TCB Review Blog

Tortoise Versus Hare at Work

Pity the tortoise in the twenty-first century. Stolid, careful, slowly-but-surely . . . the ways of the tortoise seem quaint in the face of an onslaught of hares running amok , whether creating new businesses (Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba) or disrupting old ones (Uber, Roku, Coursera).
But remember, in the classic Aesop fable, it is...

syd-hare

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The Strange Psychology of Expectations

When Facebook announced its astounding $19bn takeover of 55-employee WhatsApp, entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and other tech startup hubs around the world were shocked. In no time, however, that shock turned to envy, as founders with impending IPO valuations of “just” $2 billion started to feel much less impressed with themselves. In a flash, what once...

Finkelstein-headshot

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Reputation vs. Character

The guy who hired me for AT&T's PR department was a former newspaper editor. Like his peers at many companies, he hired only ex-journalists. I had an undergraduate degree in philosophy and a master's in broadcasting. Though I didn't know it at the time, I was an experiment foisted on him by executives higher up the food chain who were convinced that most people...

hr

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Ugly People Want to Work for You—Now What?

If you want to be offended and appalled by lookism in the workforce, you can hop on the Internet and search for the alleged disgusting and unseemly behaviors of Dov Charney, CEO of American Apparel, accused of firing employees he found unattractive. Meanwhile, Dennis “Chip” Wilson, founder of athletic-sportswear company Lululemon, fought allegations of lookism...

hr

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A Better Bias

I play tennis. Badly. I’m reasonably athletic and fit, which makes it all the more frustrating when I get my hat handed to me by folks at least a decade older who couldn’t run five kilometers or do a chin-up if their lives depended on it. There I am, wheezing like a two-pack-a-day smoker, while they’ve barely broken a sweat racking up ...

Theory To Practice

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When Innovation Isn't

When asked, few people will say anything bad about puppies. Similarly, who could possibly have anything bad to say about innovation and the well-intentioned pursuit of it? I have a hard time finding an organization of any type that isn't loud and proud about its dedication to and lionization of innovation. And whether...

Theory To Practice

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Making the Switch

I live my life by the simple belief that you can never be overdressed or overeducated. Whether in a boardroom or a pharmaceutical facility, a comprehensive education—and a good suit—will go a long way toward making an effective and positive impression on colleagues, business partners, and suppliers. And while it is passé, and possibly illegal...

switch

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Marketing Without Marketing

Phineas T. Barnum was the second millionaire in American history and the first—though certainly not the last—to build his wealth entirely on hokum. Barnum knew exactly what he was up to. Just five days before he died, he confided in his diary, “I am indebted to the press of the United States for almost every dollar which I possess.” Were he alive today, he'd...

Marketing Without Marketing

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Dangerous Digits

Like most of you, I worked my way through high school and college. The jobs I had covered a wide range of occupations, everything from selling T-shirts with salacious pictures on them in tacky holiday towns to mopping up spilled beer in high-volume breweries. The job I enjoyed most at a visceral level was in construction. I’d start at the beginning...

Theory To Practice

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Is Your HR Leader a Glorified Administrative Assistant?

LinkedIn recently changed its privacy policy and user agreement. The fastest-growing social-networking site now explicitly bans prostitutes and escorts—even if prostitution is legal where they live. What do ladies of the night have to do with ladies who work in HR? Nothing. I bring up LinkedIn’s new guideline only to point out that the company’s decision feels like...

admin

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The Conference Board Review is the quarterly magazine of The Conference Board, the world's preeminent business membership and research organization. Founded in 1976, TCB Review is a magazine of ideas and opinion that raises tough questions about leading-edge issues at the intersection of business and society.