The Best of This Week
The week’s must-reads for managing in the digital age, curated by the MIT SMR editors.
Strategizing for Targeted Change
It can be a challenge to identify the nature, scale, and timing of the change most appropriate for an organization’s specific context. But a fundamental source of confusion about change is the use of that single term — change — to refer to three distinct strategies: shifting magnitude, activity, or direction. The framework presented here can help leaders determine which form of change will be the best course of action for their businesses.
What a Popular Medical Device Reveals About Built-In Bias
Pulse oximeters, household medical devices newly in demand during the pandemic, gauge blood oxygen levels by shining a light through the skin to “read” the color of blood — a bright crimson when saturated with oxygen or a dimmer purple-red when oxygen levels are low. But most oximeters available today, initially calibrated primarily for light skin, can show erroneous readings for nonwhite people, raising concerns about “discriminatory design” in medicine and technology.
Get Updates on Transformative Leadership
Evidence-based resources that can help you lead your team more effectively, delivered to your inbox monthly.
Please enter a valid email address
Thank you for signing up
Three Imperatives of Great Leadership in Tough Times
Leading through difficult times requires agility to leverage, not react to, the turbulence around you, all while managing three domains: your team, your network, and yourself. When your ambition is to prepare your organization for the “next normal,” neglecting even one of these responsibilities jeopardizes the capacity of your organization to act, learn, pivot, and forge ahead.
To Support and Engage Remote Employees, Get Back to BASICS
With so many people working remotely and managing the distractions of home, it’s no small matter to maintain a unified sense of company culture. Laura Morgan Roberts, professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, offers a framework for responsive leadership that covers today’s urgent BASICS — bonding, agility, safety, inclusion, compassion, and strategic alignment — and poses thoughtful questions to assess organizations’ cultural priorities for the future.
What Else We’re Reading This Week:
- AI is no regular technology, so an AI strategy needs to be approached differently than regular technology strategy
- Thousands of small businesses are failing, but unless they declare bankruptcy, they may not be tracked
- How businesses can cultivate consumer trust and confidence when we can’t talk face to face
- The U.S. could nearly double its current solar capacity by installing panels on unused commercial roof space
Quote of the Week:
“While CFOs may not think of themselves as leaders of artificial intelligence for their companies, they can make a bigger leadership impact when it comes to AI strategy and adoption.”
— Thomas H. Davenport, distinguished professor at Babson College, and Beena Ammanath, executive director of Deloitte Consulting’s Deloitte AI Institute, in “Redefining AI Leadership in the C-Suite”