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Category Archives: Management and Leadership

Industry peer networks: The better get-ahead strategy?

Globalization and the information age have made it crucial for organizations to stay in tune with their markets, changing trends, and new innovations in an effort to remain relevant. Entrenched beliefs and tried and true systems, however, are often favored long after they have stopped being effective. Where should executives turn for fresh perspectives and new recipes for success? The answer may be among peers.

Industry peer networks (IPNs) are small groups of noncompeting peers who meet on a regular basis in an environment of intimacy and trust, with the purpose of exchanging information and discussing important company matters under the greater goal of improving capabilities and increasing profit share in the market. Ezra Zuckerman, Professor of Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management at MIT Sloan, has studied the effects of industry peer networks in the last decade, collecting data about the role and pervasiveness of relationships among noncompeting peers and, more specifically, industry peer networks in the U.S. economy.

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The real-world value of an MIT Sloan Executive Certificate

“It’s like getting an MBA in two weeks,” says Tauseef Ayaz, who recently completed an MIT Sloan Executive Certificate in Management and Leadership.

Executive certificates are earned by taking four courses—three in a chosen track, and one more in any of the three tracks. Ayaz earned his certificate with four Management and Leadership programs that really pack a punch: Transforming Your Leadership Strategy; Essential Law Executives: The MIT Advantage; Strategic Marketing for the Technical Executive; and Fundamentals of Finance for the Technical Executive.

An account manager at Nokia—a global leader in mobile communications—Ayaz says he found the courses challenging and in line with his career. In addition, he says the short-term schedule allowed him to complete the certificate without too much time away from the office. “The program’s flexibility was very helpful. It was just the right amount of time and effort.”

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Are companies missing out on great candidates?

As of January 10, 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of “long-term unemployed” Americans (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was 3.9 million, accounting for 37.7% of the unemployed.

Unfortunately, as reported in a recent Boston Globe article about worsening job prospects for the long-term unemployed, “Research by Rand Ghayad, a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, has shown that employers frequently screen out job candidates who have been unemployed for more than six months.” That means the prospects are dim for many of those long out of work. And many of these people are educated, white-collar, experienced workers.

Are these companies who simply screen out the long-term unemployed missing out on some great candidates? They just may be. The perception is that people who have been out of work for six months or more have lost some of their skills, but that may not really be true. After all, general business skills and principles really don’t change, and there’s something to be said for experience.

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The ins and outs of managing up and down

This is the final post in a series about Bob Pozen’s approach to personal productivity and high performance.

Our first and second posts in this series have focused primarily on Bob Pozen’s tips for improving your productivity as an individual. Below, we suggest approaches to improving productivity within an organization through the proactive management of relationships at work.

Managing Your Team

“To be an effective boss,” says Pozen, “you need to set up a system that enables both you and your employees to get meaningful work done. At the core of this system is the successful implementation of ownership.”

Pozen encourages the principal of “Owning Your Own Space,” whereby all employees of a large company view themselves as owners of a small business. This approach builds entrepreneurial spirit among your team and sets everyone up to succeed—including you.

Here are five steps to effectively implementing ownership.

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Five tips for improving every-day productivity

This is the second in a series of three posts about Bob Pozen’s approach to personal productivity and high performance.

We’ve all been there—staring down the week’s to-do list with the best of intentions, only to find, at the end of the week, that we didn’t accomplish everything that was required us. Our tasks get carried over into the following week, and before we know it, we’re caught in the paradox of being simultaneously too busy and minimally productive.

If this sounds familiar, rest assured: there are indeed solutions to your productivity problems. Robert Pozen provides concrete strategies in his new MIT Sloan Executive Education program, Maximizing Your Personal Productivity, and we share some of them below.

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