HBR as a Source of Insight


Harvard Business Review (HBR)

HBR (Harvard Business Review) is one of my favorite sources of insight.

HBR basically helps you learn how leaders are shaping the practice of business, while drawing from stories, case studies, authors, and research.

I’m a fan of the magazine, Harvard Business Review Magazine, but I also draw a lot from the HBR blogs as well.

I think it’s an easy way to learn executive thinking skills and stay on top of the latest patterns and practices for management and leadership effectiveness.

Topics at HBR

You can browse All Topics at HBR:

  • Career Planning
  • Communication
  • Decision Making
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Human Resource Management
  • Innovation
  • Leadership
  • Managing People
  • Managing Yourself
  • Marketing
  • Organizational Culture
  • Productivity
  • Strategy
  • Technology
  • Work-Life Balance

Some of My Favorite HRB Articles

Here is a sampling of some of my favorite HBR blog posts:

  1. Add an Hour to Your Day,  by Ron Ashkenas – “But we all know that those hidden hours exist, buried in unnecessary meetings, inefficient work processes, interruptions, false starts, PowerPoint perfection, misplaced files, and a host of other time-wasters.”
  2. Be an Effective Gatekeeper (or, How to Keep Out the Riff-Raff), by Jodi Glickman – State immediately why you are making the introduction. Will the connection help you or the other person or both? Who is the “receiver” of value here and why? Do you think both parties will like each other, want to work together, or are interested in a similar cause that will benefit by virtue of the two of them connecting?
  3. Extreme Negotiations, by by Jeff Weiss, Aram Donigian, and Jonathan Hughes – “Over the past six years or so, we’ve studied how they resolve conflict and influence others in situations where the levels of risk and uncertainty are off the charts. We find that the most skilled among them rely on five highly effective strategies.”
  4. How to Become a Thought Leader in Six Steps, Dorie Clark  – “Identify the awards that matter in your industry, monitor the deadlines, and make it happen. Often, there are fewer nominations than you might think, and you can win by “default..”
  5. How to Handle Surprise Criticism, by Peter Bregman – “To take in surprise criticism more productively, we need a game plan. As you listen to the criticism and your adrenaline starts to flow, pause, take a deep breath, and …”
  6. How to Interject in a Meeting, by Jodi Glickman  – “Having a few useful phrases at hand can go a long way towards giving you the confidence and tools you need to be able to interject your thoughts and opinions effectively in group situations and meetings.”
  7. It’s Not the Time You Spend but the Result You Produce, by by Robert C. Pozen and Justin Fox,  –  “While many lawyers stayed at the office late, I soon realized that charging clients by the number of hours worked did not make sense for me. In my view, it’s not the amount of time you spend on helping a client; it’s the result you’ve produced for your client.”
  8. Not enough Time? Try Doing Nothing, by Peter Bregman – “The solution, though, is simple. All we have to do is nothing. But here’s the trick: it’s important to do it regularly, at least a few minutes a day.”
  9. Six Keys to Being Excellent at Anything, by Tony Schwartz – “…lays out a guide, grounded in the science of high performance, to systematically building your capacity physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.”
  10. Strategy Can Do Better, by Umair Haque – “A steadfast, holistic, uncompromising commitment to beauty, instead of lowest-common-denominator design-by-committee? That’s probably what creating a razor sharp advantage in an arid world of bland, insipid — and sometimes just plain unsightly and unlovable — commodities piling up by the supertankerful is going to take.”
  11. The Anatomy of a Movement, by David Armano – “The difference between something that’s just viral and a movement is that a movement’s chatter has to be sustainable beyond initial, passing curiosity.”
  12. The One Question All Innovators Need to Ask, by Michael Schrage – “Innovators always want their offspring to be faster, better, and/or cheaper. Successful innovators constantly push novelty to create new value. But the innovators who reap the most rewarding results understand the importance of asking:  What does this innovation want you to become?”

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Photo by kevindooley.


  1. Hi J.D.

    I’m guessing you spend a lot of time reading. 🙂 Good stuff here.

    I like #7 – …”it’s not the amount of time you spend on helping a client; it’s the result you’ve produced for your client.”.

  2. Wow JD! This is such a rich resource I had no idea about. I’m perusing some now and will definitely be checking the HBM blog regularly. Thanks for this!

  3. Geez, I WISH my offspring were cheaper, but with private school, Martial Arts, Piano & Gymnastics that kid costs a lot! 🙂

    I must admit, I thought a synopsis of the HBR would be dry. But I should’ve know better! We ALL can take something from this. I like #7 a lot. Say, working on a new guitar part. 10 minutes of good practice beats 45 minutes of “Non-perfect” practice any old day! Working smarter, not necessarily harder.


  4. @ Barbara — I’m a fast reader, but yeah, I spend a good chunk of time reading. HBR is pretty addicting.

    @ Rob — It sounds like you’re hooked 🙂 I’ve found it very insightful on a regular basis.

    @ Jannie — That’s way more than Sea Monkeys, huh? 🙂

    I like the conversational tone of HBR. It sometimes reminds me of the Motley Fool in terms of insightful, but down to Earth and snappy. I lost my appetite for dry a while back. It got squeezed out by all the juicy content suppliers.

    @ Riza — It’s on my short-list of regular suppliers of insight. I think you’ll enjoy it.

    @ Jonathan — I regularly enjoy their blogs. Periodically, I swing by the magazine rack in our local mall and scan the magazine. Just about every time I do, I end up buying it

  5. Hi JD .. thanks for this .. really interesting .. I liked #12 .. where if you’re doing something do it so it’s quality and forward thinking – I think Apple .. so many are coming round to Jobs’ way of thinking.

    I can see why you’d buy the magazine! Really interesting and thanks for highlighting for us .. Hilary

  6. JD: I am a fan of HBR as well. Thanks for the great recommendation of posts and authors to check out. I am on my way as we speak to take a look. Thanks again for passing these links along and sharing your knowledge 🙂

  7. @ Allen — Thank you.

    @ Hilary — It’s one of those resources that I can really count on enjoying to read and I always learn a lot along the way.

    @ Sibyl — Every now and then I forget about HBR and as soon as I do, a friend sends me a link to an interesting HBR post and then I’m back on the wagon. Either I find HBR or it finds me 😉

  8. Thanks very good article and very useful,
    I have HBR on my rss feed, and I’m a fan of it
    Umair Haque is my favourite for sharpness and truthfulness and innovative thinking
    Still a lot to learn from him for the whole business

  9. @ Stefano — Thank you. Yeah, HBR is great. It’s one of the sources that always seems to give me a nuggets I can use.

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