The Big Idea
The Big Idea is an interactive approach to launching big ideas with our authors. There will be six Big Ideas in
2017 between print issues. The Big Idea is an innovation that transforms the presentation of compelling new ideas into long-running events, using a variety of story-telling approaches to connect theory to practice without sacrificing any of our signature rigor. This is HBR's 'article of the future' and it will heighten the impact of HBR ideas both online and off. The Big Idea is a suite of articles, cases, assessments, live events, and more, all focused on a prominent HBR author’s ideas and new research, published together in one space online over the course of a couple of weeks.
The first Big Idea, How to Let Your Workers Rebel, was created in partnership with Francesca Gino and was a two-week series of digital articles, videos, tools, and events devoted to exploring the power of 'constructive non-conformity' in business. The program culminated on 11/116 with a live event in San Francisco featuring Francesca and Pixar CEO Ed Catmull.
The second Big Idea, Generosity Burnout, was created in partnership with Adam Grant & Reb Rebell to explore the costs of being selfless at work, and the benefits of smarter giving. Trying to share too much of your time and energy at work hurts the very people you want to help. We showed you how to get better at giving. On 1/23/17 beginning with Adam and Reb's article 'Beat Generosity Burnout' also including the webinar 'Manage the Costs of Being a Good Citizen at Work' and the assessment 'Are You Overextending Yourself?'.
The third Big Idea, Corporations in the Age of Inequality, explores how inequality between corporations is profoundly shaping how we all get paid. HBR editors, star economist Nicholas Bloom, and other special guests were on Slack for a conversation each day of The Business of Inequality, an HBR series that will explain how inequality between corporations is profoundly shaping how we all get paid. Connect with fellow subscribers, hear counterpoints, share your own experiences, and meet Bloom and other experts thinking about the future of business. Inequality isn’t just about individuals—it’s risen between companies, too. Patricipants joined the conversation on Slack. Enrollment in the reading group ended at 12pm on 3/20/17. It kicked off with a live conversation on Monday, 3/20/17 at 2pm.
The fourth Big Idea, Drones go to Work, Chris Anderson, the former editor in chief of Wired magazine and current CEO of 3DR, a drone company, explains how the commercialization of drones has happened “at the pace of the smartphone industry, not the aerospace industry.” Drones are already changing the way industries accomplish critical tasks, usually by collecting vast quantities of data about the physical world easily and cheaply. The whole article is fascinating, but Chris’s final point is perhaps the most profound: “In the prosaic applications of advanced technologies lie their real impact.” In other words, the more that drones can do “boring,” everyday work, the more they will transform our world.