MIT: Independent Activities Period: IAP

IAP 2015 Activities by Sponsor - Sloan School of Management

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"Analyzing the Methodology of Popular Business Publications: From 'Core Competence', 'In Search of Excellence', 'Good to Great' and beyond"

Michael Cusumano, Ray Fung

Add to Calendar Jan/06 Tue 06:00PM-09:00PM E51-145

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up

'Core Competence of the Corporation' by C.K. Prahalad & Gary Hamel,  'In Search of Excellence' by Tom Peters & Robert Waterman and 'Good to Great' by Jim Collins are arguably the three most prominent publications that exemplify a popular business media industry that collectively sells millions of copies a year to managers and MBA students seeking the secrets to improved company performance.  But do these publications empirically support the advice that they purport?  I walk through and analyze the methodology they use, carefully discussing the notions of falsifiability, correlation, and causality.  I then discuss in a nontechnical manner the state-of-the-art research methodologies by which modern-day researchers rigorously examine management ideas. (Familiarity with the three works cited above is helpful but not required.  I will briefly summarize the necessary sections of those works for those who are not familiar with them.)

Sponsor(s): Sloan School of Management
Contact: Jessica Anderson, E62-431, 617-253-6679,

Coolfarming - How to Create Collaborative Innovation Networks (COINs)

Peter Gloor

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/12
Limited to 20 participants
Attendance: Participants welcome at individual sessions

This course consists of three parts, part I is the foundation for parts II and III, parts can be taken separately.

Day 1: I. Swarmcreativity - Introduction to Collaboration Science

Part I teaches the the basics of Swarmcreativity, the foundation of Collaborative Innovation Networks, and introduces the dynamic semantic social network analysis tool Condor.

Day 2: II. Coolhunting

Part II teaches how to apply dynamic semantic social network analysis and Condor to discover and predict emergent trends on the Web by mining Twitter, Blogs, Facebook, Wikipedia and the Web. Coolhunting means finding new trends by finding the trendsetters before anybody else, by tapping into the collective intelligence on the Web, and interpreting it through dynamic semantic social network analysis.

Day 3: III. Virtual Mirroring & Coolfarming

Part III shows how you can develop new trends through self-organizing teams (Coolfarming) by nurturing COINs (Collaborative Innovation Networks).  It will also introduce "virtual mirroring", measuring six communication variables we have identified over the last 12 years to improve communication by continuously tracking and mirroring back individual, group and organizational interaction patterns.

This is a condensed version of a distributed course, which has been taught for the last 10 years at MIT, Aalto/Helsinki, U. Cologne, SCAD, IIT. (

Sponsor(s): Sloan School of Management
Contact: Peter Gloor, NE25-749, 617 253 7018,

Introduction to Swarmcreativity

Add to Calendar Jan/14 Wed 02:00PM-05:00PM 4-231, bring your laptop

The first part introduces the basics of Collaborative Innovation Networks (COINs) - cyberteams of intrinsically motivated people who work together over the Internet to turn a crazy idea into a disruptive innovation that changes the world. It also introduces the basics of our dynamic semantic social network analysis tool Condor.

Peter Gloor


Add to Calendar Jan/15 Thu 02:00PM-05:00PM 4-231, bring your laptop

The second part introduces Coolhunting, finding cool trends by finding the trendsetters. Using Condor, we automatically analyze Twitter, Blogs, Wikipedia, and Facebook to find the attributes of a trend, the most influential people talking about it, and measure its impact. We also look at what to do to promote these trends through viral marketing on the Web

Peter Gloor

Coolfarming - Virtual Mirroring

Add to Calendar Jan/16 Fri 02:00PM-05:00PM NE25-746, bring your laptop

Coolfarming - virtual mirroring

In the final part we look at organizational and team-level networks by analyzing e-mail archives. Through five inter-personal interaction variables of honest communication: 'strong leadership', 'rotating leaders', 'balanced contribution', 'fast response', and 'honest sentiment' that Condor automatically identifies, we measure and optimze creative teams.

Peter Gloor

Corporate Innovation: How to Make it Happen Without Getting Fired

James Utterback, Alex Slawsby

Add to Calendar Jan/22 Thu 09:00AM-05:00PM E51-335

Enrollment: Advanced Sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/16
Limited to 76 participants

This course will introduce you to what it takes to make innovation happen within a large corporation. 

This course will use current cases and interactive discussion to emphasize the practical things that successful corporate innovators (leaders, managers, team members) must thinkspeak, and do

This course will answer questions such as:

What is innovation and why is it important to corporations?

What are the different types of innovation?

Why do big companies struggle to innovative effectively, continuously?

What makes corporate innovators successful? What gets corporate innovators fired?

If I remember one thing from this course, what is it?

Sponsor(s): Sloan School of Management
Contact: Stephanie Taverna,


Christine Kelly, Senior Lecturer

Enrollment: Advance Sign-up
Sign-up by 01/09
Limited to 15 participants
Attendance: Participants must attend all sessions

Maximum enrollment:  15 students.   Students must attend all three days.

We will explore leadership by discussion of themes and  preparing speeches and scenes from Shakespeare's play, "Lear". 

We will tell our stories to identify and reflect on issues related to being a leader. The workshop will culminate in performing speeches or a scene from Shakespeare for delivery to an audience.  Prof Christine Kelly teaches leadership communication and coaches at MIT Sloan.  

Henriette Koomans is a management trainer and coach involved in developing leadership programs for private and public sector organizations in The Netherlands. For more info:

Sponsor(s): Sloan School of Management
Contact: Christine Kelly, E62-325, 617-452-3594,

Add to Calendar Jan/12 Mon 09:00AM-04:00PM E62-221
Add to Calendar Jan/13 Tue 09:00AM-04:00PM E62-221
Add to Calendar Jan/14 Wed 09:00AM-12:00PM E62-221

Christine Kelly - Senior Lecturer, Henriette Koomans

Fishbanks: Gaming for sustainable business

Jason Jay

Add to Calendar Jan/22 Thu 09:00AM-01:00PM E62-233

Enrollment: Unlimited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/20

Do you have what it takes to create a successful and sustainable fishing business?  Try your hand at a multi-player simulation game developed by the System Dynamics group at MIT Sloan.  You will be a fishing company, looking to grow your fleet of boats and make a living from the sea.  In the process, we'll learn about the dynamics of renewable resources, and the conditions for economic, social and environmental sustainability.

Fishbanks is one of several "management flight simulators" developed at MIT Sloan, and is a key part of our MBA and executive-level curriculum.  This workshop makes the experience and learnings available to the MIT undergraduate community.

Sponsor(s): Sloan School of Management
Contact: Jason Jay, E62-362, 617-253-0594,

Getting a Job? The Key Law-Sensitive Issues.

John Akula, Lou Rodrigues

Add to Calendar Jan/14 Wed 01:00PM-04:00PM E51-335

Enrollment: Limited: First come, first served (no advance sign-up)

Faculty:  John Akula, Senior Lecturer in Law, Sloan School; and Lou Rodriques, Partner, Morgan Lewis

This course will cover critical issues that you will face when entering the job market, especially in a start-up or high tech context.  We will discuss:

Background documents will be provided in the workshop.

Sponsor(s): Sloan School of Management
Contact: John Akula,

Leadership through Storytelling: Using Stories to Lead and Manage Others

Michellana Jester, Director, Action Learning

Add to Calendar Jan/21 Wed 08:30AM-04:00PM E62-221

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/16
Limited to 25 participants
Prereq: None

Stories fuel our imagination and shape the way we organize information, remember information, interpret the events of our lives, communicate our thoughts, and connect through and with our feelings.

In this workshop, participants will analyze and model what makes a good story and apply the principles and techniques developed in the workshop to share their own stories. Video recording will be used to allow participants to note their strengths and areas for further development, as well as track their progress.

As a result of this workshop, participants will know how to better speak and listen in ways that demonstrate authenticity, build trust, and foster collaboration in their professional and personal lives. Participants will share experiences to enhance their understanding and respect for one another. The workshop will be held Wednesday, January 21 through Thursday, January 22, 9:00- 4:00pm. 

Sponsor(s): Sloan School of Management
Contact: Michellana Jester, E40-196L, 617 324-1359, MJESTER@MIT.EDU

Oil and Gas Investment Analysis

Ning Wu

Enrollment: Unlimited: Advance sign-up required
Attendance: Participants must attend all sessions

This one-day course presents students with the investment analysis tool widely used within the oil and gas industry, mainly the upstream, or Exploration and Production (E&P), and teaches students how oil and gas companies make their investment decisions. The course aims to help students understand the core part of the oil and gas business, and assist them in learning more about the investment career in the oil and gas industry. It does not intend to cover every aspect of the deal making or investment in oil and gas.

The course starts with an overview of the oil and industry, and the competition landscape in the US. Then it elaborates on the investment decision system and deal makings in the oil and gas industry, and the decision tool used to conduct investment analysis. As the core part of this course, a case study, 2 Billion US dollars’ investment on shale gas by an international oil major, is adopted to showcase the investment decision analysis and process. This case study can be done by groups and with discussions. Finally, the course will close by open-ended discussion on investment risks and risk management in the oil and gas industry, as well as career in business or investment track in this industry.

Advance sign up at

Sponsor(s): Urban Studies and Planning, Sloan School of Management
Contact: Ning Wu,

Add to Calendar Jan/21 Wed 09:00AM-05:00PM E51-145

Ning Wu

Tax Issues for Employees and Entrepreneurs

Joseph Weber, Howard Mandelcorn

Add to Calendar Jan/26 Mon 01:00PM-04:00PM E25-111
Add to Calendar Jan/27 Tue 01:00PM-04:00PM E25-111

Enrollment: Unlimited: Advance sign-up required

This course intends to expose students to a broad range of tax issues students will encounter shortly after graduation as an entrepreneur or an employee. For a new employee, taxes are an important consideration in decisions regarding deductions and retirement savings (through employee and employer contributions such as 401k's IRAs, etc). Taxes also feature prominently in decisions with respect to stock option-based compensation. Also, tax related issues for U.S. taxpayers working overseas will be addressed. For the entrepreneur, taxes also influence a new business venture's choice of entity: Corporation, LLC, Partnership, Sole Proprietorship. Instructor: Howard Mandelcorn is a partner at the Hutchings Barsamian Mandelcorn LLP law firm in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Sponsor(s): Sloan School of Management
Contact: Joseph Weber, E62-664, (617) 253-4310,

The Optimally Dismal Laboratory

Dr John F. Carrier, Sloan School of Management

Add to Calendar Jan/29 Thu 10:00AM-11:00AM 4-149

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/29
Limited to 45 participants

 Would you like to reduce your lab's output by 10%, 20%, or even as much as 50%?

Then Optimally Dismal Laboratory is a must attend event for you!


In this session, we provide an optimal approach for disrupting productivity, reducing safey, and dampening morale for your laboratory. We will explain the rationale behind these techniques through the systems and psychological studies of several notable MIT faculty, including Jay Forrester, John DC Little, Ed Schein, Douglas McGregor, and Kurt Lewin.  

Finally, we will show some "best practices" from several MIT labs. Also, feel free to submit photos of your lab's best productivity-disrupting activities for inclusion in the talk.


Sign up today at:



Finally, we'll present our “30 minute recipe” for reducing your lab's productivy - so you can start seeing results today!

Common Questions

Q: I am worried about the impact on my colleagues' productivity.

A: No need to worry. It will reduce their productivity as well.

Q: Could these techniques be used in reverse to improve productivity, safety, and morale?

A: Yes, but that would require a modicum of consideration and self-discipline.




Sponsor(s): Chemical Engineering, Sloan School of Management, Environment, Health and Safety Office
Contact: John Carrier,

WiFi and the Internet of Things: a hands-on workshop with the CC3200 Launchpad

Brian DeLacey

Add to Calendar Jan/29 Thu 04:00PM-10:00PM 3-270

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/26
Limited to 50 participants

This session will start with an overview of the hardware and software
behind WiFi. We'll review the various standards in place and how WiFi
compares to other wireless technologies. We'll discuss WiFi in the context
of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the various wireless technologies used
for connecting to the internet. Security, privacy, and encryption with
wireless technologies will be discussed.

For the hands-on portion, all participants will receive the CC3200
LaunchPad with on-board WiFi. Bring your laptop so you can participate in
an intro to programming this device with the open source Energia platform.
We'll develop several simple programs utilizing WiFi.

All attendees will then participate in a group project to develop a
wireless, multiplayer game that runs over WiFi. The session will end with a
"WiFi Hackathon" to explore the limits and applications of this hardware
and software technology.

Additional details will be provided at

Sponsor(s): Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Sloan School of Management
Contact: Brian DeLacey,