THINKING FORWARD – Ideas for your work from MIT Sloan School of Management


Ideas for your work from
MIT Sloan School of Management | Office of Communications

June 6 – June 12, 2021

1. “Your long-term success is not just determined by what you achieve alone, but also by how you empower, engage, support, and elevate your colleagues and teams in the ecosystem around you.” This insight from Carol Cohen, senior vice president of global talent and transformation at Cognizant, outlines the challenges leaders face amid technological and cultural changes. Here are more quotes for digital leaders:

  • “Creating, aligning, and empowering diverse teams is one of the best ways to discover and develop new ideas.” — Craig Robinson, former global head of Powered by We
  • “Even as managers change [old processes and systems], they need to find a way for more experienced members to leave the old hierarchy and progress up the new one.” — Kate Kellogg, professor of work and organization studies, MIT Sloan
  • “Go out on the limb, that’s where all the fruit is. Take a few risks — trust that your people will admire you for doing so. Leadership is a privilege. Embrace it as you build a community of leaders in this new economy.” — Doug Ready, senior lecturer, MIT Sloan

Read all 14 quotes and stats.


2. At Generate Capital, Yancan “Lydia” Li is bringing clean energy projects across the funding “valley of death” between idea and commercialization. Her work landed her on the Forbes 30 Under 30 lists earlier this year. Forbes cited Li’s more than $200 million in investments in the power, transport, and waste sectors.

In a recent Q&A, Li discussed why she chose a career in environmental impact investing.

Who inspires you? Jigar Shah, the person who co-founded Generate Capital … I’m particularly inspired by how much he’s willing to connect with those who are far from being potentially helpful for him. Jigar is just there to offer help.

What is your idea made to matter? As part of a research paper I completed while at MIT, I studied the “valley of death” faced by cleantech companies as they struggle to raise capital to advance from technology development to commercial deployment. Patient, private investors who are able to understand new technologies while bringing low cost-of-capital funding are essential to bridging this gap.


3. So you’re going back to the office. Now what? It’s one thing to decide whether or not to bring your employees back to their desks. It’s another to figure out what those days in the office will actually look like. A trio of MIT Sloan Action Learning students have a solution in the form of a four-step framework they developed in a project with Gillette, the shaving brand owned by Procter & Gamble.

The four steps are:

  • Identify the key metrics that are vital to a company’s success.
  • Identify the optimal in-office days to maximize the efficacy of every metric.
  • Rank the metrics for every step of the product (or deliverable) lifeline.
  • Use a weighted average to determine the optimal number of days in the office for each step of the product lifeline.

“It gives managers a clear, easy-to-follow plan for how departments or teams can best engage when some employees are in the office and others are virtual,” said MIT Sloan lecturer David Birnbach, the faculty mentor for the student team.


Content from the:
MIT Sloan Office of Communications
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1 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02142

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