France Telecom: Corporate Restructuring and Employee Wellbeing
The France Telecom case series follows the evolution of the organization from a national telephone monopoly to a private company facing severe challenges. These included a lessening competitive advantage, with the advent of mobile carriers and competition from other countries, as well as a workforce that was much larger than needed and included many civil servants, making it difficult to reduce headcount.
As increasing pressure mounted internally to make changes and 22,000 jobs were lost between 2006 and 2009, the culture at France Telecom shifted from one where employees were proud to work to one where the physical and mental wellbeing of some employees became increasingly fragile. Did corporate leaders push employees too far, creating unacceptable levels of stress and unhappiness?
Harvard Business School professors Cynthia Montgomery and Ashley Whillans discuss some fundamental tensions between the pressures and benefits of capitalism, the responsibilities of management, and the day-to-day and long-term impacts on employee well-being in the case series, “France Telecom: A Difficult Restructuring.”
This episode discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please use the resources below to seek help.
- USA: 1-800-273-8255 (CHAT)
- S. Crisis text line: 741741 text HOME
- United Kingdom: 116 123
- Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860
- List of suicide crisis lines around the world (Wikipedia)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
BRIAN KENNY: Hi. It’s Brian Kenny. Throughout this episode, we’ll be talking about suicide. If you or anyone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please call the 24-hour National Suicide Lifeline. That number in the US is 1-800-273-8255. For other resources, search Wikipedia’s list of suicide crisis lines around the world.
Suicide is a global health crisis and the fifth leading cause of death for those aged 30 to 49. Mental health experts say work stress from long hours and job strain is often the culprit. The Japanese even have a name for it “karōjisatsu”, which means suicide from overwork. As awareness of the importance of mental health grows, expectations of the social contract between workers and employers has changed, and a day of reckoning may be at hand. Today on Cold Call we’ll discuss the case entitled, France Telecom: A Challenging Restructuring, with professors, Cynthia Montgomery and Ashley Whillans. I’m your host, Brian Kenny, and you’re listening to Cold Call on the HBR presents network.
Cynthia Montgomery’s research centers on strategy and corporate governance, Ashley Whillans’ research investigates whether and how intangible incentives affect employee motivation and wellbeing, and they’re both previous guests on Cold Call. So, I’m happy to have you both back. Thank you for joining me today.
CYNTHIA MONTGOMERY: Thanks a lot, Brian.
BRIAN KENNY: This is a… this is a somber topic. I mean, you’ve taken on a case that addresses some really significant social health issues. And I think, as I teased in the intro, I think that awareness of this has really risen. So, I think our listeners will enjoy hearing your take on it and hearing how it played out at France Telecom, which is now Orange. I’ll let our listeners know that this is what we call a library case, meaning that you didn’t actually interview anybody there, but you’re basing it off of public sources, and I think there’s still some terrific insights that come out of the case. So, let’s just dig in. Cynthia, I’m going to ask you to start by telling us, what’s the central theme of the case? And as you step into the classroom, how would you kick off this discussion? What’s your cold call?
CYNTHIA MONTGOMERY: Yeah, thanks Brian. I wanted to start by saying that I thought your introduction was spot on. I mean, in the sense about the seriousness of the issues that are raised in this case. The case series focuses on what I would describe as the awesome challenges and responsibilities CEOs face. And awesome in the fullest sense of the word, meaning extremely impressive, as well as daunting. It’s a very complex case series about a company facing several large challenges simultaneously. A transition from being a public to a private company, from a monopoly to a hotly contested competitive market, and carrying with it a workforce that was far too large and outdated for the tasks ahead. So, how do we start the discussion? I ask students to respond to a poll before class, a portioning responsibility for the tough situation: is it due to French labor laws, past decisions by preceding CEOs, disruption in the global telecom industry, incalcitrant workers, or actions taken by the current CEO and his team? I’ve found that people view the situation quite differently, which is actually terrific for a case discussion. So, my first cold calls are to students who have taken strong stands in the poll for one of these explanations. I call on them in quick succession and capture their arguments to lay the context for the discussion.
BRIAN KENNY: I always think it’s interesting when faculty team up on cases like this, and you both come at this probably from a different perspective. So, I’d like to ask how this relates to what you think about as scholars and why you decided to team up on the case.
CYNTHIA MONTGOMERY: I study CEOs as leader strategists and what it means to bear this responsibility in the truest sense of the word for a company. To set a viable course for a business and to build an organization capable of carrying it out. And we used to think about this as primarily an analytical responsibility, and what we’ve come to realize is it’s far more fulsome and involves far more of who a leader is. And that’s why I reached out to ASHLEY WHILLANS, because what she does is so critical to this case.
BRIAN KENNY: Ashley, how about you?
ASHLEY WHILLANS: I study the complex interrelationships between time, money, and happiness. And as related in the employment context, I just study how non-cash rewards, like flexible work policies, and, when I was on Cold Call last, notes of appreciation can shape employee happiness and job satisfaction. This case is a striking example of what happens when workplaces fail to recognize the importance of intangible rewards. I think that, to me, the current case highlights the importance of considering all sources of employee motivation, not just extrinsic rewards like money. The case reveals that removing important non cash rewards in the workplace, like feelings of competence and relatedness to one’s peers, can destroy value for companies, and as we will discuss, have crushing effects on employees’ mental health.
BRIAN KENNY: Let’s talk about France Telecom. I was really surprised in the case to see, by the way, that their history goes back to like 1792. Cynthia, maybe you can tell us about France Telecom, a little bit about their history, and the fact that they originated as a nationalized utility, which I think many telecoms did.
CYNTHIA MONTGOMERY: Yeah, it was in 1889 that their nascent telephone network was transferred to the French government. It became a state monopoly, which was later supervised by the Ministry of Post Telegraph and Telephone. It’s really common practice in many countries historically to consolidate telephone carriers into one national carrier that was granted monopoly status and supervised by the government. For decades France lagged many other European countries, the U.S., and Canada in the number of telephones per 100 people. It wasn’t until 1974, and a modernization program called, Telephones for All the French, that the government invested massively in the network and hired thousands of technicians. It was a period described as exciting times, and during a six year period, the number of subscribers in France increased from six to 20 million.
BRIAN KENNY: And this was sort of a… this was a source of national pride, right? I mean, the workers felt good about what they’re doing. Ashley, can you talk a little bit about how they viewed their role as part of France Telecom?
ASHLEY WHILLANS: You hit the nail on the head when you say workers derived a sense of pride, a sense of satisfaction, from serving their company in this way. A really important detail about workers at France Telecom is that most were public sector employees. At the time when Breton was the CEO of France Telecom, for example, 77% of the workforce were civil servants who enjoyed job security for life and generous pensions, among other benefits. And as we’ve already briefly discussed, public sector workers at France Telecom strongly identified with the purpose of their jobs. They derived a sense of satisfaction and pride from serving their country, and they were not necessarily motivated by high incomes. In fact, they earned below average wages in France at the time. So, instead their source of extrinsic reward was the psychological security that their jobs provided, it was desirable given the unemployment rates in France. And as one reporter that we quoted in the case aptly noted, employees at France Telecom experienced relatively low wages, poor prospects of career advancement in exchange for job security, and pride in building the French telephone network.
BRIAN KENNY: So, they grew pretty large as well, Ashley, I mean, at one point they had over 200,000 employees. Is that sort of close to the number?
ASHLEY WHILLANS: Yeah, that’s right. So, in 2005, they had 203,000 employees across countries, located mostly in France.
BRIAN KENNY: So, now comes the challenge of privatization. I can imagine, I mean, I guess I can’t even imagine how complicated it is to go from being a public utility to trying to become a private company and enter a very competitive landscape. Cynthia, maybe you can talk about some of the challenges that arise with something like this. And at this time, they brought in a CEO, Michel Bon. I hope I said that name correctly – some of the things that he was going to have to deal with.
CYNTHIA MONTGOMERY: It was really an incredibly challenging period in time in the history of the company, that Bon was tapped to run France Telecom in 1995. In 1996, a law was adopted transforming the company into quasi standard private company, and an IPO took place in 1997. In many ways, it’s difficult to imagine a business with a bigger set of challenges. They lost its monopoly, they were nearly simultaneously confronted by globalized players entering the French market. They were dramatically behind in new services that were increasingly threatening their landlines, and they had an inefficient landline workforce that was dramatically too large, yet lacking in many of the capabilities to compete in the increasingly disruptive mobile and internet space. So, what do you do in a situation like this? And a good thing, we’d like to think, is that Bon was a man of action, and he took really, really bold action. He started by launching an early retirement plan, for which 40,000 people signed up. 40,000. And he engaged in a very aggressive international expansion strategy. And as part of this, he purchased the British wireless carrier Orange from Vodafone, and also purchased a Dutch data network operator, a German fixed and mobile operator, Poland state telephone firm, and several others. And like other telecom companies, he also bid unprecedented amounts for 3G wireless licenses.
BRIAN KENNY: So, Bon creates sort of this situation that Thierry Breton has to step in and address. What does he do as the new leader dealing with this kind of a massive debt situation?
CYNTHIA MONTGOMERY: Breton was a very widely respected turnaround expert, and by then, the company was in crisis – and there was some question, actually, if it would survive. So, he was brought in to basically right the ship. And I might mention that, incidentally, Breton would spend one year later in his life as a visiting faculty member at HBS.
BRIAN KENNY: Oh, really?
CYNTHIA MONTGOMERY: So, there’s an interesting connection here. But he had a very, very strong influence on turning around this very ailing company. So, he went to many of the company sites across Europe, not just in France. He conducted intensive interviews with management and document reviews, and he assembled a team – this is, I think, quite important – of 120 external advisors. What would you do in this situation? And at the end of that year – this is within two months – in two months, he presented what he had called his “15 Plus 15 Plus 15” plan to essentially save the company. And what that involved was securing a 15 billion euro capital increase, 9 billion of which came from the French government. He restructured 15 billion in debt by lengthening its average maturity, and he developed a plan to generate 15 billion over three years in operating savings. During this time the French government made the decision that the company’s civil servants, nearly 77% of the workforce at the time, would retain their civil servant status. He clearly righted the ship, but he was just there over two years. The company returned to profitability, the stock price regained a lot of ground, and Breton himself enhanced his reputation as a turnaround wizard and recruited to service the finance minister of France. So, in some sense, this was a bright chapter and the way that he was able to set the company on a productive course was really quite impressive.
BRIAN KENNY: And I was going to say, we don’t want to forget that there are people that are affected by all these decisions that these leaders are making. So, they’re – at this point – they’re probably feeling good about maintaining their civil service status, for sure. Let’s talk about the next leader that comes in now. This is Lombard, who steps in to a situation that seems pretty promising, but he takes a sort of a different tact. Ashley, maybe you can tell us a little bit about what his background is, stepping into this role.
ASHLEY WHILLANS: He started as an engineer at France Telecom, interestingly, early on, before he spent most of his career in the French ministry. So, he rejoined France Telecom in 2003, and I think he took a similar approach in that he was really following on the cost cutting actions of the previous two CEOs before him. His ambition was to make the company the benchmark operator for new telecommunication services in Europe, in terms of innovation, quality of service, and economic performance. And he called this plan, “The Next Plan.” And as part of this, he proposed to achieve an annual revenue growth of 3 to 5 percent, generate free cash flow in the realm of 8 billion euro a year, continue to reduce debt,and distribute a generous dividend of one euro per share to shareholders. So, he was really, again, trying to cut costs and looking, once again, to the workforce to achieve some of these cost cutting actions.
CYNTHIA MONTGOMERY: I think it’s also important to realize that the competitive situation was getting tougher and tougher during this time. And that while gains were clearly being made and the company was becoming a viable player in mobile and internet, it was still dramatically overstaffed and less efficient than the best players in the world that it was facing, not only in other European countries, but also in France itself. Competition turned to price competition, and a rule is passed requiring France Telecom to make its landlines available to other players, its competitors. And forecasts developed that predicted up to 40% of all telephone calls in France would be made using a broadband internet connection within the next year. It was a huge threat to the company’s core landline business.
BRIAN KENNY: You mentioned earlier the civil servant status and how important that was, and that becomes a factor as the case continues to unfold. Cynthia, can you talk a little bit about the French labor laws and the unions and how that impacts what Lombard’s trying to do?
CYNTHIA MONTGOMERY: Yeah, it’s a very important backdrop for this case. France,at the time, had five main unions that were really hard bargainers and participated in almost every aspect of the employment relationship, and French labor laws were very stringent and made it extremely difficult to terminate workers. If 50 or more workers were going to be dismissed, the employer had to develop a formal employment preservation plan, minimizing the impact of the action and facilitating reemployment. Such plans had to be validated by the government agency and were widely considered to be complicated, very expensive, and time consuming for a company to file.
BRIAN KENNY: And these workers had grown up in a country where there was a social compact and their jobs were supposed to be protected. Ashley, you mentioned this a little bit earlier, can you describe a little bit more sort of the mindset of French workers who kind of grew up in this environment and had these expectations?
ASHLEY WHILLANS: I think this is a really important point, that there was a psychological contract between the employees at France Telecom and the organization. They believed as public sector employees, that they would be employed for life. And again, they also derived a great deal of personal meaning from serving their country. In the language of social psychology self-determination theory, workers experienced integrated motivation. Their personal identities were tied to their employment after having worked so many years at the company and experiencing this sense of psychological security in guaranteed jobs for life. It’s also worth mentioning that, at the time – so since the 1980s – France was plagued by chronically high unemployment rates, which varied from 7%-12% of the workforce. And the French labor market was often divided into two groups, those who enjoyed stable, protected jobs, and those on unemployment who often had fewer qualifications and opportunities for training. In general in France, people really identify themselves with a job, so especially if they train for it, it’s hard for them to change positions, so there’s less flexibility in the labor market. Technology was rapidly changing, what the company needed was more sales, more client serving roles. What the company had were some employees with outdated engineering skills, and so there was a mismatch between what skills the workforce had and what they needed to have.
BRIAN KENNY: Yeah. And we see this playing out a lot, even today, we talk about the future of work and the skills gaps that we see in the United States, and in other countries around the world. So this is a familiar refrain. They tried to do some interesting things to get people to leave voluntarily. Can you describe what some of those were, Cynthia?
CYNTHIA MONTGOMERY: Yeah. They did a range of things, and many of them were very humiliating. Highly skilled technicians who worked outdoors on landlines were transferred inside to telemarketing jobs, where they had to wear a headset, read from a script, and ask permission to use the bathroom. Other employees returned from vacation to find themselves alone in an empty office with no phone, no internet, no computer. Some employees were just forgotten when a group was transferred from one location to another. Some parents were transferred to far away locations distant from their families, something that’s very unusual in France where geographic mobility is rare. Again, these were humiliating, emotionally very, very difficult and demeaning actions. There were some positive things as well. Attractive early retirement packages could no longer be given, but on Lombard’s watch, employees were encouraged to leave, and to those who were willing to take him up on it, could transfer to another public agency, receive financial support to create a business, or get personalized training, coaching, and so on to help them identify new career opportunities – things that on the surface sound quite attractive.
BRIAN KENNY: So, they weren’t completely heartless, it sounds like, they were trying to find ways to give people another path, but there was resistance to take these up, Ashley, maybe you can talk about that.
ASHLEY WHILLANS: I think especially early on the plan did offer financial compensation, the ability to change ministries where employees were working that seemed, from the outside, like potentially good options for the employees at France Telecom. When we think about the narrow focus on extrinsic rewards, the ability to change one’s job, the opportunity for part-time work in exchange for downsizing one’s career, it becomes clear that why employees themselves were not necessarily persuaded to quit or to downgrade the number of hours that they working based on these rewards. These increasingly drastic actions that Lombard took to encourage employees to quit, such as stripping employees of the chance to complete meaningful work, forcing employees to leave established teams, and demoting highly skilled engineers, which Cynthia will talk about in a moment, were effective at increasing turnover. But these actions also eliminated important elements of one’s job that provided non-cash rewards like pride, meaning, and a sense of purpose. Really importantly, remaining employees also felt threatened by Lombard’s actions, making employees even less likely to leave out of their own volition because they exhibited, what researchers consider the drive to defend. When they feel like their employment is threatened, when the psychological contract between the organization and the workers in it is threatened, employees become even more motivated to protect what they have, even if it results in detrimental consequences in the long run. This general idea is supported by research, showing that when people experience a threat versus a challenge mindset they ultimately engage in behaviors that are focused on short term solutions to the stress that they are experiencing as opposed to more creative, long term, optimal solutions. And in applying this theory to the case of France Telecom, workers might not see the ability to change jobs as an opportunity, because they feel so threatened by the current situation.
BRIAN KENNY: And that really gets to the people aspect of this case. From a business strategy standpoint, Cynthia, I’ll ask you this: did the plan work? I mean, was it a sound strategy?
CYNTHIA MONTGOMERY: In some sense, yeah, it did work and he accomplished his goals. And in some sense that, when we talk about this in class, the students, particularly the executive students, understand how difficult it is to lead a company in a period of incredible disruption. And he did that, and he was able to become one of the strongest telecom players in Europe. And so, yes, in many ways, he made great strides. And when we think about, if we divorce strategy from the whole of an organization and say, “Did they accomplish their strategic goals?” I have to say, yes, they did, but it was a very tough slog. And prior to the next plan, what we know is that resignations at the company accounted for 4.4% of total departures. And by 2008, this peaked at 15.3, even though a formal plan had never been filed. So, here you have a situation where the pressure that was put on people to voluntarily leave got greater, and greater, and greater during this period. And ironically, sadly, a common French expression that Lombard used in laying out his plan, that they needed to get the departures, one way or another, “through the door or through the window,” in fact happened.
BRIAN KENNY: Which gets to back to the introduction where we talk about suicide. Ashley, maybe you can tell us what happened between 2006 and 2009.
ASHLEY WHILLANS: Because of the aggressive actions taken to encourage quits, employees began to feel as if their work lives were out of control, resulting in what psychologists often refer to as a sense of helplessness, or learned helplessness. Survey data from employees at the time, 4,800 employees, indicated that 93% believed that work conditions had deteriorated. 91% felt that their work was underappreciated. 88% no longer believed in the firm’s values. And 83% believed that their jobs had no future. And of course, research shows that these feelings of helplessness can result in distress and ill being. Consistent with this research, as working conditions at France Telecom continued to become harsher under Lombard’s plan, some employees experienced extreme distress. As we write in the case, 19 France Telecom employees committed suicide, 12 attempted to commit suicide, and eight suffered from depression for reasons related to work.
BRIAN KENNY: Those are just astounding numbers, and obviously heartbreaking, to say the least. And to the credit, I guess, of the authorities in France, there was an investigation into this. They didn’t just let this lie. Ashley, can you talk about what the results were, what the findings of the investigation were?
ASHLEY WHILLANS: Lombard and several of the executives at the company were blamed for these suicides, at the center of the investigation were the plans that Lombard enacted, the next in act plans, which had resulted in 22,000 lost jobs between 2006 and 2009. Lombard noted that it was a stunning accusation to be investigated over the suicides of people he didn’t even know. He also mentioned that the transformations that a business has to go through aren’t pleasant, but that’s just the way it is, and he stated that there is nothing he could have done to prevent these suicides from happening. He expressed profound sadness of the situation, involuntarily contributed to the fragility of some, in his words, he denied any wrongdoing, yet in contrast to his defense, Lombard, the deputy chief executive, and the head of HR, and France Telecom itself were charged with institutional harassment by the French authorities in July, 2012, which was a first for a company in France of its size. Defendants were ordered to pay 3 million euro in damages to the victims. France telecom itself was fined 75,000 euro, which was the maximum allowed by French provisions. And the ruling itself was that the means chosen to reach the departures, and not the departures themselves, were illegal.
BRIAN KENNY: This is not a whitewashing of any kind, this is a really significant finding with significant action taken against business leaders. We’ve all been, or many of our listeners I’m sure have been, in firms and places where strategic plans are put in place. They often involve restructuring. Many of us have lived through these kinds of things before, and oftentimes it feels like you’re a victim, like this is a heartless situation. And here it’s pretty astounding that the French government took this action against these executives. And we’ve seen it pop up in other places too. We know Foxconn is a familiar storyline. That was the manufacturing plant in China, where there was a rash of suicides from the team that was making iPhones. And there’s been articles and exposés done. Amazon was featured in a negative light in the New York Times not long ago. So Cynthia, I guess I would ask you, does this feel the same as those, or different, or is this a new paradigm that we’re seeing where business leaders are going to have to really be more thoughtful about how they manage these sorts of situations?
CYNTHIA MONTGOMERY: I think, exactly, is it a new paradigm? I think definitely, yes. I can tell you, I teach this case in our advanced management program where people have had over 20 years of experience, they’ve laid a lot of people off, they’ve been through highs and lows in companies. And as the case series is set forth, and people learn what happened, I’ve never been in a classroom where there’s such deep silence. There’s just a stunning silence that comes over the room. And we talk about, what does this mean for a leader? And what does it mean in terms of being responsible for a company? So, to your question about Foxconn, or Amazon, and what’s alike and what’s different, Tolstoy said that, “All happy families are alike, but unhappy families are unhappy in their own ways.” In each of these unhappy situations, there’s something unique to a context that you can point to. There are older workers with the expectation of lifetime employment at France Telecom. Foxconn employees claim that the company used bait and switch tactics, such as promising free housing and charging employees extremely high prices for related utilities, or offering attractive wages and then withholding them when it suited management to do so. Disagreements with management were often followed by humiliating public confrontations. Again, I think you can see some themes here. At Amazon, many employees found the grueling robot-like work, long hours, and dehumanizing environment empty and unsatisfying. What else is common throughout all these circumstances is that they’re decidedly human and they relate to vulnerability, a loss of self-esteem, meaning, and dignity.
BRIAN KENNY: Ashley, I’d love to get your thoughts on this as well, from the work that you do. What does this new paradigm look like to you?
ASHLEY WHILLANS: What this question brings to mind for me is that these issues are front and center right now in society and are not going away. So, they provoke a sense of needing to take on some of these issues head on. This is something that Cynthia and I talk about and teach when we teach this class, but the mental health consequences of employer actions are not an isolated incident, but rather they’re indicative of broader societal epidemic of work related mental health concerns. So, for example, in the U.S. life expectancy among middle aged white men is decreasing, and overall health among middle age workers is worsening, as opposed to getting better. Those who are most at risk are blue collar workers without college degrees, which in the U.S. constitutes about 38% of the workforce. These life expectancy decreases are driven by what economists Angus Deaton and Anne Case call deaths of despair. These deaths are attributable to suicide, alcoholism, and drug overdoses. As they outline in their book of the same name, these deaths of despair among the middle class and working class are being driven by vanishing good wages among blue collar workers, manufacturing jobs being replaced by low wage service jobs, and poor job prospects resulting in widespread feelings of helplessness and feeling disenfranchised. These issues have accelerated due to COVID-19. So, I think given these societal trends, it’s critically important that companies start being held accountable for their environmental, social, and governance impact, but also for how firms impact their employees and their employees mental health.
BRIAN KENNY: This has been a fascinating conversation, and somber, like I said it would be. Let me ask you both, as we get near the end of the conversation, if there’s one thing you want our listeners to remember about the case, what would it be? Cynthia, I’ll ask you to start.
CYNTHIA MONTGOMERY: I would say that leaders cannot afford to be tone deaf to the experiences of their employees. It’s tempting to think that these costs are borne only by individuals, one, by one, by one, which is bad enough in its own right. But ultimately these experiences accumulate and become part of the fabric, and I’m tempted to say, the soul of an organization. And what truly could be more important than that?
BRIAN KENNY: Ashley?
ASHLEY WHILLANS: And I’ll just add to what Cynthia is saying. I think with examples like France Telecom becoming increasingly common in the world of work today, which is rife with precarious employment contracts, mistrust, mistreatment of workers, it’s my hope that these discussions underscore the importance of leaders taking human capital and worker flourishing seriously, and that they do ultimately prompt a paradigm shift.
BRIAN KENNY: Cynthia Montgomery, Ashley Whillans, thank you so much for joining me today to talk about this France Telecom case. It’s a great case and a really important one, So I appreciate you being here to discuss it.
ASHLEY WHILLANS: Thanks so much for having us.
CYNTHIA MONTGOMERY: Thanks, Brian.
BRIAN KENNY: We are excited to be celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the case method at Harvard Business School. If you want more on the history of the case method, visit our website: www.hbs.edu/casemethod100. Cold Call is a great way to get a taste of the case method, after all each episode features a business case and its faculty author. You might also like our other podcasts: After Hours, Climate Rising, Skydeck, and Managing the Future of Work. Find them on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. If you enjoy Cold Call or if you have any suggestions, we want to hear from you. Write a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen or email us at [email protected] Thanks again for joining us. I’m your host, Brian Kenny, and you’ve been listening to Cold Call, an official podcast of Harvard Business School, brought to you by the HBR Presents network.