The Best of This Week
The week’s must-reads for managing in the digital age, curated by the MIT SMR editors.
Why Some Retailers Are Thriving Amid Disruption
A growing number of retailers that were struggling before the coronavirus crisis are now crumbling amid social distancing requirements — yet other companies are thriving despite months of shutdown. The resilience of these successful retailers is due to their transformation of traditional business models. Their examples offer a model for making a quick digital pivot, which is what players must undertake in this economy to survive.
A Framework for Talking About Race in the Workplace
In response to widespread calls for racial justice throughout the country, many companies have newly committed to discussing race in the workplace — but where to begin? Wharton management professor Stephanie Creary offers a framework for managers in corporate environments to initiate such conversations. Questioning whether we’re addressing these issues in the right way is normal, but it helps to ground such conversations in evidence and good intentions.
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Supplier Diversity Initiatives Reap More Than Financial Rewards
Though often dismissed as a “feel good” option, B2B supplier diversity initiatives can reap financial rewards. Such initiatives can help companies reward their own bottom lines while strengthening their supply chains and supporting positive social change. Buyers must make deliberate choices in order for such initiatives to bear fruit and move the economic needle for themselves and their suppliers.
Too Much Information: Handling News Overload
Halfway through 2020, we’ve already been through a lot — wildfires, widespread protests, and, of course, a pandemic — and our ability to process all of it may be reaching its limit. Being constantly confronted with urgent, distressing news can feel like a mental distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack or sink us into spells of “doomscrolling.” Adapting to this endless deluge of information may require a change in our news consumption habits.
What Else We’re Reading This Week:
- 12 of our most popular MIT Sloan Management Review articles on strategy
- Countries led by women have suffered fewer confirmed COVID-19 deaths than countries led by men. What will this mean for future perceptions of female leadership?
- On the other side of the pandemic, American consumers may have fewer product choices — but we may be better off with four kinds of toilet paper rather than 40
- “It’s time to stop framing equity around a business case”
Quote of the Week:
“This is an intense time of job insecurity, and so the best thing you can do to encourage people to take a vacation is to actually take one yourself. And that means try not to answer emails on that day. In the long run, a day off is not going to end the world. And it can have huge benefits in terms of how your people feel, if they feel supported, and whether or not they actually are going to take the breaks that they need as well.”
— Mollie West Duffy and Liz Fosslien, coauthors of the book No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work, in this week’s episode of the Three Big Points podcast, “The Secret to Supporting Your Workforce in Critical Times”