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Ideas Made to Matter
From crypto regulation to AI domination to employee empowerment, here’s what had business leaders, scholars, and scientists talking this year.
“People want to work for a place that is incredibly purpose-driven, where they feel respected and valued, and where they can do their best work.”
That observation, from Tiffany Stevenson, chief people officer at Patreon, strikes an optimistic note at the end of a year when employees were top of mind for business leaders —whether it was luring them back to the office, training them up for digital transformation and AI, or trying to retain them in the era of quiet quitting vs. “hardcore” ultimatums.
And a restive workforce was just one of many hot-button issues senior leaders had to confront. From the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission to the former CEO of IBM, here are the quotes and comments that captured the dominant management challenges this year.
“There’s a risk that the crisis of 2027 or the crisis of 2034 is going to be embedded somewhere in predictive data analytics.” — Gary Gensler, chairman, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
“The metaverse is almost entirely hype and baloney right now.” — Philip Rosedale, founder, Second Life
“Sustainability is now a driver of whether you can attract talent, retain talent, retain customers, and retain investors.” — Audrey Choi, chief sustainability officer, Morgan Stanley
“One sign an idea is a good one is if it makes people a little bit uncomfortable.” — Ginni Rometty, former CEO, IBM
“Work hard, know your facts, and keep asking questions until there are no more to ask.” —Julie Johnson, VP and General Manager, Mobile Computing Business, Zebra Technologies
“Using artificial intelligence in a way that’s human-centered as opposed to exploitative will be a true strategic advantage.” —senior lecturer and research scientist, MIT Sloan
“Financial markets are very prone to become monopolized without any intervention.” —professor, MIT Sloan
“People will leave companies where they don’t have flexibility for companies that do.” — Drew Houston, co-founder and CEO, Dropbox
“When the Web3 wave hits, we’re going to have a paradigm shift just like we had in the ‘90s when Amazon appeared.” — Mert Damlapinar, director of e-commerce strategic insights and tech products, L’Oréal
“Aspirations are great. Actions are essential.” —co-founder, MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative
“You don’t want the first time you’ve thought about a cyberattack to be in the middle of a cyberattack.”— Keri Pearlson, executive director, Cybersecurity at MIT Sloan
“Data is increasingly an asset that has both value and risk.” — Maria Villar, head of enterprise data strategy and transformation, SAP
“Reducing emissions is not enough; to ensure against a catastrophic climate change outcome, we need to invest now in adaptation.” — MIT Sloan professorauthor, “Climate Future”
“Representation matters, and having others to look up to — and hear from — makes a big difference.”— Jaclyn Loo, MBA ’11, global product marketing lead, Google Nest
“Customers aren’t just people who buy your products; they are people who give you very valuable data.” — Mohan Subramaniam, author, “The Future of Competitive Strategy”
“All humans are born entrepreneurs; we wouldn’t survive if we weren’t.” —managing director, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship
“The moment you are no longer challenged or intellectually stimulated, it’s time to seek other opportunities.” — Samuel Epee-Bounya, MBA ’03, managing director, Wellington Management
“Almost every investor you will ever meet is way over-invested in fixed-income securities.” — Charles Ellis, author, “Winning the Loser’s Game”
“When we see turnover, how much of that is ‘burned out,’ and how much is ‘fed up’?” — Melissa Swift, U.S. transformation leader, Mercer
“The U.S. is extremely good at college education … but it dramatically underinvests in anything that’s not based in college.” — David Autor, MIT professor, co-chair, MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future
“What Netflix did to movie theaters and the media industry, TikTok is doing to Netflix.” — Scott Galloway, professor, New York University
Read: 21 quotes for business and management from 2021
The mission of the MIT Sloan School of Management is to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and to generate ideas that advance management practice.
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