Live Books@Baker Zoom event: TUESDAY, June 15, 2021; 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. ET
Professor Felix Oberholzer-Gee, author of Better, Simpler Strategy
In evaluating new business ideas, the most successful companies in the world ask one simple question: Will this idea create value for customers, employees, or suppliers? No matter how interesting the idea may sound, it’s not worth pursuing if customers aren’t willing to pay for it or it doesn’t create significant value, says Harvard Business School Professor Felix Oberholzer-Gee, author of the new book Better, Simpler Strategy.
During this live online Books@Baker event, join Professor Oberholzer-Gee as he explains how companies can use a simple tool, the Value Stick, to measure the forces that lead to value creation and to decide how to effectively focus their strategies to deepen their competitive advantage.
Hosted by Books@Baker, this live Zoom event is free and open to the greater Harvard community and general public.
Pre-register here: https://hbs.me/BetterSimplerStrategy
Books@Baker – Studio Sessions – May 2021
David Fubini, author of Hidden Truths: What Leaders Need to Hear But Are Rarely Told
Why do some CEOs and high-level business leaders succeed while others fail? For one thing, many new CEOs feel unprepared for the role and struggle to find their footing, says Harvard Business School Senior Lecturer David Fubini, author of the book Hidden Truths: What Leaders Need to Hear But Are Rarely Told.
In this Books@Baker Studio Session, Fubini, former managing director at consulting firm McKinsey, shares leadership advice for navigating the position, gathered from asking numerous former and current CEOs what they wish they knew when they took the job.
Fubini’s ultimate goal is to help current and prospective CEOs become better leaders, and he shares insights such as: How to manage other people’s demands. How to avoid feeling isolated. How to encourage staff at all levels to share the truth of what is going on in the organization. And how to embrace the value and strength of a diverse workforce
Watch the studio session on YouTube.
Wednesday, May 18, 2021
Mitchell Weiss, author of We the Possibility: Harnessing Public Entrepreneurship to Solve Our Most Urgent Problems
Is government too big, too slow, and too mired in bureaucracy to tackle climate change, crumbling infrastructure, public education inequities, and other tough social problems? It doesn’t have to be, says Harvard Business School Professor Mitchell Weiss. But government officials should focus less on what seem like “safe” solutions, shift to entrepreneurial mindsets, and experiment with new ideas, according to his new book We the Possibility: Harnessing Public Entrepreneurship to Solve Our Most Urgent Problems.
Join Professor Weiss during this live online event as he reflects on the potential for Possibility Government even in an era of diminished trust and increasing partisanship, and as he provides inspiration for the crucial role government can play to help shape progress for generations to come.
Hosted by Books@Baker, this live Zoom event was free and open to the greater Harvard community and the general public.
Books@Baker -- Studio Sessions -- April 2021
Michael Beer, author of Fit to Compete: Why Honest Conversations About Your Company’s Capabilities Are the Key to a Winning Strategy
Studio Session Recording
Silence can be deadly for a business. When employees feel they can’t speak up, senior leaders aren’t hearing the raw but necessary truth about a company’s problems, and strategic goals can go off the rails as a result, says Harvard Business School Emeritus Professor Michael Beer.
In this Books@Baker Studio Session, Professor Beer shares the solution for creating a winning corporate strategy as outlined in his recent book Fit to Compete: a step-by-step Strategic Fitness Process for holding honest conversations with all employees in the organization.
During his 30 years of working with companies, he has seen the process help more than 800 organizations across the globe by revealing cracks in strategic plans, bolstering employee trust in leaders, and putting businesses on a clearer path to success. You can watch the studio session on YouTube.
Brought to you by Books@Baker, this studio session video recording is free and available for viewing by the greater Harvard community and the general public.
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Colleen Ammerman and Boris Groysberg, authors of Glass Half Broken
Women have made up roughly half the college-educated workforce for years, yet today women remain underrepresented in the highest positions of power in business and beyond. In their book Glass Half Broken, authors Colleen Ammerman and Boris Groysberg outline why this inequity persists and present strategies for both men and women to break down gender barriers.
During this online event, the authors will discuss ways managers can enable women to reach their leadership potential through inclusive and equitable development and engagement. And they’ll share how organizations can move the needle on hiring, compensating, and promoting women equally, with the ultimate goal of shattering the glass ceiling.
Hosted by Books@Baker, this live Zoom event was free and open to the Harvard Business School community.
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Tsedal Neeley, author of Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere
A year ago, companies around the world rapidly shifted to virtual work in response to the global pandemic. As many have now experienced first-hand, working remotely offers plenty of benefits (no commuting, reduced operational costs, and a global pool of talent), yet it also comes with challenges for both managers and employees. Tech exhaustion, the threat of being out of sight and out of synch, (hyper) productivity, and even concerns about the future of work continue to loom large. Join Harvard Business School Professor Tsedal Neeley, who has spent nearly two decades researching and advising on virtual and global work, as she discusses her new book Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere. During this online event, Professor Neeley will share evidence-based, actionable advice to help workers and managers navigate the virtual work world—and to prepare for longer-term workplace transformations.
Hosted by Books@Baker, this live Zoom event was free and open to the greater Harvard community and general public.
Thursday, February 25, 2021
Frank Cespedes, author of Sales Management That Works: How to Sell in a World That Never Stops Changing
Sales is changing, but the practical impact on selling of e-commerce, big data, artificial intelligence, and other megatrends is often misunderstood, says Harvard Business School Professor Frank Cespedes, author of Sales Management That Works: How to Sell in a World That Never Stops Changing. His new book discusses hiring, training, pricing, compensation, multi-channel initiatives, and how to construct and reconstruct sales models in response to changes in buying. During this virtual book event, Cespedes will discuss some of these issues and answer your questions about managing a core business activity in today’s environment.
Hosted by Books@Baker, this live Zoom event was free and open to the greater Harvard community and general public.
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Thomas J. DeLong, author of Teaching by Heart: One Professor’s Journey to Inspire
The best teachers are also leaders, and the best leaders are also teachers, says author and Harvard Business School Professor Thomas DeLong. In his book Teaching by Heart: One Professor’s Journey to Inspire, Professor DeLong takes the reader inside his own head and heart, using key insights gained from more than 40 years of teaching and managing to show that when teachers and leaders embrace empathy and authenticity, they lift others up and create meaningful learning experiences. Join us as he shares lessons about how to both teach and manage others effectively.
Hosted by Books@Baker, this live Zoom event was free and open to the greater Harvard community. Visit HBS Working Knowledge to read a Q&A about the book.
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Joseph Badaracco, author of Step Back: How to Bring the Art of Reflection into Your Busy Life
Many of us are so busy, it can be tough to step off the daily merry-go-round, put our smartphones, laptops, and to-do lists aside, and find quiet time to reflect on our lives. Yet reflection gives us a chance to pause and figure out what really matters, especially when wrestling with a difficult decision personally or professionally. So says Harvard Business School Professor Joseph Badaracco, who studied classic works and interviewed more than 100 managers in 15 countries to learn how busy people find time for reflection. Based on his book Step Back: How to Bring the Art of Reflection into Your Busy Life, Professor Badaracco will share practical advice for making time in the “cracks and crevices” of our everyday lives to reflect, and help us make better decisions.
Hosted by Books@Baker and HBS Connects, this live Zoom event was free and open to the greater Harvard community.
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Ashley Whillans, author of Time Smart: How to Reclaim Your Time and Live a Happier Life
Four out of five adults report feeling that they have too much to do and not enough time to do it, research shows. These “time-poor” people experience less joy each day, laugh less often, and are less healthy—and they are also less productive. How can we escape the time traps that can consume our days and make us miserable?
In the new book Time Smart: How to Reclaim Your Time and Live a Happier Life, author and Harvard Business School Professor Ashley Whillans says we need to consciously take steps to improve our “time affluence.” The book provides research-based strategies for freeing up the seconds, minutes, and hours we waste on mindless and unfulfilling tasks, so we can refocus our time and energy on the positive, healthy activities that matter most.
Monday, September 14, 2020
Frances Frei and Anne Morriss, Unleashed, The Unapologetic Leader’s Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You
Leadership isn't about you. It's about how effective you are at building others up, empowering them, and making sure this impact endures even in your absence, say Frances Frei and Anne Morriss. Based on insights from their book Unleashed, the authors will share how the boldest, most effective leaders use a special combination of trust, love, and belonging to create an environment in which other people can excel.
Hosted by HBS Connects, Books@Baker, and Harvard Business Publishing, this event was free and open to the greater HBS Community.
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
John Macomber and Joseph Allen, Healthy Buildings: How Indoor Spaces Drive Performance and Productivity
Prior to inviting workers to return to office buildings that have been abandoned during the coronavirus crisis, companies should explore ways to boost their buildings’ defenses against the disease, say John D. Macomber, senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, and Joseph G. Allen, a professor of Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who have co-authored the book Healthy Buildings: How Indoor Spaces Drive Performance and Productivity. After all, buildings that don’t bring in enough fresh air can put employees at greater risk of getting sick and can also reduce worker productivity. In a post-COVID-19 world, a healthy building—complete with improved ventilation and air quality, plus new technologies like touchless elevators and sinks—will be seen as the first line of defense against the disease.
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Hirotaka Takeuchi, The Wise Company: How Companies Create Continuous Innovation
In a live, virtual Books@Baker session, Hirotaka Takeuchi—who continues to study the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Eastern Japan in 2011—will discuss his new book The Wise Company: How Companies Create Continuous Innovation. High-velocity change is the fundamental challenge facing companies today. Yet few companies are prepared to continuously innovate because they focus on the short-term, and do not emphasize the wisdom needed to make sure that their interests are aligned with those of society. In The Wise Company, co-authors Ikujiro Nonaka and Takeuchi describe how various companies have confronted the challenge of rapid change to create new products and new ways of doing business that benefit employees, consumers, and society. The key: a relentless self-renewal process where companies realize the future they envision, rather than only responding to changes in the environment, especially in times of crisis.
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Laura Huang, Edge: Turning Adversity into Advantage Virtual Books@Baker Event Recording
Success is not always based on our hard work or the quality of our ideas and skills. Instead, Laura Huang argues in her book Edge that achieving success hinges on how well we shape other people’s perceptions—of our strengths, certainly, but also our flaws. It's about creating our own edge by confronting the factors that seem like shortcomings and turning them into assets. In addition to sharing the stories of assistants-turned-executives and flailing companies that made momentous turnarounds, Huang weaves in plenty of practical advice to help readers find their own edge and keep it sharp.
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Think Outside the Building: How Advanced Leaders Can Change the World One Smart Innovation at a Time 3:30 – 5 p.m., Aldrich Hall 112, Harvard Business School
In working with hundreds of successful professionals, as well as aspiring entrepreneurs, Rosabeth Moss Kanter has identified the leadership paradigm of the future: the ability to "think outside the building" to overcome paralysis and produce significant innovation for a better world. In her book Think Outside the Building, Kanter shares the success stories of purpose-driven men and women, including former Trader Joe's executive who worked to address poor nutrition in inner cities while reducing food waste, as well as a concerned European banker who used the power of persuasion to find novel financing for improving the health of oceans. The book shows how people everywhere can find creative solutions to cultural, social, and political challenges and innovate for a brighter future.
Thursday, February 6, 2020
Laura Morgan Roberts and Anthony J. Mayo, Race, Work & Leadership: New Perspectives on the Black Experience 3:30 – 5 p.m., Aldrich Hall 210, Harvard Business School
At a time when there are fewer African Americans in corporate leadership roles, the compilation of essays in Race, Work & Leadership illuminate the present-day dynamics of race in the workplace. What does it mean to be black in corporate America today? How are racial dynamics in organizations changing? How can organizations support the advancement of African Americans? Developed in conjunction with the research and programming for Harvard Business School’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the HBS African American Student Union, the book's contributions by researchers and practitioners should act as an indispensable reference for leaders who are intent on addressing the challenges of building inclusive organizations.
William R. Kerr, The Gift of Global Talent: How Migration Shapes Business, Economy & Society
December 10, 2019, 3:30 – 5 p.m., Aldrich Hall 210, Harvard Business School
In the global race for talent, the United States has managed to compete with other countries for the best and brightest, attracting people who have transformed U.S. science and engineering, reshaped the economy, and influenced society at large. Yet while America is getting caught up in thorny debates about immigration policy, countries like China and India are catching up. In The Gift of Global Talent, William R. Kerr takes the reader on America’s bumpy ride, from a joyous celebration at the Nobel Prize ceremony to angry airport protests against the Trump administration’s travel ban. The book explains the controversies of the H-1B visa used by firms like Google and Apple, delves into the superstar firms that global talent flows produce, and explores how the United States can become even more competitive in attracting tomorrow’s talent.
Books@Baker with Andrew Tisch and Mary Skafidas of Loews Corp.
Oct. 1, 2019 | 3:30 – 5 p.m. | Aldrich Hall 112, Harvard Business School
When Andrew Tisch (MBA ’77) of Loews Corp. was invited to speak at a swearing-in ceremony for new immigrants, he realized that just about every family has a story to share about arriving in America. So Tisch—co-chairman of the board and chairman of the executive committee of Loews—along with Loews colleague Mary Skafidas compiled 72 essays that capture family lore as well as recollections about recent treks to the US in Journeys: An American Story. With many aspects of immigration under scrutiny, this book is a timely contribution to the discussion. Tisch and Skafidas will discuss their new book and answer questions at the event. Light refreshments will be served.
Karen G. Mills, Fintech, Small Business & the American Dream
September 12, 2019, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m., Aldrich Hall 110, HBS
Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy. They are the biggest job creators and offer a path to the American Dream. But for many, it is difficult to get the capital they need to operate and succeed. In Fintech, Small Business & the American Dream, former U.S. Small Business Administrator and Senior Fellow at HBS, Karen G. Mills, focuses on the needs of small businesses for capital and how technology will transform the small business lending market. She charts how fintech has changed and will continue to change small business lending, and how financial innovation and wise regulation can restore a path to the American Dream.
Howard Stevenson, Problem Solving: HBS Alumni Making a Difference in the World
July 10, 2019, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m., Aldrich Hall 10, HBS
In every corner of the world, HBS alumni are using their leadership and problem-solving skills to tackle education, health, environment, poverty, inequality, and other challenges. In Problem Solving: HBS Alumni Making a Difference in the World, Howard Stevenson, Russ Banham, and Shirley Spence highlight the many ways that alumni are taking action as corporate leaders, social entrepreneurs, nonprofit professionals, public servants, generous philanthropists, and good citizens quietly contributing to their communities.
Gary Pisano, Creative Construction: The DNA of Sustained Innovation
April 29, 2019, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m., Aldrich Hall 210, HBS
Every company wants to grow, and the most proven way is through innovation. The conventional wisdom is that only disruptive, nimble startups can innovate; once a business gets bigger and more complex corporate arteriosclerosis sets in. In Creative Construction, Gary Pisano's remarkable research conducted over three decades, and his extraordinary on-the-ground experience with big companies and fast-growing ones that have moved beyond the start-up stage, provides new thinking about how the scale of bigger companies can be leveraged for advantage in innovation.
Amy Edmondson, The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological
Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth
March 25, 2019, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m., Spangler Center Auditorium, HBS
Amy Edmondson offers practical guidance for teams and organizations who are serious about success in the modern economy. With so much riding on innovation, creativity, and spark, it is essential to attract and retain quality talent — but what good does this talent do if no one is able to speak their mind? Success requires a continuous influx of new ideas, new challenges, and critical thought, and the interpersonal climate must not suppress, silence, ridicule or intimidate.
Tarun Khanna, Trust: Creating the Foundation for Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries
March 5, 2019, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m., Harvard i-lab, HBS
Entrepreneurial ventures often fail in the developing world because of the lack of something taken for granted in the developed world: trust. Using vivid examples from Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and elsewhere, Tarun Khanna's Trust shows how entrepreneurs can build on existing customs and practices instead of trying to push against them. He highlights the role new technologies can play and explains how entrepreneurs can find dependable partners in national and local governments to create impact at scale.
Sunil Gupta, Driving Digital Strategy: A Guide to Reimagining Your Business
February 28, 2019, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m., Aldrich Hall 210, HBS
Digital transformation is no longer news – it’s a necessity. Despite the widespread threat of disruption, many large companies in traditional industries have succeeded at digitizing their businesses in truly transformative ways. For over a decade, Sunil Gupta has studied digital transformation at Fortune 500 companies. Filled with rich and illuminating case studies of companies at the forefront of digital transformation, Driving Digital Strategy is the comprehensive guide you need to take full advantage of the limitless opportunities the digital age provides.
Michael Wheeler, The Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World and negotiate123.com
February 5, 2019, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m., Cumnock Hall 220, HBS
Michael Wheeler illuminates the improvisational nature of negotiation, drawing on his own research and his work with Program on Negotiation colleagues.
Based on Wheeler’s chapters on openings, critical moments, and techniques for closing, negotiate123.com seeks to provide business practitioners, MBA students, and other learners an interactive online resource for improving their negotiation skills.
Nancy Koehn, Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times
September 25, 2018, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m., Aldrich Hall 210, HBS
In Forged in Crisis, HBS historian Nancy Koehn examines five masters of crisis: explorer Ernest Shackleton; Abraham Lincoln; abolitionist Frederick Douglass; Nazi-resisting clergyman Dietrich Bonhoeffer; and environmental crusader Rachel Carson. What do such disparate figures have in common? Why do their extraordinary stories continue to amaze and inspire? Koehn offers a remarkable template by which to measure our aspirations and to judge those in our time to whom we've given our trust.
Francesca Gino, Rebel Talent: Why It Pays to Break the Rules in Work and in Life
June 12, 2018, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m., Aldrich Hall 210, HBS
In Rebel Talent, Professor Francesca Gino argues that the future belongs to the rebel — and that there’s a rebel in each of us. We live in turbulent times, when competition is fierce, reputations are easily tarnished on social media, and the world is more divided than ever before. In this cutthroat environment, cultivating rebel talent is what allows businesses to evolve and to prosper. And rebellion has an added benefit beyond the workplace: it leads to a more vital, engaged, and fulfilling life.
Tsedal Neeley, The Language of Global Success: How a Common Tongue Transforms Multinational Organizations
March 27, 2018, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m., Beaubien Reading Room, Baker Library North Lobby, HBS
For nearly three decades, English has been the lingua franca of cross-border organizations, yet studies on corporate language strategies and their importance for globalization have been scarce. In The Language of Global Success, Tsedal Neeley provides an in-depth look at a single organization—the high-tech giant Rakuten—in the five years following its English lingua franca mandate. Neeley's behind-the-scenes account explores how language shapes the ways in which employees who work in global organizations communicate and negotiate linguistic and cultural differences.
Mihir Desai, The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return
Nov. 6, 2017, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m., Beaubien Reading Room, Baker Library North Lobby, HBS
Professor Mihir Desai seeks to demystify and rehabilitate finance by exploring the big ideas of finance using the humanities. Many outside of finance are intimidated by the field and some demonize it without truly understanding what finance is. The book allows one into the world of finance without an equation or a graph - just through stories. Desai argues that some of that demonization is warranted and hopes to improve the practice of finance by ensuring that those in finance view their work through a moral lens.
David Moss, Democracy: A Case Study
April 13, 2017, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m., Beaubien Reading Room, Baker Library North Lobby, HBS
Democracy: A Case Study invites readers to experience American history anew and come away with a deeper understanding of the greatest strengths and vulnerabilities of the nation’s democracy as well as its resilience over time. The book adapts the case method to revitalize conversations about governance and democracy and show how the United States has often thrived on political conflict. Each of the book’s 19 case studies presents readers with a pivotal moment in U.S. history and raises questions facing key decision makers at the time.
Eugene Soltes, Why They Do It: Inside the Mind of the White-Collar Criminal
January 24, 2017, 4:00 – 5:30 pm, Cumnock 102, HBS
From the financial fraudsters of Enron, to the embezzlers at Tyco, to the insider traders at McKinsey, to the Ponzi-schemer Bernie Madoff, the failings of corporate titans are regular fixtures in the news. But what drives wealthy and powerful people to white-collar crime? Harvard Business School professor Eugene Soltes draws from extensive personal interaction and correspondence with nearly 50 former executives as well as the latest research in psychology, criminology, and economics to investigate how once-celebrated executives become white-collar criminals.
Karen Firestone, Even the Odds: Sensible Risk-Taking in Business, Investing, and Life
April 26, 2016, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m., Hawes Hall 202, HBS
In her new book, Even the Odds: Sensible Risk-Taking in Business, Investing, and Life, Karen Firestone AB ’77, HBS ’83, confronts opportunities and conflicts, using memorable examples of successes and failures as well as personal insights shared with us, so we learn the art of choosing wisely. Firestone is a life-long, highly trained professional risk-taker. For more than three decades, she’s been a successful investment manager, starting at Fidelity with the legendary Peter Lynch, on Magellan Fund.
Howard Stevenson, Getting to Giving: Fundraising the Entrepreneurial Way
September 22, 2015, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m., Baker 102, Baker Library North Lobby, HBS
In this Books@Baker talk, Stevenson describes his philanthropic journey, shares some emerging research about HBS and philanthropy, discusses five things he has learned about philanthropy that may surprise you, and offers some thoughts on the role and rewards of being a philanthropic leader. Stevenson has served as a board member and trustee of such organizations as National Public Radio and the Boston Ballet and has led significant fundraising efforts at Harvard Business School, Harvard University, and other institutions.
Michael Blanding, The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps
September 17, 2014, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m., Stamps Reading Room Annex, HBS
In The Map Thief, award-winning investigative reporter Michael Blanding tells the true-life story of a map dealer–turned-criminal E. Forbes Smiley III, who stole more than $3 million worth of antique maps from rare-book libraries around the country. Hear Blanding talk about exclusive new information about the case that paints a fascinating psychological portrait of a man driven by desperation to betray his friends and colleagues and deface the artifacts he knew and loved better than anyone.