The Best of This Week
The week’s must-reads for managing in the digital age, curated by the MIT SMR editors.
With Remote Collaboration, Sometimes Conflict Is a Good Thing
Remote work environments lack the spontaneous exchange of ideas that can naturally occur in an in-office setting. To spur innovation in this challenging context, leaders have to be skillful in connecting with employees at all levels of the organization while encouraging rigorous debate.
Why Good Leaders Fail
It’s hard to understand why successful leaders suddenly fail to meet expectations — what authors Morela Hernandez, Jasmien Khattab, and Charlotte Hoopes term leader derailment. In this research highlight, the authors explore how the risk of sudden leadership failure can be headed off by early detection of challenges and better support systems.
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Is ‘Virtual Justice’ What the Courts Need?
Many American courts curtailed their operations during the first COVID-19 surge, but swelling backlogs soon pushed many court proceedings online. Last summer, a national association of judicial leaders wrote, “The COVID-19 pandemic is not the disruption courts wanted, but it is the disruption that courts needed.” Where will this disruption leave the courts after the crisis abates?
The Cost of Unethical Requests
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for leaders to ask their employees to cross ethical lines. Though they may do so in an effort to enhance short-term results, for instance, or to gain personal benefits, they also run the risk of negatively affecting their employees’ motivation and task performance over the long term.
What Else We’re Reading This Week
- Our latest collaborative research report with Deloitte describes how many organizations are recognizing that workforce ecosystems offer a productive approach to strategic workforce management (Source: MIT SMR)
- Small online businesses are worried they’ll get crushed by Apple and Facebook in a battle over an operating system tweak that upends the past decade of online ads (Source: The Wall Street Journal)
- “Data rights are the unfinished business of the civil rights movement,” says Shalini Kantayya, director of the new Netflix documentary Coded Bias (Source: The Next Web)
- Guidance for supporting employees observing Ramadan (Source: HRZone)
Quote of the Week:
“When you’re trying to shift mindsets over skill sets, it’s not about how do you assemble teams and how do you get to a solution, but how do you ultimately sell your vision and how do you get people enthusiastically believing in that vision?”
— Amit Shah, president of 1-800-Flowers, in the latest Me, Myself, and AI podcast episode, “Learning, Engagement, and Empowerment”