Life isn't always fair, certainly not in the job market. We've all been exasperated when a seemingly undeserving competitor gets a plum job or promotion. If it seems that style and presentation often trump real substance, it's because they do, according to research from Harvard Business School.
One would be hard pressed to find any CIO who doesn't believe in and argue for IT's ever-growing stature within the organization. New Research from Harvard Business School, however, suggests a surprising new angle on the power CIOs really have to influence the way their companies run.
In his new book Denial: Why Business Leaders Fail to Look Facts in the Face and What to Do About It (Penguin Portfolio), business historian Richard S. Tedlow of Harvard Business School uses examples throughout business history to illustrate the potentially catastrophic results of C-level denial. A very early case is Henry Ford's steadfast insistence on producing black automobiles despite the indicators all around him that consumers wanted cars in color. Of course, we only have to think back two years to find another of Tedlow's examples, the fall of General Motors the biggest denial-rooted disaster of all.
Michael C. Jensen, a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School published a working paper on May 6 called "Introductory Reading for Being a Leader and the Effective Exercise of Leadership: An Ontological Model." It's the last of six pre-course reading assignments for an experimental leadership course Jensen and colleagues developed. In the paper Jensen and his co-authors enumerate three simple foundational elements of leadership that I find make wonderful sense and provide a wise and practical starting point for leaders at any level. (I'll get to them later.)