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Why the Entire C-Suite Needs to Use the Same Metrics for Cyber Risk

harvardbusiness.org 17 November 2017
When it comes to cybersecurity, the chains of communication that exist within an organization, if they exist at all, are often a mess. Multiple conversations about cyber risks are happening across a multitude of divisions in isolation. At the same time, members of the C-suite are measuring their potential impact using different metrics - financial, regulatory, technical, operational - leading to conflicting assessments. CEOs must address these disconnects by creating a culture that promotes open communication and transparency about vulnerabilities and collaboration to address the exposures. Organizations of all sizes across all sectors are experiencing an exponential increase in their exposure to cyber risk. The number of endpoints that need protecting is exploding as consumers demand more digital interactions and smart devices. (Gartner estimates there will be more than 20 billion connected devices by 2020.) Adversari

Can You Be a Great Leader Without Technical Expertise?

harvardbusiness.org 15 November 2017
There is a broad assumption in society and in education that the skills you need to be a leader are more or less transferable. If you can inspire and motivate people in one arena, you should be able to apply those skills to do the same in another venue. But recent research is rightly challenging this notion. Studies suggest that the best leaders know a lot about the domain in which they are leading, and part of what makes them successful in a management role is technical competence. For example, hospitals managed by doctors perform better than those managed by people with other backgrounds. And there are many examples of people who ran one company effectively and had trouble transferring their skills to the new organization. Over the last year, I've been working with a group at the University of Texas thinking about what leadership education would look like for our students. There is broad consensus across many schools that
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Understanding Customers by Blending Human Insight and Machine Learning

harvardbusiness.org 27 October 2017
How can companies use machine learning to efficiently understand the needs and wants of their customers, without sacrificing the insights that come from employees’ intuition and empathy? My company is in the business of helping other firms create new products and services that will be both functionally useful and emotionally resonant with customers. As part of this work, we solicit materials online from a firm’s customers and potential customers. In a given year, we receive approximately 13 million unstructured text submissions and over 307,000 photos and videos from about 167,000 diverse contributors, all of whom are answering open-ended questions posed by us, as well as generating their own conversations on topics of their choosing. Our challenge: finding the unmet needs and often unarticulated longings in this wealth of content. To do this, we use a method of human-supervised machine learning that we think other companies could learn from. Here’s how it works.
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Netflix and Why the Future of Streaming Looks Like Old-School TV

harvardbusiness.org 19 October 2017
Netflix hit the industry with some bombshell moves this month. First, it announced that it plans to spend $8 billion on original content next year (including on 80 new movies). This is far more than any other online player. Obviously, this is great news for its 100 million-odd customers worldwide.

Blockchain Could Help Us Reclaim Control of Our Personal Data

harvardbusiness.org 5 October 2017
It's a strange world we live in when large companies such as Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion are able to store huge quantities of our personal data and profit from it in a way that doesn't always benefit us. And when those same companies lose our personal data and make us susceptible to identity theft, there's virtually nothing we can do about it. Equifax lost the data of more than 140 million people, and recompense is not forthcoming. Meanwhile, the CEO may be stepping down with a pension worth $18 million. Clearly, the system is broken, and it's time to stop and ask ourselves why we continue to rely on a system that doesn't stand up to the challenges we face in a digital society.
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Whiteboard Session: How Does Blockchain Work?

harvardbusiness.org 20 September 2017
The power of a distributed ledger.
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Technology Is Changing Transportation, and Cities Should Adapt

harvardbusiness.org 13 September 2017
It has taken only a few years for ride-hailing services to make urban journeys more convenient in many cities, much to the delight of city dwellers the world over. And as innovation brings self-driving cars, electric vehicles, in-vehicle data connectivity, mechanisms for sharing rides and vehicles, and other technologies to more people, getting around cities will become easier, faster, and safer.
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3 Ways Companies Are Building a Business Around AI

harvardbusiness.org 23 August 2017
There is no argument about whether artificial intelligence (AI) is coming. It is here, in automobiles, smartphones, aircraft, and much else. Not least in the online search abilities, speech and translation features, and image recognition technology of my employer, Alphabet.
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PE Firms Are Creating a New Role: Leadership Capital Partner

harvardbusiness.org 11 August 2017
During the last 20 years, private equity (PE) investors have assumed an increasingly influential role in business, with publicly traded firms dropping from about 7,500 to 3,800. Today, large private equity firms not only buy and sell (phase 1), buy and hold (phase 2), but buy and transform (phase 3). This third phase has led to large private equity organizations governing their assets in a unique way.
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How the Imagined 'Rationality' of Engineering Is Hurting Diversity - and Engineering

harvardbusiness.org 10 August 2017
Just how common are the views on gender espoused in the memo that former Google engineer James Damore was recently fired for distributing on an internal company message board? The flap has women and men in tech — and elsewhere — wondering what their colleagues really think about diversity. Research we’ve conducted shows that while most people don’t share Damore’s views, male engineers are more likely to.
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6 Digital Trends Are Poised to Transform How We Work - SPONSOR CONTENT FROM DXC TECHNOLOGY

harvardbusiness.org 3 August 2017
In addition to the digital tools entering the workplace now, several technologies and trends on the horizon have the potential to further transform the way we work and interact with others.
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How Machine Learning Is Helping Morgan Stanley Better Understand Client Needs

harvardbusiness.org 3 August 2017
Systems that provide automated investment advice from financial firms have been referred to as robo-advisers. While no one in the industry is particularly fond of the term, it has caught on nonetheless. However, the enhanced human advising process — augmented by machine learning — that was recently announced by Morgan Stanley goes well beyond the robo label, and may help to finally kill off the term.
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Leading Digital Transformation Is Like Urban Planning

harvardbusiness.org 2 August 2017
Most companies want their businesses to keep pace with digital startups, but end up bogged down by the need to fix the daily challenges that their decades-old IT systems create. How do you redesign and rebuild major infrastructure while keeping the day-to-day work going? This kind of challenge is often referred to as “repairing the airplane while you’re flying it.” But a more instructive analogy might be the redesign of a major city’s infrastructure.
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How AI Will Change the Way We Make Decisions

harvardbusiness.org 26 July 2017
With the recent explosion in AI, there has been the understandable concern about its potential impact on human work. Plenty of people have tried to predict which industries and jobs will be most affected, and which skills will be most in demand. (Should you learn to code? Or will AI replace coders too?)
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How AI Is Already Changing Business

harvardbusiness.org 20 July 2017
Erik Brynjolfsson, MIT Sloan School professor, explains how rapid advances in machine learning are presenting new opportunities for businesses. He breaks down how the technology works and what it can and can’t do (yet). He also discusses the potential impact of AI on the economy, how workforces will interact with it in the future, and suggests managers start experimenting now. Brynjolfsson is the co-author, with Andrew McAfee, of the HBR Big Idea article, “The Business of Artificial Intelligence.” They’re also the co-authors of the new book, Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future.
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Sometimes 'Small Data' Is Enough to Create Smart Products

harvardbusiness.org 19 July 2017
When thinking about practical applications for artificial intelligence in your business, it’s easy to assume that you need vast amounts of data to get started. AI is fueled by data, and so it only makes sense that the more data you have, the smarter your AI gets, right? Not exactly.
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The Amazon-Whole Foods Deal Means Every Other Retailer's Three-Year Plan Is Obsolete

harvardbusiness.org 21 June 2017
When Amazon announced last week that it will acquire Whole Foods Market, a grocery chain with over 450 retail stores and deep industry talent, for $13.7 billion, Amazon’s stock price rose 2.4% on the news, increasing its market capitalization by $11 billion. At the same time, the price of SuperValu plummeted 14.4%, Kroger dropped 9.2%, and Sprouts fell 6.3%. You could almost hear the three-year plans of every grocer, and nearly every other traditional retailer, grinding through the shredding machines.

Blockchain - What You Need to Know

harvardbusiness.org 15 June 2017
Karim Lakhani, Harvard Business School professor and co-founder of the HBS Digital Initiative, discusses blockchain, an online record-keeping technology that many believe will revolutionize commerce. Lakhani breaks down how the technology behind bitcoin works and talks about the industries and companies that could see new growth opportunities or lose business. He also has recommendations for managers: start experimenting with blockchain as soon as possible. Lakhani is the co-author of the article “The Truth About Blockchain” in the January-February 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review.

Does Your Company Know What to Do with All Its Data?

harvardbusiness.org 15 June 2017
There are many ways to put data to work, and companies, and especially their leaders, are advised to explore as many of them as they can. Each presents distinct opportunities for profit and competitive advantage, from product improvements to new revenue streams to possible industry game changers. At the same time, each presents challenges that must be experienced to be appreciated.
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AI Can Comb Through Your Data to Create More Compelling Customer Experiences

harvardbusiness.org 14 June 2017
jun17-14-hbr-Neasden-Control-Centre-01Neasden Control Centre for HBR The world has more data than ever before. In fact, it's estimated that by 2020, we'll produce 44 zettabytes every day. That's equal to 44 trillion gigabytes. One gigabyte can hold the contents of enough books to cover a 30-foot-long shelf. Multiply that by 44 trillion. That's a lot of data - too much for most companies to process. And yet front-line employees are still often left operating with data that's 'too little, too late.' Most organizations are challenged to extract meaningful insights from their customer data when they're drowning in so many data feeds. Data is not always shared efficiently. Many of the world's biggest companies operate in silos - for example, their customer service and sales departments do not share a customer relationship management (CRM) database, and employees don't collaborate around the customer to ensure a powerful customer experience. More often than not, employees in one de
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If Your Company Isn't Good at Analytics, It's Not Ready for AI

harvardbusiness.org 7 June 2017
Management teams often assume they can leapfrog best practices for basic data analytics by going directly to adopting artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies. But companies that rush into sophisticated artificial intelligence before reaching a critical mass of automated processes and structured analytics can end up paralyzed. They can become saddled with expensive start-up partnerships, impenetrable black-box systems, cumbersome cloud computational clusters, and open-source toolkits without programmers to write code for them.
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8 Ways Machine Learning Is Improving Companies' Work Processes

harvardbusiness.org 31 May 2017
Today’s leading organizations are using machine learning–based tools to automate decision processes, and they’re starting to experiment with more-advanced uses of artificial intelligence (AI) for digital transformation. Corporate investment in artificial intelligence is predicted to triple in 2017, becoming a $100 billion market by 2025. Last year alone saw $5 billion in machine learning venture investment. In a recent survey, 30% of respondents predicted that AI will be the biggest disruptor to their industry in the next five years. This will no doubt have profound effects on the workplace.
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AI Is the Future of Cybersecurity, for Better and for Worse

harvardbusiness.org 8 May 2017
In the near future, as artificial intelligence (AI) systems become more capable, we will begin to see more automated and increasingly sophisticated social engineering attacks. The rise of AI-enabled cyberattacks is expected to cause an explosion of network penetrations, personal data thefts, and an epidemic-level spread of intelligent computer viruses. Ironically, our best hope to defend against AI-enabled hacking is by using AI. But this is very likely to lead to an AI arms race, the consequences of which may be very troubling in the long term, especially as big government actors join the cyber wars.
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Smart Cities Are Going to Be a Security Nightmare

harvardbusiness.org 28 April 2017
In the fictional world of the video game Watch Dogs, you can play a hacktivist who takes over the central operating system of a futuristic, hyper-connected Chicago. With control over the city’s security system, you can spy on residents using surveillance cameras, intercept phone calls, and cripple the city’s critical infrastructure, unleashing a vicious cyberattack that brings the Windy City to its knees.
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Why Do IoT Companies Keep Building Devices with Huge Security Flaws?

harvardbusiness.org 27 April 2017
Earlier this year an alarming story hit the news: Hackers had taken over the electronic key system at a luxury hotel in Austria, locking guests out of their rooms until the hotel paid a ransom. It was alarming, of course, for the guests and for anyone who ever stays at a hotel. But it came as no surprise to cybersecurity experts, who have been increasingly focused on the many ways in which physical devices connected to the internet, collectively known as the internet of things (IoT), can be hacked and manipulated. (The hotel has since announced that it is returning to using physical keys.)
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Can AI Ever Be as Curious as Humans?

harvardbusiness.org 5 April 2017
Curiosity has been hailed as one of the most critical competencies for the modern workplace. It’s been shown to boost people’s employability. Countries with higher curiosity enjoy more economic and political freedom, as well as higher GDPs. It is therefore not surprising that, as future jobs become less predictable, a growing number of organizations will hire individuals based on what they could learn, rather than on what they already know.

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