Editors’ Note

Each year as we pare twelve months’ worth of HBR articles down to a handful of the very best, certain trends and themes emerge. Sometimes the economy, politics, and technology loom largest. Other times new twists on the basics of leadership, strategy, and marketing dominate. This year’s choices are united not by a trend or a theme but by a feeling: the surprise we experience when some long-held truth is gently challenged and is revealed to be different or more complex than we had thought. Educators and psychologists know that novelty reinforces understanding and learning. Indeed, the sense of surprise that distinguishes the pieces in this collection makes them stay with us, tugging at loose threads in our minds, helping us see ...

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