HBR's 10 Must Reads 2022: The Definitive Management Ideas of the Year from Harvard Business
Review by Harvard Business Review (editor), Frances X. Frei, Anne Morriss, Morten T. Hansen, Robert Livingston.
Who is the author?
Frances Frei (link) is a Professor of Technology and Operations Management at Harvard Business
School. Her research investigates how leaders create the conditions for organizations and individuals
to thrive. She regularly advises senior executives embarking on large-scale change initiatives and
Anne Morriss (link) has spent the last fifteen years working to unleash social entrepreneurs
worldwide. She started her career in rural Latin America, where she worked to support the
development of local leaders in remote communities. Anne is now the Managing Director of the
Concire Leadership Institute, which she co-founded in 2007 to help leaders in the public, private, and
non-profit sectors to uncover and remove the barriers to excellence.
Professor Hansen (link) holds a Ph.D. from Stanford Business School. His academic research has won
several awards, and he is ranked one of the most influential management thinkers by Thinkers50.
Morten Hansen was also a manager at the Boston Consulting Group, where he advised corporate
clients worldwide. Morten gives keynotes and helps companies and people become great at work.
Dr. Robert Livingston (link) is a social psychologist and one of the nation’s leading experts on the
science underlying bias and racism. He has served as a diversity consultant to scores of Fortune 500
companies, public-sector agencies, and non-profit organizations for two decades. He was the chair of
the organizational behaviour area as well as the founder and faculty director of the Centre for
Leadership, Ethics, and Diversity (LEAD) at the University of Sussex
This booklet collects different articles' considerations for leaders during the upcoming year.
Leadership will focus on actions to perform in the unexpected future.
‘Begin with trust’ is being tested with remote working no longer taboo. Some salary packages even
include it in the job offer. Leaders will focus on authenticity, logic, and empathy to motivate and
Through ‘Cultural Innovation,’ we learn once again that innovation is not about making an update of
an existing product. It involves culture change and adoption. Cultural Change is often missed during
most Digital Transformation. Crocs for nurses, Apple for hipsters, Microsoft for the office worker,
Disney for the happy vacation, Amazon for the two-day delivery. These companies changed the
culture inside out: identity, manners, and products.
The ‘Rules of co-opetition’ went back to nature. We can compare it to symbiosis. In contrast, this is
happening in business quite often. We barely give it a name. Like the cleaner wrasse cleanses, the
Shark’s teeth without fear of being eaten, Samsung and Apple collaborated many times on chips and
still do on screens. DHL and UPS on last-mile US delivery. You do what you do best while keeping an
eye on evolution.
Negotiating your next job asks for perspective towards a planned and pragmatic future. Start with
the goals and know what you are negotiating for, and do not go blind into a negotiation. Knowing the
risk of where and when negotiation can backfire is essential.
The current situation has emulsified anxiety amongst leaders. Leading through anxiety is one of the
most intriguing articles of this book. It shows how cornered executives and managers transmit their
feelings to the cohort of people working for them and who depend on them to support their families.
The emotion can be unproductive. It can also bring people back to earth, pragmatic to take
meaningful actions and prioritize wisely with every decision.
When Machine Learning goes off rail is a reality check. While technology is amazing, we have
experienced the mini mistakes of the machine. Face ID takes time to recognize you; fingerprint not
accepted, people got fired by a machine (link). The machine (line of code) is based on rules and
probabilities. We cannot expect them to evaluate all situations yet. Like humans can make mistakes,
the machine is also prone to make mistakes on a bigger scale. Assess the risks and keep an eye on the
evolution of the machine integration.
Getting serious about diversity is more a mindset for a safe environment so everyone can operate
than just plugging numbers, so people fit the needed spot and statistics. This title is combine-able
with the promotion of race equity in the workplace. There is a need to understand the problem. It
may not exist at the time, but people should stay open and feel safe. Awareness is key. Then if there
is one, find the root cause, build trust, and create a sense of empathy.
Will this be reduced with the metaverse or the remote working option? There are advantages and
obstacles to having all knowledge workers work remotely. First of all, not everyone feels comfortable
doing it. The company has to review its strategy and how its culture is impacted by having this status
forever. If it is right, why not do it. We have witnessed unlimited vacation, no cubicles, flat hierarchy
style, remote service. This is also a sign that we are easily adaptable. Best practices are being
We also see best practices changing in the world of the supply chain. From the recent Global spread,
we keep a foot of supply close to home (for better control). Trade wars, raw material costs, and
delays have changed the economic layout. Supply chain and procurement have seen a rising analysis
with the Covid impact. With a concerned world, there is more speculation about the provenance and
the sustainability of the supply chain supporting the continuity of a business.
As project managers, we begin with trust. Since the beginning of the project, you have the
organization and the sponsor believing in you. We trust the critical team members to deliver the best
The project is often a move from point A to point B(etter), which involves a cultural innovation. The
resources helping this shift sometimes work for other departments competing to perform while
collaborating for the greater good. We do see a sort of co-opetition.
Different members use this performance to negotiate the next level of their career.
This set of events and the risks surrounding the project can project anxiety. Anxiety destroys or
reinforces confidence and hangs like a double edge sword on your head. You deal with technology,
people, diversity of talents and culture, plus remote working.
People may think of your work as a minuscule addition to the result. You may take a stand behind
the curtains when the show goes on. Your project will have a deadline, and you are off to the next
one before the glory. All these do not erase the fact that you have experienced great learning, which
covered a Master's class by managing the project to the best ability you could.
The best is that you have improved and made the life of your successor better.
This book is a compilation of articles. You can find the spark to the subject that will roam 2022 at one
point in time. The texts are also interesting because they show the leader's responsibility and reflect
on the impact.
I leave the bonus article for you to read. It explains Apple’s transition to today's +/- €3Trillons
valuation after reform with Steve Jobs.
Enjoy this short book, and welcome to 2022.