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How to Earn Your Manager’s Respect

We all want to be valued — and be viewed as valuable — at work. But respect isn’t a given; you have to earn it. Whether you have a new manager or have worked with your current boss for years, what can you do to make sure your boss appreciates what you bring to the job? What’s the best way to build trust? And how do you ask for respect if you don’t feel like you’re given it? What the Experts Say A recent HBR study of nearly 20,000 employees around the world found that the most important thing that workers want from their managers is respect. “If you don’t feel respected, you won’t be engaged in your work,” says Linda Hill, professor at Harvard Business School and the coauthor of Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader. Respect from your boss has many la....
Do Conservative Managers Give Smaller Bonuses to Women?

Every year, Len and Cal — two thoughtful partners in a law firm — have to evaluate a handful of direct reports and assign them end-of-year bonuses. Both Len and Cal take this responsibility very seriously, as their decisions are consequential for their subordinates and their firm. In most respects the influences on Len’s and Cal’s decision making appear similar: they both follow the same company policies and norms, and they both have similar backgrounds and pedigrees. Yet the outcomes of their bonus decisions are remarkably different: over the years, Len’s female employees have consistently received a greater share of the bonus pool, compared with Cal’s female employees. One difference between Len and Cal is that Len is liberal and Cal is conservative. But why would their political views matter when th....
In the Digital Age, Physical Assets Are a Burden

Investors prefer companies with less stuff.
How Design Thinking Turned One Hospital into a Bright and Comforting Place

Long dreary corridors, impersonal waiting rooms, the smell of disinfectant — hospitals tend to be anonymous and depressing places. Even if you’re just there as a visitor, you’re bound to wonder, “How can my friend recover in such an awful place? Will I get out of here without catching an infection?” But the transformation of the Rotterdam Eye Hospital suggests that it doesn’t have to be this way. Over the past 10 years, the hospital’s managers have transformed their institution from the usual, grim, human-repair shop into a bright and comforting place. By incorporating design thinking and design principles into their planning process, the hospital’s executives, supported by external designers, have turned the hospital into a showplace that has won a number of safety, quality, and desig....
Move Your Analytics Operation from Artisanal to Autonomous

Many organizations today are wondering how to get into machine learning, and what it means for their existing analytics operation. There are many different types of machine learning, and a variety of definitions of the term. I view machine learning as any data-driven approach to explanations, classifications, and predictions that uses automation to construct a model. The computer constructing the model “learns” during the construction process what model best fits the data. Some machine learning models continue to improve their results over time, but most don’t. Machine learning, in other words, is a form of automating your analytics. And it has the potential to make human analysts wildly more productive. To illustrate the movement from “artisanal analytics” to “autonomous analytics,” I’ll p....
Lack of Information Stokes Globalization Anxiety

The less we know about the world, the less we want to interact with it.
What to Do When You’re the Target of a Hurtful Office Rumor

When Caroline moved to a new city to take on a job at a company she was thrilled to join, she was surprised when she had a hard time building friendships and positive relationships with her colleagues. A few months down the road, she found out why: Someone from her previous company had falsely told one of her new colleagues that Caroline tries to get others to do her work for her. Workplace gossip like this can have devastating consequences.  We tend to have a strong negativity bias: almost all of us pay more attention to negative information than we do to positive information. Think about the last time you posted something to Facebook, for example, and got a string of enthusiastic comments followed by a single, stinging rebuke – which comment did you focus on? We react similarly to information about others. Research by S....
Leading in a World Without Secrets

Buried amid the furor of speculation about what results of the U.S. election mean for businesses is a fact that’s getting too little attention, but that CEOs and business leaders will definitely need to adjust to: it’s gotten much harder to keep your company’s secrets. Leaked communications that were presumed private at the time have apparently had a major impact on world events. It’s a trend that was already well underway in business, with hacks on companies like Ashley Madison, and leaks of emails from companies like Sony. We’ve had a tendency to think of these primarily as addressable technical failures. It should now be dawning on us that they also reflect a new reality when it comes to keeping legitimate business secrets, requiring a new mindset and strategies from those leading all kinds of enterprises....
Why We Are So Careless with the Things We Own?

In a strange series of events, a consumer microwaves his cell phone instead of a burrito, a lab worker drops his mobile device into a vat of toxic sludge, and a commuter throws her phone into the backseat of a departing taxi. Horrible mistakes? No. As becomes clear at the end of this Virgin Mobile TV commercial, these phone owners are all intent on “accidentally” destroying or losing their devices, thus necessitating an upgrade purchase. Is this simply a humorous advertisement, or can knowledge about the availability of product upgrades actually lead consumers to mistreat the products they own? Together with Josh Ackerman of the University of Michigan, we conducted some research to find out. Sticking with cell phones, we began by examining an international dataset of about 3,000 lost Apple iPhones. We found that consumers are....
The Most (and Least) Empathetic Companies, 2016

Empathy has never been in more explicit demand from corporate leaders — particularly after a divisive U.S. presidential election and amid continued economic uncertainty around the globe. As the newly released 2016 Empathy Index demonstrates, empathy, which is about understanding our emotional impact on others and making change as a result, is more important to a successful business than it has ever been, correlating to growth, productivity, and earnings per employee.   The Empathy Index seeks to answer the question: Which companies are successfully creating empathetic cultures? These are the companies that retain the best people, create environments where diverse teams thrive, and ultimately reap the greatest financial rewards. Methodology This year’s index builds on the methodology of last year’s. ....
How Banks Are Capitalizing on a New Wave of Big Data and Analytics - SPONSOR CONTENT FROM COGNIZANT

By Prasad Chintamaneni, President, Global Industries and Consulting, Cognizant Digital is reconfiguring the world. Smart, always-connected devices and anytime/anywhere interactions are now givens, particularly among millennials, who expect such conveniences in banking and financial services. Data underpins digital’s disruptive promise. Combined with predictive analytics, hardware, and connectivity, data opens the door to breakthroughs such as Code Halo™ thinking. Code Halos are the information that surrounds people, organizations, and devices and are today’s digital fuel. Every digital click, swipe, “like,” buy, comment, and search produces a unique virtual identity—something we call a Code Halo. While Code Halos are important to each of us, they are becoming increasingly vital to the success of e....
Digital Leadership Is Not an Optional Part of Being a CEO

Being a CEO is harder than ever. The rapid pace of change in business and technology means that more and more companies will find themselves being disrupted. In fact, our latest research with MIT, in which we interviewed more than 1,000 CEOs (from 131 countries and 27 industries, in organizations of varying sizes), shows that 90% of executives believe their businesses are being disrupted or reinvented by digital business models, and 70% believe they do not have the right skills, leader, or operating structure to adapt. It’s not a good position to be in. What’s a CEO to do? Should you hire a chief digital officer? Should you replace your executives with leaders from internet companies? Should you force everyone to learn about mobile computing and digital business models? While these are all sound ideas, our research shows that....
When New Products Should Make Customers Feel in Control

Conventional wisdom suggests that marketers should emphasize the novelty of new products to get people to buy them. However, research is starting to show that this might be the wrong approach. Despite the fact that firms spend billions of dollars on developing and marketing new products, these products face persistently high failure rates — often up to 40% to 90%, depending on the product category. More interestingly, these odds seem to have remained stable over the past few decades, suggesting that transient factors, such as the economic climate, cannot fully account for the high rates of failure. We sought to investigate whether more stable, psychological factors, such as consumers’ desire for control, could act as barriers to new product acceptance. Results from a series of experiments (forthcoming in the Journal of C....
Handling Stress in the Moment

HBR contributing editor Amy Gallo discusses the best tactics to recognize, react to, and recover from stressful situations. She’s a contributor to the HBR Guide to Managing Stress at Work. Download this podcast
Changing How Patients and Doctors Talk About Death

Ask yourself this: What will be most important to you when the time comes to die? We know it’s a tough question, and one that patients, their families and loved ones, and their clinicians may avoid discussing. The result of putting off this conversation is that people often experience their final moments in a hospital room hooked up to machines, which isn’t what they would actually want. It needn’t go this way. A program we’re involved with at Ariadne Labs, a joint center of innovation between the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, has made good progress changing the way patients and their doctors talk about death so that, in the end, patients’ wishes and their experience are aligned. When people do have this conversation, most describe the importance ....
How to Bring Mindfulness to Your Company’s Leadership

Mindfulness is the height of fashion in leadership development circles. At a recent conference in the field, we saw a missionary-type fervor among some trainers who claimed that mindfulness could fix every ill in the organizational world. It’s easy to succumb to enthusiastic hyperbole; one HR director we spoke to was characteristically delighted to be introducing a two-hour workshop to her board of directors to help them become more resilient, more focused, and more open to challenge. But hopes like these are justified more by wishing than by any reliable evidence. There is in fact very little data in relation to the impact of mindfulness training on leadership development. Despite plenty of anecdotal support from leaders who have tried mindfulness, the current enthusiasm for it derives mainly from research conducted in c....
Driving Sales Success This Quarter, This Year, and Beyond

Most sales forces focus a good deal of their attention on the short term — on bringing in today’s sales or making this quarter’s numbers. It’s understandable: The sales team wants to be successful. Quarterly goal attainment is a visible measure of success, and often a determinant of incentive pay. Analysts and investors track company performance against quarterly goals, so company executives push the sales team to deliver on the company’s promise to the investment community. Sales leaders divide the national sales goal among sales managers, who allocate their portion of the goal to their salespeople. In short, everyone feels the pressure to deliver quarterly results. But sales forces that are managed only to meet short-term needs can drift into mediocrity. In extreme cases, the sales culture can become ....
Is Your Firm Underperforming? Your CEO Might Be Golfing Too Much

A year before Bear Stearns failed during the financial crisis, there were signs that the Wall Street firm was in trouble. During July 2007, two of Bear Stearns’ large hedge funds were failing. What was CEO James Cayne doing at the time? That month, he spent ten “working” days either playing golf or the card game bridge. The popular press is littered with anecdotes of chief executives failing to carry out their duties with the vigilance that shareholders desire of them. To be sure, there are always a few bad actors to villainize. But CEOs don’t punch a time clock. And given the varying demands of the job, CEOs engage in a wide variety of activities at different times, and at differing firms. How can we tell if the CEO is doing their best? Many financial economists believe that high-powered executive compensation he....
Improving On-the-Fly Teamwork in Health Care

Calls for teamwork in health care are as persistent as they are hard to heed. Over the past decade, a growing number of observers, ourselves included, have called attention to the need for providers to coordinate better across specialties, shifts, departments, and even organizations (for example between primary care and urgent care facilities) to produce safe, affordable, high-quality care. Cross-boundary teamwork is particularly important when caring for patients who have chronic conditions and multiple additional diseases, increasing the need for collaboration among diverse providers. This type of teamwork is also critical in making the customized, time-sensitive care decisions required in busy emergency departments staffed around the clock by over-stretched clinicians. Prior research in health care and other industries makes....
What Successful Movements Have in Common

The declaration of surrender was touted as a triumph: “Microsoft Loves Linux,” the headline read, but just a decade earlier, the firm’s then CEO, Steve Ballmer, had called Linux a cancer. The all-powerful tech giant had lost and lost badly — to a ragtag band of revolutionaries, no less — but still seemed strangely upbeat. Overthrows like these are becoming increasingly common and not just in business. As Moisés Naím observed in his book, The End of Power, institutions of all types, from corporations and governments to traditional churches, charities, and militaries, are being disrupted. “Power has become easier to get, but harder to use or keep,” he writes. The truth is that it’s no longer enough to capture the trappings of power, because movements made up of small group....
Why Top Management Should Listen to Activist Investors

Activist investors who expect to raise returns by influencing strategic decisions are having a meaningful impact on many industries from consumer-packaged goods to aerospace and defense. And the odds that your company, or industry, may find itself targeted by an activist are going up. Activists launched 159 campaigns in 2015 focused on shareholder value maximization, nearly double the 88 that were launched the year before. If you are a senior executive in a company concerned about activists, you have two potential paths: take the defensive (and perhaps expected) posture of defending your current strategy, or embrace the challenge and reassess your company’s path to value creation. Activists’ interventions are often described, favorably or not depending on your point of view, as slashing and burning, taking out cost, and engag....
How CEOs Can Put Gender Balance on the Agenda at Their Companies

Marion Barraud for HBR Global talent and customers are more gender balanced than ever before. Women make up half the U.S. workforce, drive 80% of consumer buying decisions, and represent 60% of global university graduates. Gender balance is a big business opportunity, with huge economic implications. It boosts bottom-line results, drives growth with new customer insights, and enhances productivity with better talent acquisition and retention. Companies whose executive teams are more gender balanced report higher profitability and return on equity. Does your own company really understand — and profit from — this 21st-century shift? If CEOs and other leaders want to tap into these benefits, it helps to know the facts and to be skilled at selling the idea of gender balance to colleagues who may be less convince....
Consumer Warning Labels Aren’t Working

Warning labels are everywhere. They alert us to the risks of eating unhealthy foods, smoking cigarettes, taking prescription drugs, driving cars, using power tools, and performing many other activities. Ideally, these warnings provide requisite risk information, allowing people to decide for themselves whether an activity or a product’s benefits outweigh its risks, whether to take those risks, and, if so, with what precautions. But are our current warnings effective? Do they convey sufficient information for individuals to balance the risks and benefits? Our answer is a resounding “no.” Our reasoning is that the present system fails miserably at distinguishing between large and small risks. A way to understand this is what we term wolves and puppies. Wolves are rarely seen but may eat your sheep — and perhaps....
When You’re the Person Your Colleagues Always Vent To

Divani (not her real name) is a senior analyst at a large telecommunications firm. She proudly describes herself as her department’s “resident cheer-upper.” As she says, “I have always been the person that people turn to for support…I listen really well and I like to listen, I like to help.” But the year before I spoke to her, Divani’s organization was going through a major change initiative: “I already had so much on my plate and so many colleagues were leaning on me, turning to me to process, commiserate, ask for advice. It was hard to get through my own deadlines and also be there for my coworkers. I was drowning in stress and nearing burnout.” She told us about feeling down on Sunday nights, feeling increasingly angry and cynical, and having trouble sleeping because she couldnR....
To Persuade People, Trade PowerPoint for Papier-Mâché

Someone once told me that most PowerPoint presentations have neither power nor a point. I cannot recollect, in 30 years of work, a single PowerPoint presentation I saw or gave that altered the course of anything. Yet in meeting after meeting around the world, PowerPoint is the medium of choice. In fact, according to Microsoft, there are over 30 million PowerPoint  presentations given every day. When someone chooses to use PowerPoint or any other slide deck program, the choice has consequences. It establishes a power structure that is less relevant in today’s networked world, with the subject matter expert speaking at the front of the room and the audience passively receiving information. It keeps teams indoors, in closed rooms, in a seated position for prolonged periods which, as Mayo Clinic reports, increases the risk of....

TECHNALINK HIGHLIGHTS
The OM Factor received the prestigious honor of the Bronze Medal from The Axiom Business Book Awards as one of the best business books of 2016.
  

In celebration of women role models in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), STEMconnectortm unveils in hard copy and online its inaugural 100 Women Leaders in STEM publicatin. The heroines included in 100 Women Leaders in STEM share stories about their commitment to serving as mentors and sponsors of those who are next in the stem jobs pipline.
           
Mclean, VA - Technalink, Inc. is excited to announce that Alka Dhillon, Founder & Chief Executive Officer has been selected as a winner for the 2012 BRAVA! Women Business Achievement Award Presented by SmartCEO.
    
Alka Dhillon, Founder and CEO, Technalink (McLean,VA) Recognized as one of the leading female CEOs in the Washington, DC, area, Ms. Dhillon is known for her irrepressible entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for giving back to the community.

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