Don’t be a zombie organization — Steven Spear

MIT Sloan Lecturer Steven Spear

From Huffington Post 

Zombies are all the entertainment rage. They’re terrifying, but only if there is a mass of them in pursuit. Mindless, they keep coming despite the flame-thrower and Gatling gun fired at them. They are easy targets once they reveal themselves.

Facing them are our human heroes.  Outnumbered, they nevertheless prevail because they are agile and constantly learning. They adapt as they assess situations—seeing problems, developing new schemes—solving problems, to clobber the zombie hoards.

It’s not just TV that has plodding zombies massed against agile, adaptive people. Organizations also display either zombie or agile hero qualities. In zombie organizations, engineers, doctors, nurses, mechanics or managers encounter problems like missing information, missing documentation, unclear assignments, missing materials or even missing colleagues. Yet, not really seeing them as abnormalities, they don’t solve them, unrelenting when something is amiss, not pausing to investigate and develop solutions. Read More »

What’s the Business Case for Diversity in the Workplace? — Evan Apfelbaum

MIT Sloan Asst. Prof. Evan Apfelbaum

What’s the business case for diversity in the workplace? It’s less about what diversity adds, and more about what homogeneity takes away.

Many people share a sense of moral responsibility to advocate for diversity in organizations, but what is the functional value of diversity in the workplace? Over half a century of research has provided few straightforward or consistent answers. Some studies have shown diverse teams—that is, teams comprised of people of different races, genders, and backgrounds—promote creativity, foster critical thinking, and tend to make better, more thoughtful decisions because they consider a wider range of perspectives. Other studies indicate diverse teams fuel interpersonal conflicts, reduce cohesion, and slow the pace of learning.

Read More »