Articles & Blog Posts
Thanks to the delta variant of the coronavirus, many organizations’ office-return plans for the fall were paused, postponed, reconsidered, or discarded. Others have been put off to 2022. Throughout the uncertainty, leaders have had to grapple with what to tell employees about work-from-home arrangements. This was the issue we asked our panel of strategy experts worldwide to address this month in the MIT SMR Strategy Forum.
“The wild west” is how Dr. Jon Moussally describes Dhaka’s roads. Cars, trucks, buses, bicycles, motorcycles, rickshaws, three-wheeled vehicles known as CNGs (for their fuel, compressed natural gas), and pedestrians flood Bangladesh’s capital city. Street signs, working signal lights, and traffic law enforcement are scarce. This chaos inspired Jon Moussally to cofound a volunteer-based emergency response system aimed at reducing death from road traffic injuries.
It was called “Equal Opportunity for Women Is Smart Business” but it might just as easily have been called “Management Development for Women Is Just Management Development (but with women in it).” That, essentially, was the message behind M. Barbara Boyle’s 10-point affirmative action program for increasing the number of women in the workforce, published in HBR’s May-June issue of 1973.
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Collaboration is essential in today’s work world, but it can also consume more time and energy than well-intended leaders expect or recognize. What precisely do we need in collaborative interactions, what are we trying to get out of them, and how can we optimize our time together? Author and MIT Sloan Management Review contributor Rob Cross of Babson College explores these questions in his new book, Beyond Collaboration Overload.
With a background in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) across industries, including higher education, banking, and health care, KeyAnna Schmiedl joined Wayfair in 2019, becoming the company’s global head of culture and inclusion in 2020. Schmiedl considers DEI to be inherently interconnected with organizational development, and this perspective informs her systemic and strategic approach to effecting positive change.
In her essay “Fifty Years in the Bonds of Matrimony,” Anne Bernays says the urge to write “was as mysterious and subterranean as the urge to produce a child had been. Maybe they had something to do with each other, the creative floodgates having been released in a torrent.” New motherhood, and a chance encounter with a middle-school friend, moved Bernays into a new realm of words. “She said, ‘I’m taking a writing class at Columbia.’ I went home and wondered, ‘how come she’s doing that and I’m not?'”
It’s an Ashkenazi custom to name babies for the dead—for respect and remembrance, but also for safety. Should a baby be named for a living relative—Harry, say—and should the Angel of Death come looking for a Harry and happen upon the baby instead of the elder—oy! Such tsuris, trouble. Better to name children after those snug in the ground.
In college, I unofficially minored in New-Agery, spending more hours poking through the shelves of metaphysical bookstores than I did in the stacks of the campus library. I scoffed at organized religion, especially my own: Judaism. I attended exactly one Jewish event at Wellesley, devoting my time instead to vegetarian dinners with Hare Krishnas, Hindu prayer services, yoga, astrology, tarot cards, and a wide range of alternative healing methods.
In fifth grade I came across the word “maven” and looked it up in my paperback dictionary. It wasn’t there. My mother laughed, that I thought it would be there, a Yiddish word. I didn’t like being laughed at, I didn’t like Yiddish, and the fact that “maven”—expert—was left out of the dictionary diminished maven’s already minimal expertise.
New York was for me the fertile crescent of Jewish grandparents. From our house in Boston, we could drive down to Brooklyn in four hours. We went all the time, it felt like, driving fast, late on a Friday night. I’d face out the open window, squinting into the wind, watching traffic and stars. We’d stay the weekend with Grandma and Grampy in Brooklyn, and visit my other grandparents, Bobi and Zedi, in Queens, on the way back home.
As primary author
This case focuses on the challenges of keeping a collective impact program—the Tackling Youth Substance Abuse (TYSA) program on Staten Island—focused and effective over time, a problem faced by many collaborative community-based efforts. The TYSA program was founded in 2012 as a cross-sector collaborative response to the alarming rates of substance abuse on Staten Island, using a collective impact framework.
Since the flood of child migrants from Central America burst upon the southern United States in the summer of 2014—a vast rise in arrivals dubbed “the Surge”—Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) had been facing overwhelming demand for its legal services. Wendy Young, KIND’s president, explained that the organization’s primary mission was to ensure that no child appears alone in immigration court but also wanted to provide leadership, research, and advocacy to protect these “children on the move” from laws and practices that threatened their fundamental human rights.
Dr. Laurie Gianturco (“Dr. G.”), Chief of Radiology at Baystate Health and President of the private imaging practice Radiology & Imaging, Inc. (“R&I”), and her partner for this project, Suzanne Hendery, VP of Marketing & Communications at Baystate Health, considered their new assignment. With leadership’s full executive sponsorship and support, but no additional budget, they were tasked with consolidating two competing practices—one operated by R&I, the other by Baystate Medical Center—to form a new breast services center under the Baystate umbrella.
With a significant writing or editorial role
Beginning in 2013, Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, pursued a major organizational transformation, from being an insurance company focused on paying claims to becoming a health and well-being company focused on improving the health of its beneficiaries. The company set a “Bold Goal” of improving the health of the communities it served by 20% by 2020. To achieve this new goal, Humana undertook a multiyear redesign and investment of people, processes, and products in order to gain the trust of consumers and providers, and to partner with communities to improve health.
While violence against children in Turkey was widespread, people across the country were shocked by the news of seven atrocious child molestation cases,one after another over the course of a week in April 2010. Ayşen Özyeğin, Founder and President of the Mother Child Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to supporting disadvantaged children and their families and promoting early childhood education, called a Board meeting to discuss whether the organization should assume a role in addressing the child protection crisis.
As Angela Laramie compiled her thirteenth annual report on sharps injuries (SIs) among hospital workers for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Occupational Health Surveillance Program, she noted that the prevalence of injuries had remained at the same level for six years in a row. From 2002 through 2009, the SI rates had trended downward as hospitals implemented sharps injury prevention plans, but starting in 2009, the decline in rates and number of sharps injuries appeared to have stalled.