What’s the Real Purpose of Annual Employee Reviews?

By Lisa Cannell

A Truth Universally Acknowledged Everyone hates performance reviews. The traditional annual performance review has been a standard management practice since World War II. Over this time, it was seen as a necessary evil, viewed by some as the gold standard of accountability, and in some cases, it was the first step of the “rank and yank” — the practice of ranking employees and... CONTINUE READING

The Business of Ethics: How to Ask the Right Questions

During a psychology experiment, you’re instructed to repeatedly press a button that shocks someone in another room, despite their increasing protests. Would you continue pressing the button as they cried out? Surprisingly, 64 percent of us would. That number comes from psychologist Stanley Milgram’s famous 1960s experiment studying tensions between conscience and deference to... CONTINUE READING

How to Be Cool

By Lalin Anik and Johnny Miles and Ryan Hauser

Coolness, by its nature, is ephemeral, elusive and ever-evolving. People’s concept of cool might best be encapsulated by Supreme Court Justice Potter Stuart’s infamous phrase, “I know it when I see it.” In the marketplace, coolness excites consumers, steers purchase behaviors and dictates trends. Coolness is something wanted by most and valued by consumers and marketers alike, but... CONTINUE READING

A Good Fit? LEGO and Warner Bros.

By Ming-Jer Chen and Jenny Craddock

In 2008, Danish toymaker LEGO was building on recent success. Under the leadership of Jorgen Knudstorp, its revenue growth for the past year was around 20 percent, and the following year would bring the growth phase of his long-term strategy, which involved investment in production capacity and marketing. Knudstorp had brought the company back from the brink of bankruptcy several years ago.... CONTINUE READING

Lopsided Growth: Can a Rising Tide Sink Some Boats?

By Daniel Murphy and Jenny M. Abel

Growing up in Denver in the 1990s, Daniel Murphy — now an assistant professor at the Darden School of Business — witnessed something that nagged him into adulthood: a thriving suburbia marked by growth in jobs, wages and production, juxtaposed against an urban center that continued to struggle. He became aware of skilled nurses leaving clinics that served primarily poor neighborhoods to earn... CONTINUE READING

Three Things: What Is Impact Investing?

By Elena Loutskina

Impact investing is not charity. In fact, it came about because of the failure of philanthropy to effectively address social problems. The “investing” part of the concept is essential to how it makes impact, and investors may be attracted by the solutions companies offer and the financial return; this means organizations aren’t dependent year to year on the whims of donors, who may be... CONTINUE READING