I can sympathise with Francesca's dilemma, after all, how do you strike a balance between the language the market speaks and the new language required to introduce change ... where 'New' often provokes defence mechanisms including denial and resistance.
The style in this article therefore tips it's hat to a self-help book to make easy reading, but those who can benefit most (in my experience), are better able to make the connection between such issues and the bottom line when they have more science provided around the subject. Others reject any principle not presented in the language they already speak, so it's no easy task to provoke interest in anything your target market perceives as new.
The best results i've enjoyed have followed the assumption people are intelligent, and able to issues like stressor hormone release and the diversion of glucose energy away from executive function in the pre-frontal cortex ... talk to them about the Dopaminergic mesolimbic pathway and how considerations of this directly influence strategy deployment and people at all levels of an organisation 'Get it' ... My conclusion: we need to stop pussy-footing around this stuff, cut out the politics ... and get into the detail we've been provided by those people spending their lives pulling brains apart to see how they work.
Adding to that, there is no such thing as a decision that isn't routed through emotional cortices. The word emotion itself is a proxy for an electro-chemical state we need to understand in terms of cause and effect (stimulus-response). I'd like to think this will become part of the language all business leaders come to speak in time and in the future HBR will be able to let Francesca write in a different style - the current approach is OK for those reading red-top newspapers with an average reading age of 9, but it could have been a whole lot more for those running global organisations.
We have to remember, we lead by example, we set the standards to which others aspire. If we are always looking for approval from the masses (appreciating we have to be able to sell the support we can provide), standards slip - it's a negative aspect of a free market; low prices and low intellect often drive lower prices and lower intellect in the race for sales.
As Maslow said - "Treat people as if they are an idiot and they will respond in ways which confirm to you they are an idiot". Let's start raising the bar when it comes to leadership, H&S and organisational change.