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February 2023

Healthcare

Consumers Lose Out When Health Insurers Offer Lots of Plans

While extra choices are usually considered a good thing, insurers are able to use them strategically to maximize profits.

Finance & Accounting

Understanding the Pandemic’s Lasting Impact on Real Estate

Work-from-home has stuck around. What does this mean for residential and commercial real-estate markets?

Healthcare

Will AI Eventually Replace Doctors?

Maybe not entirely. But the doctor–patient relationship is likely to change dramatically.

Marketing

Got a Niche Product to Sell? Augmented Reality Might Help.

Letting customers “try out” products virtually can give customers the confidence to take the plunge.

January 2023

Leadership

Podcast: How Letting Teams Fail Can Help Them Succeed

It can be tempting for leaders to swoop in to solve problems. On this episode of The Insightful Leader, we hear from a U.S. Army colonel about why doing so is a disservice.

Economics

6 Takeaways on Inflation and the Economy Right Now

Are we headed into a recession? Kellogg’s Sergio Rebelo breaks down the latest trends.

Policy

Take 5: What We’ve Learned about Tackling Public-Health Crises

Covid-era research sheds light on how policymakers can guide the economy and the public through future emergencies.

A city's skyscrapers interspersed with trees and rooftop gardens
Finance & Accounting

What Is the Purpose of a Corporation Today?

Has anything changed in the three years since the Business Roundtable declared firms should prioritize more than shareholders?

Careers

Podcast: What to Expect When Joining a Family-Owned Business

There are cons—but a lot of pros, too. On this episode of The Insightful Leader, we’ll explore what it’s like to work at a family business when you’re not a family member.

Careers

3 Tips for Reinventing Your Career After a Layoff

It’s crucial to reassess what you want to be doing instead of jumping at the first opportunity.

Careers

Podcast: Does Your Life Reflect What You Value?

On this episode of The Insightful Leader, a former CEO explains how to organize your life around what really matters—instead of trying to do it all.

Organizations

College Campuses Are Becoming More Diverse. But How Much Do Students from Different Backgrounds Actually Interact?

Increasing diversity has been a key goal, “but far less attention is paid to what happens after we get people in the door.”

Marketing

How Much Do Boycotts Affect a Company’s Bottom Line?

There’s often an opposing camp pushing for a “buycott” to support the company. New research shows which group has more sway.

Who Does a Better Job with ESG ratings, Global or Local Research Firms?

Sometimes, global raters miss important nuances about a firm’s environmental, social, and governmental activities.

Politics & Elections

Partisanship Doesn’t Just Color Our View of Facts—It Alters How We Think about Hypotheticals

New research sheds light on how polarization can shape our counterfactual thinking.

December 2022

Economics

Podcast: China’s Economy Is in Flux. Here’s What American Businesses Need to Know.

On this episode of The Insightful Leader: the end of “Zero Covid,” escalating geopolitical tensions, and China’s potentially irreplaceable role in the global supply chain.

Economics

What Do American Businesses Need to Understand about China Right Now?

As China’s zero-Covid policy ends, it’s time to take stock of where the world’s second largest economy may be headed.

A detective pulls back his computer screen to reveal code behind the video image.
Policy

In a World of Widespread Video Sharing, What’s Real and What’s Not?

A discussion with a video-authentication expert on what it takes to unearth “deepfakes.”

Finance & Accounting

5 Takeaways on the State of ESG Investing

ESG investing is hot. But what does it actually deliver for society and for shareholders?

Leadership

Twitter Is “Running A Musk”

Elon Musk has built several visionary businesses. But after a month with Musk in command, Twitter is in trouble with users, advertisers, and the government.

Leadership

Podcast: How to Engage a Disengaged Employee

On this episode of The Insightful Leader, we hear how leaders can work with their “quiet-quitters” and rebuild morale.

Economics

What Happens to Worker Productivity after a Minimum Wage Increase?

A pay raise boosts productivity for some—but the impact on the bottom line is more complicated.

people building a bridge, with blue bricks from the left side and red bricks from the right side
Politics & Elections

4 Science-Backed Strategies to Curb Partisan Animosity

Vilification of the other side is at a fever pitch. But research suggests ways to bridge the gap.

people in grocery store aisle choosing cheap over free option of same product.
Marketing

How Offering a Product for Free Can Backfire

It seems counterintuitive, but there are times customers would rather pay a small amount than get something for free.

Economics

How COVID Changed the Way Americans Think about Economic Inequality

For some, the pandemic laid bare the social factors that can keep people down. But not everyone adopted a new perspective.

November 2022

person with red cape trying to put out fire while firefighters stand by.
Leadership

Your Team Doesn’t Need You to Be the Hero

Too many leaders instinctively try to fix a crisis themselves. A U.S. Army colonel explains how to curb this tendency in yourself and allow your teams to flourish.

Economics

Post-War Reconstruction Is a Good Investment

Ukraine’s European neighbors will need to make a major financial commitment to help rebuild its economy after the war. Fortunately, as the legacy of the post–World War II Marshall Plan shows, investing in Ukraine’s future will also serve Europe’s own long-term interests.

Finance & Accounting

What Went Wrong with FTX—and What’s Next for Crypto?

One key issue will be introducing regulation without strangling innovation, a fintech expert explains.

Finance & Accounting

Podcast: What the FTX Meltdown Means for the Future of Crypto

The implosion of the crypto exchange has sent the industry reeling. We dig into what happened and whether cryptocurrency, as a concept, can weather the storm.

Marketing

Take 5: The Surprising Ways Emotions Shape Consumer Behavior

Companies, take note—emotions like anger, fear, and anticipation can impact what ends up in consumers’ shopping carts.

Strategy

Transparency Requirements May Not Curb Sneaky Behavior

A new study finds that it is possible to maintain plausible deniability, even if your conversations are later made public.

Operations

Product Q&A Forums Hold a Lot of Promise. Here’s How to Make Them Work.

The key to these online communities, where users can ask and answer questions, is how many questions get useful answers.

Finance & Accounting

Tesla Deserves an A for Its Financial Management

Elon Musk should be commended for being in the position to even think about stock buybacks right now.

Economics

How Experts Make Complex Decisions

By studying 200 million chess moves, researchers shed light on what gives players an advantage—and what trips them up.

Finance & Accounting

Investors Are Eager for Accurate ESG Information. Can Financial Analysts Provide It?

Analysts aren’t traditionally steeped in ESG, but they do have deep knowledge of the companies they cover.

October 2022

Politics & Elections

Why Are So Many Politicians Embracing Conspiracy Theories?

Conspiratorial thinking has always been attractive in times of uncertainty—but it’s become more mainstream. An expert explains why, and whether anything can be done.

Leadership

Leadership Lessons from Liz Truss’s Downfall

While her economic policy clearly doomed her, she also failed as a leader.

Marketing

Starbucks's Odyssey into NFTs Desperately Needs Guidance

Starbucks is entering the metaverse. Is this the best way to do it?

Policy

What the New Climate Bill Means for the U.S.—and the World

The Inflation Reduction Act won’t reverse inflation or halt climate change, but it’s still a big deal.

employees encounter obstacles in front of their office
Organizations

To Get Employees Back to the Office, Address These 4 Frictions

An innovation expert explains how to meet resistance head-on.

Policy

Who Should Win the Tug-of-War over User Data?

It’s not always clear whether businesses or consumers should have more control. Research offers a new way of thinking through the problem.

Organizations

How Comments Like “Man Up” Can Lead to Misbehavior at Work

While the problem extends beyond the workplace, organizations would be wise to consider the consequences of using emasculating language.

Politics & Elections

How We Justify Our Unpopular Opinions

The tactic makes controversial views more palatable to others—and has implications for the rampant spread of fake news.

Politics & Elections

When Do People Protest and When Do They Just Grumble? History Offers Clues.

A tradition of anti-government uprisings can impact communities centuries later.

Policy

Why Did So Many Ukrainians Die in the Soviet Great Famine?

They perished at a much higher rate than ethnic Russians during what’s known as Holodomor. A new study suggests this was a deliberate policy decision.

a family business builds a new wing on its building
Organizations

Why More Family Enterprises Are “Venturing Out”

A look at the pivot toward venture investing—and what it takes to pull it off.

September 2022

Politics & Elections

China’s Future Will Reflect Russia’s

China learned from Russia’s post-1991 experience and pursued its economic liberalization with more care. But it ultimately could not avoid the political implications of pro-market policies and is now following Russia down the road to autocracy—continuing a century-long pattern of mirroring its neighbor’s historical trajectory.

Organizations

Gender-Balanced Teams Do Better Work

When it comes to teams of scientists, “men and women are both part of the recipe for success,” according to new research.

Marketing

Podcast: Is Your Brand Working?

In the fifth and final episode of our series, “Insight Unpacked: Extraordinary Brands and How to Build Them,” we look at how to measure your brand’s health–and what you should do if you don’t like what you learn.

Politics & Elections

One Nation, Too Divided?

Political sectarianism is rampant in the U.S. Three experts discuss whether we can remain united.

Policy

The Thorny Challenge of Measuring Success in “Systems-of-Care” Networks

These networks, which help direct people to the medical and social services they need, must tread carefully in choosing which metrics to use in decision-making.

inventors bring lightbulbs to a factory
Finance & Accounting

What Happens to Innovation During an Economic Crisis?

The Great Depression hastened the end of the independent inventor—but not all was lost.

Marketing

Podcast: How Will You Tell Your Brand’s Story?

In episode 4 of our 5-episode series, “Insight Unpacked: Extraordinary Brands and How to Build Them,” learn the importance of transmedia brand storytelling—and how to do it right.

Finance & Accounting

Unilever Should Divest Ben & Jerry’s

An economist offers his perspective on why the food giant has some big decisions to make in the wake of a court ruling against its ice cream subsidiary.

person in health clinic looking at poster of anthropomorphic virus
Healthcare

How Humanizing Disease Could Be a New Public Health Tool

Anthropomorphizing a disease changes how we feel about it—and the steps we take to avoid it.

Office with manager and well-appointed subordinate cubicle sharing political affiliation
Politics & Elections

Could Your Political Views Stymie Your Career?

From being hired to getting a promotion, new research shows you may be penalized for disagreeing politically with the boss.

August 2022

Marketing

Podcast: What Should Your Brand Look (and Sound and Smell) Like?

In episode 3 of our 5-episode series, “Insight Unpacked: Extraordinary Brands and How to Build Them,” we discuss the associations you want customers to make with your brand, and how to use design to make it happen.

Economics

The Food Crisis Is Bigger Than Ukraine

While Russia’s war has undoubtedly caused real problems in global food markets, they are different and more complex than what most news coverage suggests.

Innovation

Take 5: How to Improve the Odds of Breakthrough Innovation

Thorny problems demand novel solutions. Here’s what it takes to move beyond incremental tweaks.

Marketing

Podcast: What Should You Name Your Brand?

In episode 2 of our 5-episode series, “Insight Unpacked: Extraordinary Brands and How to Build Them,” we dig into the importance of finding the right name for your brand. With apologies to Shakespeare, a rose by any other name wouldn’t smell as sweet.

Finance & Accounting

5 Trends to Watch as the Economy Emerges from the Pandemic

From inflation and remote work to climate change, here’s where the global economy appears to be headed.

Marketing

Podcast: Why Does Your Brand Need to Exist?

In episode 1 of our 5-episode series, “Insight Unpacked: Extraordinary Brands and How to Build Them,” we reveal the key questions you should answer before you start to craft your brand.

Marketing

Podcast: Introducing Insight Unpacked, Season 1

Extraordinary Brands and How to Build Them

Organizations

The Surprising Way Crowd Size Affects Our Tendency to Cheat

Organizations would be wise to understand the psychology behind this phenomenon.

Social Impact

For Those Living in Poverty, Therapy Can Have Benefits Beyond Mental Health

A large study suggests that cognitive behavioral therapy can also improve physical health and economic outcomes.

Marketing

Whiz! Bang! Boom! Energetic Ads Hold Viewers’ Attention

Louder, busier commercials are the new norm. And they seem to be working.

Policy

How Former Enemies Can Develop Trust

A simple intervention can help diffuse animosity toward onetime armed foes, a study shows.

July 2022

Careers

Take 5: Learn to Love Networking (or at Least Tolerate It)

A look at the social and psychological factors that can make networking uncomfortable and how to overcome them.

Finance & Accounting

Jeff Ubben Explains His “Anti-ESG ESG” Investment Strategy

In a recent conversation with Kellogg’s Robert Korajczyk, the hedge-fund leader breaks down his unique approach to mission-driven investing.

Politics & Elections

When Political Discussions Get Heated, Is It Best to Just Stay Out of It?

Keeping your head down when hot-button topics arise could come at a cost to your reputation.

Innovation

Does the Public Benefit from the Scientific Research It Funds?

A new study quantifies how U.S. taxpayer-funded research is used in patents, media, and policy decisions.

Entrepreneurship

Podcast: How Can Entrepreneurs Develop a Stellar Sales Pitch?

On this episode of The Insightful Leader’s “Ask Insight,” two seasoned entrepreneurs share wisdom from the trenches.

two people look out over a city
Strategy

Where Does Capitalism Go Next?

A conversation on “creative destruction,” growth, and designing a more equitable capitalist future.

Social Impact

How to Build a More Diverse Environmental Movement

People of color will disproportionately suffer from climate change, yet there is a striking lack of diversity in mainstream environmental organizations. Broadening what counts as an environmental issue could build a larger, more inclusive coalition.

Innovation

The Desire to Be Acquired Is Stifling Innovation at Startups

The result is “more-conventional, less-radical, less-novel innovation,” adding a new wrinkle to antitrust debates.

Careers

What to Consider Before Taking a Job at a Family-Owned Business

Working for a family firm can be rewarding, but you should do your homework first to make sure it’s the right place for you.

June 2022

Leadership

Podcast: Managing Up, Managing Across, and Retaining Your Best Employees

On this episode of The Insightful Leader’s “Ask Insight”: you asked and our faculty answered. We dig into a mailbox of listener questions on leadership and management.

lobby of a healthcare facility
Healthcare

Where Is the U.S. Healthcare Industry Headed?

New business models abound, private equity is expanding, and healthcare workers are hard to find.

cityscape with pricetags
Finance & Accounting

Real Estate Investors See Opportunity, Despite Inflation and Uncertainty

“The pace at which the world is changing in terms of how people use space is extremely exciting.”

Leadership

Podcast: What One School District’s Fiasco Says About the Strengths and Limits of AI

On this episode of The Insightful Leader: When Boston Public Schools looked to algorithms to solve equity issues and save money, it ran into a roadblock—the complicated lives of parents and students.

Social Impact

How to Measure Your Organization’s Social Impact

Smart people and good intentions don’t guarantee success. You need a thoughtful plan to measure what you are actually accomplishing.

Careers

How to Craft a Fulfilling Career

Practical tips for aligning your values with your work.

Politics & Elections

Take 5: Democracies and How They Thrive

A look at this form of government at a time when democracy is under stress around the world.

Economics

Did China’s One-Child Policy Prompt Households to Save More?

Researchers investigate whether the lack of a “family safety net” is responsible for China’s singularly high household savings rate.

Economics

How Local Disruptions Can Affect the Global Supply Chain

A new study of the Kenyan flower industry can help buyers and suppliers prepare for uncertainty.

Economics

How One Tax Reform Led to More Women in the Workforce Decades Later

A study of a major fiscal change in Italy shows how much individual lives are affected when governments get more efficient.

Healthcare

Consumers Pay When Generic Drug Companies Collude. Here’s a Way to Stop Them.

Price-fixing by pharmaceutical cartels can cost billions, and the threat of lawsuits isn’t enough to deter it.

May 2022

Leadership

Podcast: Executive Presence—Do You Have It?

This week, an episode from the archives: It’s not enough to be good at your job. On this episode of The Insightful Leader, learn how to develop the gravitas that commands attention and respect.

Finance & Accounting

Can Investors Create Profitable Trading Strategies Based on Academic Findings?

It hasn’t been clear if information from the ivory tower translates to the trading-room floor. A new study tackles the question by looking at research on earnings announcements.

Finance & Accounting

Apple’s Inflation Problem

The company faces a “double whammy” due to its cash hoarding.

person skateboarding while shopping on smartphone
Marketing

For Brands, Perfection Is Out and Authenticity Is In

“It helps you seem more trustworthy and enjoyable, like a friend who is going to give you advice on what to buy.”

Marketing

The Psychological Factor That Helps Shape Our Moral Decision-Making

We all have a preferred motivation style. When that aligns with how we’re approaching a specific goal, it can impact how ethical we are in sticky situations.

Policy

Larry Summers on Inflation and the Fed’s Attempts to Cool the Economy

In a recent Q&A with Kellogg’s Jan Eberly, Summers is skeptical that the economy can achieve a “soft landing.”

Leadership

Podcast: What People Get Wrong about Setting Goals

On this episode of The Insightful Leader, we hear how leaders can help their teams—and themselves—turn ambitious goals into reality.

group of people engaged in a problem-solving exercise
Policy

Tackling Global Poverty Takes More Than Cash

New research points to the power of including psychosocial interventions—such as group problem-solving—alongside economic ones.

April 2022

Economics

Why Are U.S. Companies Hoarding So Much Cash?

More than anything else, it comes down to taxes.