Strategy

How Leading Organizations Are Getting the Most Value From IT

  • Read Time: 6 min 

For companies across industries, every major technology choice now represents a vital business decision, and “good enough” decisions are anything but. Recent research shows that in order to move from average to exceptional, CEOs and IT executives will need to begin matching their technology investments to their ambitions.

The 360-Degree Approach to Digital Reinvention

Company leaders need to take a 360-degree approach to digital transformation — by reinventing both outward-facing strategy and inward-facing operations, says IBM’s Mark Foster. In this episode of the Three Big Points podcast, he explains how the combined impact of quality data, technology, and a sense of humanity enable a digital reinvention to succeed.

The Detroit Hustle

  • Column

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  • Read Time: 6 min 

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.

Fighting the Gravity of Average Performance

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 8 min 

New research shows that market leadership is increasingly temporary. Just 17% of companies are able to significantly outperform their industry average for five years. The ones that do continually find new sources of competitive advantage by reinventing their businesses and adapting to evolving market conditions. Their example offers lessons for leadership teams trying to fight the relentless pull to the mean.

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How Women Can Improve Their Venture Pitch Outcomes

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 6 min 

A large-scale study in Europe of funding decisions finds that VCs evaluate male and female entrepreneurs by different standards. Savvy entrepreneurs can anticipate potentially biased responses to their pitches and plan accordingly. Certain tactics keep audiences engaged and confident of the idea’s potential, positioning the petitioner to succeed.

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.

How to Succeed Without Being the Smartest Person in the Room

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  • Read Time: 7 min 

Traditionally, many management roles have involved defining individual tasks and specific processes for completing them. Today, leaders need three very different management approaches, particularly as they rely more on empowered teams. Instead of defining jobs, they need to be establishing missions. Instead of making decisions, they need to be facilitating decisions. And instead of allocating resources, they need to be eliminating obstacles.

The Future of Work in Developing Economies

  • Frontiers

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 5 min 

Countries facing the greatest risk from automation are those that have labor economies in which many jobs involve manual or routine tasks that can be easily automated. Analyzing occupations in terms of their component parts provides a much richer way of looking at jobs than estimating the effects of automation more broadly.

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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.

How to Avoid All-or-Nothing Thinking in Your Tech Strategy

  • Read Time: 4 min 

The belief that automation is an all-or-nothing proposition is preventing some companies from incorporating technology into their workflows. But holding on to that (mistaken) belief means companies are missing out on opportunities to streamline their processes and free employees for more important and less repetitive tasks. Three key steps can help these companies overcome legacy approaches and apply technology solutions where they can do the most good.

Preparing for the Risky World of Extended Reality

  • Frontiers

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 9 min 

Technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality show great promise in fields like medicine and manufacturing, but they come with risks to individual and societal well-being that could be incredibly hard to reverse. Now is the time for business leaders to take measures to prevent, or at least mitigate, the potential downsides of such tools.

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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Why Multinationals Should Consider Geographic Complexity First

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 9 min 

Well-executed international expansions can provide access to new markets, customers, and revenue streams. But many companies underestimate operational complexity and end up with a country portfolio that slowly and subtly erodes profitability. New research offers a framework for managing successful country portfolios and making some key decisions before the next recession hits.

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.

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