The Best of This Week
The week’s must-reads for managing in the digital age, curated by the MIT SMR editors.
Identifying Longer-Term Opportunities in the Midst of Crisis
A recent survey of global executives offers important insights for managing and setting strategy in the current business environment. In the rush to manage immediate priorities, leaders can overlook the importance of identifying longer-term opportunities that could contribute to recovery and acceleration after the crisis. But exploiting these opportunities will require leaders to look beyond short-term impacts and to take some risks in a very challenging environment.
Five Steps for Making Decisions in a Time of Rapid and Unwanted Change
Distinguishing between crisis and disaster can help you make better leadership decisions in an unprecedented time. For The European Business Review, academic researchers Axelle Bagot and Houman Harouni trace five interrelated steps to help leaders reconsider their work, align with stakeholders, and steward their organization’s mission.
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Reaching a New Generation of Consumers in a Gender-Inclusive World
As traditional views of the male-female binary evolve toward a more inclusive, individualized concept of gender, brands can no longer rely solely on outdated tropes to connect with increasingly diverse and culturally aware consumers. Astute brands, especially the upstarts, have been quick to perceive and respond to these societal shifts. What is a marketer to do to ready her brand to operate under a different set of gender rules?
How an MIT Simulation Model Aims to Cool the Planet
In The New Yorker, Bill McKibben explores the En-ROADS Climate Interactive simulation (developed in part at MIT Sloan), which allows users to tinker with different variables to determine how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to meet goals set in the Paris climate accords. Pandemic lockdowns have reduced emissions a bit, but more meaningful progress could come from halting fossil fuel-based infrastructure.
Deciding Who Gets What Amid Supply Chain Disruption
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended normal life and many supply chains, severely limiting the supply of some products. When disaster strikes, suppliers, original equipment manufacturers, and retailers may find that they can’t offer all their products or fulfill all their customer orders. They must decide who gets what — but how? Leaders need to set clear decision criteria and the mechanisms to back them up.
What Else We’re Reading This Week:
- No amount of tech investment can outweigh closing the human performance gap — the best defense against cyberattacks
- How did King Arthur Flour pivot to meet skyrocketing demand from homebound bakers?
- You can bolster good working relationships and interpersonal networks, even when working remotely
Quote of the Week:
“If we come out of this only focused on whether our people should be working in the office or working at home, then I think we’ve missed a big opportunity to redesign our employee experience. Space really matters, but only when it’s an integrated part of the employee experience strategy moving forward.”
— Kristine Dery, research scientist and program manager at the MIT Center for Information Systems Research, in this week’s Three Big Points podcast episode, “Making Remote Work Work”