8 Most-Read Stories of 2019

Written

8 Most-Read Stories of 2019

Communication mistakes, job-stealing robots, and career-gap explanations captured reader attention this year.
A photo illustration kittens being poked by pixelated hand icons. Credit: Alvaro Dominguez
Among our top reads this year is an article that discourages the use of hard-sell marketing tactics on social media. That approach stifles engagement, and engagement is gold. | Illustration by Alvaro Dominguez

Does the year ever pass you by and leaving you wondering: What just happened? Us too. Luckily, we’ve rounded up all the top Insights articles from 2019 to remind us of what resonated most with our readers. This year’s highlights include articles discussing health care, artificial intelligence, and leadership advice from business icons. See why these are our readers’ top picks:

1. Five Common Communication Mistakes (And How to Fix Them)

We all know a bad presentation when we see one. So, as presenters, how do we avoid common pitfalls? How do we train ourselves to be engaging and effective communicators? The first step: Learn how to start your presentation like a James Bond movie.

2. Our Misplaced Fear of Job-Stealing Robots

Artificial intelligence is poised to have a big impact on the economy — but that doesn’t mean robots will take over the world. What we should be thinking about are the demographic trends that predict a decrease in the labor supply in the coming years.

3. Diane von Furstenberg: Find Your Door, and Push Through It

One of the world’s richest self-made women, fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg forged her own path in the industry, staying true to who she was through the highs and lows of her career. “When you create something, it goes up and it goes down,” she says. “You can lose everything, but you never lose your character."

4. Why Hospitals Underreport the Number of Patients They Infect

Misreporting of hospital-acquired infections may be costing Medicare an estimated $200 million per year. Why? Errors, lack of procedures, and financial pressures that incentivize misreporting may all be at play.

5. Explain Career Gaps and Transitions on Your Resume

Gaps and career transitions are more common than you might think, but that doesn’t mean employers won’t ask about them. Carol Fishman Cohen, career reentry expert, shares her top tips for acing interviews and making your way into the workforce after taking some time away or coming from a different field.

6. On Social Media, Sell Your Brand, Not Your Stuff

The world of social media remains a black box for many companies, but recent research shows that sounding human is the key to success. Content that showcases a likable brand personality drives user engagement, which then leads algorithms to prioritize those posts and reach more users.

7. How the Great Recession Influenced Today’s Populist Movements

Financial hardship in the United States has weakened the trust between its voters and its government institutions, fueling the popularity of candidates who deploy populist “us vs. them” rhetoric. Three Stanford scholars discuss how this happened and what can be done to find common ground.

8. Phil Knight on the Controversial Kaepernick Ad and Nike’s Never-Give-Up Attitude

After graduating from Stanford GSB in 1962, Phil Knight went from selling running shoes out of the back of his car to spearheading one of the biggest brands in athletic apparel. He says many of the lessons that have stuck with him throughout his long career came from his college track coach, including his mantra: “Do right and fear no man.”

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