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Cold Call

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Cold Call

HBR Presents / Brian Kenny

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Cold Call distills Harvard Business School's legendary case studies into podcast form. Hosted by Brian Kenny, the podcast airs every two weeks and features Harvard Business School faculty discussing cases they've written and the lessons they impart.
 
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show series
 
In early 2019, global beer company Molson Coors was exploring how to enter the cannabis beverages business. At the time, cannabis had not yet been legalized in Canada. Initially the company had planned to test a few products in a small geography in Canada to see if there might be a viable market opportunity. But the team charged with developing an …
 
The Chinese telecom giant Huawei and other Chinese telecom firms, like ZTE, had been poised to lead the globe in 5G technology—until the U.S. State Department embarked on a global campaign to challenge the market dominance of Chinese firms with the Clean Network program. The initiative, launched in 2020 and led by Under Secretary of State for Econo…
 
In 2020, JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced a $30 billion “Commitment to Advance Racial Equity.” This included investments in housing, small businesses, and financial literacy across the U.S., as well as in diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives within the bank. Harvard Business School professor emeritus Joe Bower and case protagonist Alice Rodri…
 
In February 2013, US Airways announced that it would merge with American Airlines to create the world’s largest airline. During the acquisition integration process, CEO Doug Parker had to determine how best to combine the two airlines’ core systems, operating processes, and leadership teams, as well as the appropriate scope and speed of strategic c…
 
In August 2017, Baroo Pet Care founder and CEO Lindsay Hyde wanted to continue expanding her pet services startup to new cities. In addition to raising venture capital, she needed to consider her growth strategy. Should she continue focusing on the needs of her early adopters or start tailoring Baroo’s services to more mainstream customers? And how…
 
Gong’s business proposition is simple: provide software that automatically captures, understands, and analyzes written and spoken sales conversations to help sales teams sell more effectively. But can technology that leverages conversational insights make a measurable impact on a company’s bottom line? Harvard Business School associate professor Al…
 
Horst Dassler, the son of the founder of Adidas, cultivated relationships with athletes and national associations – with the aim of expanding his family’s sports apparel business. In doing so, he created the first sports sponsorships for the Olympics, and ultimately became a key force behind the commercialization of sports today. Harvard Business S…
 
In 2007, Alibaba’s Taobao became China’s leading consumer e-commerce marketplace, displacing the once dominant eBay. How did underdog Taobao do it? And will it be able to find a way to monetize its marketplace and ensure future success? Harvard Business School professor Felix Oberholzer-Gee discusses his case, “Alibaba’s Taobao,” and related strate…
 
When Kathy Fish became Procter & Gamble’s Chief Research, Development & Innovation Officer in 2014, she was concerned that the world’s leading consumer packaged goods company had lost its capability to produce a steady stream of disruptive innovations. In addition, intensifying competition from direct-to-consumer companies convinced Fish that P&G n…
 
After years of success in providing quality furniture at affordable prices, Swedish furniture maker IKEA is challenged by the rise of online shopping and changing consumer behavior, plus the arrival of a new leader. The company’s top executives know they had to step out of their comfort zones and embrace new strategic initiatives to stay relevant. …
 
Marcus by Goldman Sachs marked a dramatic shift for the 150-year-old financial institution, which historically had served only businesses and the wealthiest people. The fintech startup operated within Goldman Sachs, offering unsecured personal loans for the mass market, high-yield deposits, and a credit card in partnership with Apple. Harvard Busin…
 
Georgia State University was facing a growing “summer melt” problem, where nearly 20 percent of incoming students never actually enrolled. The university used a data-based approach to retain students of all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds and help them graduate. Harvard Business School professor Mike Toffel and senior fellow Robin Men…
 
After decades of brain drain in rural America, Tulsa Remote is working to attract a diverse group of remote workers to live in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The program offers a $10,000 grant to remote workers and entrepreneurs living outside Oklahoma, who relocate to the state’s second largest city for one year – with the goal that they stay longer and truly e…
 
How did the evolution of Boeing’s organization and management lead to two tragic plane crashes within six months, in which a total of 346 people died? Harvard Business School professor Bill George discusses the long roots that ultimately led to the crash of Lion Air flight 610 in October 2018 in Indonesia and the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight …
 
Rubicon began with a bold idea: create a cloud-based, full-service waste management platform providing efficient service anywhere in the U.S. Their mobile app did for waste management what Uber had done for taxi service. Five years after the case’s publication, Harvard Business School associate professor Shai Bernstein and Rubicon founder and CEO N…
 
Guild Education is an education marketplace that connects employers and universities to provide employees with “education as a benefit.” The Denver-based company is transforming traditional tuition-assistance programs by facilitating direct payment by the employer to the academic institution and by supporting students with coaching and advising. No…
 
In 2000, Rohit Gera turned his family’s boutique real estate development firm in Pune, India, into a dynamic innovator in housing solutions for urban Indian families. Today Gera Developments stands at a crossroads, with Gera planning the end of his managerial career. How should the family think about scaling the business? And, should the company se…
 
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