The Best of This Week
The week’s must-reads for managing in the digital age, curated by the MIT SMR editors.
Four Strategies for Thriving Amid Uncertainty
The pandemic has accelerated the speed at which leaders and organizations must make decisions and strategize the future of their business. This shift is spawning a new breed of company — one that is more capable of thriving in uncertainty with a clearer and broader sense of purpose. Companies that show the most agility and resilience in responding to the global pandemic are pursuing four main strategies.
Over 30 Years, How Has the ADA Touched Technology?
Captioning technology, e-books, and voice control are just a few tools that have improved the everyday lives of people with disabilities since the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was signed into law 30 years ago. The ADA originally applied primarily to building accessibility and government resources but has also had a profound effect on tech. Still, representatives of tech giants and advocacy organizations point out, there’s plenty of work to do.
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Transforming the Post-Pandemic Supply Chain With Data
COVID-19’s impact revealed that supply chain business continuity plans had both the wrong data and the data wrong. Legacy leadership teams need to understand that decisions around data — decisions around its collection, sharing, and analysis — are what drive successful supply chain transformation. Targeted transformation investment overwhelmingly emphasizes greater visibility and transparency rather than supply chain optimization.
A Proven Recipe for Corporate Activism
Ben & Jerry’s statement in June on dismantling white supremacy was widely shared and lauded for its detailed, powerful corporate message — one honed by years of social justice efforts. The company’s long track record of activism has helped it avoid accusations of insincerity or opportunism when it speaks out, in contrast to other companies that have found themselves on the defensive. How did this ice-cream company perfect the recipe for corporate activism?
The Office as Context
What are some of the systems of belief, histories of technology, and cultural practices that have to date shaped what many of us employees think of as “the office” — and how might we reimagine how work gets done going forward based on what we can glean from the past?
What Else We’re Reading This Week:
- When people rise in power and status, their empathy can diminish — but powerful people can be coached back to their compassionate selves
- Uncertainty and disruption are two sides of the same coin
- Five ways to apply user experience principles to AI and machine learning projects
- A new survey reveals how corporate boards are managing pandemic-driven challenges
Quote of the Week:
“In the past half-century, America’s innovation engine — built on an influx of global brainpower, a vibrant university system, cities that encourage the spontaneous interaction of people and ideas — has worked so well that policymakers have taken it for granted. Yet the pandemic is now disassembling that engine in remarkably precise ways.”
— Caleb Watney, resident fellow of technology and innovation at the R Street Institute, in “America’s Innovation Engine Is Slowing”