The Best of This Week
The week’s must-reads for managing in the digital age, curated by the MIT SMR editors.
The Retail Profitability Paradox
The pandemic exacerbated long-running retail profitability issues — many of which have been plaguing the sector since the early 2000s. New research from Deloitte sheds light on the current consumer-to-business paradigm, the direction in which customer experience trends are headed, and what retailers can do to ensure their sustained success.
Power Up Your Platform Game
Most leaders understand the superior value of business models built around subscription-based software, platform marketplaces, and machine learning. But few have embraced the exponential growth and value of combining both those strategies with data and machine learning models.
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Toward a ‘Crisis Discipline’ to Study Social Media and Collective Behavior
More than a dozen researchers who study technology, behavior, and complex systems believe questions about the impact of communications technology on collective behavior should be regarded as a “crisis discipline,” noting that “the vulnerability of these systems to misinformation and disinformation poses a dire threat to health, peace, global climate, and more.” In a new paper, they call on researchers and social media executives to take a Hippocratic oath and pledge to do no harm to humanity.
Retraining for a Revised Strategic Direction
The pandemic required companies to make strategic pivots to adapt to rapidly changing environments. To meet the new demands that emerged, they must retrain their employees so that they can fill those jobs or roles most closely aligned with the organization’s strategic direction. The authors share five questions to help leaders to both understand and clearly define that new direction, along with five leadership competencies that are key to helping organizations move forward.
What Else We’re Reading This Week
- Negative factors like leadership failure and dissatisfaction aren’t the only reasons for CMO turnover (Source: MIT SMR)
- Inequity, pay disparities, and job insecurity: Tech unions are demystifying the idea that all tech workers have good working conditions (Source: CIO Dive)
- What schools and employers can do to better prepare college graduates for the skill most valued by employers — collaboration (Source: The Hechinger Report)
Quote of the Week:
“In my mind, you cannot separate a conversation about technology ethics from a conversation about values — both individual values and collective and societal values.”
— Elizabeth Renieris, founding director of the Notre Dame-IBM Technology Ethics Lab, in the latest Me, Myself, and AI podcast episode, “Starting Now On Technology Ethics”