Developing Strategy

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Every Number Tells a Story

You stand in front of a roomful of decision makers and present an iron-clad case for a compelling, data-backed proposal. The group’s reaction? Tepid, at best. So, what happened? Nancy Duarte would likely tell you that you were missing the story behind the data. In this episode of Three Big Points, Duarte shows us how to bring data to life in a way that will win people over to your idea.

How Will U.S. Companies Respond to Regulation Rollbacks?

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

Winning With AI

AI promises rewards but also comes with risks ― namely, that competitors figure out how to successfully use it before you do. This year’s 2019 MIT SMR-BCG Artificial Intelligence Global Executive Study and Research Report shows early AI winners are focused on organization-wide alignment, investment, and integration.

Why Analytics Don’t Always Pay Off in the Playoffs

Every team has a data-based strategy for regular season play — but the playoffs are a completely different story. In this episode of Counterpoints, we talk with Mike Trudell, a reporter who covers the Los Angeles Lakers for ESPN and other sports news outlets, about the mysterious intangibles that come to the foreground during the playoffs.

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Digital Transformation Should Start With Customers

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  • Read Time: 6 min 

Few organizations have the resources necessary to transform operations, business models, and customer experience all at the same time. They need to prioritize. Focusing on the transformation of the customer experience should be first. This is not because it’s necessarily the easiest, but because doing so is far more likely to keep a company viable than changing other aspects of business.

Tell Your Colleagues: MIT SMR Is Unlocked Today Through Thursday

  • Read Time: 2 min 

On Oct. 8-10, MIT SMR is dropping its paywall — all of the content is freely available to visitors. Readers will have immediate access to ideas, research, benchmarks and tools, all grounded in the reality of our technologically driven economy and society. We’re offering some recommendations based on what readers tell us are some of the most pressing problems they’re facing right now.

The Best of This Week

This week’s must-reads for managing in a digital age: just because companies recognize re-skilling and upskilling is critical doesn’t mean they’re doing it right. Also, how to choose charts everyone understands, where blockchain is headed in the enterprise, and words of wisdom for managing your career in an age of uncertainty.

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The Downstream Damage of the Leadership Skills Gap

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Despite companies’ efforts to invest in leadership development, studies show that managerial skills gaps are increasingly common. The downstream effects of these gaps negatively affect not only businesses but extend to the global economy as well. To address this critical problem, leaders must place increased focus on their own development as managers in order to facilitate an increase in productivity across the board.

Creating Digital Offerings Customers Will Buy

How can companies decide which new digital offerings to pursue? Successful digital offerings are created at the intersection of what technologies can deliver and what customers want and will pay for. That point of intersection, however, has proved to be elusive. To find it, companies must experiment repeatedly, cocreate with customers, and assemble cross-functional development teams — and the insights gleaned along the way must be shared internally.

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Information Overload?

Counterpoints takes on two pressing questions in the sports analytics field: the issue of information overload and whether there is such a thing as too much data, and a very different — but related — issue: Biometrics. We’ll go to the mat over whether professional athletes will be willing to share their personal biometric data in real time.

How Business Ecosystems Rise (and Often Fall)

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  • Read Time: 13 min 

It’s tempting to look at high-profile business ecosystems and assume that the model is a reliable formula for success. In fact, many ecosystems never earn a significant market share, and only about 15% dominate their markets over time. An analysis shows that most share a common life cycle, with several critical windows along the way. For management, the key is understanding these windows and adjusting the company’s strategy over time to meet the unique requirements of each.

Digital Success Requires Breaking Rules

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  • Read Time: 6 min 

Developing new rules for the digital age is proving uncomfortable for people at every organizational level. Digitization (the transformation for operational excellence) requires top-down leadership principles with centralized accountabilities, while success with digital business (the transformation toward rapid innovation) requires local empowerment with distributed accountabilities. These are basically opposite approaches to accountability, but they’re both necessary.

Why Company Culture Matters for Strategic Results

Good corporate culture can turbocharge performance, while a bad culture can wreak havoc on a company’s reputation and results. When companies strike the right balance on culture, they can align behavior with corporate strategy while allowing employees flexibility to exercise judgment and initiative.

Strategy For and With AI

Executives intent on exploiting AI to enhance processes or products tend to focus on having a strategy for AI. But creating strategy with AI can matter as much or even more. In a machine-learning era, enterprise strategy is defined by the KPIs that leaders choose to optimize —the measures organizations use to create value, accountability, and competitive advantage. AI can help determine what KPIs are measured, how they are measured, and how best to prioritize them.

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