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Mastering Innovation and Design-Thinking

July 9-11, 2018

Insanely successful companies, like Apple, Virgin, Toyota, and others, innovate continuously because of their culture of design-thinking. When done right, this thinking links inspiration and passion to execution and delivery—positively affecting every facet of the product and service.

For you to be successful at work, you need to know how to think like a designer when approaching an engineering task alone, but you especially need design-thinking skills when working within a team or leading a team. By applying a design-centered approach you’ll be able to conceive of radically innovative solutions, deeply understand who your real stakeholders are and what they care about, create vision that gets buy-in from senior management and colleagues, avoid hazards, and create solutions that people love both emotionally and intellectually.

Using a 10-step design process and a 3-step vision creation and communication process, you’ll experience the design process first hand in this interactive class that will expand your thinking and help you and your teams create more powerful solutions. You’ll learn how to create materials that align technical and non-technical audiences, understand the vital importance of the psychology behind how people interact with technology, how to manage creativity, and how to assess the effectiveness of your solutions.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND
This course is targeted for design engineers, research engineers, project engineers or managers, product engineers, members of the technical staff, applied scientists, and research scientists. The course would also be of interest to those who supervise early career professionals and those in academia (e.g. engineering and science graduate students, and post-docs).

People Analytics: Transforming Management with Behavioral Data

July 9-11, 2018

Born out of the MIT Media Lab, people analytics, using behavioral data to understand and manage organizations, has fundamentally changed how companies operate. This course will provide participants with a foundation in people analytics through discussion and hands-on exercises with real world data and tools. There are basic questions that have an impact on businesses that no one can answer. How much does the executive team communicate with engineering? Is a manager really spending time with their team? How often should a salesperson speak with a customer? The reason we can?t answer these questions is a lack of data. Surveys and consultants are useful, but their shortcomings are evident. They?re slow, subjective, and don?t actually measure what happens in the real world. New data has changed this equation. We are constantly generating data about our behavior: e-mail, IMs, calendar data, and increasingly sensor data about the real world. This is people analytics: using behavioral data about how people work to change how companies are managed. In this course, we?ll first investigate what data we have at our disposal now and in the near future. We?ll also discover what behavioral metrics really matter and how can you communicate these metrics to other stakeholders. Next, we?ll focus on how these new metrics and data streams can rapidly increase the speed and quality of decision making. Similar to A/B testing in the online space, now we can A/B test how businesses are managed. Compensation, IT systems, real estate decisions, and even org charts can now be rapidly deployed and quantitatively tested by combining behavioral data and key performance indicators (KPIs). We?ll discuss examples from Fortune 500 companies that have successfully used people analytics to improve their organizations, as well as how they are transitioning to an A/B testing decision making culture.

Persuasive Communication for Technology Professionals

July 9-13, 2018

Effective communication abilities are often among the very top desired skills that employers look for and value. How have our communication practices and needs changed in the digital age? This course focuses on four specific areas: public speaking, critical thinking, visual persuasion, and audience adaptation. The program will address each of these areas in a three-step process: First, we will identify the specific skills a successful advocate requires. Second, we will answer the question, ?What specific challenges has the advent of the digital age brought about?? Third, we will engage in workshop activities that allow program participants to put into practice the principles we have discussed.

Computational Design for Manufacturing

July 16-19, 2018

Over the next few decades, we are going to transition to a new economy where highly complex, customizable products are manufactured on demand by flexible robotic systems. This change is already underway in a number of fields. 3D printers are revolutionizing production of metal parts in aerospace, automotive, and medical industries. Manufacturing electronics on flexible substrates opens the door to a whole new range of products for consumer electronics and medical diagnostics. Overall, these new machines enable batch-one manufacturing of products that have unprecedented complexity. This course gives an introduction to the new field of computational design that is essential for the next revolution in manufacturing. Participants will be given an overview of the advanced manufacturing hardware, methods for creating digital materials, and computational design of objects at voxel-level. The course will cover generative design workflows that automatically translate functional specifications of objects to manufacturable designs. The course will also introduce participants to AI methods for computational design that utilize expert knowledge and large data repositories. Finally, the course will showcase new workflows for design across multiple domains (e.g., shape, materials, control, and software) that simplify the process and fully utilize the design space.

Engineering Leadership for Emerging Leaders

July 16-20, 2018

Offered by the premier Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program, this five-day course is designed to equip you with the skills and perspectives needed to lead yourself and others in today’s engineering and technology environments. You will improve your leadership skills by learning from the latest breakthroughs in the practice of leadership within a program that draws on a variety of teaching methods, especially hands-on learning. Like the practice of leadership itself, this program will be high-contact, high-energy, and consequential.

The transition to becoming an engineering leader is one of the most promising, yet challenging experiences that engineering professionals can face. The promise comes from becoming a new kind of professional; one who can mobilize sometimes-conflicting individuals around a shared vision, solve problems through “real” teamwork, and motivate people to deliver their best results. The challenge comes from learning to work in an entirely new way; from relying solely on oneself to deliver individual results to leading others to deliver collective results. Herein lies the nature of the delicate relationship between leadership and followership.
During our five-day program, you will:

  • Enhance your understanding of the nature of leadership and followership
  • Build a foundation of team-building skills
  • Develop and deliver an inspiring and shared vision
  • Discover new ways to lead and motivate others in technical environments
  • Gain support for your ideas in environments characterized by conflicting stakeholder needs
  • Learn to manage conflicts through negotiations and constructive dialogues

Innovation: Beyond the Buzzword

July 16-18, 2018

We live in an age of exponential change in which rapid innovation is disrupting and unseating incumbent products and industries, creating new technological frontiers, and challenging nearly everything we think we know about business. For instance, think Uber and the end of the medallion taxi industry. Think Airbnb in twice as many countries as Hilton in less than 5 percent of the time. Think Tesla. Think Oculus. But beyond using the "buzzword," can you really define innovation?

In this course, which is centered on the concept of Design Thinking, your answer to that question will come from actually involving yourself in the activity of innovating.

The course will include lectures from faculty and guests, discussions of case studies in innovation models and methods, and learning expeditions on and beyond the MIT campus. But it will also go beyond these traditional classroom activities to include hands-on experiences with some cutting-edge innovations as well as group work and a class hackathon to engage in genuine innovating ? and through that, to gain an understanding beyond the buzzword. Participants will emerge as more critical thinkers, knowledgeable about what innovation is (and is not), how it happens, how to discern meaningful trends in design and technology, and how to identify opportunities and propose innovative products, services, and experiences. Active class participation, a willingness to engage with others in a creative process, and a recognition that you might have a lot to learn about innovation are all prerequisites for the course.

Who Should Attend: To facilitate the cross-pollination of ideas, approaches, and critical thought, professionals from all industries are welcome. People from across the functional business spectrum will find the course valuable, including strategy leaders, directors of innovation and technology, product managers, engineers, marketers, and R&D personnel. All participants must come with a willingness and enthusiasm to engage and be ready to share their particular passions and expertise.

Principles and Models for System Architecture

July 16-20, 2018

The complexity of products is increasing as we demand additional functionality and higher performance from them. In many cases, we must move to new architectures in order to accommodate this complexity. Furthermore, novel products and systems development require the involvement of and communication between professionals with multiple disciplinary backgrounds as well as with external stakeholders. This promise of this collaboration is to detecting failure modes and constraints early on during its lifecycle, but in practice the early phase of product development is often unstructured. In this course, we will show that complex engineering systems have a set of common principles that cuts across the traditional fields of engineering. The discipline of System Architecture (SA) has been growing in response to this increase in system and product complexity. System architecture is an early lifecycle activity that determines the systems concept and key technical tradeoffs. Nurturing systems thinking and engineering skills, the course begins with System Architecture as a series of decisions that frame the form to function mapping. Learners are exposed to a number of architecture representations, including the Object-Process Methodology (OPM) and the Design Structure Matrix (DSM). Learners gain hands-on modeling experience on a system of their choice by building a series of model deliverables through the course. Learners are exposed to a selection of advanced architecting topics, notably creating tradespaces of designs and the management role of the architect.

Humans, Technology, and the Future of Work

July 16-18, 2018

This course examines the impact that increasing technology use has on workforce productivity. Attendees can expect to, 1) grow their understanding of existing workforce performance limitations, 2) determine how technology can help circumvent these limitations, 3) grasp the productivity challenges technology poses, and 4) explore possible solutions for navigating these challenges in the complex Future of Work. Case studies examined will cut across industries and challenge participants to conceptualize how technological use may affect and be affected by the Future of Work. The course material is interdisciplinary, drawing on literature from psychology, economics, demography, law and ethics.

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