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MIT SMR’s Work/22 virtual symposium featured guests who spoke about how leaders can navigate the workplace challenges they’re facing after two years of pandemic-induced disruption.

At Work/22, our virtual symposium held Nov. 3-4, 2021, MIT SMR assembled a stellar lineup of guests whose main goal was to help leaders anticipate the workplace challenges they will face in the year ahead. Our speakers showcased new research and insights into what the workplace will look like after the past two tumultuous years. Editor in chief Abbie Lundberg and executive editor Elizabeth Heichler co-moderated the event.

The event’s first day included these topics and speakers:

Leading in an Era of Employee Activism

Megan Reitz, Hult International Business School

Rising generations of employees are demanding that leaders engage on topics such as climate change and racial equity, and leaders must understand how to respond. Reitz discussed how organizations can develop a plan for encouraging employee voice and acting on issues raised by workers.

Section time stamp: 11:10

DEI Practices That Have an Impact

Stephanie Creary, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Many organizations have recently renewed and strengthened their commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace, but management often lacks clarity on what specific practices will make an impact. Creary coauthored a large-scale research study that shows what practices really underlie positive DEI outcomes, and she shared them in her session.

Section time stamp: 37:37

Agility at the Point of Execution

Rob Cross, Babson College

The collaborative intensity of work has skyrocketed, yet most organizations don’t manage internal collaboration productively. Cross spoke about how collaborative dysfunction can be identified and improved on at the point of execution, where teams are working on new products, on strategic initiatives, or with top clients.

Section time stamp: 1:01:36