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The Real (and Imagined) Problems with the U.S. Corporate Tax Code

The United States corporate tax system is in desperate need of reform, and there are many sources of discontent. The U.S. raises less corporate tax revenue than peer countries do, and the system is mind-numbingly complex, rife with distortion, and widely perceived to be unfair. The corporate community is also concerned that our current system inhibits competitiveness, holding American companies back. However, these complaints are not all created equal; there is little evidence of a competitiveness problem for U.S. multinational firms. The U.S. corporate tax code should be reformed, but not every proposed fix is a good one. To fix corporate taxes, we have to understand which criticisms of our current system are legitimate and respond accordingly. U.S. companies are not being held back by the corporate tax code Observers often note two thi....
4 Ways for B2B Businesses to Keep Their Customers

According to Gallup, only 29% of B2B customers are engaged with the companies they do business with. Let that sink in. That means 71% of your customers are likely not committed to sticking with your company or, even worse, are actively seeking to move their business elsewhere. This problem is not new. Too many companies ignore the voice of the customer, blast cookie-cutter emails to all the names in their marketing spreadsheets, and lack the right survey and interview tools to gauge the health of their customer relationships. Customers expect the companies they do business with to understand them as individuals and connect with them in ways that are valuable. Doing this in the age of big data is more complicated and competitive than ever, requiring a thoughtful approach. Companies need a strategy focused on the future growth of the relat....
Incremental Fixes Won’t Save the U.S. Health Care System

Tom Price, President-elect’s Trump pick to be the next U.S. secretary of health and human services, is a fierce and long-time critic of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including initiatives that restructure how some doctors are paid. Many are interpreting this opposition to mean that he will slow the shift from traditional fee-for-service health care, where doctors are paid per visit, test, or procedure, to value-based care, where doctors are rewarded for quality care and better outcomes. But I hope it means that he recognizes we need to take bold action to correct our health system’s current trajectory. Incremental shifts, the approach to date, simply won’t address the real challenge confronting the U.S. health care system — that is, a disjointed care delivery system that results in inefficiency, overspending....
The Right and Wrong Ways to Regulate Self-Driving Cars

Self-driving, autonomous vehicles — a topic of speculation, if not science fiction, just five years ago — are suddenly going mainstream. Every major car manufacturer is offering prototypes or early models of cars that do most of the driving automatically, including luxury models from Tesla with a built-in “autopilot” feature. Startups and major tech companies, notably Alphabet’s Google X division, are investing heavily in smart car technology, as are network ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft. This means self-driving cars have shifted from a period of wild experimentation directly to market adoption — what Paul Nunes and I describe in our 2013 HBR article as “big bang” disruption. Before long, we’ll stop referring to the underlying technologies involved —....
Your Leadership Development Program Needs an Overhaul

Most companies make big investments in leadership development, rolling out intensive internal programs for high potentials, sending key leaders off to expensive executive education programs, or hiring personal coaches for those moving into key positions at the top of the company. But in our experience, this traditional approach to leadership development doesn’t serve the needs of companies anymore. Business is moving too fast. Our experience suggests that an overhaul in leadership development is not only possible, it’s necessary to stay competitive. What works instead? We find that the most forward-thinking companies are identifying and growing leaders in the midst of pursuing critical business objectives, as opposed to sending them off to far-flung educational programs and hoping they return with “big” insights a....
Research: Perhaps Market Forces Do Work in Health Care After All

For decades, experts and policy wonks have argued that health care is a uniquely inefficient industry, insulated from conventional market forces that operate in the rest of the economy. Patients are believed to be uninformed about hospital quality, insurance reduces the incentives to shop for better deals, and government programs aren’t sufficiently responsive to quality. This argument for “health care exceptionalism” supports the view that hospitals with superior outcomes aren’t rewarded in the form of landing more patients, which stymies innovation and quality-improvement efforts. Poorly performing hospitals do not feel pressure from patients to improve quality because standard market forces do not apply to health care. What is problematic with this assessment is that there has been little work done to prove it.....
What Makes a Leader?

Emotional intelligence is what sets great leaders apart from the rest. Learn to recognize it in yourself and others with this 7 minute video slide deck. Download a customizable version in S
Silence the Critical Voices in Your Head

There’s one debilitating behavior that most of us fall victim to with great regularity: listening to critical voices in our heads. Whether they originate from external criticism or our own fears and doubts, these negative voices tell us we’re not good enough, kind enough, or productive enough. Research shows that echoing negative thoughts inside our heads increases our chances of depression, isolates us from others, and inhibits us from pursuing goals. For example, Rajeev, an executive vice president in charge of a billion-dollar business within a high-tech company, fell victim to this kind of thinking. He had been rapidly promoted and had a track record of successful business results. Rajeev had also created teams that worked well together. But the higher up the chain he went, the less feedback he received. Rajeev was hungry....
Breaking Down Data Silos

Predictive analytics, data science, artificial intelligence, bots. The waves of advances in the application of data keep on coming. You can’t read the pages of the mainstream or business media without being impressed by the opportunity. Yet, although the power of analytics is common currency, it’s spoken of far more often than it’s practiced. The biggest obstacle to using advanced data analysis isn’t skill base or technology; it’s plain old access to the data. Every CIO I meet tells me that they are excited at the potential of analytics for their business. With one caveat — they can’t get their hands on the data in the first place. Embracing data as a competitive advantage is a necessity for today’s business, so why is it so hard to get access to the data we need? There is a cost to using d....
How Employees Shaped Strategy at the New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is one of the largest public libraries in the world, with 18 million visitors yearly, a budget of nearly $300m, and 93 branches. It serves vastly diverse populations: toddlers and caregivers, new immigrants, lifelong learners, famous novelists, and scholars. Although based in New York City, it serves a global audience of researchers and tourists. Library leaders knew that given the immense changes brought on by digital innovations, as well as shifts in the communities that the Library served, it would need to evolve. How to transform such a huge, iconic institution, wrapped in history, into a nimble player? How to provide hyper-local services tailored to the diverse needs of its patrons while also upholding a consistent and high standard of service? In the spring of 2014, we proposed a radical approach: offer ....
Meet the Teenagers Who Found Their Own Startups

It’s a familiar story: yet another San Francisco-based entrepreneur ends up creating a unicorn startup before the age of 35. What is not so familiar is that this entrepreneur’s main challenge was not being allowed to hire anyone, nor being permitted to ask for a loan. Why? Because he was a teenager. When he was 16, Javier Agüera (now 24) co-invented the Geeksphone, which claimed to be the first Android-powered handset that allows the user to modify operating system components without having to root the device first. At the age of 19 he already had three startups behind him and was considered by MIT Technology Review one of the Innovators Under 35 in Spain. However, he faced challenges because of his youth that grown-up entrepreneurs cannot imagine. If it’s hard for adults to create a successful company, imagine try....
Good Bosses Switch Between Two Leadership Styles

Think back to the last team project you participated in at work. How did the person running the project lead the group? Did they lead by presenting a plan and using their authority to insist that others follow along? Or did the person instead lead by explaining why a particular course of action seemed like the best one, allowing others to willfully get on board? These two leadership styles, which I and other researchers refer to as dominance and prestige, respectively, reflect two fundamental strategies people use to navigate their way through social and organizational hierarchies. Leading through dominance means influencing others by being assertive and leveraging one’s power and formal authority. Leading through prestige means displaying one’s knowledge and expertise and encouraging others to follow. In the case of dominanc....
Men Can Improve How They Mentor Women. Here’s How.

Last year, Nobel scientist, Tim Hunt remarked that he had trouble working with “girls” because “three things happen when they are in the lab; you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them, they cry.” After being widely criticized in the media, he responded that he was just trying to be honest and meant no harm. This could be written off as an isolated situation except that it followed a news report on congressional staffers contending with unwritten rules restricting female aides from one-on-one sessions with male members of Congress, including meetings, driving, and staffing out-of-office events. These congressional staff rules were intended to maintain a level of separation between male lawmakers and female staffers “out of sensitivity to the politician’s wife or....
How to Earn Your Manager’s Respect

We all want to be valued — and be viewed as valuable — at work. But respect isn’t a given; you have to earn it. Whether you have a new manager or have worked with your current boss for years, what can you do to make sure your boss appreciates what you bring to the job? What’s the best way to build trust? And how do you ask for respect if you don’t feel like you’re given it? What the Experts Say A recent HBR study of nearly 20,000 employees around the world found that the most important thing that workers want from their managers is respect. “If you don’t feel respected, you won’t be engaged in your work,” says Linda Hill, professor at Harvard Business School and the coauthor of Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader. Respect from your boss has many la....
Do Conservative Managers Give Smaller Bonuses to Women?

Every year, Len and Cal — two thoughtful partners in a law firm — have to evaluate a handful of direct reports and assign them end-of-year bonuses. Both Len and Cal take this responsibility very seriously, as their decisions are consequential for their subordinates and their firm. In most respects the influences on Len’s and Cal’s decision making appear similar: they both follow the same company policies and norms, and they both have similar backgrounds and pedigrees. Yet the outcomes of their bonus decisions are remarkably different: over the years, Len’s female employees have consistently received a greater share of the bonus pool, compared with Cal’s female employees. One difference between Len and Cal is that Len is liberal and Cal is conservative. But why would their political views matter when th....
In the Digital Age, Physical Assets Are a Burden

Investors prefer companies with less stuff.
How Design Thinking Turned One Hospital into a Bright and Comforting Place

Long dreary corridors, impersonal waiting rooms, the smell of disinfectant — hospitals tend to be anonymous and depressing places. Even if you’re just there as a visitor, you’re bound to wonder, “How can my friend recover in such an awful place? Will I get out of here without catching an infection?” But the transformation of the Rotterdam Eye Hospital suggests that it doesn’t have to be this way. Over the past 10 years, the hospital’s managers have transformed their institution from the usual, grim, human-repair shop into a bright and comforting place. By incorporating design thinking and design principles into their planning process, the hospital’s executives, supported by external designers, have turned the hospital into a showplace that has won a number of safety, quality, and desig....
Move Your Analytics Operation from Artisanal to Autonomous

Many organizations today are wondering how to get into machine learning, and what it means for their existing analytics operation. There are many different types of machine learning, and a variety of definitions of the term. I view machine learning as any data-driven approach to explanations, classifications, and predictions that uses automation to construct a model. The computer constructing the model “learns” during the construction process what model best fits the data. Some machine learning models continue to improve their results over time, but most don’t. Machine learning, in other words, is a form of automating your analytics. And it has the potential to make human analysts wildly more productive. To illustrate the movement from “artisanal analytics” to “autonomous analytics,” I’ll p....
Lack of Information Stokes Globalization Anxiety

The less we know about the world, the less we want to interact with it.
What to Do When You’re the Target of a Hurtful Office Rumor

When Caroline moved to a new city to take on a job at a company she was thrilled to join, she was surprised when she had a hard time building friendships and positive relationships with her colleagues. A few months down the road, she found out why: Someone from her previous company had falsely told one of her new colleagues that Caroline tries to get others to do her work for her. Workplace gossip like this can have devastating consequences.  We tend to have a strong negativity bias: almost all of us pay more attention to negative information than we do to positive information. Think about the last time you posted something to Facebook, for example, and got a string of enthusiastic comments followed by a single, stinging rebuke – which comment did you focus on? We react similarly to information about others. Research by S....
Leading in a World Without Secrets

Buried amid the furor of speculation about what results of the U.S. election mean for businesses is a fact that’s getting too little attention, but that CEOs and business leaders will definitely need to adjust to: it’s gotten much harder to keep your company’s secrets. Leaked communications that were presumed private at the time have apparently had a major impact on world events. It’s a trend that was already well underway in business, with hacks on companies like Ashley Madison, and leaks of emails from companies like Sony. We’ve had a tendency to think of these primarily as addressable technical failures. It should now be dawning on us that they also reflect a new reality when it comes to keeping legitimate business secrets, requiring a new mindset and strategies from those leading all kinds of enterprises....
Why We Are So Careless with the Things We Own?

In a strange series of events, a consumer microwaves his cell phone instead of a burrito, a lab worker drops his mobile device into a vat of toxic sludge, and a commuter throws her phone into the backseat of a departing taxi. Horrible mistakes? No. As becomes clear at the end of this Virgin Mobile TV commercial, these phone owners are all intent on “accidentally” destroying or losing their devices, thus necessitating an upgrade purchase. Is this simply a humorous advertisement, or can knowledge about the availability of product upgrades actually lead consumers to mistreat the products they own? Together with Josh Ackerman of the University of Michigan, we conducted some research to find out. Sticking with cell phones, we began by examining an international dataset of about 3,000 lost Apple iPhones. We found that consumers are....
The Most (and Least) Empathetic Companies, 2016

Empathy has never been in more explicit demand from corporate leaders — particularly after a divisive U.S. presidential election and amid continued economic uncertainty around the globe. As the newly released 2016 Empathy Index demonstrates, empathy, which is about understanding our emotional impact on others and making change as a result, is more important to a successful business than it has ever been, correlating to growth, productivity, and earnings per employee.   The Empathy Index seeks to answer the question: Which companies are successfully creating empathetic cultures? These are the companies that retain the best people, create environments where diverse teams thrive, and ultimately reap the greatest financial rewards. Methodology This year’s index builds on the methodology of last year’s. ....
How Banks Are Capitalizing on a New Wave of Big Data and Analytics - SPONSOR CONTENT FROM COGNIZANT

By Prasad Chintamaneni, President, Global Industries and Consulting, Cognizant Digital is reconfiguring the world. Smart, always-connected devices and anytime/anywhere interactions are now givens, particularly among millennials, who expect such conveniences in banking and financial services. Data underpins digital’s disruptive promise. Combined with predictive analytics, hardware, and connectivity, data opens the door to breakthroughs such as Code Halo™ thinking. Code Halos are the information that surrounds people, organizations, and devices and are today’s digital fuel. Every digital click, swipe, “like,” buy, comment, and search produces a unique virtual identity—something we call a Code Halo. While Code Halos are important to each of us, they are becoming increasingly vital to the success of e....
Digital Leadership Is Not an Optional Part of Being a CEO

Being a CEO is harder than ever. The rapid pace of change in business and technology means that more and more companies will find themselves being disrupted. In fact, our latest research with MIT, in which we interviewed more than 1,000 CEOs (from 131 countries and 27 industries, in organizations of varying sizes), shows that 90% of executives believe their businesses are being disrupted or reinvented by digital business models, and 70% believe they do not have the right skills, leader, or operating structure to adapt. It’s not a good position to be in. What’s a CEO to do? Should you hire a chief digital officer? Should you replace your executives with leaders from internet companies? Should you force everyone to learn about mobile computing and digital business models? While these are all sound ideas, our research shows that....

TECHNALINK HIGHLIGHTS
The OM Factor received the prestigious honor of the Bronze Medal from The Axiom Business Book Awards as one of the best business books of 2016.
  

In celebration of women role models in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), STEMconnectortm unveils in hard copy and online its inaugural 100 Women Leaders in STEM publicatin. The heroines included in 100 Women Leaders in STEM share stories about their commitment to serving as mentors and sponsors of those who are next in the stem jobs pipline.
           
Mclean, VA - Technalink, Inc. is excited to announce that Alka Dhillon, Founder & Chief Executive Officer has been selected as a winner for the 2012 BRAVA! Women Business Achievement Award Presented by SmartCEO.
    
Alka Dhillon, Founder and CEO, Technalink (McLean,VA) Recognized as one of the leading female CEOs in the Washington, DC, area, Ms. Dhillon is known for her irrepressible entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for giving back to the community.

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