Jeff Bussgang, a venture capitalist who teaches entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School, knows from personal experience and having funded many startups that there’s more than one way into that world. You don’t have to have a technical background. Excellent communication skills and a high emotional IQ are startup skills, too. Bussgang, the author of “Entering StartUpLand,” walks through the process of finding your dream job in a new company.
Jennifer Riel, an adjunct professor at the Rotman School of Management, presents a model way to solve problems: integrative thinking. It’s taking the best from two inadequate options to come up with a successful solution. She gives examples from the film industry to show how CEOs have put the process to work. Riel is the co-author, along with Roger Martin, of the book “Creating Great Choices: A Leader’s Guide to Integrative Thinking.”
Sue Ashford, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, breaks down her decades of research on leadership—who achieves it, and how a group grants it. She explains that the world isn’t divided into leaders and followers. Instead, it’s a state that everyone can reach, whether they’re officially in charge or not. She also explains why shared leadership benefits a team and organization. Ashford offers tips on how to effectively grow leadership in yourself and your employees.
Forest Reinhardt and Michael Toffel, Harvard Business School professors, talk about how a giant, global enterprise that operates and owns assets at sea level is fighting climate change—and adapting to it. They discuss what the private sector can learn from the U.S. Navy’s scientific and sober view of the world. Reinhardt and Toffel are the authors of “Managing Climate Change: Lessons from the U.S. Navy” in the July–August 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review.
Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism adviser to U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, has made a career of investigating disaster warnings. The way he sees it, catastrophes can happen at any time, so why should decision makers ignore a Cassandra? Now a cybersecurity firm CEO, Clarke is an expert at figuring out who is a conspiracy theorist and who is a credible source. He explains his method through a few case studies—on the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown, and others—from his new book, “Warnings: Finding Cassandras to Stop Catastrophes.”
Kabir Sehgal, a corporate strategist, Grammy-winning producer, investment banker, bestselling author, and military reserve officer, talks about building and thriving in a portfolio career. He discusses the benefits of pursuing diverse interests, the tradeoffs and productivity discipline demanded by that career choice, and he offers tips for managing a schedule with multiple work activities. And he argues we should stop calling these second careers “side hustles.” Sehgal is the author of the HBR article, “Why You Should Have (at Least) Two Careers.”
Erik Brynjolfsson, MIT Sloan School professor, explains how rapid advances in machine learning are presenting new opportunities for businesses. He breaks down how the technology works and what it can and can’t do (yet). He also discusses the potential impact of AI on the economy, how workforces will interact with it in the future, and suggests managers start experimenting now. Brynjolfsson is the co-author, with Andrew McAfee, of the HBR Big Idea article, “The Business of Artificial Intelligence.” They’re also the co-authors of the new book, “Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future.