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The Amazon–Whole Foods Deal Means Every Other Retailer’s Three-Year Plan Is Obsolete

The Amazon–Whole Foods Deal Means Every Other Retailer’s Three-Year Plan Is Obsolete

When Amazon announced last week that it will acquire Whole Foods Market, a grocery chain with over 450 retail stores and deep industry talent, for $13.7 billion, Amazon’s stock price rose 2.4% on the news, increasing its market capitalization by $11 billion. At the same time, the price of SuperValu plummeted 14.4%, Kroger dropped 9.2%, and Sprouts fell 6.3%. You could almost hear the three-year plans of every grocer, and nearly every other traditional retailer, grinding through the shredding machines.Nobody in the industry should be surprised that the future of retailing is moving toward...

June 22, 2017
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What It Takes to Think Deeply About Complex Problems

What It Takes to Think Deeply About Complex Problems

The problems we’re facing often seem as intractable as they do complex. But as Albert Einstein famously observed, “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” So what does it take to increase the complexity of our thinking? To cultivate a more nuanced, spacious perspective, start by challenging your convictions. Ask yourself, “What am I not seeing here?” and “What else might be true?” Second, do your most challenging task first every day, when your mind is fresh and before distractions arise. And third, pay attention to how you’re feeling. Embracing...

May 13, 2018
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How to Negotiate with a Procurement Team

How to Negotiate with a Procurement Team

Service providers often feel frustrated when they are funneled into a procurement process to win deals with clients. Their choice, as they see it, is either to walk away, or capitulate to procurement’s rules, thus losing the opportunity for potentially significant value creation (and future profit). They  enter a predicament called “winning the pitch but losing the negotiation.” But it doesn’t have to be this way. Rather than deciding how to respond to ultimata and threats, sellers can instead use two key moves to improve their fortunes: Analyze the set-up and shape the process.Imagine the...

March 10, 2020
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What It Takes to Run a Great Virtual Meeting

What It Takes to Run a Great Virtual Meeting

Not being able to work together in the same room with colleagues may become a major challenge due to the coronavirus outbreak. To make virtual meetings work, you might need to adjust how your team conducts them. Prioritize video, but offer a dial-in option. Test the technology ahead of time and make sure faces can be seen. Follow general meeting best practices, such as having a clear objective and circulating an agenda. Minimize presentation length, use an icebreaker to get everyone talking, assign a facilitator, call on participants, and capture real-time feedback via polling systems to...

March 10, 2020
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Preparing Your Business for a Post-Pandemic World

Preparing Your Business for a Post-Pandemic World

Coronavirus has impacted the world at an unprecedented level — and unfortunately, the worst has yet to come. Companies need to act today in order to bounce back successfully in a post-corona marketplace. The authors suggest executives ask themselves the following five strategic questions: 1. Which position can you achieve during and after the coronavirus pandemic? 2. What is your action plan to bounce back? 3. How will your culture and organizational identity be changed by the crisis? 4. Which new projects do you need to launch, run, and coordinate? 5. How well prepared are you to carry out...

April 10, 2020
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How Digital Contact Tracing Slowed Covid-19 in East Asia

How Digital Contact Tracing Slowed Covid-19 in East Asia

East Asian countries have had striking success flattening the Covid-19 curve. The key is aggressive application of mobile contact-tracing technologies — either voluntary or mandatory — and a collectivist spirit that encourages a civic-minded embrace of and a more willing compliance with governments’ infection control efforts. These technologies work, but require privacy violations that western democracies may be unwilling to accept. Technologies that preserve privacy while permitting effective tracing may be part of the solution.To get all of HBR’s content delivered to your inbox, sign up...

April 15, 2020
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The Essential Clayton Christensen Articles

The Essential Clayton Christensen Articles

Clayton M. Christensen is best known for his theory of “disruptive innovation,” but he published a number of seminal articles on management, exploring everything from organizational structure to product innovation; financial tools to mergers and acquisitions. Here is a collection of 11 essential articles.Editor’s note: Clayton Christensen died on Jan. 23, 2020. Here we present some of his seminal HBR pieces through an adaptation of the introduction to the book The Clayton M. Christensen Reader.Clayton M. Christensen is best known for his theory of disruptive innovation, in which he warns...

January 30, 2020
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A Way Forward for Small Businesses

A Way Forward for Small Businesses

Small businesses with fewer than 500 employees account for 48% of American jobs and 43.5% of GDP, and they are facing an existential threat in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.  To understand the economic impacts on small business, the authors surveyed roughly 5,800 companies nationwide. They found these companies to be cash-strapped, with many having shut down or laid off workers, and uncertain about whether federal assistance will work for them. They offer five recommendations for small businesses navigating an uncertain future: 1) Don’t rush decisions, but do make plans; 2) Get in line...

April 13, 2020
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That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief

That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief

During the global pandemic, a palpable sense of collective grief has emerged. Grief expert David Kessler says that grief is actually multiple feelings that we must manage. In an interview with HBR, he explains how the classic five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, sadness, acceptance) apply today, and the practical steps we can take to manage the anxiety. Those include balancing bad thoughts with good; focusing on the present; letting go of things you can’t control; and stocking up on compassion. Kessler also talks about a sixth stage of grief: meaning. After acceptance, he says,...

March 23, 2020
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Is Your Emotional Intelligence Authentic, or Self-Serving?

Is Your Emotional Intelligence Authentic, or Self-Serving?

It’s possible to fake emotional intelligence. Well-intended leaders can go into interactions armed with what they believe is a combination of deep empathy, attuned listening, and self-awareness but is, in fact, a way to serve their own emotional needs. There are three common counterfeit emotions to watch out for. First, there’s rescuing disguised as empathy: When expressing empathy for those you lead, pay attention to any need you might have to be the hero. Compassionate understanding for the challenges of others is emotionally intelligent. Rescuing them from the consequences of those...

May 26, 2018
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Darrell K. Rigby

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Alexis Krivkovich

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Ishanaa Rambachan

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