By Robert Pozen
Are you feeling overwhelmed at work? Do you feel like you don’t have enough time for family and friends?
If so, take my executive education course at MIT Sloan Executive Education: Maximizing Your Personal Productivity, March 20–21. The course consists of four substantial sessions over two days, with time to network and make friends. Each session will help you master a different and important aspect of personal productivity.
With globalization comes increased risk and uncertainty in nations, environments, communities, and businesses. As growing complexity makes it more difficult to determine the source of risk in these complex systems, it also reveals the interdependent nature of risk within a greater ecosystem. New studies show the best way to manage an organization in the face of risk is to build resiliency—the ability to withstand, recover from, and maintain function through a crisis. But in order to manage risk effectively, resiliency must be built into the entire interrelated system of an organization.
In the MIT Sloan research paper, “Uncertainty and Risk in Global Supply Chains,” MIT Sloan Professor Donald Lessard states that “risk management requires systematic management of risks that are generated within each link in the chain and, more importantly, in the interfaces among links in order to limit disruptions and their propagation throughout the system.” Effective management of risk, therefore, requires a systems thinking approach—understanding how systems influence one another within a whole.
Contributed by: MIT Sloan Management Review
Business models matter because they define how businesses make money. But the way a business model works in the material world does not translate to how it will work in the digital world.
You can think of business in the material world as a kind of pyramid: at the top is content (information and products); in the middle is context (format, packaging, community tools); and at the base is the platform (infrastructure, technology, know-how). But when we shift to a digital model, the pyramid gives way to a different structure—as Peter Weill, Senior Research Scientist at MIT Sloan School of Management and Chairman of the MIT Center for Information Systems Research, told a group of executives attending Revitalizing Your Digital Business Model, an MIT Sloan Executive Education program.
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.”
Today, companies large and small are expanding their operations globally for a variety of reasons: lower labor costs, the possibility of a skilled talent pool, and the anticipation of newer, more lucrative markets.
However, just because a company is successful stateside doesn’t mean that success will automatically translate overseas. MIT Sloan Professor José Santos, who teaches the MIT Sloan Executive Education program, Strategy in a Global World, says to succeed globally companies must expand their focus beyond traditional world views.
Tips for Making Your International Business a Success
A recent article in CIO magazine—“7 Tips to Help IT Leaders Make Their Business an International Success”—offers these guidelines for going global successfully.