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To automate or not: That is the manufacturing question

When it comes to manufacturing in today’s economy, increased automation in manufacturing plants may seem like a given. Factories first opened their doors to modern industrial robots in 1961 when Unimate—a 4,000-pound (1,814-kilogram) arm attached to a giant steel drum—joined the General Motors workforce, and they have since become a mainstay of mass production. When a job is just right for a robot, productivity tends to increase dramatically.

However, not all companies are going the way of automation on the assembly line, especially when trading humans for machines goes against their brand.

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Catherine Tucker named one of “The 40 Most Outstanding B-School Profs Under 40 In The World” by Poets&Quants

photo (1)Younger than their tenured colleagues, only a few years older than their students, and still having to prove themselves both as professors and leaders in their field, young professors face added stress. However, a select few thrive in this pressure cooker, outperforming senior teaching staff, winning the admiration of their students, and producing standout scholarship.

Poets&Quants’  “Top 40 Under 40″ recognizes these rising stars—young professors who represent elite schools from around the world. These uncommon professors have excelled in research while overcoming the green-professor label in the classroom. MIT Sloan Executive Education is proud to announce that our own Catherine Tucker is among their list of the world’s best b-school professors under the age of 40. The 36-year old MIT Sloan Associate Professor of Marketing and Mark Hyman Jr. Career Development Professor is recognized for her ability to excel in research, win the admiration of her students, and produce outstanding scholarly work. Read her profile on Poets&Quants here.

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Six steps for creating a winning business strategy with the Delta Model

Contributed by MIT Sloan Executive Certificate holder and guest blogger Juan Ignacio Genovese

Strategy can be defined as thinking about and establishing new ways to reach company goals, and although many examples exist, few models of winning business strategy provide the diversity of tools necessary for actualizing that strategy.

Most readers are aware of the important influence of Michael Porter, author of Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors. However, his model does not necessarily make us take action; rather, it determines what we should be aware of to protect and increment our market share. Another example is The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy Into Action, written by Robert Kaplan and David Norton. However, this book is not a tool for modeling strategy but for measuring the strategic impact of our actions. Although there are many other books about the subject, most do not successfully present a complete strategic model.

While searching for a powerful strategic model to use in my position as a marketing consultant, I discovered MIT Sloan Professor Arnoldo Hax’s The Delta Model: Reinventing Your Business Strategy. The strength of this model is that it puts the customer at the center of the strategy, with the goal of achieving customer bonding. The model is based on application of the eight competencies of the firm—specific strategies developed by Professor Hax that help us accomplish our final goal of customer bonding. Each of these strategies will work for a particular market segment.

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Challenges and solutions for women entrepreneurs

In a recent report from The Daily Finance, Dell had successfully launched its first female global entrepreneurship and development index, or GEDI, created to measure high-potential female entrepreneurship based on individual aspirations, business environments, and entrepreneurial ecosystems. According to the female GEDI, the U.S. was ranked the best country—number 1 out of 17 countries indexed—to be a female entrepreneur.

According to Professor Fiona Murray of MIT Sloan, however, women still have a long way to go. In an interview with Rob Matheson of MIT News, Murray expands on the specific inequalities in female entrepreneurship and what businesses and higher education can do now, to build a better future for female entrepreneurs.

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Ready, set, prioritize

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

What stands between you and the more productive version of you—the person who meets his or her personal and professional goals on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis? Robert Pozen provides concrete answers to this question in his new course, Maximizing Your Personal Productivity, offered on March 20-21 by MIT Sloan Executive Education.

Pozen is one of the most productive professionals in America. He’s been a top executive at two mutual fund giants, Fidelity and MFS Investment Management. He’s also been a government official, a corporate director, a business school professor, and a prolific author—and has been several of those things at once. After publishing several times in the Harvard Business Review, its editors wondered how he was able to submit all his articles on time and within the word limit—while juggling two jobs. Its published interview with him on the secrets of his personal productivity went viral, as well as his subsequent You Tube video on the topic. These led naturally to his best selling book, Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours and sold out speaking engagements around the country.

“It became clear that although I spent most of my adult life working in financial institutions, and had written text books on the financial industry, all of a sudden everyone was interested in personal productivity,” says Pozen. “People were stopping me on the street to ask for advice; calling me to say how my book had changed their entire approach to reading and writing.”

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