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Creating resilience with public/private partnerships—and planning

Guest post by Chuck Brooks, Executive for DHS at Xerox

Public/private partnerships are critical to the success of government operations that provide essential services and benefits. Such partnerships can help agencies reduce costs, simplify operations, and are easily scalable at times of increased and decreased need. Whether motivated by a natural disaster, terrorism, or an interruption caused by legislative shortfall, successful public/private partnerships can provide business continuity and resilience.

Given that most of the infrastructure in the U.S. is private, government has a need to coordinate with the private sector for maintaining critical transportation modes, IT, and communications support, allowing these agencies to keep preparedness at high levels. The private sector can also bolster humanitarian efforts with supplies of needed food, water, and provisions.

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Learning sustainable methods for increasing your productivity

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.

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How to manage effectively in the face of risk

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.

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What’s really driving academic entrepreneurship

The last two decades have seen a rapid rise in innovation-driven entrepreneurship ventures born in academia. And while the path from classroom to commercialization is a long and winding road, a common-held belief in academic entrepreneurial circles is the assumption that faculty advisors are most often the primary traveler on the road to entrepreneurial success. New research suggests, however, that student innovators—who have more time and flexibility than faculty— drive the momentum of successful entrepreneurial ventures outside of school. (Learn more about the drivers of innovation-driven entrepreneurship in this innovation@work webinar with MIT Sloan Professor Bill Aulet.)

At the same time, studies show that these student innovators are heavily influenced by their faculty advisors, and the success of the academic entrepreneurial venture is largely determined by the students relationship dynamic with their faculty mentors. Lastly, studies also show that the relationships students form in competition greatly influence the success of their venture outside of academia.

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Is there a hole in JetBlue’s digital strategy?

Winter weather—and its associated travel woes—are nothing new to the Northeast or the Midwest. But the early storm (Hercules) of 2014 saw a nearly unprecedented level of cancellations and chaos days after the actual storm.

Those most impacted were passengers of JetBlue. Several days after the initial storm, JetBlue halted all operations at Boston’s Logan International Airport and all three New York-area airports. According to CNN.com, “JetBlue said it cancelled 435 flights, affecting 49,000 passengers.” The airline blamed both the weather and new FAA rules that extended the hours of rest crews needed between flights.

Not only has this incident exposed some core airline operations issues—not planning for the extension in required rest hours and not having the flexibility to move aircraft—but it has also exposed some holes in JetBlue’s digital customer service.

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