The Best of This Week
The week’s must-reads for managing in the digital age, curated by the MIT SMR editors.
11 Sources of Disruption Every Company Must Monitor
Many organizations control for known, internal variables but fail to track external factors as potential disrupters. This can lure decision makers into a false sense of security. Broadening your approach to planning can keep you from getting disrupted out of the market.
Key During a Crisis: Transparency
Speaking up early and truthfully is a vital strategy during a fast-moving crisis. Absent data on what’s not working, it’s all but impossible to know what to fix and how to fix it. But with accurate information, leaders and subject-matter experts alike can turn their attention and skills to the challenges of developing novel solutions to newly visible problems.
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Debunking Disruption Delusions
By now, the arc of disruption is well established, so why are companies still so vulnerable to disruptive threats? Well-intentioned leaders often downplay disruptive threats or overestimate the difficulty of response — or, in simpler terms, they lie to themselves. This makes dealing with disruption not just an innovation challenge but a leadership challenge.
Can Intelligent Machines Nudge Humans Away From Bias?
In 2014, engineers at Amazon created an AI tool that was intended to remove the messy human biases that hinder the hiring process. But instead, the algorithm, trained on hiring data from the company, simply learned to make the same mistakes. Now, experts across different fields are coming together to determine whether AI-aided nudges — as popularized by behavioral economists — can help prompt humans to make behavioral changes that will overcome underlying biases.
What Else We’re Reading This Week:
- 12 articles for managing with resilience in a time of uncertainty
- Unite the right people to prevent, rather than simply react to, problems
- Procrastination is more complex than mere laziness, says Margaret Atwood, procrastinator and author extraordinaire, on the WorkLife podcast with Adam Grant
Quote of the Week:
“The hasty reconstruction of value chains around new technologies is introducing and exacerbating ethical concerns across industries. It’s a free-for-all race as companies compete to impress users with new capabilities, and what’s at stake isn’t just which ones survive but whether we are able to sustain a civilized society or end up in a high-tech Wild West.”
— Max Wessel, chief innovation officer at SAP, and Nicole Helmer, decision scientist at SAP, in “A Crisis of Ethics in Technology Innovation”