Hong Kong: Individuals and collective action can alter the course of history – Stuart Krusell

Stuart Krusell, Senior Director of Global Programs at MIT Sloan School of Management

From Medium

July 1985 Riding the train on a Eurail Pass as a recent college graduate, two friends and I joined in the exciting adventure of exploring Europe. Seated beside us, a middle-aged woman, heading to Berlin to visit her sister.

In 1985, this trip required traveling from West Germany (Federal Republic of Germany, FRG) through East Germany (German Democratic Republic, GDR) to Berlin, a city literally divided by a wall, with West Berlin being an island of freedom inside the authoritarian GDR.

One of my friends studies German and sees an opportunity to practice his language skills so strikes up a conversation with the woman, providing us with a history lesson about her family and the post-WWII divisions that led to their separation. We ask, “Do you ever see a day when Germany will be reunited?” “Yes, some day, but certainly not in my lifetime,” she replies with a sad smile.

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How to train your brain to make your dreams come true – Tara Swart

MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer, Tara Swart

From the Daily Mail

As a successful doctor of psychiatry and neuroscience, it looked as if I had it all: I was married to a fellow psychiatrist and had a job working for the NHS. We were a carefree young couple, with a great social life and lots of opportunity to travel the world. Everyone assumed I was in complete control of my life.

But I was running on autopilot, and when I reached my mid-30s everything fell apart. I had become increasingly unhappy in my work, worn down by the long hours and workload and the sense of not being able to make a real difference to my patients.

I witnessed so much human suffering and saw how tough and cruel life was for the mentally vulnerable. I cared deeply about my patients, but I had a nagging sense that they deserved more than just medication and hospitalisation – that a healthier regime and a sense of wellbeing could do wonders to aid their recovery.

At the same time my marriage fell apart and it had a disastrous impact on my own sense of identity and confidence. I felt like I was drowning, with nothing to hold on to and no end in sight.

However, rock bottom gave me new clarity. It gave me a determination I had not known I possessed, and a feeling that I must progress on my own to fulfill my potential.

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5 facets of performance management for the future- Michael Schrage and Bryan Hancock

Michael Schrage, Research Fellow, MIT Center for Digital Business

From HR People + Strategy

The business value of traditional performance management models is collapsing. Instead of clarifying expectations and building morale, legacy annual appraisal models of performance management can alienate talented and typical employees alike. While personal and enterprise tools and technologies for performance enhancement have radically improved; performance management systems have not.

Recognizing these realities, growing numbers of companies are tying performance management more closely to operational success and less closely to their operations’ calendar. This shift—toward making performance management more business-value relevant—is having a dramatic effect on how human capital is managed in the enterprise. Findings from the 2019 Performance Management Global Executive Study and Research Project, sponsored by McKinsey & Company, identifies five key facets of smart investment in performance assessment, accountability, and capability:

1. On-Demand Feedback
Formal feedback processes have typically been periodic, perfunctory, and problematic. Continuousness is now becoming king. Just as people rely on Google Maps or Waze to manage real-time expectations around travel, employees need to be able to manage real-time expectations around work.

Performance management tools and platforms should facilitate ongoing feedback on individuals’ progress, growth, and development opportunities. Feedback will increasingly be automated, customized, visualized, and communicated in different ways. Executives must determine how best to define the feedback experience for their workforce. Culture will matter more. Senior management must develop shared perspectives on performance management’s purpose in their organization.

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Behold the Big Man – Ben Shields and Ivana Saric

Ben Shields, Senior Lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management

Excerpt from MIT Sloan Management Review

In the NBA’s modern era of pace and space, small ball, and chucking away from three, it feels like there’s no more place for the lumbering 7-foot center who used to be the backbone of the league. But the burgeoning field of defensive analytics shows that this “dinosaur” might not be going extinct just yet. Ben speaks with Ivana Saric, data scientist for the Philadelphia 76ers, about how defensive analytics are changing pro basketball and the roles of the people who play it.

Listen to the podcast at MIT Sloan Management Review.

Ben Shields is a Senior Lecturer in Managerial Communication at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

It pays to have a digitally savvy board – Peter Weill, Thomas Apel, Stephanie L. Woerner, Jennifer S. Banner

Peter Weill, Senior Research Scientist and Chair of the Center for Information Systems Research, MIT Sloan School of Management

Stephanie L. Woerner, Research Scientist at the MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research, MIT Sloan School of Management

From MIT Sloan Management Review

Boards of directors have many issues competing for their attention, but being digitally conversant in an era of digital transformation is quickly rising to the top of the list. Nearly all companies are looking for ways that technology can be used to improve their business models, customer experience, operational efficiency, and more — and boards must help them move forward at a sufficient pace, advocating for change by supporting and sometimes nudging their CEOs. Those that do are likely to see better financial results than those that don’t.

That’s what we discovered when we did a machine learning analysis of the digital know-how of all the boards of U.S.-listed businesses. (See “About the Research.”) Our research shows that companies whose boards of directors have digital savvy outperform companies whose boards lack it. We define digital savvy as an understanding, developed through experience and education, of the impact that emerging technologies will have on businesses’ success over the next decade. We measured it by analyzing data from surveys, interviews, company communications, and the bios of 40,000 directors, extracting key words that signal exposure to digital ways of thinking and working.

Our discoveries are striking: We found that among companies with over $1 billion in revenues, 24% had digitally savvy boards, and those businesses significantly outperformed others on key metrics — such as revenue growth, return on assets, and market cap growth.

Doing business in the digital era entails risks ranging from cybersecurity breaches and privacy issues to business model disruptions and missed competitive opportunities. When a board lacks digital savvy, it can’t get a handle on important elements of strategy and oversight and thus can’t play its critical role of helping guide the company to a successful future. But companies can fix that by understanding what characteristics to look for in existing and new board members, managing board agendas differently, and cultivating new learning opportunities.

Read the full post at MIT Sloan Management Review.

Peter Weill is a Senior Research Scientist and Chair of the Center for Information Systems Research (CISR) at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Stephanie L. Woerner is a Research Scientist at the MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research.

Thomas Apel is chairman of the board at Stewart Information Services Corp.

Jennifer S. Banner is CEO at Schaad Cos. and lead director of BB&T Corp.