With time on my hands over the holidays, I’ve finally been able to go through my emails from the Harvard Business Review, which I saved in a special folder during the past year.
Below, in reverse chronological order, are the finds I liked the best, based on their potential usefulness to bcomm students. (Note: Some of this material was for “subscribers only,” so I’ve provided publication information rather than links. But if you register for a free HBR online account, you can view eight articles per month as well as many features on the HBR website.)
- “Cultivating Everyday Courage” (Nov.-Dec. 2018 issue). Standing up for oneself in the workplace is important, especially if inequality is involved. This article discusses how to create positive change by being “competently courageous.” It can help our students see that strategic communication problem-solving can help them successfully handle even the most risky-seeming conversations.
- “What to Do When You Have a Bad Boss” (HBR blog, Sept. 7, 2018). As this article points out, bad bosses are common, and they create not only emotional but physical problems for their employees. One can try several coping strategies, however, before deciding that leaving the company is the only solution. This article could be part of a great little unit on getting along with one’s boss.
- “Why Companies Should Add Class to Their Diversity Discussions” (HBR blog, Sept. 5, 2018). Referencing J. D. Vance’s widely read book Hillbilly Elegy, the authors discuss common biases faced by “class migrants”—aspiring workplace professionals who’ve had less privileged backgrounds than most of the people they want to work with. Along the way, they discuss problematic company practices—such as rejecting job applicants because they aren’t a good “culture fit”—that affect other minority groups as well.
- “Boost Your Emotional Intelligence with These 3 Questions” (HBR blog, Aug. 16, 2018). Co-written by the inventor of the term and concept “emotional intelligence,” Daniel Goleman, this article can help students aspire to the kind of emotional intelligence that suits their values and goals. A link in the article takes you to a handy chart showing Goleman’s 12 EI competencies.
- “Why Women Volunteer for More Tasks That Don’t Lead to Promotion” (HBR blog, July 16, 2018). This phenomenon has been well established. What do you think causes it? The authors conducted several experiments to test various hypotheses . . . and the results will probably surprise you and your students. This could be a great article to include when discussing collaboration or gender issues in the workplace.
- “How to Give a Webinar Presentation” (HBR blog, June 11, 2018). The author discusses important tips for conducting a successful webinar. If your students have access to WebEx or similar software, having them conduct and record a webinar could be a great assignment, especially since webinars have become such a common medium in business.
- “Having Your Smartphone Nearby Takes a Toll on Your Thinking” (HBR blog, Mar. 20, 2018). Researchers conducted an experiment to see if people’s smartphones were distracting even when they were turned face down and put on silent. Of course the answer was “yes”! Read the article to see why, and invite your students to do additional research on the influence of smartphones on performance.
- “The Leader’s Guide to Corporate Culture” (Jan.-Feb. 2018 issue). After defining corporate culture and stressing its influence on organizational success, this article describes eight types of cultures based on two factors: the organization’s attitude toward people and its attitude toward change. Students can practice analyzing corporate culture by reflecting on places where they’ve worked, businesses they know, and/or businesses that are in the news, and they can make connections between the type and size of the business and its cultural traits.
I like the Harvard Business Review the best of the general business periodicals because I think its topics relate the most to things our students need to know. I highly recommend registering for their free online content and sharing the goodies you’ll get in your in-box.