Top of Mind

Focusing on cost savings and building resilience in the face of uncertainty, the military has made significant progress in preparing for climate change. Bloomberg looks at what this apolitical approach has accomplished and what lessons can be drawn.

Yale Insights talked with Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army Richard Kidd ’93 about helping organizations see sustainability as critical to the mission.

6:00 PM - 21 Jul 14
Amy Wrzesniewski — Laboratory experiments have suggested that, counterintuitively, having both an internal motivation for completing a task and an external reward makes performance weaker. A study by Yale SOM’s Amy Wrzesniewski tested this idea in the real world, by examining how the motivations of West Point cadets affected their performance. The results have strong implications for how leaders can get the best performance from their organizations. View Video
Amy Wrzesniewski & Barry Schwartz — What kinds of motives are most conducive to success? In a New York Times op-ed, Professor Amy Wrzesniewski and coauthor Barry Schwartz discuss their research looking at the motives of new West Point cadets and how they relate to success as Army officers. Read More
Carolyn Everson — Will the rising tide of mobile ad spending lift all media-company boats? Or will only the shrewd and the quick be able to capitalize on the trend toward more media consumption on mobile? Facebook’s Carolyn Everson describes how the company has made itself mobile-first. View Video
Nancy Pfund & Daniel Gross & Stuart Patterson & Rosemary Ripley — Green tech investors want to put their money behind firms with the potential to disrupt their industries and bring both positive environmental impacts and financial success. But what’s disruptive is by its nature unprecedented and unpredictable. How do investors assess the potential of a green technology company? Read More
Marian Chertow & Shawn Heath & Rich Kidd & Manuel Gomez Pena — Sustainability leaders often have to interact with a wide range of stakeholders with varied interests and incentives. They need to figure out the best way to engage, communicate, prioritize, and implement—in other words, to persuade. According to a panel of sustainability executives, that can mean sidestepping the language and baggage of sustainability entirely. Read More
Gina Rosselli Boswell — The theoretical possibilities for big data are limitless, but putting so much information to good use requires big thinking. Unilever’s Gina Boswell explains the principles that the global company uses to effectively mine its data troves. View Video
Robert J. Shiller — Recent research, drawing on behavioral economics, suggests that donors make larger contributions to a nonprofit organization when they have a sense of active involvement in the organization's mission. In an op-ed for the New York Times, Professor Robert Shiller suggests that changes to legal and institutional structures could be powerful new tools to increase engagement and giving. Read More
Ranji Nagaswami — Millions of government workers in the U.S. are relying on pension plans for retirement, and yet these plans are underfunded by at least $1 trillion. Asset manager Ranji Nagaswami ’86 argues that addressing this challenge is about more than assets and liabilities—we have to look at how funds are run and, critically, how they think about risk. Read More
Olav Sorenson — Merger performance varies greatly depending on the number of pre-merger third-party ties connecting the acquiring firm to its partner, according to a new study by researchers at the Yale School of Management and INSEAD. Read More
Laszlo Bock — How do companies with rapidly evolving business plans and a constantly shifting competitive landscape hire the right people for tomorrow, let alone next year? While education and training still matter, Laszlo Bock, head of people operations at Google, says that the company looks for people with the ability to learn, solve problems, and step in when leadership is needed. View Video
Andrew Kassoy — Social enterprises seek to make profit while having a positive impact on communities. As a nascent and hybrid form of organization, social enterprises are vaguely defined. Might a certification process provide benefits for such organizations? Andrew Kassoy of the B Lab talks about the potential of the benefit corporation, or B Corp, to change the way business is done. View Video
George E. Newman & Ravi Dhar — Are Godiva chocolates made in Brussels, Belgium, where the company has operated since 1926, more authentic than the same chocolates made in the company’s Reading, Pennsylvania, facility? According to new research from the Yale School of Management, consumers view products manufactured at a company’s original factory to be more authentic and valuable than identical products made elsewhere. Read More