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A goal isn't a mission

In a 1962 meeting at the White House, President John F. Kennedy and NASA's chief administrator James Webb got into a heated argument about the proper mission for the space agency. Their debate about putting a person on the moon versus establishing a leadership position in the space age offers a cautionary lesson for business leaders: don't mistake...

Companies that change the game can change the world

How can companies tackle big societal problems while creating value? Three PwC authors show how a select group of companies--dubbed game changers--can harness powerful technologies and marry them to a disruptive business model. They demonstrate how companies in the healthcare sector are already using exponential technologies such as AI and big data,...

Quantitative easing made easy

Mike Jakeman reviews The Rise of Central Banks: State Power in Financial Capitalism, by Leon Wansleben, which argues that central bankers were not merely lulled into a false sense of security by years of benign conditions. Instead, over the past half century, they sought more power and influence from their governments, pursued deregulation in order...

"Like mountain air in the veins"

Daniel Akst finds lessons for business leaders in H.G. Wells's Tono-Bungay. Published in 1908, it is an eerily prescient novel that's both a mordant critique of business and one of the best books ever written about an entrepreneur.

Beware the hazards of email

Amid new technology and hybrid ways of working, Adam Bryant reminds leaders to beware the hazards of email. A dashed-off missive can easily be misunderstood and damage relationships. Often, it's far better to just pick up the phone.

Can bossless management work?

The new book Why Managers Matter, by B-school professors Nicolai Foss and Peter Klein, examines the bossless company narrative promoted by management thinkers such as Gary Hamel and Frederic Laloux, and approaches such as holocracy and agile, and finds it untenable. They make the case for a well-functioning hierarchy.

Mushrooms and other fashion must-haves

Labs, rather than fields, will be the new source of materials for sustainable fashion. Big name brands are collaborating with startups to use everything from bacteria and fungi to seaweed to produce the fabrics of the future for an industry that could be worth US$2.2 billion by 2026.

The limitations of mathematical modeling

Mike Jakeman reviews Escape from Model Land, by Erica Thompson, which contends that overreliance on mathematical models is harmful for decision-making in the real world.

The power of generosity in ecosystems

Generosity can add value to businesses that partner up to form an ecosystem, but the concept must be built into the ecosystem's design and tracked to ensure that everyone benefits. It's an idea that chief strategy officers at both smaller and billion-dollar enterprises are starting to explore.

Post-pandemic dressing for success

We watch Emily in Paris in part for Emily's outlandish wardrobe, the epitome of #dopaminedressing, a social media trend for post-pandemic clotheshorses. But even though clothes probably don't trigger dopamine hits, what we wear does affect our performance, as Linda Rodriguez McRobbie explains.

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