Recapping Work/23: The Big Shift

Runtime 3:38:44


The on-demand video of MIT SMR’s Work/23 virtual symposium looks at how the pandemic irrevocably altered the how, why, and where of work.

The pandemic irrevocably changed the how, why, and where of work. At Work/23: The Big Shift, a half-day summit held May 4, 2023, MIT Sloan Management Review brought together company executives and academic experts in talent management, hybrid work, employee well-being, and workplace culture. Together, they explained how organizations are pivoting to innovate, improve productivity, and achieve balance in this changed world.

MIT SMR editor in chief Abbie Lundberg and editorial director Elizabeth Heichler co-moderated the event.

The full video of the half-day event is here. Work/23 included these topics and speakers:

Dismantle Career Roadblocks for More Equitable Outcomes

Haig R. Nalbantian, Workforce Sciences Institute

Even organizations that specifically focus on advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) struggle with improving representation in a sustainable way. Nalbantian outlined ways companies are tackling the obstacles women and people of color continue to face — obstacles that are often due to situational factors, such as the roles people are in or whom they report to.

Section time stamp: 1:02

The Why, What, and How of Skills-Based Talent Practices

Beth Berwick, Grads of Life

More jobs than ever now require a four-year college degree, including many that never did in the past. But that criterion excludes 64% of the population — including 76% of Black Americans and 80% of Latinos. Berwick is among those calling for a retreat on the degree requirement. She explained how organizations can instead hire effectively based on the skills they need.

Section time stamp: 33:24

The New World of Accessing Talent

Mike Smith, Randstad Enterprise; David Kiron, MIT SMR

Companies are changing how they approach and apply technology to find the people they need. MIT SMR’s Kiron and our presenting partner’s chief executive discussed the ways that innovative organizations are designing their own talent pools, building their talent brands, and expanding DEI initiatives beyond their own boundaries.

Section time stamp: 54:44

Flexible and Effective: Leadership Strategies for the Hybrid Workplace

Julie Dervin, Atlassian; Brian Elliott, Future Forum; N. Sharon Hill, George Washington University School of Business; Abbie Lundberg, MIT SMR

It’s possible to have a healthy workplace culture and high performance in a hybrid workplace; it just requires a deliberate management approach. The speakers in this session expanded on their research and their real-world experience configuring hybrid work arrangements and discussed how to get to the right mix of worker autonomy and organizational alignment.

Section time stamp: 1:07:11

Thriving in the New World of Work

Gabriella Rosen Kellerman, BetterUp; Martin Seligman, University of Pennsylvania; Elizabeth Heichler, MIT SMR

Workforce well-being is an urgent issue for leaders who recognize that stress is driving out talented workers. The speakers, who coauthored the book Tomorrowmind, detailed the skills that help individuals flourish in pressure-filled work environments, including prospection — the ability to imagine our options, plan for the future, and restore our agency.

Section time stamp: 1:42:29

How to Deliver Career Development for All

Tony Gigliotti, UPMC; Lani Montoya, Pernod Ricard North America; George Westerman, MIT Sloan

The speakers in this session outlined how forward-leaning companies are helping all employees — not just a select few — chart rewarding career paths. They explained that companies are doing it by providing ways to learn and practice new skills and by delivering rich feedback. Companies are also making pathways visible, showing opportunities at and above an employee’s current level.

Section time stamp: 2:13:11

An Integrated Approach to Workforce Ecosystems

Elizabeth J. Altman, UMass Lowell; David Kiron, MIT SMR

The speakers’ research, featured in the book Workforce Ecosystems, found that most leaders consider their workforces to be broader than full-time employees, encompassing gig workers, professional services firms, and even technologies like customer service chatbots. Altman and Kiron explained what it takes to coordinate and successfully manage that expanded workforce.

Section time stamp: 2:49:49

The Four-Day Workweek: How to Make It Work in Your Organization

Andrew Barnes, 4 Day Week Global

Barnes has had a front-row seat at the world’s largest trial of what happens when you scale back the workweek from five days to four. It started with an experiment at his own company, where, he said, “we pay 100% income, for 80% time, as long as we get 100% output.” He started a nonprofit to help other companies try it themselves and now has data from 91 participating organizations.

Section time stamp: 3:14:02


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