The Best of This Week
The week’s must-reads for managing in the digital age, curated by the MIT SMR editors.
Breaking Down the Debate on Big Tech
Some want big tech companies broken up. Others call for stiffer industry oversight. Who’s right? Lisa Quest and Anthony Charrie, consultants at Oliver Wyman, look at the best ways to regulate the tech industry so that privacy and ethics concerns are addressed without stifling innovation.
Why Changing Your Mind Can Make You Seem Smarter
Recent research published in Harvard Business Review looks at hardheadedness and why context matters when it comes to digging in your heels on decisions.
7 Ways 5G Will Transform the Nature of Work
Based on years of working with major global clients, Accenture’s Omar Abbosh and Paul Nunes look at the ways 5G and extended reality technology are poised to change the future of work — a future where the notion of a physical workplace will become increasingly fuzzy and the companies that create the best value for workers will win.
A New, Short Podcast for Busy Leaders
While digital disruption may seem like a technology problem, it’s really a people problem. This problem is at the center of the debut episode of Three Big Points, MIT SMR’s newest podcast for busy leaders looking to stay at the top of their game. Episode 1 features Jerry Kane, information systems professor at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management, who explains what it takes for your organization to survive digital disruption.
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Do You Know What Your Company Stands For?
According to Microsoft president Brad Smith, it’s becoming more important for companies to decide on the principles that will guide them in the face of new challenges. In CIO Journal, he discusses how issues of transparency and privacy guide decisions at Microsoft — and why, in an increasingly technology-fueled economy, it’s important for leaders to prioritize things like ethics, fairness, and accountability in the face of AI and emerging tech.
Smart Leadership = Smart KPIs
To make better and more informed decisions, smart companies need to be creating smarter KPIs. As MIT Sloan’s Michael Schrage puts it, “For data-driven disruptors like Alibaba, Amazon, Airbnb, and Uber, KPIs don’t simply monitor enterprise success; they proactively drive it.”
American CEOs Fire Back on Guns
A week after Walmart said it would limit ammunition sales in its stores, 145 CEOs urged the U.S. Senate to enact universal background checks for gun buyers. Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld, professor at the Yale School of Management, looks at what it means that executives and companies are taking a stand on politically charged issues.
Can We End the Crisis of Agency?
In recent years, we’ve undergone a sea change in our thinking about the future. Whether it’s our feelings about climate change, sociopolitical upheavals, or the disconcerting rapidity of technological change, the general sentiment is one of heightened anxiety. But in the face of feeling powerless, Paul Michelman, editor in chief of MIT SMR, suggests that doing small things can make a huge difference.
Quote of the Week:
“You have to remind people [by asking if they can] think of diversity in every decision they make, and it’s sometimes a little uncomfortable to have to ask that question. But it’s the right question to ask.”
— John W. Rogers Jr., founder, chair, co-CEO, and chief investment officer of Ariel Investments in “Difficult, Uncomfortable, and Courageous Conversations”