MIT Sloan Executive Education

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Monthly Archives: December 2013

MIT Sloan professor ranked one of fifty top global management thinkers

MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer Douglas Ready has been named one of the 2013 Thinkers50 top global management thinkers. The biennial publication is recognized as the go-to source of the most influential management thinkers in the world.

Ready is Founder and President of the International Consortium for Executive Development Research (ICEDR), an internationally renowned collaborative in talent management and leadership development. As such, Ready helps management teams mobilize their leaders to bring about large-scale change. He has led change and leadership development initiatives for global companies, including Continental AG, Ford Motor Company, Four Seasons, Hess Oil, HSBC, LG Group, PwC, Royal Bank of Canada, Samsung Group, and United Technologies Corporation.

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MIT Sloan’s Associate Dean of Executive Education elected as Chair of UNICON

As part of our commitment to advancing the field of executive education, MIT Sloan has been involved in the Global Industry Association for University-based Executive Education (UNICON) since we participated in its founding, over 40 years ago. We are pleased to announce that Rochelle Weichman, our Associate Dean of Executive Education, has been elected as Chair of this global association of business–school–based executive education organizations.

UNICON’s community of members is engaged in accelerating the development of business leaders and managers by designing and delivering non-degree executive education courses and programs for individuals and organizations. UNICON exists to share experience, promote best practices, and support the development of its member organizations and their professional staff. There are currently 110 academic institution members from all over the world.

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Inside the Big Data 4Dx experience

Online learning technologies have been around for years. But can they really be immersive and experiential? The answer, as discovered by the participants of last year’s Big Data 4Dx class, is yes.

The MIT Sloan Executive Education program, Big Data: Making Complex Things Simpler, features renowned Big Data experts Erik Brynjolfsson, Professor of Information Technology at MIT Sloan, and Alex “Sandy” Pentland, Director of MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory and the MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program. The course always sells out.

Unfortunately, last year’s two-day seminar coincided with Superstorm Sandy. As InformationWeek reported, “Instead of canceling, MIT used the [AvayaLive™ Engage] platform to teach a hybrid online-offline version of the seminar.” Dr. Peter Hirst, Executive Director of Executive Education at MIT Sloan School of Management, told InformationWeek, “Nobody has done what we did, which was connect a virtual classroom and a real one in real time.”

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The role of employee satisfaction in successful airline mergers

In early November, the Justice Department settled its suit blocking the merger of American Airlines and US Airways and, this month, the merger was completed. The original suit claimed “airline consolidation had gone too far and the proposed merger would lead to higher fares for consumers.” In the end, having the two airlines concede to surrendering some take off and landing spots at certain airports would “foster competition and lead to low prices.” So the merger continues.

Airline mergers are nothing new in the industry; as noted in an MIT Sloan Management Review (SMR) interview with Tom Kochan, Professor of Work and Employment Research and Engineering Systems at MIT Sloan, “Airline companies may be the business everyone fantasizes the most about trying to fix.” As experts quoted in the recent article in The New York Times, Concession in Airline Merger is Criticized,” airline mergers create “unprecedented pricing power” and are designed to cut operational costs. But, as the story notes, “merged airlines have had varied levels of success in meshing their operations and achieving the ‘synergies’ they sought.”

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Launching a successful start-up #2: Finding the sweet spot

This is the second post in a series on launching a successful startup.

In his book,Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup, Bill Aulet, Managing Director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, goes beyond theory to outline the steps anyone can take to be a successful entrepreneur.

In the first post in this series on successful start-ups, we stressed the importance of the discovery stage—time spent brainstorming about product and service ideas, defining potential customers, and identifying industry matches. Each is a necessary step that will help budding entrepreneurs prepare for a successful launch.

Once the brainstorming component is complete, the goal is to narrow the focus and find the sweet spot where your product or service meets not only a potential customer, but a targeted end user—the customer who will buy your product or service and become a loyal brand ambassador, persuading others to buy it, as well.

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