Essay

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Education, Disrupted

Facing sizable skills gaps in their current and future workforces, companies have stopped waiting for the traditional education system to supply the workers they need. Amazon, AT&T, and others have stepped in with their own solutions to fill those gaps. These companies may be shaping the future of not only their own workforces, but of yours as well.

Learning for a Living

We need to learn at work, but it’s costly and time consuming, and we worry we might be found lacking. What if we can’t pick up the skills we need? Further, most organizations are not as hospitable to learning as their rhetoric suggests. Part of the problem is that we seldom acknowledge that it doesn’t just happen at work — it is work. Employers can better support learning, and individuals can do it more effectively, by understanding that there are two types of learning and that each needs its own space.

You’re Going Digital — Now What?

Plotting digital change is heady, exciting stuff. But success depends less on inspiration at the 30,000-foot level than on the way people on the front lines implement new digital tools. Most leaders aren’t laying a foundation for employees to succeed, largely because they don’t have any idea what really happens at the ground level. To avoid that fate, they must understand the phases of digital adoption and then plan in reverse to create the right conditions.

Blockchain Isn’t as Unbreakable as You Think

Between 2011 and 2018, at least 72 blockchain breaches were reported, costing users over $2 billion. Many of these were possible because blockchain is vulnerable in some of the same ways conventional record-keeping systems are. The rest are even more troubling, because bad actors were able to exploit the very features that make blockchain revolutionary. Managers should look closely at both types of vulnerabilities so they can weigh the risks before exploring business applications.

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It’s Time to Tackle Your Team’s Undiscussables

When leadership teams struggle with undiscussables, symptoms range from unresolved conflicts and uneven participation in meetings to destructive groupthink and employee disengagement. The more undiscussables there are, the more difficult it is for the team to function. Ignoring them results in strained relationships and bad decisions. Here’s how leaders can bring the four types of undiscussables to light, improving team learning, problem-solving, and performance.

How Algorithms Can Diversify the Startup Pool

Biases related to gender and other demographic factors creep into decisions about which projects to fund with venture capital. Data-driven approaches can help tease out those biases and limit their impact. Algorithmic methods identify potential instances of discrimination and increase transparency, making it easier to find and fix problems. Aversion to algorithms can be tempered by letting decision makers retain some subjective control over the data-driven process.

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