Executing Strategy

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Why the ‘Just Do Something’ Strategy for AI Won’t Work

For all the giant leaps promised by artificial intelligence, when it comes to business, what we’ve seen so far amounts to just tiny steps. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; many smart people advise companies to start small with AI. But as Boston College professor Sam Ransbotham notes in this week’s Three Big Points podcast, when you think small, you get small results.

The Best MIT SMR Articles of the 2010s

  • Read Time: 2 min 

In the 2010s, MIT Sloan Management Review readers gravitated toward articles that will help them prepare for the future of work — and succeed in an ever-evolving present. Topics of particular interest include digital transformation and competition, global talent management, emerging jobs in the AI era, and strategy execution.

Don’t Set Your Next CEO Up to Fail

Boards often have only an implicit sense of what they want a new CEO to do — in particular, how much they want the strategic direction and organizational model to change and how they expect it to happen. Clearly defining the mandate and matching it to the CEO’s profile is critical. CEO mandates can be divided into four types: continuation, evolution, transformation, and disruption. They each require different candidate profiles and different approaches to the job.

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Making It Easier to Manage and Scale Digital Projects

  • Read Time: 10 min 

In studying agile approaches at more than 50 companies, the authors found that the organizations that achieve the most success with digital projects use processes that allow for continuous learning and that support critical business goals. With everyone following the same processes, companies do better at juggling multiple projects and reaping the benefits of scale. One of the companies studied, Johnson & Johnson, shares its approach.

How Digital Changes the Role of Leaders

Digital transformation often starts with leaders identifying a fundamental change in the competitive environment and moving quickly to counter a potential disruption. But as Jeanne Ross explains, even the most forward-looking strategies are bound to fall flat unless leaders themselves evolve — and in some pretty dramatic ways.

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.

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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Measuring Culture in Leading Companies

To survive and thrive in today’s market, a healthy corporate culture is more important than ever. The MIT SMR/Glassdoor Culture 500 uses machine learning and human expertise to analyze culture using a data set of 1.2 million employee reviews on Glassdoor. This interactive tool offers previously untapped insights about the organizational culture of over 500 of the world’s leading companies and provides leaders with new tools for benchmarking culture in their own organizations.

A Structured Approach to Strategic Decisions

Many decisions about strategy require that senior executives make evaluative judgments on the basis of extensive, complex information. Such work is prone to common errors, but a disciplined, sequential approach can mitigate those errors and improve the quality of both one-off and recurrent decisions in an array of business domains. The process described in this article is easy to learn, involves little additional work, and (within limits) leaves room for intuition.

The Top MIT SMR Articles of 2018

  • Read Time: 2 min 

In 2018, MIT Sloan Management Review readers gravitated toward new articles that will help them prepare for the future of work, including topics as varied as skills needed in the age of AI and digital communication tools for virtual teams. The most popular article of the year focused on an area high on the list of most CEOs’ agendas: how to transform your organization successfully.

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