Morning Advantage: Robots!

"Want to lead the free world?" asks Foreign Policy. "You'd better figure out what to do about the rise of the machines." All sorts of robots, not just drones, are now changing the way world leaders wield power, argues Peter W. Singer in this piece. "Robotics is akin to gunpowder, the steam engine, or the computer. It's a game-changing technology not merely because of its power, but because of its impact both on and off the battlefield." Singer reviews the recent advances in military robotics, which he says are still in the "Model T" stage, and also points out that automation has a business impact as well: taking jobs away from humans. But robotics is also itself a booming industry, creating jobs for those with the skills to design, program, and build them. While military use is driving much of this innovation now, like so many military innovations — from the wristwatch to the Internet — we can expect robots to reshape our lives, and our businesses, in the future.

Note: HBR wrote about this "Rapture for nerds" earlier this year.

ALSO: UNICORNS

Delivering Large-Scale IT Projects on Time, on Budget, and on Value (McKinsey Quarterly)

17% of IT projects go so wrong, they can threaten the existence of the company itself. Scary stuff. But authors Michael Bloch, Sven Blumberg, and Jürgen Laartz have four pointers that can help. First, don't just focus on the budget and the schedule; make sure you're also managing strategy and key stakeholders. Second, make sure you have the right internal and external talent on the project. Third, make sure the teams working on the project have incentives that are aligned with the project's goals. And finally, double-down on stringent project management. Easier said than done.

TRICKLE DOWN PETERS OUT

When a Growing Economy Still Feels Bad (The Spectator)

"Here's the rub," explains James Plunkett. "GDP growth isn’t actually all that good a predictor of income growth for ordinary working households." So even while GDP growth ticks anemically up in developed countries, workers don't feel better off. And if you're in the bottom half of earners, that link is even weaker. Wages aren't likely to improve until unemployment rates do; so many people out of work means that employers don't really need to pay a premium for talent. Includes a very depressing chart.

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News You Can Use

How to Negotiate Your Parental Leave (HBR.org)
Social Media Tips from Tupperware (INSEAD Blog)
Leading in a Two-Speed World (BCG Perspectives)

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