The Best of This Week
The week’s must-reads for managing in the digital age, curated by the MIT SMR editors.
What Leaders Can Do Now to Ease the Return to the Office
Many people are anticipating a post-pandemic return to working together in offices. Leaders should take steps now to ease employees’ anxiety and uncertainty around a return to the office by being transparent, surfacing concerns early on, discussing expectations, involving employees in the planning process, highlighting potential benefits, and framing the change as an experiment.
Preparing Workers for the Digital Future
The delay of the day when AI and robots eat jobs has toned down the level of hype in the media and reduced the level of concern for many managers and workers. The companies preparing their employees for when AI will be more prevalent are building up digital skills, predicting job trends, and helping workers choose their own futures.
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Redesigning Workplaces for a New Era of Inclusion
Historically, many companies have tried to retrofit principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) onto their existing processes, policies, and norms. But retrofitting is not enough. The disruption and trauma of the past year have created an exceptional opportunity to redesign working models from the ground up — with DEI principles placed at the center from the start.
Four Ways to Advance the CEO Agenda Using Targeted Learning
Targeted learning improves the way people collaborate in the course of day-to-day execution. CEOs should take four actions to advance their agendas through targeted learning: Develop a holistic view of strategy execution challenges, use targeted learning to intervene in the places that matter most for the agenda, measure impact through leading metrics linked to execution, and position the learning function to address strategic problems from the outset.
What Else We’re Reading This Week
- Craig Martell, vice president of machine learning at Lyft, kicks off Season 2 of the Me, Myself, and AI podcast with a discussion about bias, education, and cross-functional collaboration on machine learning projects (Source: MIT SMR)
- Only by adopting different ways of thinking about data can we prevent another pandemic disaster (Source: The Atlantic)
- A comprehensive, cross-functional approach to data security (Source: MIT SMR)
- Four questions to ensure successful stretch assignments (Source: SmartBrief)
Quote of the Week:
“When it comes to fighting COVID, we need every tool in our tool kit. We can’t do it without technology, and technology can’t do it without us.”
— Zoran Latinovic and Sharmila C. Chatterjee, MIT Sloan School of Management, in “Tech Innovations Can Help Fight COVID — If We Do Our Part”