Introducing 4 Business Ideas That Changed the World

Influential business and management ideas have tremendous influence over us. Like it or not, they shape how organizations are run and how people around the world spend their days. And Harvard Business Review has introduced and spread many of these consequential ideas since its founding in 1922.

HBR IdeaCast is taking this 100th anniversary to ask: how have these ideas changed our lives? And where are they taking us in the future? Each Thursday in October, the podcast feed will feature a bonus series: 4 Business Ideas That Changed the World.

Each week, a different HBR editor talks to world-class scholars and experts on influential business and management ideas of HBR’s first 100 years: disruptive innovation, scientific management, shareholder value, and emotional intelligence.

Listen to the conversations to better understand our work life, how far it’s come, and how far it still has to go.

CURT NICKISCH: The ideas that take root in business and management have tremendous influence over us. Like it or not, they shape how organizations are run and how people around the world spend their days.

DEREK VAN BEVER: I recall that it was just terrifying to be an incumbent company at that point.

LOUIS HYMAN: You know, maybe I do get paid that I get an extra beer on the weekend, but what does that mean if I’m so exhausted, so soul-broken by this kind of work?

CURT NICKISCH: Harvard Business Review launched in 1922. Over 100 years, we’ve introduced and spread many consequential ideas. We’re taking this anniversary to ask: how have these ideas changed our lives? And where are they taking us in the future?

RITA MCGRATH: There was a time in American business where entrepreneurship meant that you couldn’t get a real job. [LAUGHTER] Right? I mean it was not the kind of glam cool thing. The guy you wanted to be was the guy in the gray flannel suit.

FELIX OBERHOLZER-GEE: You know, we come up with a new flavor for yogurt, and people say, “Oh my god, the market for yogurt has been disrupted!”

Each week, a different HBR editor will host a discussion with world-class scholars and experts on the most influential business and management ideas of HBR’s first hundred years. Disruptive innovation. Scientific management. Shareholder value. Emotional intelligence.

SUSAN DAVID: Even 20 years ago, there was this view that emotions were intangible, ephemeral, difficult to measure.

ANDY PARKS: I started to embrace emotional intelligence. I practiced it daily. That was ultimately the big game-changer for me.

We’ll tackle the benefits and unintended consequences of these ideas, in an effort to understand our work life, how far it’s come, and how far it still has to go.

LOUIS HYMAN: The question remains, as it did a century ago, who benefits from increased productivity?

And don’t worry IdeaCast fans, we’ll continue dropping regular Tuesday episodes, too.