Most Impactful Ideas of 2013 According to HBR

Dateline: January 3, 2014

Welcome to our Friday WRAP – one thought-provoking idea to think about over the weekend.

To kick off our new year, this post is not really about one idea…but about 7.  At the beginning of each year as a way to wrap up the past year, we look for the most insightful ‘summary’.  This year, we found just the list at Harvard Business Review’s Blog Network by Katherine Bell, the editor of  She published “The Ideas that Shaped Management in 2013.”  She writes that this is…

a set of ideas that together are important, useful, and original, and that feel like quite an accurate account of the management concerns many of us shared in 2013.

Combing the hundreds of blog posts to the HBR site for the past year, and the comments from all of the readers, she created a list of 7 key ideas.  Here is her list (and we recommend visiting the actual article, as it has links to several other blogs that explain/extend/support each of the items on this list)

1.  Leaning in will only get us so far.  If the workplace is going to work for women — and for families — men need to change, and so do our expectations of them.  Their tendency toward overconfidence is often mistaken for competence and rewarded with promotions, and their masculine identities require that they work too many hours and get too little sleep, putting extra pressure on women whose greater home- and kid-related responsibilities prevent them from competing on quantity.  The good news is that millennial men are changing the way they define leadership and demanding work that fits around their families.

2.  If your knowledge-based industry hasn’t been disrupted yet, get ready.

3.  The right kind of project management — and project manager — really matters.  …excellent project management is extremely rare.  Its practitioners are the modernization of the much-maligned yet depended-upon middle manager.

4.  The rest of us still have a lot to learn from Silicon Valley.  …the applicable lessons aren’t just about innovation — many of the best new ideas in people management, from hiring practices to leadership development, are emerging from places like LinkedIn, Google, and Netflix.

5.  Technology offers real hope for Africa’s economic future.  … Africa, with its valuable natural resources and a young and increasingly educated population, … coming to dominate the global economy.  We also found seven other reasons Africa’s economy might leapfrog the economies of more developed nations.

6.  Being nice makes you a better leader and your company more profitable – new research proves it.

7.  It’s possible to make more time in the day after all.  …one thing you can do to save time:  stop complaining so much about how busy you are.  Meredith Fineman’s rant on the subject struck many of our nerves — it was one of the most popular posts of the year.

What are the most impactful ideas to you from 2013?  What can/did you do with those ideas?

That’s a WRAP!  Have a nice weekend.

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