Leadership

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.

Redefining Work for New Value: The Next Opportunity

Investing in job redesign without first planning for and investing in redefining work narrows future outcomes and limits opportunities for both growth and long-term value creation. Understanding the relationship between these two approaches to work is essential to any strategic effort to compete over the long term.

Why Large Companies Struggle With Lean

Large corporations have found that applying the principles of lean is more complicated than expected. Large organizations aren’t just bigger versions of startups. To make innovation integral to the organization, there has to be a vision of where new ideas will be incubated and how they will be delivered.

The Five Bestselling MIT SMR Articles of 2019

  • Read Time: 3 min 

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 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.

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Building Effective Corporate Engagement on LGBTQ Rights

  • Read Time: 7 min 

The corporate sector is becoming increasingly outspoken on LGBTQ rights. As more companies publicize their efforts, pressure is building on others to state their positions as well. Companies that approach LGBTQ issues thoughtfully with policies, culture, and activism can reduce some of the economic risks involved — while affecting public opinion.

Measuring Emotions in the Digital Age

  • Frontiers

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 6 min 

Employers have learned that their employees’ emotional states contribute to productivity, sales, and culture. But how do you measure emotions when self-reporting is often inaccurate because respondents either aren’t aware of or don’t want to report their emotions? Facial recognition technologies may hold the answer, but there are significant privacy concerns to be addressed.

The State of AI: Lessons From the Field

  • Video | Runtime: 0:59:36

  • Read Time: 1 min 

The 2019 MIT SMR and BCG Global Research Report Winning With AI looks at why there is a big gap between companies getting value from AI and those that aren’t as well as the cultural and leadership factors that characterize AI pioneers. This webinar summarizes the findings and lessons of the research.

A Manifesto for the Middle

  • Column

  • Column
  • Read Time: 6 min 

The left-right political divide is strangling democracies. In many countries, the left has moved even further to the left and demonized the institution of business, while the right has moved further to the right and embraced a narrow view of business. We need a manifesto to create a middle — both a political and an economic one.

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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.

Learning From Automation Anxiety of the Past

  • Read Time: 6 min 

AI and automation might benefit society at large, but there will be losers in the process, and at times even outright resistance, if people feel that their jobs and incomes are threatened. To avoid a backlash against the technology, governments must address its social costs and pursue policies that kick-start productivity growth while helping workers adapt.

How Companies Can Prepare for Sudden CEO Turnover

  • Read Time: 4 min 

Recent CEO departures have been attention-grabbing but are also part of a larger rising turnover rate for the top job within companies. Chief departures can signal fear and uncertainty within the ranks, and often managers and employees feel a lack of direction for moving forward. To mitigate risk, organizations must take steps to prepare for uncertainty.

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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.

Radical Candor for Today’s Teams

  • Video | Runtime: 1:01:31

Kim Scott, author of Radical Candor, discusses how to give feedback and direction in today’s environment of data-driven performance management, AI-fueled PM tools, and sensitivities around diversity and inclusion.

Demystifying the Intelligence of AI

  • Column

  • Column
  • Read Time: 7 min 

Three common trouble points impede companies moving toward using AI: Leaders are unclear what it means to adopt AI; systems are drawing from too much junky data; and there isn’t a careful balance between customer loss of privacy and the value returned. These problems can be resolved only when leaders pay close attention to the strategic challenges of bringing AI on and approach AI as an integrated element of their processes.

Should Businesses Stop Flying to Fight Climate Change?

It’s known as flight shaming: Everyone from Prince Harry to CEOs heading to Davos are being asked how they can care about carbon emissions and still climb aboard an aircraft. So should we all stop flying? The answer is a definitive “maybe”: There are good reasons to keep flying, especially in the service of tackling climate change, and for deeper reasons like connecting humankind when we need global cooperation.

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