Operations

Digital Success Requires Breaking Rules

  • Column

  • Column
  • 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.

Casting the Dark Web in a New Light

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 17 min 

Cyberattacks are increasing in frequency, sophistication, and impact. Defending against them requires a new perspective on the attacks and the attackers. By applying a value chain lens to the problem, we can better understand the dark web as an ecosystem in which well-orchestrated attacks are assembled by entrepreneurs and supported by well-organized service offerings. This casts new light on the dark web and suggests more effective and proactive responses to cyberattacks.

Using AI to Enhance Business Operations

Companies can turn AI hype into operational hay by developing their capacity for enterprise cognitive computing. This capacity entails five capabilities: data science competence, business domain proficiency, enterprise architecture expertise, an operational IT backbone, and digital inquisitiveness. The capabilities shape and are shaped by four practices: identifying use cases, managing application learning, cocreating applications, and thinking “cognitive.”

advertisement

Transforming Manufacturing and Supply Chains With 4D Printing

Next on the horizon is 4D printing, an emerging technology that would allow managers to meet supply chain challenges with customized, adaptive, and potentially self-modulating equipment. Manufacturers should start considering how their infrastructure and supply chains might benefit from this technology as it unfolds.

A Shared Passion for Place Can Make a Business More Resilient

Leaders are increasingly strangers in the places where their organizations reside. With greater mobility and a disconnect from a physical office space, many leaders have identities that are not tied to one location. Yet leaders who lack a clear “passion for place” and well-established stakeholder connections might be putting their companies at a disadvantage during times of hardship.

The Only Way Manufacturers Can Survive

Although most manufacturers are beginning to flirt with digital technologies, not one has successfully pulled off a digital transformation. CEOs still have to figure out its art — and science — forcing them to draw up their game plans on the fly, which inevitably leads to tension and trauma. But they are learning. Here’s how GE has navigated its own digital transformation process.

advertisement

Amazon Raised Its Minimum Wage — Will Its Rivals Do the Same?

Each month, the MIT SMR Strategy Forum poses a single question to our panel of experts in the fields of business, economics, and management. This month’s question asks our panel whether Amazon, by raising the minimum wage for its U.S. workers to $15 per hour, will influence other companies to do the same.

Planning for the Human-Digital Workforce

  • Video | Runtime: 1:03:22

Automation is a scary word for the average worker, but implemented correctly, it can have enormous benefits for companies, customers, and even the workforce. In this webinar, automation expert Mary Lacity explains how thoughtful adoption of bots and automated services can make the difference in the outcome for all stakeholders.

How Should Companies Talk to Customers Online?

Digital customer service is becoming more widely adopted, but one place it falls short is in the language and phrases it uses. Many digital service platforms use words that alienate customers rather than engage them; selecting customer-centric language for chatbots and service platforms can make a significant difference in customer satisfaction.

advertisement

How Innovative Partnerships Are Changing Health Care Delivery

  • Interview
  • Read Time: 13 min 

Innovation is transforming the health care industry, with unlikely collaborators teaming up to provide higher-quality, lower-cost services. In this interview with MIT SMR, Harvard Business School professor Regina Herzlinger, an expert in health care delivery and innovation, discusses recent collaborations between retailers and insurers, such as CVS’s partnership with Aetna and Walmart’s with Humana, and explains why hospitals and other providers must be more innovative, too.

Get Things Done With Smaller Teams

There are many reasons why large programs fail, but one potential cause is that they simply break down under their own weight. Smaller teams move faster, iterate at a higher frequency, and innovate more for the company. There are ten specific ways that managers can nurture small teams in big organizations, from increasing visibility and accountability to being less formal when sharing information.

Breaking Logjams in Knowledge Work

Despite the well-documented costs of overload, many leaders still think organizations thrive under pressure. They have a lot to learn from manufacturing, where managers have adopted a “pull” system to manage task flow, improving productivity and performance. This concept can be used to prevent overload in knowledge work, too. And “visual management” techniques make it easier to apply pull thinking to a portfolio of projects by rendering nonphysical tasks tangible. Two recent changes at the Broad Institute, an MIT-affiliated biomedical and genomic research center, illustrate how.

How Innovative Mergers Are Shaping Health Care Delivery

  • Video | Runtime: 00:39:44

Innovation and disruption are transforming the health care industry, with unlikely partners like Walmart and Humana teaming up to deliver high-quality, low-cost care to customers. Regina Herzlinger, the Nancy R. McPherson Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and an expert in health care delivery and innovation, discusses the lessons such collaborations between health care retailers and insurers offer for managers.

Showing 1-20 of 343