Leadership Skills

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Four Storytelling Techniques to Bring Your Data to Life

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If it’s your role to communicate data insights and persuade people to change their behavior, you’ll have more influence if you emphasize the people behind the numbers. By leveraging four techniques from storytelling, leaders can bring a richer understanding to the problem that the data reveals and the opportunities it presents.

What Separates Analytical Leaders From Laggards?

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Despite the ready availability of technologies like big data, most companies don’t yet capitalize on analytics. For organizations to fully leverage the insights they can derive from analytics and embed them into decision-making, a combination of three drivers is required: data and tools, talent, and culture.

Education, Disrupted

Facing sizable skills gaps in their current and future workforces, companies have stopped waiting for the traditional education system to supply the workers they need. Amazon, AT&T, and others have stepped in with their own solutions to fill those gaps. These companies may be shaping the future of not only their own workforces, but of yours as well.

The New Leadership Playbook for the Digital Age

The 2020 Future of Leadership Global Executive Study and Research Report finds that leaders may be holding on to behaviors that might have worked once but now stymie the talents of their employees. Organizations must empower leaders to change their ways of working to succeed in a new digital economy.

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The Detroit Hustle

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In a city that’s experienced tough economic times, entrepreneurism is blooming. But in resource-constrained environments like Detroit, individuals approach entrepreneurship in different ways than they do in affluent regions such as Silicon Valley. The accessibility and use of material resources within the entrepreneurial ecosystem shapes the experiences of its members in unique ways.

The Best MIT SMR Articles of the 2010s

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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.

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Learning for a Living

We need to learn at work, but it’s costly and time consuming, and we worry we might be found lacking. What if we can’t pick up the skills we need? Further, most organizations are not as hospitable to learning as their rhetoric suggests. Part of the problem is that we seldom acknowledge that it doesn’t just happen at work — it is work. Employers can better support learning, and individuals can do it more effectively, by understanding that there are two types of learning and that each needs its own space.

The Five Bestselling MIT SMR Articles of 2019

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This year’s bestselling articles examine perennial challenges for leaders and organizations. From predicting how technology will impact markets and outcomes to creating successful frameworks for strategic decision-making, this collection of articles gives managers practical insights for leading in an age of uncertainty and disruption.

How Vigilant Companies Gain an Edge in Turbulent Times

In fast-changing business environments, companies need to stay vigilant and watch for threats from both internal and external sources. The most vigilant companies use systematic approaches to determine where to look for — and how to explore — potential disruptions.

Employee Emotions Aren’t Noise — They’re Data

Within organizations, emotions reveal not just how people feel but also what they think and how they will behave. Emotional culture gets communicated non-verbally in people’s facial expressions, vocal tone, and body language. You see it expressed by the people around you, including—or even most of all—managers. For companies, emotions are an important lever for improving employee satisfaction and productivity.

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What Does It Mean to Lead?

Are management and leadership entwined in a digital world? Or are they distinct activities, one more important than the other? Can you be closely involved in day-to-day operations, as data-driven tools allow and encourage, without watching and directing employees’ every move? How do you cede top-down control without courting chaos? And how do you eliminate entrenched practices that obstruct change? Experts wrestle with these questions and share their perspectives on how leadership is evolving.

How Tech CEOs Are Redefining the Top Job

About a quarter of high-tech companies are run by CEOs who double as inventors. Through patenting and publishing activity, such leaders contribute their own expertise to their companies’ innovation and production efforts, even as they steer their respective ships. This hands-on approach may sound like a distraction from strategic thinking, but it’s the future for top leaders across many sectors, not just tech — and it is already upon us.

Leading Remotely

Digital tools make remote teams possible, but it’s not easy to wrangle an increasingly distributed workforce. Leaders must grapple with problems in several key areas: communication, project management, talent development and management, and reliable access to technology. Still, those who take steps to harness the strengths of remote work while minimizing the drawbacks will find themselves with a highly motivated, invested team.

Leaders Don’t Hide Behind Data

The theory is simple: With a clipboard and a stopwatch, you can measure and improve the performance of your workforce. But management by metrics doesn’t facilitate breakthroughs. For that, you need leadership: the art of doing things you’re not sure of, and doing them with enrollment instead of authority.

Five Rules for Leading in a Digital World

To thrive in times of digital transformation and rapid change, organizations accustomed to siloed bureaucracy must become nimble and customer-centric; command-and-control models must give way to distributed leadership. Many leaders fear letting go, but they must evolve quickly or risk extinction. Research at the MIT Leadership Center suggests that executives and managers who do five things in particular are best equipped to navigate what lies ahead.

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