As editor of HBR.org, Katherine Bell asks a lot of questions: Should we abandon the yearly performance review? Do CEOs really have the power to raise wages? Why are people drawn to narcissistic leaders? How can we stop feeling so overworked?
Bell, who leads a team of 10 digital editors at Harvard Business Review, is all about publishing ideas that help readers become smarter, more creative, and more courageous in their work. Since stepping into the editor role in 2011 after serving as the site’s deputy editor, she has been a driving force behind HBR’s massive digital growth. In 2015, unique visitors to HBR.org increased 32% to 5.5 million, average time on page shot up 28%, and the average number of visitors who came 3 or more times in a month rose by 31%.
Bell’s accomplishments include speeding up the pipeline for new management research; expanding the editorial mix to include editor-reported and written pieces, video formats, assessments, and interactive graphics; focusing the team on planning – she hosts a lively digital ideas meeting twice a week with editors from across the HBR group; and infusing more rigor and discipline around measuring the performance of content. She also played a critical role in HBR.org’s top-to-bottom redesign in November 2014, from crafting the site’s editorial vision to working with the rest of the team to ensure a great reading experience on all devices.
Additionally, Bell presides over HBR’s phenomenally successful social strategy, which has led to over 7 million followers and the highest share-per-story rate among business publishers (beating out larger outlets like Business Insider and Quartz).