Latest from Harvard Business Review
On 7 September 2021, our AI read the news feed from HBR. Here's the synopsis that it generated.
How Midsize Companies Can Compete in AI [Link]
Building successful Artificial intelligence applications requires a critical mass of data scientists and machine learning engineers, who are in high demand — and attracting the necessary talent is challenging for midsize firms lacking the appeal of startups and the resources of giants
Promising AI startups are being launched at an increasing pace in areas like health care, finance, retail, media and cross-industry tech. A recent study reveals that in 2013, AI startups were rarely targeted by corporate venture capital investment, only five years later these AI startups received more than $5 billion in CVC funding. Big data and AI talent are two of the most critical resources for building successful AI applications. By combining the innovative talent of AI startups with the vast amounts of process and user data held by giant corporations, strong synergies can be created. These midsize companies often lack the data and talent resources to implement such as strategy.
For Patients to Trust Medical AI, They Need to Understand It [Link]
Consumer adoption of medical AI has as much to do with their negative perceptions of AI care providers as with their unrealistically positive views of human care providers
Consumers tend to trust medical AI less than human health care providers. Consumers are reluctant to rely on AI care providers because they do not believe they understand or objectively understand how AI makes medical decisions. Participants overestimated how well they understood how human doctors make medical decisions, authors say. Consumers view its decision-making as a black box.
Is Your Motivation Still on Vacation? [Link]
There are many reasons why you might be having a hard time getting work done after your vacation
The real sense of mission in your work comes from that combination of seeing how the tasks you perform are connected to a more significant set of outcomes. By thinking about the generation of skills you need to acquire, you help yourself maintain that motivation over the long term. If you're feeling overwhelmed, turn abstracts task into specific steps you can complete. If you’re just feeling bored with your work, take steps to advance your career. Research on happiness in the workplace suggests that when you feel like your work serves a broader purpose that connects you to others, you feel greater satisfaction with the tasks you perform.
Why Business Leaders Need to Mandate the Covid-19 Vaccine [Link]
When people see certain behaviors as commonplace, they believe there is widespread agreement that the behavior is the good or right thing to do and are more likely to act in accordance with the social norm
In 2019, the WHO declared it a top-10 threat to global health, with clear economic implications. What business leaders decide about Covid-19 vaccine mandates will go a long way toward fostering the social norms that can either mitigate or exacerbate this pandemic. Research shows that social norms play a critical role in social mobilization. To bring the pandemic under control, almost everyone needs to come to see getting vaccinated as the unquestioned, right thing to do. Vaccine hesitancy is a growing social problem.
6 Principles to Build Your Company’s Strategic Agility [Link]
In early 2020, Airbnb was headed for a banner year — bookings were up, expansion plans were in place, and an IPO was set for the spring
AirBNB and other companies that successfully navigated the crisis identified were able to deviate from their strategic plan and adapt to the changing environment. Airbnb's story shows that even large companies that are in the firing line of shocks can respond effectively. Qantas abandoned its five-year strategic plan and dusted off an old idea from the 1980s to offer “flights to nowhere”. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video experienced strong growth, while organizations involved in live events and cinematic releases suffered massive drops in revenue.
Inside DoorDash’s Leadership Accelerator for Women of Color [Link]
In 2020, women of color held only 12% of managerial positions, 9% of senior manager/director roles, and 3% of C-suite titles
Elevate is a career accelerator designed for women of color who hold or aspire to hold leadership roles in the company. It’s clear that companies must address the systemic race and gender issues that contribute to the problem.
The Digital Economy Runs on Open Source [Link]
Many of the most widely used free and open source software packages in commercial software are housed under the accounts of individual developers, raising the issue of security, and of reliability
Acquisitions of free and open source software producers could lead to a crowding-out of volunteer contributors to an extent that threatens the future health of the FOSS ecosystem. Many of the most widely used FOSS packages in commercial software are housed under the accounts of individual developers, raising the issue of security and reliability. Free and open source software (FOSS) is essential to much of the tech we use every day. Companies and governments are increasingly sponsoring FOSS both directly and indirectly.
How Freelance Developers Can Help Your Midsize Business [Link]
For any small and midsize business partnering with on-demand talent, underpinning each digital project with robust quality assurance processes should be the first port of call to ensure continuity, timely delivery and a high standard of output
Covid-19 increased the urgency of digital transformation initiatives for businesses of all sizes. With independent careers in demand, midsize businesses have a significant opportunity to harness the power of the on-demand workforce. There is a 430% increase in viable candidate availability when the search is open to remote candidates. According to ICIMS, between 2016 and 2019 only 60% of tech jobs in the U.S. were filled, compared to 12 hires per 10 openings in all other positions. Small and midsize businesses are increasingly exploring an on-demand workforce.
6 Strategies for Exhausted Working Parents [Link]
Every single one of the dozens of working moms and dads the author has coached over these past several weeks has voiced some version of the “I’m driving on empty” feeling
As a working mom or dad staring down September and October — unbelievably, Months 18 and 19 of this pandemic — do you feel a bit the same way? Many pandemic uncertainties still linger, and you’re still feeling the big-time hit that the past year had on you. How can I face all of the changes in these coming months when I’m feeling this depleted? Many pandemic uncertainties still linger, and you’re still feeling the big-time hit that the past year had on you. Make a time-limited offer: “If you ever want to spend 20 minutes together, and I can share some thoughts about how to make it happen here as a working mom or dad, I'm yours”.
The Great Resignation Doesn’t Have to Threaten Your DE&I Efforts [Link]
In a climate where underrepresented job seekers are in high demand and many will be part of the cadre leaving their jobs in the year, organizations face a major risk of seeing their diversity numbers get worse
Many talent teams that were already facing capacity issues are struggling to fill gaps with qualified and available candidates, much less ones from diverse communities. Many diversity recruiting efforts fail the moment an open role is first defined because the “perfect candidate profile” must meet exorbitantly high requirements. In a study of underrepresented job seekers in January 2021, 50% of respondents reported having observed exclusionary language in a job posting. Fewer than half of organizations accounted for people with disabilities in diversity tracking. Only 11% accounted for the LGBTQ+ community.
Boards Need Real Diversity, Not Tokenism [Link]
After nearly a year of review, the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission has approved a proposal from Nasdaq to enhance diversity and inclusion in company board rooms
Nasdaq has won approval for a new rule that requires corporate boards to become more diverse. The U.S Securities and Exchange Commission approved a proposal from Nasdaq to enhance diversity and inclusion in company board rooms. Nasdaq’s new ruling follows an increasing social commitment from private sector organizations to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). When done right, leveraging DEI for the board can unlock multiple benefits, including better decision making to inform core governance issues.
As Reopenings Are Paused, “Social Care” Can Keep You Connected [Link]
As the Covid Delta variant spreads around the world, return-to-office plans are being delayed by many companies, and we’re all potentially facing another round of shut downs
As the Covid Delta variant spreads around the world, return-to-office plans are being delayed by many companies. What became evident during the pandemic was that, even for those of us living with others, we could experience “perceived social isolation”. This article discusses five ways to create satisfying “social care” as you prepare for the social distancing the wave of the pandemic is likely to bring. From bread baking to meditation and Netflix, most of us found one or more ways to engage in acts of self-care during the first round of the global pandemic.
It’s on Digital Platforms to Make the Internet a Better Place [Link]
Reddit and Wikipedia are the largest examples of platforms that rely on human moderators to make sure their community experiences are in line with their established norms
All of digital platforms should establish a clear code of conduct and it should be actively embedded throughout the virtual space. Platform providers should verify the identity of human users as well, those that are widely followed. Reddit and Wikipedia are the largest examples of platforms that rely on human moderators to make sure their community experiences are in line with their established norms. There are three key responsibilities we should expect of all of our digital platform providers to help make more positive digital spaces. Establish meaningful norms and standards for participation in virtual spaces — and communicate them clearly to users.
Your Employees Are Your Best Defense Against Cyberattacks [Link]
People are more likely to comply with requests when these requests are issued by someone in an authority role
People are influenced by the opinions and behaviors of the social majority. People are more likely to comply with requests when these requests are issued by someone in an authority role. The company requires that its employees not share confidential or proprietary information with people who have no legitimate business need for it and to commit to reporting any observed breaches of such requirement. Security-aware culture is facilitated when leaders can influence their team members to adopt certain mindsets and behaviors. Senior leaders need to prove their expertise and educated understanding of information security issues to effectively enforce their instructions.
Holding Hospitals Accountable for Patient Safety [Link]
Early signs are mixed that the Biden administration comprehends the urgency of this problem
Surgical patients who suffer complications are more than twice as likely to die at the worst-performing hospitals than at the best performing hospitals. This affects the economy as well: Businesses pay thousands of dollars per hospital admission for the price of complications. The Biden administration's initial actions on reporting safety-related information and imposing penalties are sending a mixed message to hospitals. Helen Lewis' son died 21 years ago, 21 years after his mother's death, Helen is a one of the country’s leading advocates for patient safety.
You’ve Built a Racially Diverse Team [Link]
Whether business leaders have social justice aims in mind, wish to win the war on talent, or embrace the value-creating potential of a diverse workforce, race is at the forefront of everyone’s minds
People who are in the racial minority are less likely to share personal information with majority colleagues in ways that highlight their difference. Jeb starts disengaging from personal conversations about his home life, limiting interactions where these conversations may come up. Self-disclosure can reveal commonality as well as difference and is key to building strong, meaningful relationships at work.
How to Ask a Colleague to Mask Up [Link]
As many Covid-related restrictions are in flux and the Delta variant rages on, companies are facing the challenge of getting people who have stopped masking elsewhere to mask up in the office
There is no denying that mask-wearing has become morally loaded, which makes this conversation tricky. Companies are facing the challenge of getting people who have stopped masking elsewhere to mask up in the office. A direct request, in contrast to indirect beating around the bush, is much more effective for securing someone’s compliance. Ask in a way that allows the other person to save face.
B2B Customers Expect More Than Ever [Link]
“As we evolve the Microsoft demand center, we discover new opportunities to accelerate the speed and impact of our go-to-market motions to drive growth for our commercial businesses.”
Microsoft's demand center brings together all digital customer engagement in one global engine enabled by people with expertise in sales, marketing, data science, and marketing operations. Demand center analytics guide sales activity, continuously reprioritizing work based on customer needs. Microsoft is building a demand center to grow its business with midmarket companies. Intuit is adapting its successful small business marketing outreach and sales centers for the midmarket segment. Sellers often struggle to make the most of their sales engagements without access to marketing intelligence from digital interactions.
How Data Literate Is Your Company? [Link]
Evidence suggests that most companies are still struggling to build this skill, even after they’ve identified it as critically important: just a quarter of employees report feeling confident in their data skills
A look at the data tells us that most companies are still struggling to build data literacy. Building up data literacy in an organization can help diversify the data teams who are at the forefront of making critical decisions about how data will be collected, processed and deployed. Just a quarter of employees report feeling confident in their data skills. The company is building a more inclusive data ecosystem, including programs to bring more women and underrepresented groups into data jobs.
Best of IdeaCast: Saying No to More Work [Link]
How to say no when someone asks you to do more work – whether it’s a boss, peer, or client
A good manager should want you to be able to find ways to say yes to things that are important enough that they’re asking you to add it to your plate. Sarah Green Carmichael and Karen Dillon, the author of the HBR Guide to Office Politics, talk about the best practices on saying no to work when you're overwhelmed. We look at how to say no when someone asks you to do more work – whether it's a boss, peer, or client. Maybe 80% of your work is fixed, but I need you to have flexibility 20% of the time. They’re not going to want to ask you again, and that’s not a good thing career-wise down the line.
How Dads Can Build a Network of Parenting Allies at Work [Link]
Keep the group engaged between meetings through regular messaging and encourage members to discuss practical, everyday questions, like recommendations for family-friendly restaurants or the best things to do with a four-year-old this weekend
Nurturing a network of parenting allies can help fathers on two levels: support and advocacy. The advocacy level of your parenting ally network has a higher goal: changing company culture for the better. One dad can’t fight for change by himself—he needs allies to help spread the word. The notion of fatherhood being segregated from work life has been the norm since the advent of the office. Invite a member of the senior management team to talk about what the business is doing to promote family-friendly working practices. Keep the group engaged between meetings through regular messaging.