The Best of This Week
The week’s must-reads for managing in the digital age, curated by the MIT SMR editors.
How Not to Frame a Public Offering
WeWork has had quite a week. After increased clamoring from investors, the shared workspace company’s controversial cofounder and CEO Adam Neumann was ousted on Tuesday, just weeks before the company was originally scheduled to go public. In a recent article, Nori Gerardo Lietz, senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, looks beyond the theatrics of a flamboyant founder to investigate the core problems of WeWork’s IPO prospectus, shedding light for other entrepreneurs and companies on what not to do when strategizing a public offering.
How AI Is Helping Improve Business Workflows
Silos are a fact of life in business, but can AI and emerging technology have an impact on fixing them? MIT Sloan professor Sharmila Chatterjee and visiting researcher Zoran Latinovic look at how companies are beginning to experiment with AI-driven tools to better coordinate the workflows in different business silos. The result? More effective collaboration between business units and partners.
What Does It Take for a Human to Trust a Robot?
In a word: reliability. While other research has looked at transparency or a robot’s ability to convey to humans the intent and reasoning process of its choices and decisions, new U.S. Army-led research finds that humans lose confidence in robots after mistakes, even with transparent reasoning.
Disrupting the Front Office With Sports Analytics
In the most recent episode of Counterpoints, the sports analytics podcast from MIT Sloan Management Review, Sports Innovation Lab cofounder and CEO Angela Ruggiero discusses how fan behavior has changed with the advent of digital technology. This means executives and managers in sports companies and media outlets must be willing to rethink their marketing approach.
Behavioral Science Meets Burning Man
As Kelly Peters, CEO of BEworks, writes in a series for Behavioral Scientist, “Behavioral science can and should be employed in places where people have fun, and in particular, places where people are working to build societies with ambitious goals that aim to bring out the best of humanity.” There may be no better place for a behavioral scientist to examine the transformative effects of a gift economy than at Burning Man, a temporary society of 70,000 that annually congregates in the Nevada desert.
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What Is the Most Important Skill an Effective Leader Can Have?
According to Doug Ready, senior lecturer at MIT Sloan, it is the ability to articulate a clear sense of purpose, vision, and strategy. In his latest in a series on the Future of Leadership in the Digital Economy, Ready suggests to managers that to find your personal leadership narrative, it’s important to first figure out and share what great leadership means to you.
Beware Agile’s Dark Side
Bob Kantor, writing for The Enterprisers Project, looks at the common legacy pitfalls teams fall into with agile project management and the steps to take to reap the full benefits of agile.
Quote of the Week:
“A true broadening of the objectives of firms would improve the well-being of workers. But it remains to be seen how many of the CEOs who signed the statement are truly committed to making such changes, and also how many of them will find they are able to — given pressures from inside the firm, pressures from financial markets, and their own career ambitions.”
—Meghan Busse, associate professor of strategy, Kellogg School of Management, responding to this month’s Strategy Forum poll on the new Business Roundtable Statement