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9 new business insights from MIT Sloan Management Review

How employees can avoid becoming commodities, and more from the magazine.

By Rebecca Linke  |  October 19, 2017

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"No matter what your field, it pays to ask yourself whether your job is common and repetitive enough to be done by a machine," writes Thomas H. Davenport.

Why It Matters

Nobody wants to fall behind. These articles from MIT Sloan Management Review help executives stay ahead of business developments and build informed strategies.

For nearly 60 years, business executives have turned to MIT Sloan Management Review to help them better understand management practices, especially those propelled by technological advancements. This quarter, MIT Sloan faculty members and researchers explored best practices for applying analytics to an organization, integrating platforms into legacy businesses, and the difference between digital and digitization, among other things.

When jobs become commodities
More jobs are becoming automated, so workers need to ensure that they are not viewed as commodities. Thomas H. Davenport, a fellow at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, explains how employees can protect themselves and their jobs by creating less commoditized work. Read more here.


Entrepreneurship is a craft and here’s why that’s important
Entrepreneurship is neither science nor art, argues managing director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and MIT Sloan professor Bill Aulet. Rather, it is a craft, occupying a middle ground that draws from both disciplines. Aulet explains how thinking about entrepreneurship in this framework helps educators train the next wave of innovators. Read more here.

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The four ways to manage digital talent and why two of them don’t work
Employees with digital skills are hard to come by, due to a shortage of workers with the needed skillset and the increase of information technology freelancing. Kristine Dery and Ina Sebastian, both research scientists at MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research, outline four distinct approaches to attracting, retaining, and managing talent in this environment, and explain why two of them don’t work. Read more here.

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Turning strategy into results
Company strategies are often complicated, depending on interrelated choices. But implementing those strategies should be simple. MIT Sloan senior lecturer Donald Sull and his co-authors explain how to translate complex strategies into a plan simple and flexible enough to execute on. Read more here.

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How to recognize a strategic priority when you see one
A company’s financial reports can provide insight into its strategy. MIT Sloan senior lecturer Donald Sull and his co-author explain how they conducted research to identify businesses strategic goals and summarize their findings. Read more here.

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Don’t confuse digital with digitization
Do you know the difference between becoming digital and digitization? Many business leaders think of digital as advanced digitization, when in fact digitization is an enabler of digital. Jeanne Ross, principal research scientist for MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research, explains how the two concepts differ, why it is important not to confuse them, and guidelines for going about a digital transformation. Read more here.

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Integrating analytics in your organization: Lessons from the sports industry
What lessons can business leaders in a nonprofit organization or marketing learn from sports executives? When it comes to analytics, quite a bit. MIT Sloan senior lecturer Ben Shields explains the importance of integrating analytics into an organization and shares strategies for how to do it. Read more here.

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For a return on platform investment, focus on new capabilities
Many businesses are trying to figure out the best way to integrate platforms into their business. And while some companies are successful, many are not. Michael Schrage, a visiting scholar at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, explains how focusing on what new capabilities a platform can provide, instead of just reimagining a business as a platform, is key to adding value to an organization.

Read more here.

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Going mobile: The personalized, on-demand future of urban transportation
After more than a century, the paradigm of vehicle ownership is starting to change. As increasingly more of the population lives in urban areas, mobility accessibility is becoming the driving force behind travel. MIT Sloan professor Charles Fine and his co-authors explore how transportation can use a connected, heterogeneous, intelligent, and personalized architecture so that mobility can be delivered as a service. Read more here.

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If you found this useful, read our last roundup of MIT Sloan Management Review articles here.