Cold Call

Cold Call
From Harvard Business Review

Can the “Cummings Way” Live on After the Founder Retires?
May 26 • 30 min
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…
Autonomous Vehicles are Ready to Disrupt Society, Business, and You
May 12 • 36 min
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…
Is the Healthiest Building in the World Worth the Rent?
Apr 28 • 31 min
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…
Fortnite Was a Blockbuster for Epic Games, What’s the Encore?
Apr 14 • 18 min
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.”
Bringing the Case Method Online
Apr 7 • 23 min
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…
Controlling the Emotion of Negotiation
Mar 31 • 25 min
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…
Is There a Winner in Huawei’s Digital Cold War with the U.S.?
Mar 17 • 27 min
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…
Do Universities Need 2U to Create Digital Education?
Mar 3 • 31 min
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…
Global Ocean Trust: Protecting the Blue Planet in New Ways
Feb 18 • 26 min
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…
Why Backstage Capital Invests in “Underestimated” Entrepreneurs
Feb 4 • 30 min
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…
China-based Fuyao Glass Considers Manufacturing in the U.S.
Jan 21 • 24 min
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…
Can Capitalism Be Fixed by Making Companies More Just?
Jan 7 • 28 min
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.…
Under Pressure, OXXO Rethinks the Convenience Store
Dec 17, 2019 • 30 min
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…
Why CalSTRS Chooses to Engage with the Gun Industry
Dec 3, 2019 • 27 min
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…
Lessons from IBM in Nazi Germany
Nov 19, 2019 • 22 min
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.
Can the Robin Hood Army Grow with Zero Financial Resources?
Nov 5, 2019 • 34 min
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…
Goldman Sachs’ $500 Million Bet on Small Businesses
Oct 15, 2019 • 21 min
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…
Can Gimlet Turn a Podcast Network Into a Disruptive Platform?
Oct 1, 2019 • 26 min
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…
How a New Leader Broke Through a Culture of Accuse, Blame, and Criticize
Sep 17, 2019 • 22 min
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…
At, Innovation Means Constant Failure
Sep 3, 2019 • 25 min
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…
Should a Pension Fund Try to Change the World?
Aug 20, 2019 • 29 min
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…
Super Bowl Ads Sell Products, but Do They Sell Brands?
Aug 6, 2019 • 33 min
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…
JUUL: Leading the Vaping Revolution
Jul 16, 2019 • 23 min
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…
The Controversial History of United Fruit
Jul 2, 2019 • 20 min
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…
In the Platform Economy, Upwork Searches for Better Matches in the Cloud
Jun 25, 2019 • 48 min
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.
Can Khan Academy Scale to Educate Anyone, Anywhere?
Jun 18, 2019 • 29 min
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…
Israel Turns 70: Does It Need a Rebrand?
Jun 4, 2019 • 28 min
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…
If the Key to Business Success Is Focus, Why Does Amazon Work?
May 21, 2019 • 20 min
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…
Managers: Are You Prepared to Handle Religion in the Workplace?
May 7, 2019 • 16 min
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…
Would You Live in a Smart City Where Government Controls Privacy?
Apr 16, 2019 • 24 min
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…
Can Mark Zuckerberg Rebuild Trust in Facebook?
Apr 3, 2019 • 19 min
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…
Will Startup Fishbowl Become the Social Media App for Your Industry?
Mar 22, 2019 • 19 min
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…
How Helena Rubinstein Used Tall Tales to Turn Cosmetics into a Luxury Brand
Mar 12, 2019 • 24 min
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…
Pursuing Precision Medicine at Intermountain Healthcare
Feb 26, 2019 • 26 min
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…
The Delicious History of Hershey Chocolate
Feb 13, 2019 • 25 min
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,…
How Wegmans Became a Leader in Improving Food Safety
Jan 29, 2019 • 16 min
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.
Can Miguel McKelvey Build the “Culture Operating System” at WeWork?
Jan 9, 2019 • 26 min
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.
Using Fintech to Disrupt Eastern Bank from Within
Dec 18, 2018 • 18 min
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…
Honda Created a Civic for Very Light Jets: How High Will it Fly?
Dec 5, 2018 • 21 min
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…
Building a Nonprofit Marketplace System to Feed America
Nov 19, 2018 • 25 min
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…
Could Big Data Replace the Creative Director at the Gap?
Nov 7, 2018 • 18 min
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.
Vodafone’s Innovative Approach to Advanced Technologies
Oct 24, 2018 • 23 min
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…
Baseball’s Billy Beane Shows Companies the Power of Data
Oct 10, 2018 • 16 min
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…
Did Entrepreneur Ernesto Tornquist Help or Hurt Argentina?
Sep 19, 2018 • 22 min
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,…
Should U.S. Companies Still Care About the Paris Climate Change Agreement?
Sep 5, 2018 • 18 min
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…
Two Million Fake Accounts: Sales Misconduct at Wells Fargo
Aug 17, 2018 • 24 min
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…
The Transformation of Microsoft
Jul 10, 2018 • 18 min
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…
LA Philharmonic Shows the American Symphony Orchestra Isn’t Dead Yet
Jun 27, 2018 • 22 min
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…
How Chase Sapphire Made Credit Cool for Millennials
Jun 13, 2018 • 19 min
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…
Careem: Riding the First Unicorn in the Middle East
May 29, 2018 • 18 min
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.…
Candy Crush was a Blockbuster; Can King Digital Capitalize?
May 9, 2018 • 18 min
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…
Why JPMorgan Chase is Investing Millions in Detroit
Apr 25, 2018 • 16 min
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…
How a Coal Polluter Became a Renewable Energy Leader
Apr 3, 2018 • 19 min
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…
Trump’s Populism: What Business Leaders Need to Understand
Mar 21, 2018 • 16 min
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…
Could a New Business Model Make Clinical Drug Trials More Accessible to Patients?
Mar 5, 2018 • 21 min
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…
Black Business Leaders Series: John Rogers and the Importance of Hiring Minority-Owned Services Firms
Feb 13, 2018 • 22 min
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…
Black Business Leaders Series: Oprah’s Path to Authentic Leadership
Jan 31, 2018 • 12 min
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,…
One Love: Managing a Movement Against Relationship Violence
Jan 23, 2018 • 14 min
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…
Leadership Lessons from the Young Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jan 11, 2018 • 13 min
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…
How to Monetize Happiness
Jan 3, 2018 • 14 min
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…
Does Time Pressure Hinder or Facilitate Creativity at Work?
Dec 4, 2017 • 18 min
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.
Language and Globalization: The Mandate to Speak English at Rakuten
Nov 15, 2017 • 17 min
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…
Could a Hackathon Help Solve the Heroin Crisis?
Oct 31, 2017 • 14 min
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…
Telemundo: The Fastest Growing TV Network in the United States
Oct 11, 2017 • 18 min
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,…
How to Promote Home Delivery of Prescription Drugs? Give Employees a “Nudge”
Oct 3, 2017 • 18 min
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…
State Street’s SHE: Investing in Women Leaders
Sep 19, 2017 • 14 min
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…
Faber-Castell Doubles Down on the Pencil
Sep 5, 2017 • 15 min
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…
Does Le Pliage Help or Hurt the Longchamp Luxury Brand?
Aug 22, 2017 • 18 min
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…
Pal’s Sudden Service: Taking Fast Food to the Next Level
Aug 8, 2017 • 18 min
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…
From Don Draper to Big Data: The Revolution in Advertising
Jul 21, 2017 • 23 min
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,…
ShotSpotter: A Gunfire Detection Business Looks for a New Market
Jun 19, 2017 • 16 min
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…
Building India’s First $100 Billion Company
May 30, 2017 • 14 min
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…
Reversing the Losing Streak on Sesame Street
May 16, 2017 • 18 min
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…
Leading Your Team to the Top of Mt. Everest
May 2, 2017 • 10 min
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…
Making Health Insurance Consumers Actually Like
Apr 18, 2017 • 15 min
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…
Why German Businesses Support, Train, and Hire Syrian Refugees
Apr 4, 2017 • 16 min
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…
Cost-cutting Leads to Turbulence in the Airline Industry
Mar 21, 2017 • 15 min
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…
IDEO Is Changing the Way Managers Think About Thinking
Mar 3, 2017 • 18 min
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…
Black Business Leaders Series: Franklin Leonard, “Black List” Mastermind
Feb 22, 2017 • 22 min
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…
Black Business Leaders Series: A Remarkable Legacy of Firsts, Maggie Lena Walker
Feb 15, 2017 • 27 min
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…
Black Business Leaders Series: Putting Diversity to Work
Jan 26, 2017 • 19 min
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…
Black Business Leaders Series: The Entrepreneurship Behind Ebony Magazine
Jan 26, 2017 • 17 min
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…
Can Wynton Marsalis and Lincoln Center Save Jazz Music?
Jan 18, 2017 • 15 min
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…
The American Food Paradox: Growing Obese and Going Hungry
Jan 3, 2017 • 21 min
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…
Target’s Expensive Cybersecurity Mistake
Dec 20, 2016 • 23 min
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…
How Wayfair Built a Furniture Brand from Scratch
Dec 7, 2016 • 22 min
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…
Digital Change: Lessons from the Newspaper Industry
Nov 18, 2016 • 22 min
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…
Building Affordable Health Care in Paradise
Nov 14, 2016 • 14 min
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…
Managing in the Real World: How to Make Gray-Area Decisions
Nov 3, 2016 • 13 min
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…
The Crash and the Fix of
Nov 1, 2016 • 20 min
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…
Oktoberfest: Making Money Off of Tradition
Oct 4, 2016 • 15 min
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…
Innovation Under Constraint: Constructing a Turnaround at Lego
Oct 4, 2016 • 15 min
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…
Netflix Wins Big by Betting on “House of Cards”
Oct 4, 2016 • 13 min
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…
Behind Apple’s Tax Situation, an Unprecedented Financial Policy
Oct 4, 2016 • 14 min
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…
What Building a “Jeopardy!” Robot Taught IBM About Innovation
Oct 4, 2016 • 16 min
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…
Why College Rankings Keep Deans Awake at Night
Oct 4, 2016 • 14 min
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…
How Modest Investors Can Still Bet Big
Oct 4, 2016 • 12 min
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…
How to Fix a Broken Global Team
Oct 4, 2016 • 13 min
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…
Who Makes the Eyes for Driverless Cars?
Oct 4, 2016 • 12 min
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…
Hold Onto Your Complexity: Bringing Multiple Identities to Work
Oct 4, 2016 • 14 min
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…
A Better World Through Brewing
Oct 4, 2016 • 8 min
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…
Who Owns Space?
Oct 4, 2016 • 15 min
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…
The Real Cost of Ignoring Mental Health in the Workplace
Oct 4, 2016 • 12 min
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…
Walmart: Changing the World for Better or Worse?
Oct 4, 2016 • 15 min
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…
The Key to Keeping Resolutions? Betting Against Yourself
Sep 19, 2016 • 12 min
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,…
A Map of Economic Renewal Begins in Maine
Sep 19, 2016 • 9 min
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…
The Team Sport of Scaling a Business
Sep 19, 2016 • 9 min
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…
For the Hotel Business, it’s TripAdvisor or Bust
Sep 19, 2016 • 13 min
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…
The Amazing Life of One of America’s Earliest Black Female Entrepreneurs
Sep 19, 2016 • 17 min
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…
The Space Shuttle Columbia’s Final Mission
Sep 19, 2016 • 12 min
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…
The Power of Presence at the Podium
Sep 19, 2016 • 12 min
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…
A Microchip in Your Medicine
Sep 19, 2016 • 11 min
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…
Designing a Great Community
Sep 19, 2016 • 11 min
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…
Planning Change: Lessons from the World of Retail
Sep 19, 2016 • 12 min
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…
Leadership from Below
Sep 19, 2016 • 11 min
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.
A Hard Sell: Bringing Cultured Beef to Market
Sep 19, 2016 • 12 min
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…
The Long Run: The Impact of Brain Injuries on the NFL
Sep 19, 2016 • 11 min
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…
Bringing “Moneyball” to the NBA
Sep 19, 2016 • 10 min
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.
Making the Case for a New Kind of Classroom
Sep 19, 2016 • 9 min
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.
Dangerous Mines: Saving Lives Through Leadership
Sep 16, 2016 • 12 min
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.
Cold Calling Stella McCartney
Sep 16, 2016 • 8 min
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.
Cold Call Introduction
Sep 16, 2016 • 0 min
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…