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MBA News You Need: Harvard Talks AI, London Business School and MIT Sloan Look Toward 2019, Kellogg Professor Gives Retreat Insights, and More

Each week we collect all the MBA news you need that’s fit to print and provide a quick overview of the latest trending topics from top business schools around the world.

Here’s your quick MBA News You Need digest for the week of January 7, 2019

Harvard Professor Questions Our Need for an Artificial Intelligence Czar

It’s no secret that artificial intelligence (AI) grew by leaps and bounds last year. But for all the progress that continues to be made in AI, it’s abundantly clear that governments aren’t prepared to deal with the ethical or regulatory issues that surround it.

Harvard Business School Professor James L. Heskett argues that just as there are cabinet positions for transportation, energy, agriculture, and commerce, the U.S. government needs to install an expert who understands the complex challenges of AI to create standards and universal formats for its use.

Heskett isn’t entirely sure what that might like, but it’s clear that there is a pressing need for a high-profile “czar” of artificial intelligence. (HBS News)

London Business School Faculty Look Ahead at 2019

Six London Business School faculty members got together to discuss the most exciting business developments on the horizon for 2019, as well as a few disconcerting predictions:

  1. Companies will embrace more flexible arrangements like renting, contracting, and sharing due to the rapid growth of companies and their changing needs.
  2. Leaders will focus more on performance leadership systems rather than performance management systems. While management systems concentrate on hitting targets and following processes, leaders focus more on staying effective and competitive. It’s less about short-term results and more about preparation for the future.
  3. AI will remain “top-of-mind” for business people, though the debate will change to focus on the unique qualities of human intelligence.
  4. Data science will revolutionize non-digital businesses including manufacturing, hospitals, traditional media, and more.
  5. Political and economic uncertainty will continue due to Brexit, U.S.-China trade tensions, and EU reforms.
  6. Growth in nationalism, diversity in politics, and reverse globalization will add greater complexity and ambiguity to organizations.

To get in-depth insight from London Business School professors, read 6 Trends to Look Out For in 2019.

8 Entrepreneurs Share Their 2019 Resolutions with MIT Sloan

Entrepreneurs are distinct from other business professionals and their New Year’s resolutions reflect those differences. MIT Sloan interviewed eight entrepreneurs to better understand the new challenges they plan to focus on professionally and personally in 2019.

  1. Mick Batyske, a DJ, startup investor, and brand ambassador, will adopt a “more stoic, balanced approach to things that happen…personally and professionally.”
  2. Mike Brady, the CEO of Greyston Bakery, will focus on advancing “open hiring” and providing dignity and opportunity to everyone in the bakery’s community to “drive the inclusion agenda.”
  3. Clara Brenner, a managing partner at the Urban Innovation Fund, will spend 2019 continuing to help high-potential startups from diverse backgrounds and geographies.
  4. Natalya Brinker, the CEO of Accion Systems, relates all of her 2019 resolutions to learning how to bring her company into the next phase of their development.
  5. Frederic Kerrest, the COO and co-founder of Okta, resolves to take at least one full week of family vacation in 2018, the same resolution he’s had since 2017.
  6. Frank Lee, the co-founder and head of marketing at Bevi, plans to spend as much of 2019 as he can interviewing candidates, on-boarding new employees, and welcoming them.
  7. Rajesh Nair, a professor of practice at Asia School of Business, will spend 2019 launching a new multi-year study to “measure the benefits of introducing maker skills to Indian middle and high school students.
  8. Alexandra Wright-Gladstein, the chief strategy officer and co-founder of Ayar Labs, has two resolutions for 2019 to do a better job of recruiting diverse candidates and to spend more time sharing the “positive environmental impact our solution will have, in reducing the amount of energy used in computing, the fastest-growing consumer of energy globally.”

(MIT Sloan Ideas Made To Matter)

Northwestern Kellogg Professor of Strategy Shares Lessons from 30-Day Silent Retreat

When Northwestern / Kellogg Professor of Strategy Sally Blount decided to take a 30-day silent retreat, she expected to clear her mind of the stress of her day-to-day work life and to immerse herself in a community with similar goals. Blount shared three key lessons from the retreat.

  1. Inner peace should not be the goal. Blount took the silent retreat with a goal of achieving inner peace. Instead she learned about how to be more open and compassionate.
  2. Fear should guide and not motivate. Blount also discovered that while fear is not something we can escape, it is also not something that we should allow to motivate our responses. She observed the need to study fear in order to soothe it.
  3. Indifference, not over-caring, is important to a joyful life. You need to learn how to know when a pursuit becomes a distraction instead of a positive source of energy and momentum.

Find all of Sally Blount’s insight in her LinkedIn blog.

Experts Advise How to Fight the Next Financial Crisis

Experts agree that another financial crisis is looming. Banks and finance ministries expect a downturn, but how can we prepare to fight the flames? Unfortunately, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, we’re not ready.

Ray Dalio, the founder and co-chief investment officer at Bridgewater Associates LLP, doesn’t believe that the world is ready to fight the next crisis any time soon. The problem is that the most significant area of concern belongs to emerging-market economies. According to Raghuram Rajan, an economist at Chicago Booth, “How bad will it get? No one knows.” Turkey’s troubles could spill over to France, Italy, and Spain.

Another problem is the fact that investors tend to over-extrapolate the good and bad times, according to Andrei Shleifer, an economics professor at Harvard Business School. Instead, Shleifer recommends that regulators tighten financial conditions when markets are frothy. “The only way out of this dilemma is effective regulation so we never get into this situation again,” said Columbia University historian Adam Tooze. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Posted in: Feature Small, MBA News You Need, Weekly Columns

Schools: Columbia, Harvard Business School, London Business School, MIT Sloan, Northwestern / Kellogg, U. Chicago Booth

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