Syd Finkelstein: Tough Decisions

Syd-Finkelstein

Sydney Finkelstein is associate dean for executive education and Steven Roth Professor of Management at Dartmouth University’s Tuck School of Business and author of Why Smart Executives Fail and co-author of Think Again: Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions and How to Keep It From Happening to You. He tweets at @sydfinkelstein.

The Mathematics of Management

“Average same-store sales have gone up every year I’ve been regional sales manager.”
“We keep cutting the number of days that patients have to wait for an appointment with a doctor.”


These surely seem like eminently sensible, strong metrics, praiseworthy accomplishments. Or are they? ...

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The Problem With Smart People

When hiring, promoting, even just putting together your team, you should look for the smartest people in the room, right? Not so fast...

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What If the Bus Is Going the Wrong Way?

“Get on the bus!” How many times have we heard that one from managers exhorting their team to buy into the project or strategy they are spearheading?

If you’re not on the bus, you’re not a team player, or even worse, you’re a negative influence. And we know what happens to people branded as “negative”...

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The Secret Phobia All Leaders Face

Transitions at the top of companies are a lot like politics—at least in the way observers, advisors and pundits react.

There’s the nonstop banter on whether the right person won the job. And there’s the tendency to quickly criticize. If only so-and-so had won the post!

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Cowardly Corporate Lions

In a room full of smart and accomplished corporate board directors and CEOs from leading companies around the world, one topic resonated above all the usual items on the table. It wasn’t strategy, risk management, or compensation that stood out among the group I spent a couple of days with last week...

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What Leads to Dangerous Decisions?

How do the past experiences of leaders affect how they make decisions, especially in crisis situations? Is it unusual that the global chess game currently being played out between Vladimir Putin of Russia and President Barack Obama features a longtime spy versus a former community organizer and law professor?
Historically, the people who ended up running...

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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...

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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...

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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.