Reports and Whitepapers

January 2019

If there’s one commonality in society, it’s the dynamic pace of innovation and change. Fueling this environment are the forces of deepening digital disruption, shifting market boundaries, and growing customer power and choice. Amidst all this one thing is certain – architecting an agile supply chain is a catalyst to shaping a growth agenda.
For chief operating officers and chief supply chain officers (COO/CSCOs), shaping a growth agenda means building supply chains that are robust enough to maintain stability and accountability, but also agile enough to offer choices and delight customers, driving growth. Progress will require a deft hand, as leaders will face fresh challenges in managing multiple business models, freeing up resources to invest in innovation, and creating new ecosystems of suppliers and partners to deliver more customer-centric solutions.
To help next-generation supply chain leaders acquire these new strategies and capabilities, Leadership for a Networked World and the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, in collaboration with Accenture Strategy, convened the 2018 Next Generation Operations Summit: Shaping a Growth Agenda. The summit brought together supply chain leaders to discuss critical issues defining the profession today.

September 2018

As the pace and power of social, political, and technological change accelerate in the world, citizens and stakeholders expect everything to happen faster – including the transformation of public safety and policing organizations.

This pace of change also creates a turbulent environment in which policing leaders have to manage the “political economy” surrounding them – including the competing demands of stakeholder groups, the need for delivering innovative new policing models, and the mandate to improve public trust and safety.

At The 2018 Public Safety Summit: Leadership in Turbulent Times, convened by Leadership for a Networked World and the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard in collaboration with Mark43, public safety leaders showed how they have been able to improve operationally, learn valuable lessons about their communities, and begin to chart a pathway forward for modern policing.

August 2018

For chief financial officers, balancing the spectrum of traditional and ecosystem-based business models will not only be game-changing, but also bring unprecedented challenges and opportunities. As industries and organizations begin to shift to more ecosystem-driven environments, the CFO growth agenda will need to pivot from firm-specific operations to ecosystem-wide operations, as well as from balancing customer value to maximizing ecosystem value. Throughout this evolution, CFOs will continue to reinvent firm-wide capabilities, build new collaborations and revenue models, deploy cutting-edge machine learning and analytics, and cultivate human capital that can thrive in a rapidly evolving digital world.

February 2018

Challenging and uncertain times have always been a catalyst for looking at problems in novel ways, inventing fresh solutions, designing new organizations, and delivering better results and value. Now is no different. For leaders in health and human services, today’s challenges are bringing an unparalleled opportunity to create the future of outcomes and impact.

Creating a better, brighter, and more impactful future will require developing new forms and new levels of outcomes for individuals, families, and communities. This form of change and innovation will increasingly require health and human services leaders to build a “generative ecosystem” – a set of interconnected organizations, machines, and services that can coproduce new solutions that address and solve the root causes of individual, family, and community health and human services challenges.

January 2018

Citizens around the world are demanding more responsive, more impactful, and less costly government. From the 2016 U.S. elections, to “Brexit,” to growing populist movements in Europe and across the globe, the central challenge for leaders now is making government better, faster, cheaper, and ultimately—citizen-driven by design.

Surging to the top of citizen-driven solutions is the intersection of behavioral economics, analytics, and design-thinking. When combined, these emerging strategies position leaders to better understand the needs of citizens, design better services, and leverage “nudge”1 solutions that have been proven to not only make services more beneficial for citizens, but also generate improved outcomes and public value.

Savvy leaders are already finding that nudge-based strategies increase the likelihood of accomplishing programmatic objectives more cost-efficiently and effectively than other strategies. Initiatives such as the U.K. Behavioral Insights Team, the U.S. Social and Behavioral Sciences Team, the Qatari Nudge Unit, and an array of state, local, and regional efforts around the globe are using simple tools to reduce costs and improve results in services such as education, consumer protection, tax collection, transportation, health, and beyond. Adding nudge-based strategies to the excutive toolkit is becoming an imperative as governments face resource constraints and citizens demand better outcomes.

Yet even with this progress by early adopters, most public sector organizations looking to implement nudge-based strategies find themselves grappling with challenging questions:
Where and how can citizen-driven design and nudge concepts be readily applied to policy development, citizen-facing services, and administrative functions?
How can analytics be leveraged to better understand not only where behavioral insights can be applied, but also how to redesign public services?
What are the cultural and political implications and effects of nudge solutions on an organization, and how should leaders prepare their stakeholders?

To address these critical questions and to help public sector leaders move forward, Leadership for a Networked World, the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, and Accenture, convened the 2017 Public Sector for the Future Summit: Citizen-Driven by Design from June 13 – 15 at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This eleventh-annual Summit brought together innovative government and higher education leaders, along with leading academics and industry experts, to learn and share ideas.

This report distills the key findings from the Summit. In particular, it features insights developed in partnership with Summit attendees that highlight how leaders can harness data and analytics, capitalize on lessons learned from behavioral economics, and understand and apply design thinking concepts. It also contains three practical examples—one on Illinois’ Innovation Incubator, one on Georgia’s Department of Administrative Services and statewide procurement, and another on California’s Department of General Services and greening fleet vehicles—that highlight how public sector organizations have embraced nudges, data and analytics, and design thinking as part of broader initiatives to improve citizen services and back-office operations.

November 2017

Amidst a backdrop of deepening digital disruption, growing political uncertainty, increasing regulatory complexity, and shifting consumer preferences, one thing is certain – chief financial officers are creating a new agenda for growth.

To effectively lead in this new environment, chief financial officers and finance executives must become “chief growth officers”—the point persons who not only control stability, accountability and risk, but also grow profitability, enterprise-wide agility, sustainability, and customer trust.

This growth-oriented pivot will be valuable, yet difficult. The chief growth officer must redefine the playbook of finance by embracing disruption, spearheading the development of new business models, and building agility into operations. Growth oriented and finance-led organizations often manage two or more different business models under one roof, free up resources to invest in growth initiatives, define and measure new key performance indicators, and create new ecosystems and platforms for rapid value creation. Perhaps most critically, the chief growth officer will spend time recruiting and building new talent to lead these initiatives, creating a team that thrives at the intersection of technology and finance.

At The 2017 CFO of the Future Summit: Fueling the Growth Agenda, convened by the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard and Leadership for a Networked World, in collaboration with Accenture Strategy, current and next-generation CFOs from leading global companies workshopped their successes and learned about the future of business from top researchers in the field.

The Summit focused on critical skills and questions CFOs grapple with today, including: What is transformational change and what does it take to drive transformation in a large organization? How can organizations disrupt themselves and find new business models? What is the future of value creation? What is the new face of the CFO and finance team? Beyond spreadsheets and financial models, what does a finance-led transformation look like?

October 2017

Emerging from the disruptive forces of global regulatory flux, cyber-security risk, machine learning and automation advances, and omni-channel consumer shifts is the promise of the next generation of supply chain business models. In this digital era, chief operating officers and chief supply chain officers will have an unprecedented opportunity to harness new business models and be at the forefront of growth and enterprise value.

Yet realizing the potential of emerging ideas has always been difficult. Even for path-breaking innovations with transformative potential, the road to implementation can be filled with obstacles, twists and turns, and dead-ends. It begs the question: How can supply chain leaders break through barriers and leverage new business models to improve capacity, elevate customer experience, and increase enterprise value?

To help current and next generation supply chain leaders meet the demands of this digital era, Leadership for a Networked World and the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, in collaboration with Accenture Strategy, convened The 2017 Next Generation Operations Summit: Creating a Customer-Centric Supply Chain. The report includes findings and case studies from the Summit.

August 2017

Amidst a turbulent environment, innovative public safety leaders are moving forward to achieve dramatic new levels of capacity and public value. Right now, for example, visionary police chiefs are redesigning use-of-force policy and training to improve crime response and build community trust. Cutting-edge public safety organizations are using social networks, data, and analytics to understand crime patterns and respond proactively to community needs. And inventive policing leaders are collaborating across agencies, jurisdictions, and sectors to co-create solutions to community challenges.

Yet for even the savviest leaders, often the most challenging roadblock on their transformation journey is organizational resistance to change. How do leaders in public safety address this challenge? Skillful leaders realize that driving innovation and change requires not only redesigning organizational structures, systems, processes, and human capital, but also harmonizing organizational culture with new ways of working, collaborating, and producing public value.

To help public safety leaders work through the day's challenging questions, Leadership for a Networked World and the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, in partnership with Mark43, convened The 2017 Public Safety Summit: The Dynamics of Culture and Capacity from April 21 – 23 at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This third annual Summit brought together innovative public safety, justice, and human services leaders, along with leading academics and industry experts, to learn and share ideas on how police chiefs, sheriffs, commissioners, and other officials can not only respond to broadening responsibilities more efficiently and effectively, but also transform their organizations, partnerships, operating models, and cultures to deliver improved policing outcomes and legitimacy.

April 2017

What does the future of health and human services look like? Where can we see glimpses of the future? How will we scale up promising innovations to achieve our vision?

Even with all the positive examples of progress and innovation in knitting together services, more work must be done to envision and build the ecosystem of organizations that can work together to design and deliver solutions that address the root causes of individual, family, and community health and human services challenges.

January 2017

There is no debating the digital future is here—and it’s impacting government. Citizens want public services 24/7, mobile, anticipatory, personalized, and simple—just like they get from other service organizations. In fact, research by Accenture shows that nearly three quarters (73 percent) of U.S. citizens hold government to “the same or higher” standard as their commercial providers.1 In other words, they want their government to be as smart as their smartphone. They want their government in their pocket. They demand a government that is ready and available when they are.

The central challenge for public sector leaders is this: Design government organizations for this new digital world or lose public support and legitimacy.

We have redesigned governments before in the face of such massive change. The last great redesign came at the beginning of the 20th century when we needed to address corruption and to scale services as the nation and economy grew. We needed a design that focused on accountability, transparency, equity, and fairness—and we successfully created it. Yet in today’s digital world, we also need the agility, speed, and flexibility that citizens demand.


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