The productivity imperative

First Friday Book Synopsis

Here is an excerpt from an article co-authored by Peter Bisson, Elizabeth Stephenson, and S. Bob's blog entries Amazon Elizabeth Stephenson France Telecom’s Orange GDP growth Germany’s T-Systems Kindle OECD countries Peter Bisson Rik Kirkland S. Patrick Viguerie for The McKinsey Quarterly.

Global forces: An introduction

First Friday Book Synopsis

Here is an excerpt from an article written by Peter Bisson, Elizabeth Stephenson, and S. Patrick Viguerie for The McKinsey Quarterly (June 2010). To read the complete article, check out a wealth of resources, and watch a video during which McKinsey director Bisson explains why trends matter, the value of tracking global forces, and how


Sign Up for our Newsletter

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

I’m New to a Forum, What Should I Do? A Guide for New Members

Managing Communities

photo credit: aresauburn™ Bruce Stephenson (@FamilyPhoto on Twitter) asked: “[What is the] best way to start to participate when new to a forum?&# I am going to tackle this from the perspective of an individual wanting to participate in a forum for personal reasons, such as a passion for a specific topic. If you are [.]. How Should I Participate

27 books in 3 days

Construction Equipment

This time I am wondering what the mice were supposed to be cooking and if it burned on since "Not a creature was stirring - not even a mouse" Kidnapped by Robert Lewis Stephenson. I recently did a no internet or phone for 3 days Christmas with 2 of my grandkids. The result - I got 27 books read. Some summaries: Bring out the Best in Every Employee by Dan Brown and Bill Hawkins. Good book - good studies on what works and what people want. Good refresher since much of it is intuitive.

Why Business Leaders Need to Read More Science Fiction

Harvard Business

Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age inspired Jeff Bezos to create the Kindle ; Sergey Brin mines Stephenson’s even more famous Snow Crash for insights into virtual reality. At the end of the 19th century, New York City stank. One hundred fifty thousand horses ferried people and goods through the streets of Manhattan, producing 45,000 tons — tons! — of manure a month.

Can Being Overconfident Make You a Better Leader?

Harvard Business

Randall Stephenson, then CEO of AT&T, famously said , “I told people you weren’t betting on a device. OLI SCARFF/Getty Images. When Apple CEO Steve Jobs approached AT&T about partnering on a new kind of mobile phone — a touchscreen computer that would fit in your pocket — Apple had no expertise in the mobile market. Yet AT&T executives quickly came to believe so strongly in Job’s vision that they skipped internal process protocols to land the deal.

Adolescent Rites of Passage - Something of Monumental Importance Has Been Lost

Building Personal Strength

Louise Carus Mahdi, et al (1996); and From Boys to Men: Spiritual Rites of Passage in an Indulgent Age , by Bret Stephenson (2006). I''ve been reading about traditional and modern rites of passage. So far, the two most helpful books have been Crossroads: The Quest for Contemporary Rites of Passage , ed. A consistent theme: Long ago, "primitive" cultures evolved effective initiation rites to guide young people from childhood to adulthood.

Don't Like the Message? Maybe It's the Messenger

Harvard Business Review

It was inspired by comments from author Neal Stephenson, who espoused the latter view in a Q&A at MIT. So I wrote a piece juxtaposing the Stephenson/Cowen view with the work of MIT's Erik Brynjolfsson, who has been amassing evidence that a digitization-fueled economic revolution is in fact beginning to happen. That's probably because, if there is one person in the world whom readers consider a "knowledgeable member of their cultural community," it is Neal Stephenson.

People Suffer at Work When They Can’t Discuss the Racial Bias They Face Outside of It

Harvard Business

And in an emotional recounting of his black friend’s experience outside the office that went viral on YouTube, AT&T chairman Randall Stephenson encouraged employees to get to know each other better. Last month, in an unprecedented show of solidarity, 150 CEOs from the world’s leading companies banded together to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace and, through an online platform, shared best practices for doing so.

The Stakeholders You Need to Close a Big Deal

Harvard Business Review

The decision maker at AT&T was CEO Randall Stephenson. The key to winning over a decision maker like Stephenson is working with a champion to provide enough data, analysis, and outside validation to ensure that those who would question his decision see a trail of sound and thoughtful due diligence. Pete spent 9 months helping us build a solid platform of credibility that would limit Stephenson’s risk if the investment turned out to be bad.

When Will this Low-Innovation Internet Era End?

Harvard Business Review

Then there's another view, which I heard from author Neal Stephenson in an MIT lecture hall last week. Stephenson was clearly trying to be provocative. Stephenson, who has "devoted a shocking amount of time" lately to learning about alternative space-launch technologies, said at MIT that "the reason none of them happen turns out to be insurance.". It's an age of unprecedented, staggering technological change.

To Stay Relevant, Your Company and Employees Must Keep Learning

Harvard Business Review

As AT&T CEO and Chair Randall Stephenson, recently told the New York Times, “There is a need to retool yourself, and you should not expect to stop… People who do not spend five to 10 hours a week in online learning will obsolete themselves with the technology.” My hypothesis, and Stephenson agrees, is that for organizations to win in the market, they must help their employees stay relevant in their skills.

Welcome to HBR's Customer Intelligence Insight Center

Harvard Business Review

As early as 1994 Neal Stephenson was envisioning the era of Big Data, and how it might change the work of a market researcher. Fiction writers who specialize in creating dystopian near-futures seem to put a lot of stock in the potential of customer intelligence. And it sure beats how David Foster Wallace portrayed the job in "Mister Squishy." ) Philip K. Dick, of course, gave us the billboards of Minority Report , recognizing and calling out personalized offers to people on the street.

Winning the Elusive Marquee-Brand Customer Advocate

Harvard Business Review

As Michael Stephenson , a key leader in global customer programs at Oracle puts it, his firm has various business units that focus on specific industries. As Michael Stephenson points out, "Sales reps come to us all the time saying things like, ''I want General Motors to come talk to this prospective customer.''" So he probes, asking what GM is doing that''s relevant to the prospect, and what in particular they might talk about.

Why Mergers Like the At&T-Time Warner Deal Should Go Through

Harvard Business

But CEO Randall Stephenson immediately denied both versions, and reiterated that the company will not let go of either CNN or the deal itself, pledging to fight the government if necessary. Britta Knappmann/EyeEm/Getty Images. Recent leaked reports suggest trouble for the proposed merger of AT&T and Time Warner, an $85 billion deal first announced over a year ago.

The 3 Things CEOs Worry About the Most

Harvard Business Review

Randall Stephenson of AT&T explained, “We had 270,000 people we employed around the globe. CEOs have a lot to worry about, but what are their greatest concerns? What keeps them awake at night? We interviewed 24 CEOs and asked them to name the biggest challenges facing their organizations. Please note that titles used here reflect the positions the individuals held in 2013, when we conducted the interviews for a separate article ).

How to Conduct an Effective Job Interview

Harvard Business Review

Chris Smith and Chris Stephenson. The virtual stack of resumes in your inbox is winnowed and certain candidates have passed the phone screen. Next step: in-person interviews. How should you use the relatively brief time to get to know — and assess — a near stranger? How many people at your firm should be involved? How can you tell if a candidate will be a good fit? And finally, should you really ask questions like: “What’s your greatest weakness?”

The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of the U.S. Antitrust Movement

Harvard Business

After all, Randall Stephenson was one of President Trump’s “biggest defenders on public policy” and viewed the antitrust case as “a big curve ball.” Tim Evans for HBR. What happened to the antitrust movement ? This was the question asked by Richard Hofstadter in the mid-1960s. Antitrust, observed the historian, once was the subject of a progressive movement in the U.S. that stirred public agitation and imagination, despite few antitrust prosecutions.