Here are choice articles on hot leadership topics culled from the business schools, the business press and major consulting firms, to start off your work week. I’m pointing you to articles about leadership, strategy, industries, innovation, women and work, and work and learning now and in the future. Highlights include the difference between good leaders and great ones, how collective learning improves innovation, how innovative companies get their best ideas from academic research, and building a high-performance, highly engaged culture.
Be sure to look for dots that you can connect.
Note: Some links require you to register or are to publications that have some form of limited paywall.
Thinking about Leadership and Strategy
“That anyone can develop as a leader is not in question. What I dispute is the stubborn resolve that great and good are points along the same stream. That just isn’t so. Great leadership and good leadership have distinctly different characteristics and paths. Leadership is not one-dimensional. It can be great and good, or one but not the other, or neither.”
“We all spend a good deal of time polishing our public personas. We pour our professional accomplishments into LinkedIn profiles. Facebook has become a channel for sharing events both momentous and meaningless — a new job, a family vacation, what we had for breakfast. Twitter allows us to engage in stream-of-consciousness commentary on almost anything.”
“Pressure to deliver short-term results and accommodate Millennial employees complicates the culture challenge.”
Industries and Analysis
From Tanguy Catlin, Somesh Khanna, Johannes-Tobiaz Lorenz, and Sandra Sancier-Sultan: Making digital strategy a reality in insurance
“Digital transformation is challenging in insurance, where change must happen without interrupting the flow of daily business. Here’s how savvy leaders are taking on the challenge.”
“Instead of buying a new $500,000 bulldozer or $300,000 excavator, many construction firms and other equipment users are renting or entering longer-term leases for machines to expand their fleets or replace worn out equipment, dealers and analysts say. Dealers, in turn, are keeping smaller inventories of new wheel loaders, backhoes and other machinery. That is hurting sales for Caterpillar Inc., Volvo AB, Deere & Co. and other manufacturers.”
“In response to consumer demand, restaurants, grocers and other food service companies have shifted toward chickens and turkeys that are raised sustainably — ‘naturally,’ more humanely, with less environmental impact and without antibiotics. But there has been comparatively little progress made with beef or pork.”
Innovation and Technology
“Where ‘entrepreneurial ecosystems’ exist, there are hotbeds of rapid entry and experimentation. These ecosystems consist of mostly small organisations that share a technological architecture and a set of norms. Take the Apple App Store, where app developers often rely on users who make concise suggestions on improvements, point out bugs and cite competing products in their feedback. This not only gives the app developer the consumer’s perspective, but also an industry landscape view of the competition and competing apps.”
“Lockheed Martin engineers and service technicians at Bosch are just some of the manufacturing workers who have already turned to augmented reality. Many more will follow toward the fine line between reality and virtual.”
“To account for its success, many point to America’s entrepreneurial culture, its tolerance for failure and its unique ecosystem of venture funding. Those factors do play important roles, but the most important thing driving America’s success has been its unparalleled scientific leadership.”
Women and the Workplace
“In the drive to get more women into senior management roles in business, mentoring programs have proliferated both within organisations and across sectors. But the question remains – why haven’t these mentoring relationships had a significant impact on the statistics?”
“Tech wasn’t their first choice. They were thinking biology, environmental science, maybe medicine. To one, tech seemed out of reach – reserved for men who spent their childhood rebuilding computers. To another, years into a doctorate in another field, it felt like it was too late to start over. They made the leap anyway, three women who found their way into tech by disproving stereotypes and overcoming their own skepticism to discover new careers.”
“But at 56 and as the CEO of GE Ventures, Siegel feels it’s time to share her experiences and shed light on the challenges women face as they move through their careers. It’s a shared responsibility of the high-ranking women of her generation who have less to lose from speaking out.”
Work and Learning Now and in the Future
“There is no question that workplaces have taken a perverse turn, and I mean that in its brutal Freudian sense. We live in a society where receiving chemotherapy means you are fit for work and ‘toxic leadership’ has become a mainstream topic on business school curricula. A lot of working life is just unfair.”
“A recent boomlet in flexible workplace policies is a welcome sign that employers are starting to understand the costs of an always-on workforce.”
“So I read with some interest the results of a survey about the work habits of the generations that Paychex recently published. There are some interesting takeaways about who wastes time at work – and in what industries, geographic location, organizational role, exempt status and education level – in addition to the obligatory age demographic comparison. It’s interesting food for thought.”
More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock
Sometimes the people you work with will do things you’ve never thought of and don’t understand. Then what?
The first, and maybe the best, book about creativity and business.
Pointers to pieces by and about Victor Ho, Rachael Ray, Kirstin Harper-Smith, Sue Siegel, and Melinda Gates.
Pointers to posts by Doug Thorpe, Kevin Eikenberry, Ed Batista, Mary Jo Asmus, and Karin Hurt.
Pointers to stories about Oracle, Gillette, Unilever, Lego, Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture, and Zume Pizza
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