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Must Reads

How AI Is Already Changing Business

Sarah Green Carmichael, Harvard Business Review's HBR IdeaCast, July 20, 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. [ more]

Forgot Where You Parked? Good

Ulrich Boser, The New York Times, June 30, 2017

Forgetting is supposed to be the antithesis of learning, and whether we're a kid or an adult, most of us are plainly embarrassed if we can't recall a name or fact. But it turns out that forgetting can help us gain expertise, and when we relearn something we couldn't recall, we often develop a richer form of understanding. [ more]

Is Diversity in the Boardroom Reversing?

Laura W. Geller, Strategy+Business, June 21, 2017

After rising steadily for the past seven years, the number of women in the boardroom actually fell in 2016. According to Heidrick & Struggles' latest Board Monitor study, women filled 27.8 percent of the open boardroom seats at Fortune 500 companies in 2016, down from 29.8 percent in 2015. Last year was the first time the percentage had fallen since 2009. Three years ago, the executive search firm believed women would reach parity in the boardroom by 2024; now it believes that day won't come until 2032. It's a troubling shift, and one that has the potential for ripple effects. [ more]

The Behavioral Economics of Why Executives Underinvest in Cybersecurity

Alex Blau, Harvard Business Review, June 7, 2017

Determining the ROI for any cybersecurity investment, from staff training to AI-enabled authentication managers, can best be described as an enigma shrouded in mystery. The digital threat landscape changes constantly, and it's very difficult to know the probability of any given attack succeeding — or how big the potential losses might be. Even the known costs, such as penalties for data breaches in highly regulated industries like health care, are a small piece of the ROI calculation. In the absence of good data, decision makers must use something less than perfect to weigh the options: their judgment. But insights from behavioral economics and psychology show that human judgment is often biased in predictably problematic ways. In the case of cybersecurity, some decision makers use the wrong mental models to help them determine how much investment is necessary and where to invest. [ more]

Female CEOs Have More Women on Their Boards—A Lot More

Equilar, May 25, 2017

As board composition, evaluation and diversity continue to be hot-button issues in corporate governance, investors are applying additional scrutiny on how companies approach succession planning at the highest levels of their organizations. At the request of the Associated Press for its annual CEO pay study, Equilar analyzed data on chief executives who had served at least two consecutive fiscal years at companies in the S&P 500, and found that there were 21 female CEOs on the list. [ more]

We Studied Brands Around The World. What Consumers Want Isn’t What You Think

Brian Millar, Fast Company, May 31, 2017

Traditional advertising went after "share of mind"– the idea was to get you to associate a brand with a single idea, a single emotion. Volvo: safety. Jaguar: speed. Coke: happiness. The Economist: success. Bang, bang, bang, went the ads, hammering the same idea into your mind every time you saw one. Advertising briefs evolved to focus the creatives on a single USP and a single message. Tell them we're the Ultimate Driving Machine. Tell them in a thrilling way. It worked when you saw ads infrequently on television, in a Sunday magazine, or on a billboard on your morning commute. It hasn't worked online. Audiences have stopped engaging with advertising. Yet there are many brands online that people don't want to block. Popular brands had multifaceted personalities. They could make you laugh, or cheer, or lean forward and take notes. They'd stopped hammering away at a share of mind, and were expanding to achieve a share of emotion. [ more]

What Sets Successful CEOs Apart

Elena Lytkina Botelho, Kim Rosenkoetter Powell, Stephen Kincaid, and Dina Wang, Harvard Business Review, May/June 2017

At the top of the ladder, the stakes are high and the demands intense. Too many CEOs falter in the job; about a quarter of the Fortune 500 chiefs who leave their firms each year are forced out. Clearly, boards do not always get their hires right. In conducting an analysis of in-depth assessments of 17,000 executives, the authors uncovered a large disconnect between what directors think makes for an ideal CEO and what actually leads to high performance. The findings of their 10-year research project challenge many widely held assumptions. [ more]

CEOs Reveal the Best Advice They’ve Ever Got

Tom Huddleston, Jr., Fortune Video, Sara Haralson, Fortune, May 23, 2017

Has someone ever given you advice that stuck with you? Most people who have achieved business success got some solid advice along the way. In the latest episode of Fortune's Tech-Cetera series, they asked several CEOs and other executives about the best advice they ever got. [ more]

Four Management Lessons From Self-Driving Cars

Sam Ransbotham, MITSloan Management Review, May 22, 2017

Though much attention has been centered on self-driving cars, business is missing the key lessons about AI that the evolution of the automobile has to offer. [ more]

Facebook’s Zuckerberg is working on a way to connect you to people you ‘should’ know

Johana Bhuiyan, recode, May 21, 2017

Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook CEO who is totally not a future presidential candidate, shared some of what he learned from his early trips around the country. (ICYMI: The not-White House hopeful wanted to visit every state he hadn't spent a lot of time in this year.) The actual crux of the post comes later when Zuckerberg writes why he's taking on this new challenge. Basically: He's not running for office, he wants to find ways to strengthen Facebook's "community." [ more]

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