MIT Sloan senior lecturer Daena Giardella demonstrates a powerful, interactive approach to addressing bias, bigotry, sexual harassment, and bullying in the Speak Up! workshops. In these workshops, her team uses improvisational acting techniques to enact a series of scenarios based on real life stories, which include unconscious or overt bias, and the audience is invited to help the protagonists "Speak Up" or intervene constructively. Participants also learn tools to help them navigate these situations effectively as leaders and team members in organizational settings. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Speak Up! framework as well as effective Bystander Intervention techniques are presented to give participants useful strategies to become active allies. These techniques offer a powerful tool to enable all of us to become active bystanders at home, at work, and in the community.
This course is an introduction into diversity and community. The class is motivated by two basic ideas. The first idea is we can accomplish more together than alone. The second idea is very often a significant part of who we are as individuals (e.g., our gender, our race, our religion, or our sexuality) is left out of most organizational settings. We often lack the tools and frameworks for dealing with the wealth of diversity among us and the value diversity could potentially create. The absence of basic frameworks and tools undermines our ability to accomplish more together. The goal of this course is to address both issues. We view diversity as a discovery process. I cannot tell you what diversity means to you. Just like you cannot tell me. While we cannot tell each other, perhaps, we can discover together. There is an additional benefit. As we learn more about other people, we can also learn more about ourselves.
Innovation Ecosystems for Regional Entrepreneurship-Acceleration Leaders is aimed at students seeking an action-oriented understanding of innovation ecosystems, such as Silicon Valley, Greater Boston, Singapore, Lagos, and other sites across the globe. Provides a framework for analyzing these critical innovation economies. Outlines the design and delivery of policies and programs (e.g., hackathons, accelerators, prizes, tax policy, immigration policy) intended to accelerate innovation-driven entrepreneurship. Takes a stakeholder perspective to examine the role of large corporations, governments, universities, entrepreneurs, and risk capital providers in innovation-driven entrepreneurship. Focuses especially on ecosystem-based opportunities for corporate innovation and entrepreneurship. Meets with 15.3641 when offered concurrently.
Organizations are hiring more diverse workforces and hoping to expand in more diverse markets. Leading in culturally and demographically diverse groups is a critical skill for executives and entrepreneurs today. Managers and others can help foster teams that effectively welcome and utilize the contributions and strengths of all employees. But leveraging diversity is not easy or automatic.
We will address both individual skills and organizational strategies for advancing equity and inclusion. We will critically review social science and behavioral research on what “works,” including considering where the evidence base is limited and recognizing that different approaches are needed in different contexts. We will also provide multiple opportunities for students to reflect on their own lives and how they can be effective leaders in diverse and changing organizations.
All are welcome. We hope to encourage learning and dialogue among students with a variety of social identities and backgrounds and we expect to hear different views on how firms can and should address diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are foregrounding race and gender dynamics and inequities and the U.S. context, and we welcome discussion of other dimensions of difference (e.g., class background, nationality, LGBTQ identity, religion, disability, and more) and reflections on these topics in other countries and cultural contexts.
This course prompts students to become sophisticated thinkers about how employees with diverse identities experience recruitment, evaluation, rewards, and how organizations might pursue equity and inclusion along with other organizational goals. Each week, it asks students to engage in self-reflection and critical conversations to understand, explore, challenge, and seek solutions to the complex issues of equity and inclusion as part of their leadership development. This course will help students:
Analytically evaluate competing explanations and claims about inequality within workplaces;
Understand the evidence regarding the effectiveness of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, including the limitations of current evidence, and explore innovations for advancing equity and inclusion in organizations;
Develop and practice skills for interacting effectively with diverse others, managing a professional image, exercising voice and advocating thoughtfully for change.
Student teams work with the leadership of local not-for-profits to solve a pressing problem faced by that organization. The problems will vary with the organization in question, as will the skills and capabilities students draw on to appropriately address them. Culminates with group reflection on what it means to be a principled innovative leader who improves the world.
Organizations are hiring more diverse workforces and hoping to expand in more diverse markets. Managing and leading in culturally and demographically diverse groups and organizations is a critical skill for executives and entrepreneurs today. In this class, students will develop a clearer understanding of the social and psychological obstacles that limit our ability to work effectively across identity-based differences; understand how employees with diverse identities and backgrounds experience recruitment, evaluation, rewards, and development; and will learn about cutting-edge strategies to create diverse, inclusive, and effective teams and organizations. Our approach is to share frameworks and research that identify best practices, while also recognizing that the evidence base is still emerging and that different approaches are needed in different contexts. Our focus is on the dynamics of race and gender, with some attention to other identities and dimensions of difference (e.g., nationality, sexual orientation, and more).
As future managers, you will be faced with both the challenge and opportunity to have conversations that make you uncomfortable. This challenge often seems risky, at best, and insurmountable at worst. Yet, you must engage if you want to lead—this is not work that can be delegated. Particularly tough for many people are conversations about race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and related aspects of our identities. There are ways to navigate this specific category of conversations productively and that is what this course is about.
This course gives us an opportunity to understand why it can be so hard to talk about and across our different identities (with a particular focus on race and gender) and to explore what is at stake for each of us as we consider navigating these crucial conversations. It raises important questions about how who we are influences when and how we engage, if it all, at work. Most importantly, we will practice preparing for, participating in, and assessing the impact of conversations about and across differences. Course objectives include: applyinga framework for productive engagement in hard conversations; investigating our intent and our impact when we talk about and across difference; refining the relevant leadership skills of introspection, inquiry, listening, perspective-giving & perspective-taking, and speaking up at work.
Managing Crucial Conversations About & Across Difference fulfills the Leadership Elective.
As part of the Leading with Impact course (15.703), students have partnered with More Than Words, a Boston-based, nonprofit social enterprise that empowers youth who are in the foster care system, court involved, homeless, or out of school to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business. MIT Sloan students collaborate as a team to solve a business challenge.
This course is about work, particularly low-wage work and the fraying of the social contract. In this course, students explore the experiences of working people in low-valued jobs utilizing the medium of podcasting to record and interpret interviews. We have them understand work from the eyes of working people and through the eyes of the entrepreneurs, CEOs, and managers who shape employment relationships. We look at all of this through time to understand how work is changing. While this course is not explicitly focused on race and culture, disparities are in sharp focus as we interrogate the conditions of work and the incentives that reinforce these conditions and explore alternative paths forward at the intersection of people and profit.
This Action Learning course is cast in the historic and contemporary contexts that shape, perpetuate and, we hope, will enable us to bridge the divides that torment our nation. Deep and difficult discussions are informed by rigorous reading, video, and podcast selections, and, even more importantly, by the students’ immersion with the people in the places across the country where divides and resilience are most evident.
Barbara Dyer | Senior Lecturer of Work and Organization Studies, MIT Sloan School of Management
Through their fieldwork, USA Lab students engage with communities that are very different from what they experience on MIT’s urban campus, and the students develop a textured understanding of their host community’s strengths, goals, and challenges. That’s important, because the ability to understand different perspectives and communities is an essential aspect of leadership today.
Thomas Kochan | George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management, MIT Sloan School of Management
The recent tragic deaths in the Black community remind us of the need to deepen our understanding of racial divisions and to take action to close them. This is what USA Lab aims to do by exploring racism and inequality in America. Students then work directly with community leaders on projects to heal these deep wounds. Please join us in putting our MIT motto, mens et manus, to work in this way.