Teamwork

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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.

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.

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.

Tell Your Colleagues: MIT SMR Is Unlocked Today Through Thursday

  • Read Time: 2 min 

On Oct. 8-10, MIT SMR is dropping its paywall — all of the content is freely available to visitors. Readers will have immediate access to ideas, research, benchmarks and tools, all grounded in the reality of our technologically driven economy and society. We’re offering some recommendations based on what readers tell us are some of the most pressing problems they’re facing right now.

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An Executive Guide to the Fall 2019 Issue

This guide to the Fall 2019 issue of MIT Sloan Management Review summarize the issue’s key articles. The articles discuss finding better ways to collaborate; how to give customers what they’re looking for; the organized ecosystem of Dark Web cybercrime; and how algorithms can reduce bias.

Improving the Rhythm of Your Collaboration

With so many digital tools in the workplace, collaboration has gone omnichannel. Given how hyperconnected people are, the authors set out to explore the implications for organizations and teams. In their research, they discovered that always-on connectivity was good for fact finding and information sharing but not for problem-solving, as we tend to assume. For tasks that require imagination, it’s better to alternate between connectivity and quiet focus. Leaders must help establish a good rhythm.

It’s Time to Tackle Your Team’s Undiscussables

When leadership teams struggle with undiscussables, symptoms range from unresolved conflicts and uneven participation in meetings to destructive groupthink and employee disengagement. The more undiscussables there are, the more difficult it is for the team to function. Ignoring them results in strained relationships and bad decisions. Here’s how leaders can bring the four types of undiscussables to light, improving team learning, problem-solving, and performance.

Collaborate Smarter, Not Harder

Feeling pressure to become more agile and “networked,” organizations tend to overwhelm employees with collaboration demands, putting a drag on performance and engagement. But through analytics, they can scale collaboration more effectively, improve collaborative design and execution, drive planned and emergent innovations through networks, streamline work by diagnosing and reducing collaborative overload, and engage talent by identifying social capital enablers.

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Customer Participation

Even though frontline employees are committed to advancing the objectives of the business, they sometimes see themselves as caught between representing the views of customers and what they think is reasonable. To preserve morale, businesses must keep employees engaged and confident that management has their backs.

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Why Teams Still Need Leaders

While flat organizational structures have gained favor in recent years, hierarchies continue to provide many important benefits, says the University of Michigan’s Lindy Greer. Depending on the circumstances, the answer isn’t to eliminate hierarchy but to train leaders and teams to use it flexibly.

How Shared Responsibility Can Shape a Compelling Vision

  • Read Time: 6 min 

Teams perform better and are more likely to achieve the leader’s vision if they feel a shared sense of responsibility for the outcome. By communicating their rationale about how to balance priorities, a leader can help their team make decisions aligned with the collective vision even when the leader is not present. In effect, this involves scaling a sense of responsibility and creating a culture that shares the same values.

NFL Pass Blocking Is Even More Important Than You Think

Though the QB gets most of the spotlight, a new analysis from ESPN shows that every NFL team lives and dies by the skills and teamwork of players at the tackle, guard, and center positions in the offensive line. Counterpoints looks at the burgeoning field of O-Line analytics with ESPN’s Seth Walder.

Older and Wiser? How Management Style Varies With Age

The starting point for managing age diversity is to develop a basic understanding of cross-age differences in working style. The authors found that management style varied more with age than with any other characteristic in their survey. Younger managers prefer narrower approaches to management, while older ones tend to work through others and focus on the big picture. Being attuned to style differences can make it easier for individuals to navigate their working relationships effectively.

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Why Great Leaders Focus On Mastering Relationships

Mastering personal relationships that build trust and create a collaborative work environment is central to leadership effectiveness. In today’s digital economy, leaders must address leadership challenges with a renewed focus on relationship building in order to achieve sustainable success.

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