifying competition from direct-to-consumer companies convinced Fish that P&G needed to renew its value proposition to make all aspects of the consumer experience “irresistibly superior.” But making this change would require wholesale transformation from within. Can Fish bring lean innovation to scale at Procter & Gamble?
29/06/21·28m 9s

IKEA Navigates the Future While Staying True to Its Culture

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 company's top executives know they must step out of their comfort zones and embrace new strategic initiatives to stay relevant. But which initiatives will best enable IKEA to evolve while staying true to the company’s core values?
15/06/21·22m 44s

Running a Consumer Fintech Startup within Goldman Sachs

Marcus by Goldman Sachs marked a dramatic shift for the 150-year-old financial institution, which historically had served only businesses and the wealthiest people. The fintech startup operated within Goldman Sachs, offering unsecured personal loans for the mass market, high-yield deposits, and a credit card in partnership with Apple. Harvard Business School associate professor Rory McDonald discusses the challenges of operating and expanding a startup within an established company.
01/06/21·24m 58s

How Georgia State University Increased Graduation Rates

Georgia State University was facing a growing "summer melt" problem, where nearly 20 percent of incoming students never actually enrolled. The university used a data-based approach to retain students of all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds and help them graduate. Harvard Business School professor Mike Toffel and Harvard University senior fellow Robin Mendelson discuss what the university learned about improving student success, while scaling its efforts to help other universities.
18/05/21·26m 38s

Reversing Brain Drain: Moving Talent to Middle America

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. Harvard Business School professor Prithwiraj “Raj” Choudhury discusses how the program gives workers the flexibility to move out of congested cities and explores the challenges in scaling this model throughout rural America and beyond.
04/05/21·24m 47s

What Went Wrong with the Boeing 737 Max?

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? Harvard Business School professor Bill George discusses the long roots that ultimately led to the crash of Lion Air flight 610 in October 2018 in Indonesia and the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 in March 2019 in Ethiopia. He discusses the role cost cutting, regulatory pressure, and CEO succession played in laying the foundation for these tragedies and examines how Boeing executives responded to the crises in his case “What Went Wrong with Boeing's 737 Max?”
20/04/21·19m 58s

Disrupting the Waste Management Industry with Technology

Rubicon began with a bold idea: create a cloud-based, full-service waste management platform providing efficient service anywhere in the U.S. Their mobile app did for waste management what Uber had done for taxi service. Five years after the case’s publication, Harvard Business School associate professor Shai Bernstein and Rubicon founder and CEO Nate Morris discuss how the software startup leveraged technology to disrupt the waste industry and other enduring lessons of professor Bill Sahlman’s case about Rubicon.
06/04/21·31m 0s

Managing Future Growth at an Innovative Workforce Education Start-up

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 by facilitating direct payment by the employer to the academic institution and by supporting students with coaching and advising. Now CEO and co-founder Rachel Carlson must decide how to manage the company’s future growth. Should she focus on expanding Guild’s core education marketplace, or extend the business model to include the career placement market?
23/03/21·28m 17s

A Family Business at a Crossroads: Scaling and Succession

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 Indian families. Today Gera Developments stands at a crossroads, with Gera planning the end of his managerial career. How should the family think about scaling the business? And, should the company seek a successor to lead those efforts from inside or outside the family?
09/03/21·27m 8s

Can Historic Social Injustices be Addressed Through Reparations?

Survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre and their descendants believe historic social injustices should be addressed through reparations. Harvard Business School professor Mihir Desai discusses the arguments for and against reparations in response to the Tulsa Massacre and, more broadly, to the effects of slavery and racist government policies in the U.S.
02/03/21·25m 32s

Examining Race and Mass Incarceration in the United States

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 Business School assistant professor Reshmaan Hussam probes the assumptions underlying the current prison system, with its huge racial disparities, and considers what could be done to address the crisis of the American criminal justice system.
23/02/21·26m 39s

Fostering Authenticity and Employee Engagement at John Deere

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 mostly white men. Harvard Business School senior lecturer Tony Mayo discusses the pressure on Fox to assimilate into the dominant culture, her decision to lean into her authentic self, and the deep connection between employee engagement and authenticity.
16/02/21·26m 49s

Developing Resilience on the Path to Becoming a CEO

As a Black female CEO, Shellye Archambeau is no stranger to adversity. Now she faces her most critical leadership decision. The software company she leads, MetricStream, is losing customers, hemorrhaging cash, and struggling to make payroll. Harvard Business School professor Tsedal Neeley discusses Archambeau’s leadership style and the importance of developing resilience, particularly when managing through a crisis.
09/02/21·29m 41s

Using Empathy and Curiosity to Overcome Differences

Bill Riddick, an African-American community leader and counselor, must find a way to bridge the divide between Black and white community leaders, who are on opposing sides of school integration in Durham, North Carolina, in 1971. Harvard Business School professors Francesca Gino and Jeffrey Huizinga discuss how empathy and curiosity can foster understanding in divisive situations.
02/02/21·27m 8s

Engaging Community to Create Proactive, Equitable Public Safety

Melvin Carter, the mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota, swept into office in 2018, promising to improve equity. In his campaign, he had spoken from experience about what it felt like to be pulled over by police as a Black man. He wanted to create a new public safety framework that would be rooted in community. But then the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out much of the city’s budget and the May 2020 killing of George Floyd by a police officer in neighboring Minneapolis sparked calls to defund the police. How would Mayor Carter make these changes happen?
19/01/21·23m 15s

Using Behavioral Science to Improve Well-Being for Social Workers

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 to use non-cash rewards and recognition to improve social workers’ well-being? Ashley Whillans describes the experience of Chief Executive Michael Sanders’ experience at the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care.
05/01/21·25m 57s

Dove: Maintaining a Brand with Purpose

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 contradict the Dove campaign, and struggling to determine the best allocation of funds between advertising and the educational programs that deliver social impact. Can Dove maintain both its market position and social impact in the future?
22/12/20·23m 47s

Uber’s Strategy for Global Success

As the transportation landscape evolves, can Uber adapt its business model to be successful in unique regional markets around the world? Alexander MacKay describes Uber’s global market strategy and responses by regulators and local competitors.
08/12/20·28m 17s

Evaluating Innovative Health Care Solutions for Obesity

From Weight Watchers to bariatric surgery, innovations for combatting obesity abound. But which will do the most good for society and yield the best business results? Harvard Business School professor Regina Herzlinger discusses how to evaluate health care innovations aimed at providing solutions for obesity in her case, “Fighting the Battle of the Bulge – Evaluating Innovations in Morbid Obesity Treatment.”
24/11/20·30m 34s

The Challenges of Commercializing Fertility

Entrepreneur Christy Jones is trying to create a new venture to help women preserve their eggs and postpone motherhood. But what would an egg-freezing service sell – and to whom?
10/11/20·25m 35s

Growing a Manufacturing Company with a Social Mission

Nehemiah Manufacturing turned a social mission to hire convicted felons into a competitive advantage, with decreased turnover and higher staff loyalty. Harvard Business School professor Michael Chu discusses the challenges and opportunities of combining profit with social impact in his case, “Nehemiah Mfg. Co.: Providing a Second Chance.”
27/10/20·23m 12s

Can Entrepreneurs Make Mobile Voting Easy and Secure?

Making voting more accessible through technology could allow more people to take part in elections. But it also poses critical downsides, if the product fails or there are security failures. Harvard Business School professor Mitchell Weiss debates the risks, rewards, and business models for mobile voting in his case study on “Voatz.”
13/10/20·21m 40s

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

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 case, “Rob Parson at Morgan Stanley.” The case poses a complex dilemma: should Morgan Stanley promote a high performer who lacks interpersonal skills and brushes off company values? More subtly, the case also encourages reflection about the accountability of managers in an employee’s performance.
29/09/20·24m 24s

Is Happiness at Work Really Attainable?

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 -- an approach he developed following a personal crisis. But can that approach endure through Henco’s rapid growth, leadership transition, and changing employee expectations?
15/09/20·28m 46s

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

C16 Biosciences wants to replace palm oil, a major contributor to deforestation and climate change, with a lab-grown substitute. Should the synthetic biology startup start small in the personal care market or dive into booming lab-grown food market?
01/09/20·21m 41s

Testing New Contact Tracing Approaches in a Pandemic

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 success would rely on mitigating privacy issues. Would Singaporeans adopt TraceTogether? As Singapore’s government opened up the technology to the world, would you? Harvard Business School professor Mitch Weiss discusses his new case, “TraceTogether.”
18/08/20·12m 12s

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

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. Harvard Business School professor Jill Avery discusses the debate in her case, “Glossier: Co-Creating a Cult Brand with a Digital Community.”
04/08/20·27m 9s

Starbucks Commits to Raising Awareness of Racial Bias

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 training. The company also revised store policies and employee training practices. Harvard Business School professors Francesca Gino and Katherine Coffman discuss what we can learn about unconscious bias in corporate culture from Starbucks’ reaction to that incident in their case, “Starbucks: Reaffirming Commitment to the Third Place Ideal.”
21/07/20·28m 43s

SmileDirectClub Looks Beyond Direct-to-Consumer Marketing

Harvard Business School professor Len Schlesinger and RSE Ventures Co-founder Matt Higgins discuss why direct-to-consumer channel businesses, like teledentistry company SmileDirectClub, must implement a strategy that moves them beyond DTC in order to thrive – and how to make that change. This episode is based on the Harvard Business School case, “SmileDirectClub: Better is Better.”
07/07/20·30m 3s

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

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 circus and its Clown Care program is uncertain. Harvard Business School professor David Fubini discusses his case, “Big Apple Circus: Time to Fold the Tent?”
23/06/20·18m 16s

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

How should the vaccine alliance, Gavi, respond to the worldwide need for a vaccine for the Covid-19 pandemic? Harvard Business School professor Tarun Khanna discusses how experimentation, judicious risk taking, and entrepreneurship in finance and capital markets could enable the way forward and unlock the science in his case, “Gavi and Covid-19: Pandemic of the Century.”
09/06/20·23m 51s

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

After 50 years at the helm of Cummings Properties, billionaire and philanthropist Bill Cummings is winding down his roles at both the family business and foundation that he built. How should the management team move the company forward? Harvard Business School professor Christina Wing and protagonist Bill Cummings discuss the case, “Bill Cummings: The Cummings Way.”
26/05/20·30m 10s

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

The rise of autonomous vehicles has enormous implications for business and society. Harvard Business School professors Bill Kerr and Elie Ofek explore the factors influencing development and commercialization, as well as future success and consumer adoption in their cases: “Autonomous Vehicles: The Rubber Hits the Road... but When?” and “Autonomous Vehicles: Smooth or Bumpy Ride Ahead?”
12/05/20·36m 16s

Is the Healthiest Building in the World Worth the Rent?

Healthy buildings and superior air quality are increasingly important as people spend 90% of their lives indoors. Harvard professors John Macomber and Joseph Allen discuss their case, “A Tower for the People: 425 Park Avenue,” their new book, “Healthy Buildings,” and how their learnings extend to a post-COVID world.
28/04/20·31m 54s

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

In the ever-changing video games industry, Epic Games, the maker of the incredibly popular Fortnite multi-player game, considers whether it could become a PC-games distribution platform. Harvard Business School’s Andy Wu discusses his case, “Epic Games.”
14/04/20·18m 11s

Bringing the Case Method Online

In this special episode of Cold Call, Brian Kenny speaks with Harvard Business School professor Srikant Datar about how Harvard Business School brought 1,800 MBA students and 200 faculty online in under two weeks amid the Covid-19 pandemic. They discuss the challenges of scaling under pressure to maintain the highest level of participant-centered learning possible, the lessons learned, and how this crisis may change the way we teach and learn forever.
07/04/20·23m 21s

Controlling the Emotion of Negotiation

Two siblings, Thomas and Sally Campbell, are faced with selling their childhood home. They need to make several difficult decisions, all the while navigating their contentious relationship. Harvard Business School professor Leslie John discusses the importance of asking (and answering) the right questions when negotiating, particularly under emotional stress, in her case, “The Campbell Home.”
31/03/20·25m 52s

Is There a Winner in Huawei’s Digital Cold War with the U.S.?

Against the backdrop of his case, “Huawei: A Global Tech Giant in the Crossfire of a Digital Cold War,” Harvard Business School professor Bill Kirby discusses Huawei’s entrepreneurial start, where the tech giant is headed in the future, U.S.-China relations, and the Chinese government’s response to the Coronavirus.
17/03/20·27m 40s

Do Universities Need 2U to Create Digital Education?

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 Business School professors Karim Lakhani and Marco Iansiti discuss the case, “2U: Higher Education Rewired,” and connections to concepts in their book, “Competing in the Age of AI.”
03/03/20·31m 20s

Global Ocean Trust: Protecting the Blue Planet in New Ways

Following a successful career in finance, Torsten Thiele has devoted himself full-time to the challenging cause of ocean conservation and stewardship. Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter and Thiele discuss how changing the narrative is imperative when looking for ways to solve big problems.
18/02/20·26m 59s

Why Backstage Capital Invests in “Underestimated” Entrepreneurs

Harvard Business School professor Laura Huang, whose new book “Edge” explores methods for turning adversity into professional advantage, is joined by Venture Capitalist Arlan Hamilton to discuss her strategy of backing entrepreneurs who have been ignored because of stereotypes, biases, and preconceptions.
04/02/20·30m 39s

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

Not many Chinese companies open manufacturing facilities in the U.S., but automotive glass maker Fuyao is considering just that. Harvard Business School professor Willy Shih examines factors that go into deciding where companies should locate production facilities in his case, “Fuyao Glass America: Sourcing Decision.”
21/01/20·24m 21s

Can Capitalism Be Fixed by Making Companies More Just?

Harvard Business School professors Ethan Rouen and Charlie Wang explore whether capitalism is broken and if JUST Capital's performance evaluation rubric and strategies for exerting influence are likely to be effective in improving corporate behavior. Their case is titled, “Measuring Impact at JUST Capital.”
07/01/20·28m 44s

Under Pressure, OXXO Rethinks the Convenience Store

Mexican convenience store chain OXXO dominated its market -- until its chief rival doubled in size almost overnight. Harvard Business School professor Tatiana Sandino discusses how CEO Eduardo Padilla responded by creating an agile organization based on a team culture and strong management systems.
17/12/19·30m 58s

Why CalSTRS Chooses to Engage with the Gun Industry

Should large institutional investors divest or engage if they have an issue with a company? Harvard Business School professor Vikram Gandhi discusses why and how CalSTRS, the $200 billion pension plan for California public school teachers, chooses to engage with gun makers and retailers in California in his case, “CalSTRS Takes on Gun Violence.”
03/12/19·27m 47s

Lessons from IBM in Nazi Germany

Harvard Business School professor Geoff Jones discusses his case, “Thomas J. Watson, IBM and Nazi Germany,” which explores the options and responsibilities of multinationals with investments in politically reprehensible regimes.
19/11/19·22m 33s

Can the Robin Hood Army Grow with Zero Financial Resources?

In 2014, Neel Ghose (MBA 2019) created the Robin Hood Army, an entirely volunteer-based organization working to get surplus food to hungry people. Just four years later, they had served more than 9 million people in 103 cities around the world, all while maintaining their “golden rule” of being zero-funds. Harvard Business School’s Susanna Gallani and Ghose discuss the most pressing challenge facing the organization with its fast growth and no monetary assets: how to attract, retain, and motivate workers.
05/11/19·34m 43s

Goldman Sachs’ $500 Million Bet on Small Businesses

Launched in the midst of the financial crisis, Goldman Sachs' “10,000 Small Businesses” program provided business education and access to capital for small businesses across the United States. The company committed $500 million to fund the program and nine years later had graduated 7,300 participants, just shy of its goal. Harvard Business School professor Len Schlesinger discusses the success, impact, and future of the program.
15/10/19·21m 36s

Can Gimlet Turn a Podcast Network Into a Disruptive Platform?

Harvard Business School professors John Deighton and Jeffrey Rayport discuss how two former public radio producers launch the Gimlet Media podcast network, entering the last frontier of digital media. How can they turn a content supplier into a disruptive platform?
01/10/19·26m 24s

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

Children’s Hospital & Clinics COO Julie Morath sets out to change the culture there by instituting a policy of blameless reporting, which encourages employees to report anything that goes wrong or seems substandard without fear of reprisal for the act of reporting. Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson discusses getting an organization into the “High Performance Zone” by creating an environment of psychological safety and high accountability.
17/09/19·22m 5s

At, Innovation Means Constant Failure

Harvard Business School professor Stefan Thomke discusses how past experience and intuition can be misleading when attempting to launch an innovative new product, service, business model, or process. Instead, and other innovative firms embrace a culture where testing, experimentation, and even failure are at the heart of what they do.
03/09/19·25m 51s

Should a Pension Fund Try to Change the World?

Harvard Business School professors Rebecca Henderson and George Serafeim discuss the impact investing efforts of Hiro Mizuno, CIO of GPIF, Japan’s government pension fund. He says that improving corporate governance, increasing inclusion and gender diversity, and addressing climate change would expand Japan’s economy. But, should a pension fund try to change the world?
20/08/19·29m 31s

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

Much of the advertising purchased during the Super Bowl is about selling corporate brands rather than products. Harvard Business School professor Shelle Santana discusses her case, "Super Bowl Storytelling," (co-author: Jill Avery), regarding the art of storytelling on the world’s biggest television stage. Which stories win (or fumble) on game day?
06/08/19·33m 26s

JUUL: Leading the Vaping Revolution

In his case, “JUUL and the Vaping Revolution,” Harvard Business School professor Mike Toffel discusses the controversy surrounding the exponential growth of JUUL vaping products in 2018, in particular the success of its e-cigarettes with teenage high school students who had never smoked.
16/07/19·23m 35s

The Controversial History of United Fruit

Harvard Business School professor Geoffrey Jones discusses the overthrow of President Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala in 1954 in a U.S.-backed coup in support of the United Fruit Co. (now Chiquita Brands International). Jones examines the impact and role of the company in the Guatemalan economy.
02/07/19·20m 6s

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

Stephane Kasriel, the CEO of Upwork, the leading platform for freelance labor, considers different pricing solutions and ways to improve the matching process as part of a business model redesign.
25/06/19·48m 0s

Can Khan Academy Scale to Educate Anyone, Anywhere?

Khan Academy is an online global education nonprofit launched by Sal Khan with the audacious mission to “provide a free world-class education for anyone, anywhere.” Harvard Business School professor Bill Sahlman discusses his case study of the company after Ginny Lee joins to help balance Khan’s aspirational vision with the short-term need for greater focus and prioritization.
18/06/19·29m 22s

Israel Turns 70: Does It Need a Rebrand?

Israel turned 70 years old in May of 2018, but its brand image internationally was less than ideal. Market research revealed that many people associated Israel primarily with military conflict. Harvard Business School professor Elie Ofek discusses efforts to rebrand the country in his case, “Israel at 70: Is it Possible to (re)Brand a Country?”
04/06/19·28m 31s

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

Harvard Business School professor Sunil Gupta explores the infiltration of Amazon into dozens of industries including web services, grocery, online video streaming, content creation and, oh, did we mention physical bookstores? What’s the big plan? Is the company spread too thin, or poised for astronomical success? Gupta is the author of the case study, “Amazon 2019.”
21/05/19·20m 53s

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

Challenges related to managing religion in the workplace are on the rise, as are religious discrimination claims and monetary settlements in the U.S. and around the world. Harvard Business School professor Derek van Bever discusses two examples in his case, “Managing Religion in the Workplace: Abercrombie & Fitch and Masterpiece Cakeshop.”
07/05/19·16m 50s

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

Toronto is experimenting with smart city concepts envisioned by Google spin-off Sidewalk Labs. Harvard Business School professors Leslie John and Mitch Weiss discuss the tradeoffs of using technology to improve modern city life at potential costs to digital privacy from their case, “Sidewalk Labs: Privacy in a City Built from the Internet Up.” Is it worth it?
16/04/19·24m 8s

Can Mark Zuckerberg Rebuild Trust in Facebook?

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced a crucible moment in 2018 after Cambridge Analytica accessed data from 87 million Facebook accounts. Harvard Business School professor Bill George discusses his case, “Facebook Confronts a Crisis of Trust,” including why Zuckerberg handled the crisis as he did, the role of companies in protecting privacy, and the pros and cons of regulation.
03/04/19·19m 32s

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

Fishbowl's founders have built a social media platform allowing professionals to connect anonymously and with candor within their companies and industry. But the app is still largely limited to the consulting industry. Can they extend the app into other sectors? What’s the winning business model? Will adding employers to the mix pay off or kill the value? Harvard Business School professor Leslie John discusses her case study exploring the boundaries of social media and personal privacy.
22/03/19·19m 51s

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

Harvard Business School professor Geoff Jones examines the career of Helena Rubinstein, one of the trailblazing female entrepreneurs of the 20th century. Using guile, brilliant branding, and more than a few falsehoods, Rubinstein lifted cosmetics from an accessory item for prostitutes to a great luxury item during the Great Depression.
12/03/19·24m 9s

Pursuing Precision Medicine at Intermountain Healthcare

What happens when Intermountain Healthcare invests resources in an innovative precision medicine unit to provide life-extending, genetically targeted therapies to late-stage cancer patients? Harvard Business School professors Richard Hamermesh and Kathy Giusti discuss the case and its connections to their work with the Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator.
26/02/19·26m 4s

The Delicious History of Hershey Chocolate

Have you ever wondered how Hershey chocolate came to be so popular? Harvard Business School professor Nancy Koehn discusses the life and vision of Milton Hershey, the entrepreneur and philanthropist behind the Hershey chocolate bar, the town of Hershey, Pennsylvania, and the Milton Hershey School.
13/02/19·25m 56s

How Wegmans Became a Leader in Improving Food Safety

Harvard Business School professor Ray Goldberg discusses how Wegmans CEO faced a food safety issue and then helped the industry determine how it could become more proactive in the future.
29/01/19·16m 43s

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

How deeply does the culture of a startup matter? Can it be shaped? Harvard Business School professor Jeffrey Rayport discusses WeWork cofounder Miguel McKelvey’s innovative role in building a company culture to support rapid growth.
09/01/19·26m 11s

Using Fintech to Disrupt Eastern Bank from Within

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 product. Harvard Business School professor Karen Mills discusses key questions from the case: Did Rivers have the right intrapreneurship model? Did he change the culture at Eastern? Did he make a mistake spinning off Numerated into a separate company?
18/12/18·18m 22s

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

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 School professor Gary Pisano discusses how Honda Aircraft Corporation CEO Michimasa Fujino brings the jet to life, and must now decide on ways to grow the business.
05/12/18·21m 56s

Building a Nonprofit Marketplace System to Feed America

Feeding America is the third largest nonprofit in America, managing a network of more than 200 food banks nationwide. Harvard Business School professor Scott Duke Kominers and University of Chicago professor Canice Prendergast discuss how the organization designed a marketplace that was efficient and fair for all participants.
19/11/18·25m 3s

Could Big Data Replace the Creative Director at the Gap?

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 Ayelet Israeli discusses how Gap CEO Art Peck considers this bold idea to boost sales.
07/11/18·18m 32s

Vodafone’s Innovative Approach to Advanced Technologies

Harvard Business School professor Bill Kerr discusses how Vodafone, one of the largest companies in the telecommunications space, incorporated technological advancements like big data, automation, and artificial intelligence to improve productivity while ensuring new opportunities were created for the next generation of workers.
24/10/18·23m 21s

Baseball’s Billy Beane Shows Companies the Power of Data

Oakland Athletics General Manager Billy Beane brought a data driven and unconventional approach to winning baseball games. By setting strategy and articulating the metric to evaluate and acquire the players who would ultimately implement his strategy on the field, Beane’s sabermetrics approach brought about a cultural shift in baseball from the players and managers to coaches and scouts. Harvard Business School professor Srikant Datar discusses how strategy and metrics work hand-in-hand, and how Beane’s story provides companies with important lessons in data science.
10/10/18·16m 45s

Did Entrepreneur Ernesto Tornquist Help or Hurt Argentina?

Harvard Business School professor Geoffrey Jones examines the career of Ernesto Tornquist, a cosmopolitan financier considered to be the most significant entrepreneur in Argentina at the end of the 19th century. He created a diversified business group, linked to the political elite, integrating Argentina into the trading and financial networks of the first global economy. The case, "Ernesto Tornquist: Making a Fortune on the Pampas," provides an opportunity to understand why Argentina was such a successful economy at this time, and to debate whether its very success laid the basis for the country’s subsequent poor economic performance.
19/09/18·22m 55s

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

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 United States companies and business leaders in confronting climate change challenges? Harvard Business School professor Vincent Pons looks at the historical debate and what the road ahead looks like for the role of business in improving the environment.
05/09/18·18m 39s

Two Million Fake Accounts: Sales Misconduct at Wells Fargo

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 times of crisis. The news of its sales misconduct -- opening more than 2 million fake accounts -- in 2016 rocked consumer confidence and inundated the news. Harvard Business School professor Suraj Srinivasan discusses how sales culture, leadership, board oversight, and risk management all played a role.
17/08/18·24m 16s

The Transformation of Microsoft

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 to serve customers in ways that would be associated with higher growth but lower margin. Harvard Business School professor Fritz Foley discusses how leaders faced these difficult decisions, and worked to get investors and employees on board.
10/07/18·18m 5s

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

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 Business School professor Rohit Deshpande discusses how protagonist Deborah Borda positioned the orchestra for continued success, building on healthy financials, a celebrity music director (Gustavo Dudamel), the beautiful Walt Disney Concert Hall, and the development of a youth orchestra.
27/06/18·22m 27s

How Chase Sapphire Made Credit Cool for Millennials

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 Business School professor Shelle Santana discusses how protagonists Pam Codispoti and Eileen Serra shifted their focus to retaining customers attracted by the one-time signup bonus of 100,000 reward points and on acquiring new customers now that the bonus had been reduced.
13/06/18·19m 15s

Careem: Riding the First Unicorn in the Middle East

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 every six months took its toll. Harvard Business School professor Shikhar Ghosh discusses how the founders approached a number of critical organizational and cultural issues to keep its 4 million customers satisfied.
29/05/18·18m 19s

Candy Crush was a Blockbuster; Can King Digital Capitalize?

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 success of its game “Candy Crush Saga.” He’s faced with the central question of whether and how to scale the company through an astronomical period of growth. Harvard Business School professor Jeffrey Rayport discusses whether a single creative studio can scale to manage a portfolio of almost 200 games, when one of them is the mammoth hit Candy Crush.
09/05/18·18m 13s

Why JPMorgan Chase is Investing Millions in Detroit

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 struggling city. Harvard Business School professor Joseph Bower and JPMorgan’s head of corporate responsibility, Peter Scher, discuss why businesses should create philanthropic programs of their own.
25/04/18·16m 45s

How a Coal Polluter Became a Renewable Energy Leader

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 services. How did it engineer that monumental change? Harvard Business School professor Mark Kramer discusses how CEO Francesco Starace’s vision of sustainability drove innovation and fostered a completely new enterprise around developing and promoting renewable energy.
03/04/18·19m 15s

Trump’s Populism: What Business Leaders Need to Understand

In the 2016 United States presidential election, candidates from both major political parties used anti-establishment messaging to appeal to Americans, a theme that had been on the sidelines of U.S. political discourse for decades. Donald Trump, in particular, played into the rising anti-establishment sentiment, embracing a populist platform and emphasizing his position as a Washington outsider. Why did his message resonate with voters? Harvard Business School professor Rafael Di Tella discusses how many Americans felt betrayed by the educated “elite” view on globalization, and looked to Trump as a president who would put American workers and values first.
21/03/18·16m 47s

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

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 trial. Unlike the traditional randomized controlled trial, adaptive platform trials facilitate simultaneously studying multiple therapies for a given disease and have the potential to make clinical trials for new cancer drugs more efficient and accessible to patients. Developing questions around design, operations, and financing set the stage for this discussion with Harvard Business School professor Ariel Stern about her case: "Adaptive Platform Trials: The Clinical Trial of the Future?"
05/03/18·21m 17s

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

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 stop. What should he do? Harvard Business School professor Steven Rogers and protagonist John Rogers discuss a new case study about the risks of speaking up, and the importance of black empowerment in the investment sector.
13/02/18·22m 41s

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

Oprah Winfrey believes in sharing the experiences that led her to become the wealthiest woman in the entertainment industry and the first African American woman billionaire. Harvard Business School professor Bill George traces her growth from childhood, focusing on how and when she discovered her true voice and how that authenticity spurred her career success.
31/01/18·12m 44s

One Love: Managing a Movement Against Relationship Violence

The One Love Foundation is a group dedicated to the prevention of relationship violence through education. Harvard Business School professor Tom DeLong talks about the challenges CEO Katie Hood faces as the organization works to create a movement and then maintain momentum around community engagement, fundraising, and growth.
23/01/18·14m 29s

Leadership Lessons from the Young Martin Luther King, Jr.

As the Montgomery Bus Boycott starts, the young Martin Luther King, Jr. faces challenges to his leadership goals, strategic vision, and personal and family safety. Harvard Business School professor Bill George discusses Dr. King’s early years and how they shaped his ability to respond with courage at his crucible moment -- and how leaders today can find the strength to do the same.
11/01/18·13m 55s

How to Monetize Happiness

Inspired by research linking happiness and productivity, the Japanese multinational conglomerate Hitachi Ltd, invested in developing “people analytics” technologies like high-tech badges (so-called “happiness sensors”) to help companies monitor and increase employee happiness. Harvard Business School professor Ethan Bernstein discusses Hitachi’s next challenge -- how to find the right business model -- as well as the ethics of collecting and sharing employee happiness data and whether a happier workplace is truly a more productive one.
03/01/18·14m 3s

Does Time Pressure Hinder or Facilitate Creativity at Work?

Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amabile discusses how managers can create the ideal conditions for employee creativity and success based on her research in three industries, seven companies, and 26 creative project teams.
04/12/17·18m 54s

Language and Globalization: The Mandate to Speak English at Rakuten

Japan’s largest online retailer Rakuten is rapidly expanding into global markets. In order to ensure the success of the organization, but also to break down linguistic and cultural boundaries in Japanese society, CEO Hiroshi Mikitani mandates English proficiency within two years for all employees. Harvard Business School professor Tsedal Neeley discusses the thinking behind Mikitani’s mandate and why there’s such a strong connection between language and globalization.
15/11/17·17m 21s

Could a Hackathon Help Solve the Heroin Crisis?

What’s the value of crowdsourcing technological solutions to societal problems? Could a hackathon help solve the heroin crisis in Cincinnati, Ohio? Harvard Business School professor Mitch Weiss discusses the underlying skepticism and emerging realities that unfold during protagonist Annie Rittgers’ journey to organizing a successful hackathon in his case, "Hacking Heroin."
31/10/17·14m 37s

Telemundo: The Fastest Growing TV Network in the United States

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 growing television network here. But as the traditional broadcast market as a whole continues to shrink, Telemundo chairman Cesar Conde grapples with how to redefine Hispanic television to capture millennials consuming media on digital devices. Harvard Business School professor Henry McGee discusses how digitalization and globalization are reshaping the entire media industry, including Telemundo, right now.
11/10/17·18m 45s

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

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 switching to home delivery is beneficial to most employees, why don’t more of them do it? Harvard Business School professor John Beshears describes how using choice architecture, or nudging people, can guide employees to making wiser decisions while still respecting their autonomy.
03/10/17·18m 17s

State Street’s SHE: Investing in Women Leaders

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 designed to track U.S. companies leading their industry in placing women on boards of directors and in senior leadership positions. Harvard Business School professor Vikram Gandhi discusses the importance of investing for impact and the potential for influence on corporate America.
19/09/17·14m 41s

Faber-Castell Doubles Down on the Pencil

Faber-Castell is a 255-year-old company that makes pencils. How does an established company like this think about innovation, particularly if and when to adopt a new technology? Harvard Business School professor Ryan Raffaelli’s research looks at established companies that produce beloved products and how they manage technological shifts in their industry and in the world. This case explores Faber-Castell’s “companion for life” strategy and its bet to double down on the pencil.
05/09/17·15m 44s

Does Le Pliage Help or Hurt the Longchamp Luxury Brand?

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 handbag is challenging as Longchamp tries to move its brand upmarket into higher priced, luxury leather goods. Harvard Business School professor Jill Avery discusses the balancing act of cherishing the heritage of an established brand against the need to look forward and grow in the face of a rapidly changing industry.
22/08/17·18m 47s

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

Pal's Sudden Service has developed a unique operating model and organizational culture in the fast food restaurant business. With an emphasis on process control, zero errors, and extensive employee training and engagement, Pal's has been able to achieve excellent performance in an extremely competitive industry. Harvard Business School professor Gary Pisano discusses the company’s strategic challenge of deciding how much to grow and whether its organization model will scale.
08/08/17·18m 19s

From Don Draper to Big Data: The Revolution in Advertising

Advertising in the digital age bears little resemblance to the "Mad Men" depiction -- the Don Drapers of advertising have been replaced by big data and the people who work with it. Harvard Business School professor John Deighton, the author of the case, "WPP: From Mad Men to Math Men (and Women)," and Sir Martin Sorrell, founder and group chief executive of WPP and the protagonist in the case, discuss how WPP has been successful in the new advertising world order where algorithms and robots rule.
21/07/17·23m 19s

ShotSpotter: A Gunfire Detection Business Looks for a New Market

ShotSpotter provides gunfire detection sensors to cities across the United States. CEO Ralph Clark is interested in taking the company beyond the business-to-government sales model and into new services. Could his company provide a service to colleges and schools concerned with mass shootings? Could the technology be adapted for indoor applications like shopping malls and movie theaters? Or even citywide deployment through smart cities to detect gunfire during terrorist attacks. Harvard Business School professor Mitch Weiss discusses how moving from one business model to another is difficult, and how successful companies make the transition.
19/06/17·16m 32s

Building India’s First $100 Billion Company

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 $100 billion and replicate its model in other emerging markets. Harvard Business School professor Sunil Gupta discusses how reaching Sharma’s lofty goal won’t be about technology and finding new solutions, but rather all about finding new use cases for existing solutions.
30/05/17·14m 3s

Reversing the Losing Streak on Sesame Street

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 program in the right direction. But with a new mission to, “Make kids smarter, stronger, and kinder,” and a lot more innovation, it seems the opposite is in the works. Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter, who wrote the case with Harvard Business School professor Ryan L. Raffaelli, talks about reversing a losing streak with new partnerships and in the process determining how to answer foundational questions like, “Who are we if we make this deal?”
16/05/17·18m 35s

Leading Your Team to the Top of Mt. Everest

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 in, "Everest: A Leadership and Team Simulation." Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson talks about the choice to use Mt. Everest as the backdrop for this academic exercise, designing the simulation, and what students learn about teamwork along their way “up the mountain.”
02/05/17·10m 57s

Making Health Insurance Consumers Actually Like

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 themselves, Vitality has expanded to the UK and China. Harvard Business School professor Regina Herzlinger discusses why this idea of paying for self-care has the potential to improve health care in the United States as well.
18/04/17·15m 36s

Why German Businesses Support, Train, and Hire Syrian Refugees

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 has it worked out as successfully as hoped? Harvard Business School professor Rebecca Henderson discusses what it takes to integrate a huge number of new people, and the role business can play.
04/04/17·16m 24s

Cost-cutting Leads to Turbulence in the Airline Industry

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 market structure, and shifting clientele. Harvard Business School professor Susanna Gallani discusses one of the central lessons from her case study (co-authored with Harvard Business School professor Eva Labro), "RegionFly: Cutting Costs in the Airline Industry," that encompasses any company in any industry: the long-term focus for any leadership team has to be on not just survival, but figuring out how to come back from a rough patch to regain and even exceed market position.
21/03/17·15m 38s

IDEO Is Changing the Way Managers Think About Thinking

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 the process and how to adopt it. Harvard Business School professor Ryan Buell explores this process through the example of Cineplanet, the leading movie cinema chain in Peru. The company hired IDEO to help them determine how to better align their operating model with the needs of its customers. Like Buell, this case may change the way you think about thinking.
03/03/17·18m 2s

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

Using crowdsourcing to develop an annual list of Hollywood’s hottest unproduced screenplays, Harvard graduate Franklin Leonard took the negative term “black list” and turned it into a coveted place to be. Three films that once appeared on his Black List are nominated for a Best Picture Oscar this year. Harvard Business School professor Henry McGee, the former president of HBO Home Entertainment, explores a fascinating case about navigating the Hollywood film industry, reclaiming blackness as a positive, and taking success to the next level.
22/02/17·22m 34s

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

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 -- graduating high school at 16, working as a teacher, and learning accounting. Those experiences, coupled with her strong work ethic, culminated in Walker rising to lead the Independent Order of St. Luke and found several other businesses, all of which created jobs and opportunities for many women and blacks where there had been none before. Harvard Business School professor Tony Mayo discusses Walker’s remarkable legacy of firsts, and the courage and strength it took for her to forge a path forward for herself and those she served.
15/02/17·27m 11s

Black Business Leaders Series: Putting Diversity to Work

In theory, most companies would love to diversify their workforce. In practice, hiring specifically to increase diversity can cause a variety of cultural problems within an organization. Harvard Business School professor Robin Ely discusses two of her cases that train a critical lens on race-based and race-blind hiring, and some of the best practices firms can employ to achieve a well-balanced staff.
26/01/17·19m 6s

Black Business Leaders Series: The Entrepreneurship Behind Ebony Magazine

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 Rights Movement. But along with most other media companies, the publication faced stark challenges if it was to survive in the rapidly changing media landscape of 2015. Harvard Business School professor Steve Rogers discusses Ebony Magazine’s storied history, including its founder’s awareness of disruption theory fifty years ahead of time, and what the company has long meant for the black community.
26/01/17·17m 51s

Can Wynton Marsalis and Lincoln Center Save Jazz Music?

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 younger fans in a competitive musical landscape. With its listenership in steep decline, jazz legend Wynton Marsalis is looking to rebrand the genre and engineer its comeback, with the help of Harvard Business School professor Rohit Deshpande.
18/01/17·15m 46s

The American Food Paradox: Growing Obese and Going Hungry

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 the food made and purchased each year is thrown away, and in which food needs are expected to more than double over the next few decades. Harvard Business School professor Jose Alvarez discusses how the former president of Trader Joe’s is boiling these difficult problems down into one elegant solution in a pilot store in Dorchester, Massachusetts, and blazing a trail toward sustainability in the process.
03/01/17·21m 23s

Target’s Expensive Cybersecurity Mistake

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 the busy holiday season of 2013, when 110 million customers’ information was compromised. Harvard Business School professor Suraj Srinivasan explores one of the largest cyber breaches in history, analyzing why failures happen, who should be held accountable, and how preventing them is both a technical problem and a matter of organizational design.
20/12/16·23m 4s

How Wayfair Built a Furniture Brand from Scratch

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 of 240 websites selling very different things. Harvard Business School professor Thales Teixeira takes listeners on a journey through the rise of internet sales and search engine marketing, and into the minds of the company’s executives as they built an online furniture giant from scratch.
07/12/16·22m 27s

Digital Change: Lessons from the Newspaper Industry

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 where many others have failed. Through the lens of his new book, The Content Trap, Harvard Business School professor Bharat Anand discusses Schibsted’s resounding success, how bringing users together drives revenue, and the importance of media companies adopting a “digital-first” approach.
18/11/16·22m 51s

Building Affordable Health Care in Paradise

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 at scale, and a solution to that staggering problem has sprung up in, of all places, the Cayman Islands. Harvard Business School professor Tarun Khanna explains how a new hospital with a revolutionary cost structure and service model is making a name for itself on an island better known for bright sunshine and sandy beaches.
14/11/16·14m 20s

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

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 difficult task. Harvard Business School professor Joe Badaracco discusses the best ways to make hard decisions and deliver bad news, pulling from his case “Two Tough Calls” and his new book, "Managing in the Gray."
03/11/16·13m 35s

The Crash and the Fix of

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 complete and utter failure. Harvard Business School professor Len Schlesinger delves into the enormous challenges involved with building, launching, and fixing, and how those administrative trials and triumphs are instructive for any managerial setting.
01/11/16·20m 4s

Oktoberfest: Making Money Off of Tradition

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 beer) during the festival each year. Harvard Business School professor Juan Alcacer discusses how the Oktoberfest brand has been transplanted around the globe, whether copycat festivals help or hurt its reputation, and to what extent its original hosts could or should be profit-motivated.
04/10/16·15m 4s

Innovation Under Constraint: Constructing a Turnaround at Lego

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 and most powerful brands in the process. But the company known for great directions lost its own in the 1990s and has stood on the brink of bankruptcy a few times since. Harvard Business School professor Jan Rivkin takes listeners behind the brick and into the minds of Lego’s leadership as they tackle digital disruption, how to innovate while remaining true to their core product and mission, and engineer an impressive 2004 turnaround that positions the company for huge future success.
04/10/16·15m 15s

Netflix Wins Big by Betting on “House of Cards”

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 Business School professor Anita Elberse discusses how the Emmy award-winning show flipped the script on standard television series production, brought binge-watching into the mainstream, and ushered in a whole new era of must-see programming.
04/10/16·13m 14s

Behind Apple’s Tax Situation, an Unprecedented Financial Policy

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 a near-death experience that caused it to completely reimagine itself. The result was a new line of products and a totally unique financial model that has since led to unprecedented success. Harvard Business School professor Mihir Desai explains the genius of the financial wiring behind the inventors of the Genius Bar.
04/10/16·14m 18s

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

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 that became a prime focus at IBM? Harvard Business School professor Willy Shih discusses how building Watson, a deep question answering machine, reinvigorated a stalled research and development team, taught IBM a ton about communication and product development, and led to a hotly contested “Jeopardy!” match on the Harvard Business School campus.
04/10/16·16m 20s

Why College Rankings Keep Deans Awake at Night

College represents one of the biggest decisions and investments many consumers will ever make. But can they really trust the rankings available to help them choose? Harvard Business School professor Bill Kirby unpacks the complex world of university rankings, including what “world-class” actually means, what rankings don’t take into account, and how schools are learning to game an imperfect system.
04/10/16·14m 12s

How Modest Investors Can Still Bet Big

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 power of technology to give average investors better access to IPOs. Harvard Business School professor Luis Viceira discusses this novel mission, the huge new market it creates, and the delicate balance of being disruptive but only when necessary.
04/10/16·12m 53s

How to Fix a Broken Global Team

Increasingly, almost every team is a global team in some capacity. This presents a difficult challenge for managers everywhere, and especially for high-potential leaders who want to take their careers to the next level: how do you bring together a team whose members are geographically and culturally dispersed? Harvard Business School professor Tsedal Neeley discusses her case of a real-life executive charged with corralling a hugely diverse, underperforming group and leading it back to success on a global scale.
04/10/16·13m 48s

Who Makes the Eyes for Driverless Cars?

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 decade. Mobileye is one of them, with a $10 billion valuation and a huge head start in a potentially enormous market. Harvard Business School professor David Yoffie discusses why a company many have never heard of will be a lynchpin in the future of self-driving automobiles.
04/10/16·12m 31s

Hold Onto Your Complexity: Bringing Multiple Identities to Work

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 balance between her professional image and her personal passions. Harvard Business School professor Lakshmi Ramarajan discusses her inspiring success and the importance of managing perceptions to achieve greatness.
04/10/16·14m 24s

A Better World Through Brewing

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 production and distribution and make them interesting and important to the consumer. Harvard Business School professor Forest Reinhardt explains how a big, sophisticated company used small details, from trucking routes to the color of refrigerators, to put its commitment to the environment to work on its behalf.
04/10/16·8m 57s

Who Owns Space?

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 School professor Matthew Weinzierl discusses his new case on New Space, and how public-private partnerships are becoming the building blocks for the hottest new startup sector.
04/10/16·15m 20s

The Real Cost of Ignoring Mental Health in the Workplace

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 health-related absences each year. Harvard Business School professor John Quelch discusses his case on the state of mental health in the U.S. workplace, and why even though companies are better than ever about providing services to their workers, the stigma attached to mental health leaves a lot of work yet to be done.
04/10/16·12m 15s

Walmart: Changing the World for Better or Worse?

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, particularly in terms of sustainability, the company often faces criticism for its business practices. Harvard Business School professor Rebecca Henderson discusses what she calls the paradigmatic case: how Walmart takes huge risks, makes great strides, and demonstrates how companies are one of the few instruments humanity has for changing the world at scale, for better or for worse.
04/10/16·15m 10s

The Key to Keeping Resolutions? Betting Against Yourself

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 how to help people change bad habits (and reinforce good ones) by looking at what makes them tick. Here, she discusses stickK, an application that motivates people by forcing them to put skin in the game of self-improvement.
19/09/16·12m 21s

A Map of Economic Renewal Begins in Maine

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 face of job creation in the future. Harvard Business School professor Karen Mills, the former administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration under President Obama, explains her new case on the Maine Food Cluster Project, including the role catalytic philanthropy and cluster initiatives can play in reenergizing struggling business sectors.
19/09/16·9m 5s

The Team Sport of Scaling a Business

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 with his company Movile. Harvard Business School professor Lynda Applegate discusses how, with the right blend of talent, ambition, and teamwork, a company can become an international powerhouse and still remain nimble and true to its roots.
19/09/16·9m 53s

For the Hotel Business, it’s TripAdvisor or Bust

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 repository of user-generated reviews, was the most-visited travel website in the world in 2013. Harvard Business School professor Thales Teixeira discusses TripAdvisor’s staggering success, how the company has forced an entire industry to change the way it considers (and purposefully influences) the online review process, and how consumers navigate that sea of reviews.
19/09/16·13m 8s

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

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. Orphaned at age 8, married at 14, and widowed at 20 with a daughter to raise, Walker went on to become a millionaire entrepreneur in the Deep South at the turn of the century, against all odds. Harvard Business School professor Nancy Koehn describes Walker’s inspiring real life story of making good on her own unique American dream.
19/09/16·17m 9s

The Space Shuttle Columbia’s Final Mission

No organization wants to fail. But even for the best and the brightest, failure is inevitable, and occasionally that failure can be catastrophic. Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson describes her experience writing and teaching a case on the Columbia space shuttle’s final mission, including the organizational challenges within NASA that contributed to it, and the lessons that can be taken from the tragedy.
19/09/16·12m 40s

The Power of Presence at the Podium

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 voters cold despite his eminent qualifications. With the help of KNP Communications, Silver is forced to watch himself at the podium and makes some profound discoveries. Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy delves into this fascinating case and the importance of body language, believing in your own story, and how to put your best self forward.
19/09/16·12m 24s

A Microchip in Your Medicine

Digitally-enabled prescription medication may sound futuristic. Thanks to Proteus, the future is now. The company has developed the technology to place microchips inside prescription pills, allowing doctors to retrieve real-time updates on everything from dosing, to vital signs, to the efficacy of different medications. However, regulating and marketing such ground-breaking technology is almost as complicated as the medical conditions it can help cure. Harvard Business School professor Richard Hamermesh unpacks the challenges of changing the world of medicine.
19/09/16·11m 35s

Designing a Great Community

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 ones. Harvard Business School professor Karim Lakhani talks about the challenges, exciting moments, and ultimate dilemma in the case: When do you grow the community vs. when do you go national and make the big money? Many companies consider how to bring elements of community into their companies. Learn more about this fascinating journey from Lakhani's case, “Threadless: The Business of Community.”
19/09/16·11m 32s

Planning Change: Lessons from the World of Retail

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 success, how to keep growing as an individual, and how to embrace missteps. Harvard Business School professor Das Narayandas examines Johnson’s career trajectory and discusses the importance of personal accountability and creative planning in the rapidly-changing world of retail.
19/09/16·12m 3s

Leadership from Below

Harvard Business School professor Rohit Deshpande discusses lessons for leaders from the heroic and selfless acts of the Taj Palace staff during the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai.
19/09/16·11m 35s

A Hard Sell: Bringing Cultured Beef to Market

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 has increased 63%. Can the world continue to feed its growing meat-eating population? New technologies have the potential to revolutionize the meat industry by growing tissue culture beef… but, how do you market against the “yuck" factor? Harvard Business School professor Jose Alvarez aims to answer these questions.
19/09/16·12m 38s

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

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 the athletes, the league, and culture at large. Harvard Business School professor Richard Hamermesh discusses those implications and his case “The National Football League and Brain Injuries."
19/09/16·11m 55s

Bringing “Moneyball” to the NBA

Are people better off as a result of your presence? Harvard Business School professor Frances Frei discusses leadership lessons from basketball, the ultimate team sport.
19/09/16·10m 26s

Making the Case for a New Kind of Classroom

There are no grade levels, no official start times, and teachers get stock options. Is AltSchool the school of the future? Harvard Business School professor John Kim discusses his case.
19/09/16·9m 21s

Dangerous Mines: Saving Lives Through Leadership

Cynthia Carroll's breathtaking story about taking decisive action in the face of a complex and dangerous situation. Harvard Business School professor Gautam Mukunda discusses his case.
16/09/16·12m 0s

Cold Calling Stella McCartney

With her unique leadership style and innovative approach to green fashion, Stella McCartney shows that a luxury brand can be sustainable. Harvard Business School professor Anat Keinan discusses her case.
16/09/16·8m 40s

Cold Call Introduction

Host Brian Kenny introduces Cold Call, the official podcast of the Harvard Business School. Cold Call distills the Business School’s legendary case studies into podcast form. The podcast airs every two weeks and features HBS faculty discussing cases they’ve written and the lessons they impart.
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