Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 10/10/16

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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

From James R. Bailey: The Difference Between Good Leaders and Great Ones

“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.”

From Eric J. McNulty: How Well Do You Know the Story of You?

“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.”

From William J. Holstein: Building a High-Performance, Highly Engaged Culture

“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.”

From Bob Tita: Heavy-Equipment Glut Weighs on Machine Makers

“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.”

From Samantha Bomkamp: Here’s the problem with sustainable beef (and pork)

“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

From Jaemin Lee and Jason Davis: How Collective Learning Improves Innovation

“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.”

From K.R. Sanjiv: How Augmented Reality Can Revolutionize Manufacturing

“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.”

From Greg Satell: How Innovative Companies Get their Best Ideas from Academic Research

“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

From Julie Cogin: Women at work: Why mentoring is good but sponsoring is even better

“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?”

From Mike Rogoway: Pathways to tech: Three women find their way

“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.”

From Melissa Wylie: GE Ventures CEO advocates for diversity

“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

From Elizabeth Cotton: How can you maintain your sanity in a toxic workplace?

“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.”

From Joe Cahill: Is work-life balance becoming less of an oxymoron?

“A recent boomlet in flexible workplace policies is a welcome sign that employers are starting to understand the costs of an always-on workforce.”

From China Gorman: Generations at Work: Working Hard or Hardly Working?

“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

Gum for breakfast: figuring out the whys

Sometimes the people you work with will do things you’ve never thought of and don’t understand. Then what?

Business Book Classic: Creativity in Business

The first, and maybe the best, book about creativity and business.

By and About Leaders: 10/4/16

Pointers to pieces by and about Victor Ho, Rachael Ray, Kirstin Harper-Smith, Sue Siegel, and Melinda Gates.

From the Independent Business Blogs: 10/5/16

Pointers to posts by Doug Thorpe, Kevin Eikenberry, Ed Batista, Mary Jo Asmus, and Karin Hurt.

Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 10/7/16

Pointers to stories about Oracle, Gillette, Unilever, Lego, Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture, and Zume Pizza

Writing well gives you the edge in business and in life. If you want to get a book done, improve your blog posts, or make your web copy more productive, please check out my blog about business writing. My coaching calendar for authors and blog writers currently has time open. Please contact me if you’re interested.

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