Winter 2013


Welcome to TCB Review!
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Welcome to TCB Review! We’ve revamped our mailing list to put the magazine in the hands of more top executives at companies belonging to The Conference Board, meaning that thousands of people are, for the first time, joining our program already in progress. An introduction is in order.

What this magazine is all about is questions. There’s a reason why so many of our headlines end in question marks: We see our role as raising issues you might not have considered, helping you step back from the daily to-do list and reevaluate not only how to do your job but how to think about your job. As life inside and outside the office becomes ever more hectic, it’s all too easy to narrow your focus to the next quarter, the next month, the next eight hours. We’re less interested in offering ten tips for organizing your desktop—plenty of articles and books cover that—than in offering fresh perspectives on key business topics.

The Conference Board’s reach into top companies’ boardrooms and corner offices helps keep us in touch with people’s chief concerns, and sometimes we directly tap their expertise and experience. For this issue’s cover story, senior editor Vadim Liberman talked with two dozen executives about the challenges they’ve faced, and continue to face, in dealing with workforce management in the face of constant change.

Also in these pages: Compensation consultant Don Delves charges companies with failing to give employee pay programs the same attention they give CEO incentive plans, and Bruce Freed and Karl Sandstrom explain why now, in the election’s wake, is the perfect time for boards and executive teams to seriously consider the impact of their companies’ political involvement.

One of the magazine’s hallmarks is its full-length Q&As with thought leaders; for this issue, I interviewed Whole Foods co-CEO John Mackey on his vision of “conscious capitalism,” and Vadim talked with social-psychology writer Oliver Burkeman about the downside of positive thinking. I also sat down with Bart van Ark, The Conference Board’s chief economist, for his analysis of the global economy and where it’s headed in 2013 and beyond.

We look for book-length ideas—that is, thinking ambitious and far-reaching enough to deserve publication between hard covers—and it’s no surprise that many of our articles originate with books: We interview authors, publish brief excerpts in our Soundings section, and adapt chapters into feature articles. This issue even features our annual Best Business Books compilation, in which recent authors name their favorite recent reads.

Our three columnists bring provocative viewpoints and clear-eyed ways to see business practices today and tomorrow, and we close the issue with our Sightings photo feature, a colorful glimpse of business in the emerging economies of the world. And TCB Review doesn’t end with page 72—we’re online at, where we post Web-exclusive feature articles every month, along with video clips and quizzes and links and archives and enough intriguing stuff to spend any number of hours poking around.

So please take the time to skim through the magazine; check in with the website periodically; follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and/or Google+; and watch for our monthly e-newsletters. Glad to have you with us.


Matthew Budman



From the Archives

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.