Archive: September 2013

IT should embrace performance measures

Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 3 years and 8 months and 24 days ago

This is the third in a series of four posts on bringing transparency into the IT/Business leader discussion. Performance grades are a strange thing. We get graded regularly from the time we enter kindergarten until we earn our college and graduate school degrees. Yet once we enter the workforce, grading pretty much disappears. Or, the idea of “grading” in the workplace takes the form of the often-dreaded annual performance review. But annual performance reviews don’t help an organization address how a department is doing. 

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Are consumers or lawmakers better at regulating energy efficiency standards?

Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 3 years and 8 months and 30 days ago

A recent energy goal set by President Obama has MIT Sloan Professor Christopher Knittel and some colleagues questioning how best to track and control the public’s use of energy efficiency programs to make that goal a reality. The President’s goal aims to cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next 20 years. However, Knittel, who is the William Barton Rogers Professor of Energy Economics at MIT Sloan and Co-Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR) at MIT, says before we buy into more stringent energy efficiency goals, we need to analyze the current situation more rigorously.

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Your company’s key innovators are, most likely, your consumers

Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 3 years and 9 months ago

The wave of technological innovation we are currently riding has brought us wearable computing and 3D printing, with products like Google Glass and Nike Fuelband becoming the stars of recent tech conferences, including May's All Things D. Continually fueled by the question “what’s next?,” product innovators leave no stone unturned in their quest to produce the next big thing. According to the latest research, however, it’s consumers not the product innovators who should be viewed as the new experts.

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Three ways to profit from business complexity

Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 3 years and 9 months and 15 days ago

Business complexity is usually seen as an obstacle to increased profit margins. A publication of The Global Simplicity Index revealed that complexity is costing 200 of the biggest companies in the world 10.2% of their annual profits—which, collectively, totals over $237 billion. But other recent studies show there is a profitable flipside to business complexity—a relatively unexplored area of opportunity hiding in plain site. For some companies, managing business complexity can be a unique opportunity to grow their market share.

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Happier employees sell more fries

Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 3 years and 9 months and 17 days ago

The signs held by recent striking fast food employees say, “We are worth more.” They are, in fact, right. Retail employees are worth more, and paying them more can result in higher profits. Those retailers who doubt this should take a close look at Costco, Trader Joe’s, and QuikTrip Corporation (a convenience store chain). Those firms, according to Zeynep Ton, Adjunct Associate Professor of Operations Management at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, pay their employees well—and it shows in the firms’ profits. 

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Bringing process innovation and creativity into operations

Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 3 years and 9 months and 20 days ago

When was the last time you re-thought your operations processes? Are they still relevant?

Process innovation and creativity are key elements to successful operations strategies. Companies reluctant to rethink their operations processes can learn a lot from those companies that successfully applied process innovation and creativity to their value chain, including: IDEO, McDonald's, CVS, and Procter & Gamble.

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