MIT Sloan Executive Education innovation@work Blog

Archive: February 2015

A career move strengthened by MIT Sloan courses

Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 2 years and 7 months and 15 days ago

I never planned on a career in education. In fact, I left the film industry and came to Ball State University primarily for family reasons. Neither my boss nor I thought I’d stay long. However, what I found was a forward-thinking institution in a sector full of challenges and opportunities. I found my passion at the intersection of innovation, learning, and technology. Now with the benefit of hindsight, it's easy to explain how everything came together over the past five years.

I earned my Executive Certificate in Strategy and Innovation from MIT Sloan School of Management at just the right time. In 2009, I was tasked with forming a new administrative unit within IT at Ball State named "Emerging Technologies and Media Development." With this unit, I was able to immediately implement many of the lessons learned in my MIT courses at my daily job. From administrative structure to office layout, my goal was to follow best practices.

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Accenture and MIT: Preparing the next generation of technology leaders

Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 2 years and 7 months and 24 days ago

Accenture, the global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, is working in collaboration with MIT Sloan Executive Education to develop the Accenture Technology Executive Development Program, which kicked off earlier this month. This exciting custom program is designed to encourage thinking radically and differently about technology in order to bring innovative and disruptive solutions to clients.

The custom tailored Accenture Technology Executive Development Program will give select Accenture Technology professionals a unique opportunity to learn from MIT Sloan faculty, Accenture leadership, and their peers. It focuses on the growing, changing role of technology within organizations and how leaders can harness technology to increase an organization's agility as well as prepare for future demands.

"Technology is changing at an unprecedented rate and innovation is more important than ever," says Paul Daugherty, Chief Technology Officer at Accenture. "This program will help our future leaders stay on top of the changes and understand how new innovations can help our clients grow and stay competitive."

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When snow days are no longer fun

Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 2 years and 8 months and 1 day ago

Some of you may look back fondly on the "snow days" of your youth, recalling the excitement and anticipation of hearing the announcement that meant a day to stay home and play. For those of us who currently reside in Greater Boston, however, snow days have lost their allure.

Since January 15, 2015, the Boston area has had an unusual number of snow storms resulting in an unprecedented amount of snow. We've had our snowiest month since record-keeping started in 1872, and (so far) the area is marking its third snowiest winter on record, with 89.2 inches. To put that in perspective, Boston has seen more snow in three weeks than Chicago has seen in an entire winter.

What's worse, the resulting snow days are wreaking havoc on businesses in the area. According to the Boston Globe, the snow has "cost Massachusetts companies more than $1 billion in lost sales and productivity." For large businesses, the decision to remain open or to close may be easy. Some businesses, like chain restaurants and retail stores, may have the analytics to back them up--data to understand how much revenue they’d need to earn to offset the cost of doing business that day. But smaller businesses--particularly restaurants and boutique stores--struggle with that decision. 

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Cutting-edge insights and practical lessons from MIT Sloan faculty--for free!

Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 2 years and 8 months and 2 days ago

Thousands of people globally have listened to the MIT Sloan Executive Education INNOVATION@WORK Webinar Series, learning breakthrough concepts and innovations from the MIT faculty who developed them. If you haven't tuned in, here's a roundup of 10 big ideas--fundamentals of our executive education programs--that you can access for free in our webinar archive. 

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Our top five trending posts of 2014

Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 2 years and 8 months and 7 days ago

If you are an infrequent visitor or new to the innovation@work Blog, now is your chance to check out 2014's most viewed posts.

Bringing process innovation and creativity into operations

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… 

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Even an epic blizzard can't get in the way of disciplined entrepreneurship

Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 2 years and 8 months and 9 days ago

The 2015 Entrepreneurship Development Program (EDP) wrapped up at the end of January and was a resounding success—despite epic blizzard conditions in Cambridge!

This year's EDP gradating class included 132 participants from 32 countries—including Nepal, Scotland, Saudi Arabia, Estonia, and Korea. Within the first three hours of the program, participants formed teams around 20 innovation-driven business ideas pitched on the spot. These diverse groups of global executives then embarked on the most intensive week of hands-on learning, rigorous academics, and spirited competition that MIT has to offer.

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Small moves equal big payoffs for office productivity

Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 2 years and 8 months and 14 days ago

Sometimes, effective organizational change requires major shifts in management and corporate culture. Other times it's as easy as moving chairs.

Recent research by MIT Sloan Professor Christian Catalini makes the case that simple changes in office environments can have a big impact on department dynamics, leading to more efficient work habits, collaboration, and overall increased productivity in the office. As recently reported in the Wall Street Journal, companies that shift employees from desk to desk every few months and rethink which departments to place side by side say they have seen an increase in productivity and collaboration.

For his research, Catalini studied the impact of proximity at an academic campus in Paris, France. When a group of scientists were forced to move to a different building because of an asbestos problem, innovative ideas abounded as well as a more accepting attitude of experimentation. In addition, colleagues spent more time collaborating on projects and even solidifying friendships.

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Are Super Bowl ads worth the expense?

Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 2 years and 8 months and 14 days ago

The Super Bowl isn't just the biggest day for football and chicken wings—it's also the biggest day of the year for U.S. television advertising. This year, NBC announced that the Super Bowl marks "a record day in media for the company and for any TV company in terms of the volume of dollars the Super Bowl will represent on air."In numbers that means more than 70 advertisers are spending between $4.4 million and $4.5 million for 30 seconds of airtime. The pay-off is that these advertisers will reach 115 million to 130 million TV viewers.

Many of the advertisers are traditional consumer brands, well known to the American audience, including Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nissan and Toyota. First time Super Bowl advertisers are Carnival cruise lines and Mophie.

But the decision to create and purchase an ad for the Super Bowl is a complex one. Yes, you may get millions of impressions, but who are these viewers? Are they in your target market? Are they likely to be interested in purchasing your product or service? The ad has to resonate with a large audience to stand out among all the other ads. 

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