Technology Implementation

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An Executive Guide to the Winter 2020 Issue

MIT Sloan Management Review’s Winter 2020 issue explores the dilemmas managers face in using blockchain, machine learning, and marketing analytics effectively; strategies to recognize potential threats to your business; the underpinnings of successful organizational transformation; and meeting the emotional and educational needs of your employees.

You’re Going Digital — Now What?

Plotting digital change is heady, exciting stuff. But success depends less on inspiration at the 30,000-foot level than on the way people on the front lines implement new digital tools. Most leaders aren’t laying a foundation for employees to succeed, largely because they don’t have any idea what really happens at the ground level. To avoid that fate, they must understand the phases of digital adoption and then plan in reverse to create the right conditions.

People-Centered Design Principles for AI Implementation

  • Video | Runtime: 0:59:03

As the AI field currently stands, deep learning is playing an increasingly critical role. As organizations begin adopting deep learning, leaders must ensure that these artificial neural networks are accurate and precise–lest they negatively affect business decisions and potentially hurt customers, products, and services.

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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.

Blockchain Isn’t as Unbreakable as You Think

Between 2011 and 2018, at least 72 blockchain breaches were reported, costing users over $2 billion. Many of these were possible because blockchain is vulnerable in some of the same ways conventional record-keeping systems are. The rest are even more troubling, because bad actors were able to exploit the very features that make blockchain revolutionary. Managers should look closely at both types of vulnerabilities so they can weigh the risks before exploring business applications.

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.

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Overcoming Cultural and Technical Debt

Companies take on debts beyond just monetary ones that can be just as heavy as the greatest financial liabilities. Technical and cultural debt accrue as a byproduct of the decisions and investments companies make along their growth journeys, and both can weigh companies down. In this week’s episode of Three Big Points, Stanford’s Bob Sutton takes us inside ride-sharing giant Uber, an ideal case study.

Creating the Symbiotic AI Workforce of the Future

  • Frontiers

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 7 min 

To effectively implement AI, organizations will need to use human-centered AI processes that motivate and retrain workers, which shifts the focus from automation to collaboration between humans and machines. To test that idea, an experiment was designed to see how human workers might augment an existing AI system and embrace their new roles as AI trainers — resulting in a symbiotic system that enabled humans and AI to each work to their strengths.

Winning With AI

AI promises rewards but also comes with risks ― namely, that competitors figure out how to successfully use it before you do. This year’s 2019 MIT SMR-BCG Artificial Intelligence Global Executive Study and Research Report shows early AI winners are focused on organization-wide alignment, investment, and integration.

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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.

Self-Driving Companies Are Coming

  • Read Time: 9 min 

Automation can go far beyond cars. Self-driving company capabilities are closer than many leaders realize. And just as automobile manufacturers are rethinking the meaning of driving within the context of self-driving technology, business leaders are being forced to rethink an equivalent question: What does it mean to manage an enterprise once some of the work can be done autonomously?

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