Weekly Recap

The Best of This Week

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

Female Founders Receive Less Than 3% of VC Funding, but Algorithms Could Help Reverse This

According to Darden professor Morela Hernandez and her colleagues, “Research on algorithm-based decisions across various disciplines suggests they could substantially narrow the gender gap in VC funding, in part by making decision processes more transparent and reducing the bias that creeps into the process.

Tech Companies See ‘Privacy’ Differently

The distinction between tech giants’ view of privacy and your own is important, and not just because online privacy drives big tech news stories. Some of these companies are making big pledges on recommitting to your privacy — and throwing around terms like private messaging that cloud the picture. Laura Moy, associate professor and executive director of Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy & Technology, weighs in.

Business in Society

Traditionally, businesses act politically only when they feel under attack (think: op-eds, lobbying, working with policy makers). But as Edward Freeman and Joseph Burton point out in their latest column for MIT SMR, for the younger generations preparing to move into leadership positions, this is not enough. Business is embedded in society, and it’s time for business leaders to care as much about democratic freedom as they do their own organizations.

How Agile Is Agile Enough?

Your department might be next to try agile management, the up-tempo style of teamwork that can boost productivity but also present difficulties among some employees. Workers cite critical or aggressive team members, shyness, and “blockers” – colleagues or clients who are impeding their work – as potential agile snags.

Marketing in the Age of Influence

Influencer marketing offers a big return when done right. But many companies are doing it wrong. Steve Oriola, CEO of Julius, an end-to-end influencer marketing platform, offers practical steps that branding and marketing teams can take using relationship management best practices to ensure a strong, successful campaign using influencers.

When Gender Bias Creeps Into Performance Evaluations

Previous studies have shown that, in general, men have a leg up in performance evaluations, even when their work is identical, but no one had examined whether numeric rating systems might actually be contributing to the problem. Kellogg School of Management’s Lauren Rivera and András Tilcsik of the University of Toronto explore that question.

Let’s Talk Climate

How do we talk about the state of our planet when the news is so scary? Beyond how we talk about these issues in our daily work and business directives, how can we have those discussions with the people we love? These are the questions Andrew Winston wrestles with in his recent MIT SMR column, and he offers three distinct questions as a good starting point: What do we really know about climate change? Why am I worried and feel it’s so serious? And how do I — and all of us — cope with that knowledge and move forward.

Quote of the Week

“No one can be creative on a treadmill.”

— Phil Lewis, Forbes contributor, “Consulting is Dead. Long Live Consulting”