The Best of This Week
The week’s must-reads for managing in the digital age, curated by the MIT SMR editors.
Using Data to Guide the Return to Work
As we begin to think about our work lives after the pandemic, now is the time for companies to experiment. These experiments — such as those determining who needs to work in an office and what work hours are optimal — don’t have to be burdensome to be effective. Looking at the data from these tests can guide decisions on workplace arrangements for the future.
How Culture and Inclusion Shape Organizational Learning
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives are increasingly informing the policies, practices, and procedures in the workplace, including organizational learning efforts. In this Q&A with KeyAnna Schmiedl, Wayfair’s global head of culture and inclusion, she discusses the company’s DEI efforts and the role of accountability in facilitating and enhancing organizational learning.
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Barely Avoided Catastrophes Can Be a Gold Mine for Growth
A recent study about close calls in health care suggests that when people feel secure about speaking up at work, incidents in which catastrophe was narrowly averted rise to the surface, spurring growth and systems improvement. When leaders frame near misses as free learning opportunities and express the value of resilience to their teams, workers are more likely to report such incidents.
Making Smarter Pricing Decisions
The pandemic has required executives to rethink how their companies deal with rapidly changing customer needs. In this article, the authors describe six real-world customer strategy and pricing scenarios that many executives have faced in the past year. They identify the weaknesses of fast, intuitive responses and suggest more measured ways for leaders to make pricing decisions.
The Real Test for Learning Apps Will Be Post-Pandemic
As more school districts reopen for in-person instruction, education technology is about to get tested. Whether the tools that teachers have come to rely on in the past year for remote learning can maintain their popularity will hinge on how useful the apps are in the classroom.
What Else We’re Reading This Week
- Creating a secure COVID-19 travel passport that protects privacy is a serious tech challenge (Source: Bloomberg Businessweek)
- Automation is here but so is a deeper appreciation for and investment in upskilling, learning and development, and education for all workers (Source: MIT SMR)
- Your order that never turned up may be at sea: More containers have fallen off ships in the past four months than are typically lost in a year (Source: Wired)
- Two new books explore how to allocate pay more fairly (Source: The New York Times)
Quote of the Week:
“When we are thanked, it’s not just about gratitude; we feel really supported. It actually helps to build psychological safety.”
— Paula Davis, founder of the Stress & Resilience Institute and author of Beating Burnout at Work, in “Why Teams Are the Key to Beating Burnout”