Michael Chui, James Manyika, and Mehdi Miremadi

It can be difficult to discern how a mathematical model trained by deep learning arrives at a particular prediction, recommendation, or decision. A black box, even one that does what it’s supposed to, may have limited utility, especially where the predictions or decisions impact society and hold ramifications that can affect individual well-being. In such cases, users sometimes need to know the “whys” behind the … [ Read more ]

What AI Can and Can’t Do (Yet) for Your Business

As recent McKinsey Global Institute research indicates, there’s a yawning divide between leaders and laggards in the application of AI both across and within sectors. Executives hoping to narrow the gap must be able to address AI in an informed way. In other words, they need to understand not just where AI can boost innovation, insight, and decision making; lead to revenue growth; and capture … [ Read more ]

The Case Against Corporate Short Termism

Despite strong pressures to focus on the short term, it is possible to manage for the long term and reap considerable rewards.

Four Fundamentals of Workplace Automation

As the automation of physical and knowledge work advances, many jobs will be redefined rather than eliminated—at least in the short term.

James Manyika, Jaana Remes, Jonathan Woetzel

Throughout history, economic growth has been fueled by two factors: the expanding pool of workers and their rising productivity. From the perspective of rising prosperity, however, it is productivity that makes all the difference. Disparities in GDP per capita among countries—or between the past and the present in the same country—primarily reflect differences in labor productivity. That in turn is the result of production and … [ Read more ]

An Executive’s Guide to the Internet of Things

The rate of adoption is accelerating. Here are six things you need to know.

A Productivity Perspective on the Future of Growth

If demography is destiny, global growth is headed for a slowdown. History, however, suggests that productivity could ride to the rescue.

Editor’s Note: an obvously topical article, but one which contains some interesting generalized observations and concepts, so definitely worth a read.

Are You Ready for the Era of ‘Big Data’?

Radical customization, constant experimentation, and novel business models will be new hallmarks of competition as companies capture and analyze huge volumes of data. Here’s what you should know.

Competitive Advantage from Better Interactions

Tacit interactions are becoming central to economic activity. Making those who undertake them more effective isn’t like tweaking a production line.

Scott C. Beardsley, Bradford C. Johnson, and James M. Manyika

Managing for effectiveness in what economists call tacit interactions—the searching, coordinating, and monitoring activities required to exchange goods, services, and information—is about fostering change, learning, collaboration, shared values, and innovation. Workers engage in a larger number of higher-quality tacit interactions when organizational barriers (such as hierarchies and silos) don’t get in the way, when people trust each other and have the confidence to organize themselves, … [ Read more ]

Scott C. Beardsley, Bradford C. Johnson, and James M. Manyika

We found that the performance of companies in relatively tacit-interactive sectors varied far more than that of other companies. The level of performance variability (defined as the standard deviation of performance divided by the mean level of performance) was 0.9 for companies in sectors with a low level of tacit interactions. Among companies in sectors with a middling number of tacit interactions it was 5.5, … [ Read more ]

A Revolution in Interaction

A study of interactions reveals how pervasive they are. As they increase in number, answers to fundamental questions about integration, scale, and scope will change. But what will happen when workers can carry out their jobs in half the time?

Editor’s Note: written in 1997 and it shows in a few spots, but still a good read…

The next revolution in interactions

For improving performance and gaining competitive advantage, offshoring and the latest advances in technology seem to grab all the headlines. Yet building a sustainable advantage requires much more. Employees whose jobs can’t be automated-any company’s high-value decision makers-hold the key to boosting productivity, so making them more effective can create an edge that competitors won’t replicate easily.

Matching People and Jobs

Achieving the most productive combination of workers and work is about to become a great deal easier.

Technology after the bubble

IT will rise again-but only if the providers learn how to help their customers make money.

Editor’s Note: in addition to discussing the future of the IT industry, the article offers 5 best practices of companies that realized real value from their IT investments.