As we do at the start of each new year, we asked some of our faculty at MIT Sloan Executive Education to weigh in on trends in their fields and offer insights on doing business in 2017. Here are eight thought leaders on the topics and trends they see developing in the months to come.
Bill Aulet: Inclusive entrepreneurship
In 2017, I see increasing focus on what I call "Inclusive Entrepreneurship." Bringing the benefits of innovation-driven entrepreneurship to a broader base will require entrepreneurship education on a broader scale but also at a higher quality--and in a way that allows for more integration of local context. Entrepreneurship must become a universal possibility available to all, or it will miss the opportunity to help reverse the growing trend of increased stratification and alienation in communities around the world. Aulet teaches in the Entrepreneurship Development Program and the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program.
John Carrier: Making the most of new manufacturing technologies and systems
Innovations in technology, from advanced robotics to the Industrial Internet of Things, are poised to transform the energy and manufacturing sectors. While these changes enable a powerful new way of organizing global operations, implementing large scale technological change rarely goes smoothly and often results in disappointed customers, overburdened employees, and impacts to short-term cash flow. To get the greatest value (and create the least harm) from these newest technologies, executives and frontline managers must not overemphasize visioning at the expense of fully understanding existing systems, the context in which those systems are operating, and the people who must use the technology. These leaders must develop a coherent roadmap that they can share with their entire company. Carrier leads the new course, Implementing Industry 4.0: Leading Change in Manufacturing and Operations.
Emilio J. Castilla: Better people decisions with data
If you have yet to make a resolution for your organization for 2017, consider designing and implementing a winning people analytics strategy, with the goal of attracting, developing, and retaining the best talent. Many leading companies today are using cutting-edge techniques to collect and analyze data about their applicants and employees--"people analytics"--in order to make their organizations and their individual employees more successful. A more data-driven strategic approach to human resource decisions can result in better hires, improved evaluation and rewarding processes, more productive teams, significantly increased profits, and even the correction of systemic workplace biases. The best organizations will seize upon useful data and thoughtful people strategies that can provide unique human-capital insights and enable managers to make better decisions about talent (and even become better managers). Castilla is teaching a new Executive Education program this spring, Leading People at Work: Strategies for Talent Analytics.