The Best of This Week

The week’s must-reads for managing in the digital age, curated by the MIT SMR editors.

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Weekly Recap

The Best of This Week is a roundup of essential articles for managers in the digital age, including content from MIT Sloan Management Review and other publications around the globe, curated by MIT SMR editors.
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People-Centric Workspaces Can Ease Return-to-Office Anxiety

Long before the pandemic struck, many work environments were becoming an increasing source of stress and dissatisfaction for employees. Given the correlation between workspace and job satisfaction — and employee performance — businesses should strive to define a new era of people-centric workplaces.

How Connections to Brands Change as Consumers Evolve From ‘Owners’ to ‘Users’

As consumers purchase access to goods rather than the goods themselves, their connections to brands will change. This article looks at what businesses should understand about this evolution and its future consequences.
 

Rapid Prototyping Tools Can Accelerate Ideation

Innovating under time pressure can be extremely difficult. Traditional brainstorming to generate ideas often leads teams to curtail open ideation and narrow their focus to a single design approach too quickly. A study in which teams that used rapid prototyping tools to explore diverse possibilities during the ideation phase completed a design challenge more successfully than teams using the conventional approach.

Career ‘Hot Streaks’ Are No Accident

There are certain spans of time when scientists, artists, and inventors have phenomenal periods of productivity, which Northwestern University economist Dashun Wang calls “hot streaks.” But where do hot streaks come from, and how can each of us plan for one, or two — or 100? Wang and his coauthors have a complicated theory that comes down to three words: Explore, then exploit.

What Else We’re Reading This Week

  • We’re facing not just a chip shortage but a shortage of the equipment that makes them (Source: The Wall Street Journal)
  • The full impact of the pandemic on research productivity could take years to be felt across academia (Source: Nature)
  • The environmental impact of fast fashion’s rampant consumerism is perhaps most obvious in a Chilean desert (Source: Phys.org)
  • Why you should stop treating email like Slack (Source: Wired)

Quote of the Week:

“Part of your job as a leader is that you’re a storyteller. The story should be about the team and what the team accomplished, because nothing succeeds without them.”

— Rick Klau, chief technology innovation officer for the state of California, in the latest interview in MIT Sloan Management Review’s Leading With Impact series, “Leading Change With a Culture of Experimentation

Topics

Weekly Recap

The Best of This Week is a roundup of essential articles for managers in the digital age, including content from MIT Sloan Management Review and other publications around the globe, curated by MIT SMR editors.
More in this series

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