Management Article

Multiple Authors
By: Kimberly Merriman, David Greenway, Tamara Montag-Smit

As vaccinations and relaxed health guidelines make returning to the office a reality for more companies, there seems to be a disconnect between managers and their workers about remote work.

A good example of this is a recent op-ed written by the CEO of a Washington, D.C., magazine that suggested workers could lose benefits like healthcare if they insist on continuing to work remotely as the Covid-19 pandemic recedes. The staff reacted by refusing to publish for a day.

Michael Lee Stallard’s picture

By: Michael Lee Stallard

Astronaut crews living and working in space experience as a matter of course what many of us experienced unexpectedly during the coronavirus pandemic. Consider these similarities.

Astronauts are physically isolated for a long period of time from family, friends, and the majority of their work colleagues. Their daily in-person interactions are limited to the few people they live with, and their other interactions are intermediated through digital technology. And like many of us these days, their home also serves as their workplace.

They are surrounded by a dangerous environment that poses a threat to their physical health. For astronauts, the dangers include a lack of oxygen in outer space; for us, the danger has been the risk of contracting Covid-19. What was new and disorienting in our work lives and personal lives during the past year is the ongoing reality of an astronaut’s day.

So, what does NASA know about the effects of living in relative social isolation for an extended period of time and then adjusting upon return to being around lots of people again?

Sara Harrison’s picture

By: Sara Harrison

If you’ve watched Grey’s Anatomy, then you’ve gotten a peek into the complex hierarchies that rule a hospital. Over 17 seasons, the show’s eponymous heroine, Meredith Grey, ascends from a lowly intern to chief of general surgery, learning from the presiding residents and older surgeons along the way. There’s rarely doubt about who is in charge, who has more expertise, or who should be supervising and training other staff.

Grey’s fictional journey illustrates the complicated dynamics of a healthcare setting, whether it’s a local clinic or a bustling city hospital. Doctors, nurses, other clinicians, and administrators are part of a system where tenure, expertise, and training dictate the chain of command. Those hierarchies can help teams provide care efficiently, but what happens when those traditional roles are disrupted?

Borka Hajdin’s picture

By: Borka Hajdin

It is safe to say that we can drop the word “digital” from digital marketing and just call it marketing. Because we are now officially living in a digital world. In 2020, worldwide online transactions in some sectors increased by 135 percent.

B2B companies that were previously dabbling in digital marketing to drive leads are now going all in. As more businesses invest in online marketing, the competition will be fierce. In fact, B2B paid advertising has increased by 22.6 percent in 2020.

Knowledge at Wharton’s picture

By: Knowledge at Wharton

When Wharton management professor Adam Grant sat down to write his new book, Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know (Virgin Digital, 2021), he wanted to make the case for why executives should reconsider their approaches to how to manage people in a modern workplace and embrace new ideas, based on systematic evidence.

Grant is an internationally recognized thought leader in management and workplace dynamics, best-selling author, and the co-director of Wharton People Analytics. In an Ivy Exec webinar called “Inside the Mind of Professor Adam Grant” sponsored by the Wharton MBA for Executives Program, Grant sat down with Wharton dean Erika James, an organizational psychologist herself. The two discussed the importance of questioning your assumptions regarding how to engage and communicate in the workplace, to become a more evolved leader.

Following are five key takeaways from their discussion.

Lee Seok Hwai’s picture

By: Lee Seok Hwai

As a young man of 20 in his first job at a state-owned enterprise in China, Guoli Chen found senior management fascinating, but not in a good way. His boss’s boss did very little—unless one counts reading newspapers, drinking tea, and gossiping as work. “I wondered whether anyone could replace him without affecting the [organization’s] overall performance,” recalls Chen, now a professor of strategy at INSEAD.

He didn’t stick around to find out. After two years, Chen moved on. His second job couldn’t be more different, in culture as well as the lessons he learned. Working in an investment bank, Chen observed how the company’s venture capital arm picked firms chiefly on the strength of the founding team, especially the chief executive. “Given the uncertainty of the [firms’] business potential… the VC literally bet the success of their investments on the individual,” Chen says in an INSEAD Knowledge podcast.

Jason Spera’s picture

By: Jason Spera

In a customer-centered world, meeting customers’ needs is more demanding and business-critical than ever. Simultaneously, manufacturers struggle to reduce operating costs as margins compress and the competitive landscape intensifies. This dichotomy and a pressure to “choose” between reducing costs and delighting customers is not mutually exclusive.

Best-in-class manufacturers recognize there’s no trade-off; they take a holistic approach to quality management that allows them to excel in both arenas. A quality-driven mindset across every layer of an enterprise strategically enhances process visibility and compliance to enable improvements in both cost and customer satisfaction.

The trade-off mindset

For many discrete manufacturers, delivering more robust customizations at a reduced margin or choosing to settle for less than zero-defect quality in favor of cutting operating costs is part of the old trade-off mindset.

Caroline Zimmerman’s picture

By: Caroline Zimmerman

With big data and artificial intelligence (AI) transforming business, it’s almost certain that every executive will need to leverage these technologies at some point to advance their organization—and their career. However, doing so carries a heavy intimidation factor for most leaders, and this is often exacerbated by skill-heavy job descriptions for leadership roles related to data, analytics, or AI. However many of these descriptions misunderstand what’s required to drive successful business outcomes using data and AI.

Although analytical thinking is certainly important, many traditional leadership skills are equally essential when undertaking AI/big data for the first time. It’s also critical to be comfortable with ambiguity, have the capacity to drive consensus among disparate players, and understand the levers of value to prioritize accordingly. Some of the most effective leaders in data and AI are those who think commercially while applying expertise. Moreover, today’s data-driven business leaders must be politicians and communicators, able to harness the potential of data and AI to drive revenue, efficiency gains, and innovation, while exerting influence and explaining the value they create.

Wade Schroeder’s picture

By: Wade Schroeder

Medical-device usability testing and validation are critical tasks leading up to a medical device’s debut on the market. “Usability” looks at how the user interacts with your device and forms a key component of overall risk management and safety.

If there’s any “spoiler alert” to this article, it’s that human factors, including usability and validation, should not be put off to the last minute. The ultimate goal of early planning for usability testing and validation of your medical device is to ensure you’re building a safe and effective product for the end user.

Early considerations should evolve into formal procedures for usability testing and validation activities that live within your quality system. This will prevent you from needing to scramble last minute or work retroactively once it’s time for your device submission.

This article provides an introductory look at usability testing and validation, and how to build these key components into your quality system.

Introduction to medical device usability

Usability research looks at the interactions between human operators and the medical device. Testing should be conducted on anyone who plays a role in operating the device, from patients to clinicians to people responsible for sterilizing or maintaining the device.

Benjamin Kessler’s picture

By: Benjamin Kessler

Suddenly, supply chains are in the spotlight. The practical details of how products arrive on supermarket shelves, for example, gained unwelcome relevance amid last year’s wave of panic buying caused by Covid-19 disruption. At the same time, the environmental damage wrought by wasteful industrial processes came under intensifying criticism from consumers, civil society, and regulators. Businesses have stepped up their search for “zero waste” or circular economy solutions.

You could say that Luk Van Wassenhove, INSEAD emeritus professor of technology and operations management, has spent most of his 40-year career inadvertently preparing for this moment. A pioneer in sustainability research, Van Wassenhove worked closely with Xerox during the 1990s as it became one of the first companies to remanufacture and sell a new “green line” of copying machines.

Syndicate content