Weekly Recap

The Best of This Week

The week’s must-reads for managing in the digital age, curated by the MIT SMR editors.

An Agile Approach for Digital Projects

Organizations that achieve the most success with digital projects use systematic processes to prototype, test, and launch ideas. Processes that allow for continuous learning and that support critical business goals can help you scale agile benefits.

Big Tech’s Eccentric Uncle Is Now Its Loudest Critic

He saw 200 Grateful Dead shows when Jerry Garcia was still around and sometimes tours as a guitarist with the likes of Pete Sears and Jefferson Starship. He also made a fortune in Silicon Valley in the early days of the internet and mentored young founders with names like Zuckerberg well into the 2000s. His name is Roger McNamee, and now he’s one of Big Tech’s loudest critics. Brian Barth paints a fascinating picture of McNamee’s ethical awakening for The New Yorker.

Redefining Work Can Create New Value

Understanding the relationship between job redesign and redefining work is essential to any strategic effort to compete. Redesigning jobs should be viewed not as an end goal but as a process that enables work itself to be redefined so that the workforce creates new value.

Elon Musk Bets Big

Elon Musk and his automotive company Tesla debuted their vision for the trucking market — the aesthetically mind-boggling Cybertruck. And, well, shares fell 6.1% the following day. As The Wall Street Journal writes, “This isn’t the kind of calculated strategic move you’d expect from a $60 billion public company. It’s basically a gut hunch — a wild bet.” Musk is known for his eccentricity as an entrepreneur, but will this latest bet pay off?

Digital Advances in Product Design Can Boost Sustainability

Digitization can help squeeze more economic value out of scarce environmental resources. By making product development more design- and information-intensive, companies are creating offerings that are reducing material use, lowering energy demands, and increasing revenues.

More Ideas That Matter:

Quote of the Week:

“While eureka moments can’t be forced, many of us have spent an enormous amount of time and energy thinking about a problem, only to have the solution arrive out of the blue when our minds are elsewhere. Great ideas often come to us in bed, in the bath, or on the bus, the so-called three Bs of creativity.”

— Professor Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries of INSEAD, in “Want More Creative Breakthroughs? Slow Down