Weekly Recap

The Best of This Week

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

The AI Workforce of the Future

…will be built with symbiotic systems. As authors H. James Wilson and Paul R. Daugherty of Accenture note from their research, to effectively implement AI, organizations will need to use human-centered AI that motivates and retrains workers, which shifts the focus from automation to collaboration between humans and machines. This strategy has proven results in the health care sector and allows both systems to work to their strengths.

Bracing for the Next Tech Bubble

Unlike the tech bubble of the 1990s, in which growth was spurred by the public’s fascination with any business that branded itself a dot-com, the next tech bubble is shaping up to be something different, according to an article in The Atlantic. This time around, investors are proceeding with greater caution and distinguishing between “real” tech firms and the wannabes.

Leadership Decisions and the Deregulation Debate

This month’s MIT SMR Strategy Forum poll looks at the Trump administration’s recent rollbacks on a wide range of environmental and public health regulations. We ask our panel of experts to weigh in on whether companies will decide to adhere to rules that closely resemble original standards, or if they will embrace deregulation.

Small Businesses Model Successful Community Engagement

When it comes to corporate social responsibility, big businesses’ well-publicized gestures might make headlines, but a Harvard Business Review article describes how small businesses can offer their larger counterparts a blueprint for creating campaigns that allow them to engage on a local level to make positive impacts and strengthen their relationships with communities.

Blend Entrepreneurship Strategies to Boost Innovation

Companies seeking to drive innovation in the face of constant disruption benefit from adopting a strategy that supports both internal entrepreneurs and external partnerships rather than taking an either/or approach. The benefits: reduced development costs, faster time to market, and a collaborative, engaged workforce.

Trouble Looms for Big Banks

Bloomberg notes that a recent McKinsey & Co. report suggests that a majority of the world’s banks are weakly positioned for any economic downturn that may be on the horizon. Kausik Rajgopal, a senior partner at McKinsey, said, “We believe we’re in the late economic cycle, and banks need to make bold moves now because they are not in great shape.” To avoid “becoming a footnote in history,” banks will need to make heavier investments in information technology, much like their fintech competitors, and also become more comfortable with working with external partners.

In Defense of Quantitative Leadership

As Michael Schrage writes for MIT Sloan Management Review, “The irresistible rise of data-driven, analytics-enriched digital instrumentation and decisions has provoked an intellectual backlash.” Schrage offers a counterpoint that the true underperformers in this digital disruption are not measures but their managers.

Quote of the Week

“We’re seeing amongst the states a growing consensus on a few core things that are necessary to make that transition from a fossil-based, carbon-addicted economy to a zero-carbon, decarbonized, new economy that still works for people, still creates jobs, still functions as a society.”

— Robert Klee, lecturer, Yale Law School, in an interview with Yale Insights, “For a Path to a Decarbonized Economy, Look to the States