How to use a “digital mentor” to avoid the dunning-kruger effect

I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” (Albert Einstein)

Curiosity is one of the main leverages for continuous improvement. However, it is not enough if you don’t have someone to guide you along a growth path. With this goal in mind, MIP Politecnico di Milano developed FLEXA, the online platform created with Microsoft and aiming to be a digital mentor for current MIP students and alumni, in order to create a path of professional growth that is as flexible as possible.

Thanks to the work of Artificial Intelligence, FLEXA offers:

  • A hard skills self-evaluation
  • A soft skills assessment
  • A digital skills assessment
  • The possibility to insert your career goals
  • The chance to define the daily/weekly amount of time you want to dedicate to your improvement.

The user starts by defining the areas in which he/she wants to grow. After an evaluation, the platform allows the user to identify the gaps and the content necessary to be able to fill them.

Another important component is the time that the user has available for his/her training (“time is money”, they say). The content provided and the growth plan, in fact, consider the weekly hours that can be dedicated to studying and the period within which you want to obtain results.

With only these two pieces of information, FLEXA will provide you with plenty of materials, webinars, articles, events and videos from which you can choose to boost your knowledge.

Let’s talk about the self-evaluation. Is it truly easy to do? Apparently yes, but it’s not.

It takes time to properly evaluate your own level of knowledge. If you do it in a superficial way, you risk either overestimating or underestimating yourself, falling into the Dunning-Kruger effect.

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool”, wrote Shakespeare in As You Like It. And that’s the essence of the Dunning-Kruger effect, according to which those individuals who are least capable in a particular area of knowledge are most likely to overestimate their capability.

Only with experience can you properly get to understand which is your true level of competence.

The Dunning-Kruger effect makes you understand how important it is to fully comprehend your strengths and, above all, your weaknesses. Yes, because you must work hard on these weaknesses to improve yourself and to become an all-round professional.

Aristotle, one of the most famous philosophers in history, was convinced that “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom”. And the “beginning of all wisdom” can’t be that easy, can it?

Starting to do a good evaluation of yourself and your competences is the first step towards setting the best path for career growth. So, before beginning FLEXA’s skill assessment, try to focus on yourself. With a digital tutor it is even easier to be honest and admit your weaknesses.

This test will also be a good chance to focus on the main skills you’d like to improve and on the aspirations you have in the long term.

 In the Hard Skills section, you’re encouraged to reflect on yourself and the technical skills you have acquired to date. Through a self-assessment, you will be asked to define your level of knowledge of each of the complex skills that, based on the benchmarking, are generally required to operate within the functional area of ​​your choice.

The Soft and Digital skills sections are a little different and are evaluated through a bunch of multiple-choice questions.

At the end of the set of assessments you will be offered feedback, based on which you will be given a guide for the development of the level of your skills. The top critical skills to be developed for each set of skills (hard, soft and digital) will be highlighted as follows:

during the time, FLEXA will show your progress in each of the three fields of skills. From my point of view this is really helpful, and quite motivating. Having continuous feedback on how much you have improved and the great results you have achieved can be a huge incentive to keep on learning.

So, in order to stay curious, as Einstein said, why not give it a try and start your FLEXA Journey? Go to and log in with your MIP email. For any questions or need of support, you can contact the FLEXA Support team by writing to


About the author
Marco Di Salvio

Student of the International Part Time MBA at MIP Politecnico di Milano.
Industrial Engineer currently working @ Gucci as WW Supply & Demand Planner, based in Florence.
Tech passionate, Cinema-lover, Sports addicted.
Solving the world’s problems one spreadsheet at a time.


Digital Experience


Digital innovation is a central theme at MIP.
It all started in 2014, with the launch of the first Executive MBA in digital learning.
Since then, FLEX EMBA has been included by AMBA among the most innovative MBAs in the world, and its courses have been the first in Italy to receive the EOOCS certification. Cherry on the top, it ranked 7th in the world and among the top 4 in Europe in the QS Distance Online MBA 2019 Rankings.

In the last five years, our engagement in innovating education through digital has skyrocketed and today, digital learning is part of most of our programs.
Not only our MBA and Executive MBA programs  have been updated to put a greater emphasis on topics such as  digital innovation and digital transformation, but the School also launched the Executive Program in Digital Transformation FLEX , a digitally delivered program aiming at giving to professionals, managers and entrepreneurs the tool-box to spread Digital Transformation in their business.

Moreover, video-clips and live sessions have been included also in the new editions of a number of programs that used to be delivered only on campus, such as a selected portfolio of the Management Academy and Corporate courses, some masters targeting Institutions & Public Administrations such as MaBIC, MIDIS, SUM, EMMPF and EMGIS, and – starting from next fall – also the International Specializing Masters IM4, AMIE, MSCPM.

Yet, an innovative learning platform developed in partnership with Microsoft, a renewed library of interactive multimedia clips, interactions via social media tools moderated by our lecturers and live sessions are just some the ingredients of MIP Digital Experience!

Indeed, the School has just launched FLEXA, the innovative Artificial Intelligence platform developed in partnership with Microsoft to ensure personalized continuous learning to students, Alumni and – soon – to professionals.

Look for the Masters and courses with the Digital Experience logo to live a truly innovative #MIPexperience!

Fluid, integrated and mixed: here’s the publishing industry of the future

The New York Times recently reported 700 million dollars in revenue just for its digital business. On the other hand, at a global level, revenue for the information industry is down in many countries, including Italy, as news publications struggle to interpret the current communication context in an economically sustainable way. How is the market for information evolving?

«This situation doesn’t surprise me and has very deep roots – says Giuliano Noci, professor of Strategy & Marketing at Politecnico di Milano’s School of Management and Vice Rector for China at the same university –. In the past some people thought that advertising alone could sustain an online business, a prediction that was proved wrong. At the same time, twenty years ago many publishers responded to the arrival of digital by cutting costs and lowering quality as a result. That turned out to be a mistake, because news today has become a commodity: news alone has no value, anyone can provide it. It was and is necessary to offer depth of analysis, the ability to interpret phenomena in the medium and long term. In the United States they have moved in this direction, increasingly strengthening the component of interpretation with respect to reporting of pure and simple current events and leveraging off the reputation that comes from the prestige of their brands».

The web hasn’t led to a lowering of quality, rather to a polarization between those who care only about price, and so look for free contents, and those who instead are looking for quality and are ready to pay for it.

 «Then there’s also an organizational aspect, on which Italy is particularly late – continues Professor Noci –. Delivering information today doesn’t only mean producing texts, but working from a multimedia perspective, which means centralized newsrooms instead of newsrooms separated from web activities».

At the base of the success of some publishing models there’s therefore also a rethinking of the relationship between digital means and “traditional” journalism, with an eye on greater integration between the two components.

In addition, we are witnessing a reversal in some workflows, with news that is produced directly for digital channels and the paper versions of newspapers that serve as a collection or “best of” the contents that appeared digitally even several days earlier.

Thus it’s not surprising that some iconic newspapers have been purchased and relaunched by big web entrepreneurs. Recently Marc Benioff, founder and CEO of Salesforce (the world’s leading CRM platform), and his wife announced the acquisition of the famous Time weekly. And behind the revival of The Washington Post there’s Jeff Bezos, founder of the famous e-commerce portal Amazon, who in 2013 took it over, full of debt, from the Graham family. And to those who asked him the reason for this purchase, Bezos answered that Internet destroyed most of the advantages that dailies had built up over time but offered them a gift: free global distribution. To benefit from that gift, Bezos implemented a new business model no longer based solely on high revenue per reader, but on the acquisition of a greater number of readers.

But does English language information also benefit from the large size of the audience and its different cultural predisposition?  «No – answers Giuliano Noci –. If Italian media survived twenty years ago, there’s no reason it can’t in the current environment, in which instead, if you know how to exploit it, there are prospects for greater growth. My experience with omnichannel sales leads may to say that the presumed immaturity of consumers is instead an inadequate offering, which over time ends up also negatively impacting demand.
If many publishers in Italy and in Europe are in trouble, it’s because they are not up to manoeuvring the changes underway in society and don’t offer something that is perceived as being of value».

Digital is growing, but according to R&S Mediobanca data, 91.6% of worldwide publishing turnover still comes from print media.  What’s more, publishers that are solely digital like Buzzfeed have announced cuts, while many new publishing products are born in a mixed print-digital form.  Professor Giuliano Noci comments: «Today the mixed model prevails, because people prefer to use media in a mixed manner.
Both digital and print fundamentalists are wrong. All the most recent studies tell us that consumption behaviours must be segmented not based on individuals, but on the life context in which they’ve found themselves. So, there’s not the person who under all conditions prefers to be informed by the radio, TV, web or by reading a newspaper, but everyone, depending on the moment of the day or the situation in which they find themselves, favours one or the other means. Behaviours are very fluid and can be intercepted only by an equally fluid offering».