Need to advance your career, improve your skills, or stay on top of developments in the business world? Our free Career and Trending@HBS webinars are just the ticket. Throughout the academic year, we host guest speakers who are expert in a range of career and professional development topics and faculty members and other distinguished speakers who discuss major business news or provide updates on the HBS campus and curriculum as seen through the lens of HBS research and faculty expertise.

Please note: Our webinar series require LEFA login for viewing.


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Karen Mills (MBA 1977), Senior Fellow, Harvard Business School

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How Banks Can Compete Against an Army of Fintech Startups (HBR.org)

Harvard Business School Working Papers:
"The State of Small Business Lending: Innovation and Technology and the Implications for Regulation."
"The State of Small Business Lending: Credit Access During the Recovery and How Technology May Change the Game."

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Small businesses have often faced gaps in access to credit. An explosion of new online lenders are providing small dollar loans to businesses within days, with easy online applications and innovative credit algorithms. Is this a good development for America’s small businesses?
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Cammie Dunaway (MBA 1990), Global Chief Marketing Officer, Strategy Consultant, Board Member, and Author

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Research shows that only 30 percent of Americans, and an even lower percentage of employees around the world, strongly agree that they have a chance to do what they do best every day at work. There is much talk about organizational culture, authenticity and well-being, but no one is providing a road map for individuals to assess the differences in organizations and find their right place--until now.
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Thales Teixeira, Lumry Family Associate Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

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In recent years, a new wave of digital disruption has been taking over the Internet. In this talk, Associate Professor Teixeira will show how a variety of firms, both incumbents and startups, are using digital technologies to break the bonds between activities that consumers want to do and what they previously had to do.
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Michael D. Watkins, Author and Cofounder of Genesis Advisers

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Are you or your team facing a change or professional transition? Listen to Dr. Michael Watkins share his latest research findings on the challenges and solutions of professional transitions–for leaders, teams, and entire organizations. When leaders take new roles, they need to climb steep learning curves, define direction, build their team, and get early wins as rapidly as possible. New leaders often also need to assess, reshape, reorganize, and accelerate the teams they inherited. Major organizational changes, such as restructuring, accelerated growth, and post-acquisition integration, involve many leaders taking new roles and many newly-formed teams in need of connection, alignment, and acceleration.
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David Moss, Paul Whiton Cherington Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

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Is American democracy in trouble? What could this mean for the nation’s economy and business environment? Professor Moss will take up these questions from an historical perspective, exploring the strengths and weaknesses of the nation’s political system as it has evolved over the past 230-plus years.
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Michael B. Horn (MBA 2006), Chief Strategy Officer, Entangled Ventures; Cofounder and Distinguished Fellow, Clayton Christensen InstituteHeather Staker (MBA 2001), CEO and Founder, Ready to Blend, LLC; Adjunct Research Fellow for the Clayton Christensen Institute

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In this webinar, Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker will discuss the themes from their Amazon-bestselling book, Blended. Using the theories of disruptive innovation, Horn and Staker reveal a practical guide for designing an education system that can help all students succeed at scale.
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Marc Cenedella (MBA 1998), Founder, Executive Chairman, and CEO of Ladders, Inc.

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Networking can be intimidating. It is not always easy, however, it can be beneficial if you change your perspective and "flip" your view of the situation. This requires flipping your perception of yourself, your jobs, and most importantly, your relationships. Rather than putting yourself under the often-misleading pressure to expand your networks with new contacts, consider mining already established relationships. "The flip" means redefining who and what your network is and does--for you and them--and is a different way of approaching networking.
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Julie Norris (MBA 1994), Senior Client Partner, Board & CEO and Legal Services Practices at KornFerry International

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As companies seek to address the challenges and opportunities brought about by digital disruption, driving global growth, and entering new markets, their boardrooms are also in transition. Board directors are looking around the table and recognizing the need to bring new perspectives into the boardroom. The demand for technology, marketing, financial, geographic, and core industry expertise in the boardroom will continue to grow in 2017, as will the interest in bringing more people of diverse backgrounds - gender, ethnicity, age, etc. to the table.
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Vijay “V.G.” Govindarajan (DBA 1978), Coxe Distinguished Professor at Tuck at Dartmouth

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Creating a new business and optimizing an existing one are two fundamentally different management challenges. How can leaders meet the performance requirements of an existing business--one that is still thriving--while dramatically reinventing it? Govindarajan expands the leader's innovation tool kit with a simple and proven method for balancing the organization's energy, time, and resources across what he calls "the three boxes." Based on his book, The Three-Box Solution: A Strategy for Leading Innovation, this session will give participants a set of principles and tools to successfully create the future even while maintaining excellence in the present.
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Mary Dell Harrington (MBA 1982), Cofounder and Coauthor, Grown and Flown

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High school is a time of dynamic growth for kids who enter in 9th grade with one foot still in childhood and graduate four years later, well on their way to adulthood. But teens are not the only ones in a family who are changing. Adults, too, must learn to adapt to the challenges of parenting older kids. Drawing from five years of coauthorship of parenting blog, Grown and Flown, http://grownandflown.com, Harrington will share advice from experts in education and healthcare as well as the collective wisdom she has gained from the 100,000+ social media followers the blog now attracts.
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Peter Linkow (MBA 1977), Managing Director, Lead Diversity, Senior Fellow, Human Capital, The Conference Board

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Workforce diversity is a reality. If you are not addressing the challenges of a diverse workforce today, then demographic change, globalization, the purchasing power and demands of diversity markets, as well as the advantages of a diverse workforce mean that you will be confronting those challenges tomorrow. Yet, progress toward creating competitive advantage through diverse workforces has been interminably slow as many employees fear and resist diversity. Bias demonstrably permeates talent decisions, and employees and managers find it difficult to follow leaders who don't demonstrate a clear commitment to diversity.
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Linda Rossetti (MBA 1991), Author; Managing Director, Golden Seeds LLC

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Are you in transition or considering one in the New Year? Countless life events, like the sale of a company or a career change or an empty nest or re-entering the workforce or retirement or divorce, can leave us at the doorstep of transition.
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Mitchell Weiss, MBA Class of 1961 Senior Lecturer of Business Administration

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There is a new generation of inventors, inside government and outside of it, turning problems into opportunities. The webinar will provide a sense for how public entrepreneurship can be deployed in companies and in government, and for how to tackle its trickier aspects, like startup sales to government, investing in companies that sell into (or around) government, and scaling in regulatory “gray areas.”
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Michael Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor;Jan Rivkin, Bruce V. Rauner Professor of Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean for Research;Mihir Desai, Mizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance

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Five years of research from Harvard Business School's US Competitiveness Project, as well as the findings from the 2016 surveys on US competitiveness, present a sobering picture of the deep structural challenges facing the United States. The US needs a national economic strategy that involves business and government at all levels. What might a coherent national strategy look like? After a divisive presidential campaign, are we now on the path toward such a strategy?
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Richard S. Ruback, Willard Prescott Smith Professor of Corporate FinanceRoyce G. Yudkoff (MBA 1980), Professor of Management Practice

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Starting Points

Read more from professors Ruback and Yudkoff in the newly published HBR Guide to Buying a Small Business: Think Big, Buy Small, Own Your Own Company. Professor Jim Stein Sharpe’s blog also offers an extensive reading list.

If you’re ready to act, Baker Library has compiled resources on multiple aspects of buying a small business, including broker and company screening, due diligence, and search funds.


There are over 1 million smaller firms in North America and each year thousands and thousands come up for sale, principally as founders retire. Acquiring the right kind of smaller firm offers very compelling economic rewards, and you can become CEO of one of these companies right now. These well-established, enduringly profitable businesses offer higher safety of principal than startups, greater professional independence than working in someone else's company, and significant profit opportunity because competition to buy them is much less than for larger firms.
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Jill Huggett, Founder, Bridgepath Career Advisors; Career Coach, Harvard Business School

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It is no secret that your resume is critical to landing the job you deserve, and you need to be sure it is an accurate and powerful reflection of your story. Everything from the content messaging and positioning to the template needs to be outstanding. Join Jill Huggett, certified career coach and resume writer and founder of Bridgepath Career Advisors, to find out exactly how to get your resume into the best shape ever.
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Thomas Bartman (MBA 2014), Member of the Forum for Growth and Innovation

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Unlocking Growth & Resilience: Concept Recap
  • Business models consist of 4 elements: the value proposition, resources, processes and the profit formula
  • There are 3 levels to the Job to Be Done: the functional level, the experiential level and the integrative level
  • Business models travel a one-way, predestined journey that hardens the interdependencies making the business model rigid
  • In the creation stage, business models are flexible and focused on discovering an unfulfilled Job to Be Done
  • In the improvement stage, business models become more rigid as the processes that enable it to reliably serve customers come to dominate the model
  • In the capital redemption stage, ratio performance metrics of the profit formula dominate the business model; to improve efficiency the interdependencies of the model are cemented and components are outsourced
  • While businesses cannot change, companies can through business model innovation

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Managers of companies in every industry and geography are focused on business model innovation as a way to respond to competitive threats and create new growth opportunities. Despite all of that effort and attention, the failure rate for corporate transformations is stubbornly high. The problem stems from a lack of understanding of how businesses are formed and evolve over the course of their existence, the types of changes they embrace and those they resist.
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Monica Mandelli (MBA 1998), Managing Director, KKR & Co.

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Over the last few years, substantial growth in family offices (FOs) has resulted in their emergence as a significant investor class. There are an estimated 2,500 FOs globally, controlling $7+ trillion in assets; approximately 300 of these FOs manage over $5 billion each.
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Steve Kirschner (MBA 1986), Chairman, Package Perfect, Ltd.; CMO, HBS Alumni Angels Association

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Startups are like infants: brand new, exciting, bursting with hope and potential. Unfortunately, if you're thinking about joining a startup, that excitement doesn't help much. It often confuses the issues about which deals could succeed and which could fail or, more importantly, which deal is the best fit for you.
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V. Kasturi Rangan, Malcolm P. McNair Professor of Marketing

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Never has there been a time when so many believed in both the ability and responsibility of the private sector to combat the world's greatest social challenges—from poverty to climate change to accessible health care. Recent years have seen the creation of thousands of businesses across the globe aiming to generate profit and also achieve a social mission. This influx of businesses has been accompanied by the emergence of impact investing, a new approach to investing dedicated to generating significant social impact alongside financial returns. Today's young leaders and the next generation of high net worth individuals aim to build their businesses and invest their wealth in endeavors to fight hunger, bring clean water, education, and healthcare to the world's poor, and end homelessness. Can this new form of investing truly move the needle on some of society's greatest challenges?