June 26, 2009

News & Opinion: Harvard Business Review Is Bringing It

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 1:59 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Recent travels has allowed me to catch up on some magazine reading and my biggest surprise was continuing evolution of Harvard Business Review under Adi Ignatius.
Take the articles by Niall Ferguson and Dan Ariely in the July/August edition. These two authors certainly have higher institution credientals to belong on the pages of HBR with Ferguson at Harvard and Ariely at MIT. And their research certainly fits the profile of the magazine. But it's the style and composition that is so refreshing. While the audience is clearly business executives, the pieces read like articles you would find in The Atlantic.
The editorial is a wonderful move away from the rote problem/research/conclusion arc that has been the mainstay of HBR prose. There were certainly pieces in the current issue that still match the the vintage style, though even those seemed shorter and with more callouts of additional material. Their Different Voice column interviews the fiction writer and media commentator Cory Doctorow, another refreshing choice. I am looking forward to what the fall will bring.
So, yes, the time has arrived to pick up the magazine again. Harvard Business Review is making a run at being relevant again.

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.