If December is the month when all we talk about is upcoming trends, January is when we think about ways to improve how we do things, in both our personal and professional lives. So, it seems like a good time to widen the lens from our usual food industry content to explore the latest research on topics ranging from health and wellness to innovation and diversity.

These five Harvard Business Review articles will help you tackle the challenges ahead. Enjoy!

How to Stop Thinking About Work at 3am

In our always-on culture, work stress is practically a way of life. The problem is that it can become a vicious cycle — stress causes sleep deprivation, and sleep deprivation leads to more stress. Both of these things negatively impact work performance, which, of course, makes everything worse. In this article, executive coach Rebecca Zucker identifies five strategies to keep work from getting in the way of sleep.

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What Companies That Are Good at Innovation Get Right

Innovation has become something of a buzzword, especially in the food industry where competition is fierce. But there’s a difference between “innovation theatre” and actual innovation. To learn what separates successful innovators from the rest of the pack, Innovation Leader and KPMG surveyed 215 members of innovation, R&D, and strategy groups inside large organizations. The results yielded six systems and processes associated with innovation success.

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Real Mentorship Starts with Company Culture, Not Formal Programs

It’s no secret that food manufacturers and their suppliers are having trouble competing for talent. Many companies are tackling this problem by establishing mentoring programs. But, professors W. Brad Johnson and David G. Smith argue, these formal mentoring relationships aren’t ideal for developing junior talent. Instead, they suggest more informal arrangements, which they call “mentors-of-the-moment.”

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What the “Best Companies to Work For” Do Differently

“What makes a company culture great?” Michael O’Malley and Bill Baker sought to answer this question by analyzing 21 organizations that consistently make “Best Companies to Work For” lists. The results are not surprising, but they are a good reminder that people are every company’s most important resource and that keeping them happy isn’t all that difficult.

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A Data-Driven Approach to Hiring More Diverse Talent

In my conversations with members of the food industry about workforce challenges, two key themes stand out: 1) everyone wants to hire more diverse talent, and 2) companies aren’t doing a great job of it. This article review an effort to diversify the golf industry, but it has implications for any company looking to increase the diversity of their workforce (and reap the financial benefits of doing so).

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