The Best of This Week
The week’s must-reads for managing in the digital age, curated by the MIT SMR editors.
A New Operating System for Organizational Agility
Organizations are held back by an outdated work operating system, with work defined as “jobs” and workers defined as “job-holding employees.” Leaders must adopt and implement a new approach to organizing work that deconstructs jobs into tasks and deploys workers based on their skills.
Being Your Authentic Self While Fitting In
Finding the right person-organization fit fulfills a desire to belong. To balance fitting in and standing out, we need to consider not only ourselves but those around us when seeking “the perfect fit.”
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Has Tech Destroyed Society?
Twenty-five years ago, the executive editor of Wired made a $1,000 bet with a Luddite-loving author: Would civilization collapse by 2020?
Optimizing Your Team’s Emotional Landscape
Employees bring a diversity of moods to work each day. The emotional landscapes at work — the collective composition of employee sentiment — directly influence how people make sense of situations. How leaders manage these landscapes affects both creativity and productivity for their teams.
Employee Activists Are Just Getting Started
The new union of engineers makes up just a sliver of workers at Alphabet, Google’s parent company, but it may open the door to more widespread collective action inside the company. U.S. companies should expect more pressure from their employees in 2021, not less, including “more fluid forms of organizing,” per MIT Sloan professor Thomas Kochan.
What Else We’re Reading This Week
- Research shows one group, in particular, is feeling the effects of high stress and social isolation in the pandemic: middle managers
- Livestreamed shopping, booming in China, has struggled to take off in the West
- Eight thoughtful approaches for more inclusive interview practices
Quote of the Week:
“When the pace of change is this fast, managers need to make sure that people update their understanding of shifts in technology, markets, customers, and competitive moves. Only with an updated map of the world can there be effective action in it.”
— Deborah Ancona, the Seley Distinguished Professor of Management and founder of the MIT Leadership Center at the MIT Sloan School of Management, in “Nine Leadership Lessons 2020 Gave Us”