HBR’s 10 Must Reads: 2022

HBR’s 10 Must Reads: 2022
Various Contributors, including HBR Editors
Harvard Business Review Press (October 2021)

Definitive management ideas that will have great impact in 2022

This is the latest volume in a series introduced in 2015, the “HBR 10 Must Read” anthologies that are published every autumn..

Each consists of ten or eleven articles plus a “bonus” article (in this case two), all previously published in Harvard Business Review. The contents are selected by HBR editors. If you were to purchase all 11 articles in this volume as reprints, the total cost would be about $100. You can purchase a copy of the paperbound edition from Amazon for only $24.95. That’s quite a bargain.

Here’s what the Editors have to say about the first selection: “We start off with ‘Begin with Trust,’ because as Francis Frei and Anne Morriss say, ‘Trust is the basis of almost everything we do.’ It’s the reason we’re willing to exchange our hard-earned paychecks for goods and services, to pledge our lives to another person in  our marriage, and to cast a ballot for someone who will represent our interests. Trust is also for leaders who strive to empower other people as a result of their preference and to ensure that the impact of their leadership continues beyond their tenure. The more trust you build, the easier it is to practice that kind of leadership. How can leaders start? By being authentic, exercising strong judgment, and showing empathy. Frei and Morriss explain how to assess your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to trust and offer advice for building the three components of trust.”

I thought you would also appreciate being able to check out a few of the other eleven articles. “In ‘Cultural Innovation,’ Douglas Holt argues that companies struggle with innovation because they put all of their chips on one innovation paradigm — what he calls ‘[begin italics] better mousetraps [end italics]’…Holt reveals the strategic principles that allow companies to pursue cultural innovation.”

In “When Machine Learning Goes Off the Rails,” Boris Babic, I. Glenn Cohen, Theodoros Evgeniou, and Sara Gerke provide a guide to the risks when offering products and services that don’t always lead to ethical or accurate choices. “Sometimes they cause investment losses, for instance, or biased hiring, or car accidents. And as machine learning-based AI offerings proliferate across markets, the companies creating them face major new risks. Executives need to understand and mitigate the technology’s potential downside.”

And in “Getting Serious About Diversity,” Robert J. Ely and David A. Thomas “reevaluate and upgrade their groundbreaking argument…that to fully benefit from the increased racial and gender diversity, organizations must adopt a learning orientation and be willing to change the corporate culture and power structure. In the time since, organizations have largely failed to do so and are no closer to reaping diversity’s benefits.”

According to the HBR Editors: “Keeping up with business trends and synthesizing the best ideas is important — and time-consuming — work for today’s leaders. With this volume, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. Despite the challenges of the past year, you can learn much from these articles as you lead your business forward. We hope to prepare you for a better year ahead and set you on the right track for a prosperous future.”

I highly recommend this book, both as a primary source for you when preparing for the new calendar year, and, as a uniquely thoughtful gift to others who are also eager to accelerate their personal growth and professional development.

Timely and timeless business insights can have incalculable value but only if you always keep in mind this advice from Thomas Edison: “Vision without execution is hallucination.”

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