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The Digital Future of Strawberries

Technology may hold the answer to two of the knottiest problems faced by the U.S. economy — the shortage of farm labor and the excess of vehicle traffic. But there’s a flip side: It also enables surveillance so widespread and intrusive, companies can track even our heartbeats — and the data collected by these sensors is far from secure.

Make Gender Equality a Value, Not a Priority

  • Read Time: 3 min 

To make gender equality a reality, organizations need to shift their thinking about what it means to them — that is, to make it part of their company’s values and a permanent driver of culture rather than a mere priority that might change in time. Lessons can be learned from the energy sector, which saw a cultural shift take place around another crucial workplace issue: safety.

Transforming Manufacturing and Supply Chains With 4D Printing

Next on the horizon is 4D printing, an emerging technology that would allow managers to meet supply chain challenges with customized, adaptive, and potentially self-modulating equipment. Manufacturers should start considering how their infrastructure and supply chains might benefit from this technology as it unfolds.

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How to Become a Strategic Leader

  • Read Time: 7 min 

For managers, it can be easy to fall into the trap of assuming that simply engaging in high-level product and business discussion is “being strategic.” But with this approach, leaders may be neglecting the core problems their organizations need to address most. By investing more time in three key activities, new and experienced managers alike can become better strategic leaders.

Does AI-Flavored Feedback Require a Human Touch?

With customized and continuous data-driven feedback becoming a new normal, managers are revisiting the role they should play in delivering, facilitating, and curating face-to-face employee feedback. Does direct managerial involvement complement or compete with data-determined performance reviews?

The False Choice Between Business and Ethics

Should there be an imperative — moral or otherwise — to consider what’s fair when making a business transaction? Many say that it’s perfectly ethical to profit from an asymmetry of information, where, for instance, one party is paying much more for an item or service than others would say it’s worth. But other people are working to integrate the business case with the ethics case. They reject a narrow, transactional view of business in favor of a more relationship-oriented approach.

Five Strategies for Investing in Your Career

  • Read Time: 2 min 

Whether you are a long-tenured leader in your organization, a new manager, or an individual contributor with rising responsibilities, it’s always valuable to take stock of your career path and make investments for the future. These five strategies offer practical steps for motivated employees looking to stay ahead of the pack.

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Train Your People to Think in Code

The future of work will entail thinking not just analytically, but also algorithmically — so companies need to retrain workers for writing code, not formulas. Organizations that manage to make code the natural language for diffusing analysis across their organizations can often grow and innovate faster than their peers.

The First Law of Digital Innovation

Most of us know Moore’s law, that the power of semiconductor chips grows exponentially, not linearly, over time. Moore’s law, though, is only part of the technology equation. There’s another critical law that needs more attention. It’s this: While technology changes quickly, organizations change much more slowly. That means digital transformation is as much a leadership challenge as a technical one.

How a Group of NASA Renegades Transformed Mission Control

  • Read Time: 8 min 

NASA’s Pirates were rebel innovators who created an award-winning mission control system for the shuttle program in record time, on a shoestring budget, and in the face of political resistance. Such renegades are committed to elevating business capabilities and future proofing them for novel challenges, often despite opposition from the status quo. Organizations that want to be ambidextrous need to create a climate that fosters such renegades and nurtures them when they appear.

Do Men Know More About Salaries?

  • Read Time: 3 min 

When it comes to salary transparency, one widely held belief is that women have a harder time collecting salary information than men. While some research suggests this may be true in some cases, collective research has not tackled a fundamental question: Are female employees truly less informed about salaries, or is this just a stereotype?

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Why Hypotheses Beat Goals

Companies that aggressively pursue learning must accept the possibility of failure. But simply setting goals and being nonchalant if they fail is inadequate. Instead, companies should focus organizational energy on hypothesis generation and testing. Hypotheses force individuals to articulate in advance why they believe a given course of action will succeed. A failure then exposes an incorrect hypothesis — which can more reliably convert into organizational learning.

Four Ways to Get Your Innovation Unit to Work

  • Read Time: 7 min 

Considering how deeply companies rely on innovation, it is astonishing how bad most of them are at finding, developing, and implementing new ideas. When it comes to innovation, there is no single best way to structure and operate internal teams. The real key to success is to find the tools and structure that fit your company’s needs, strategies, and culture.

Revisiting the Jobs Artificial Intelligence Will Create

It can be easy to get caught up in all the uncertainty and speculation around the future of automation, but when we focus on the future, we may fail to see what’s happening right in front of us. In this audio interview, MIT SMR editor in chief Paul Michelman revisits the work of Accenture researchers Paul Daugherty and H. James Wilson to discuss what’s changed in the AI landscape and what leaders should be thinking about next.

How Managers Can Best Support a Gig Workforce

The rise of digital giants in the gig economy has brought new scrutiny to how companies should manage contingent workers. This new landscape offers new flexibility and opportunity, but workers also face unpredictability, with inconsistent incomes and scant benefits. Companies and managers can take three practical measures to help support these workers in the future.

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