Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 10/2/17

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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 why everyone should see themselves as a leader, why authentic leaders tend to be effective as managers, two reasons you need to experiment with AI right now, why Sara Blakely thinks being underestimated can help women in business, designing workspaces to solve problems, and getting ready for the future of work.

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 the London School of Economics: Authentic leaders tend to be effective as managers

“They improve organisational performance, follower satisfaction and the quality of work life, writes Biplab Datta.”

From the Harvard Business Review: Why Everyone Should See Themselves as a Leader

“Sue Ashford, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, breaks down her decades of research on leadership—who achieves it, and how a group grants it. She explains that the world isn’t divided into leaders and followers. Instead, it’s a state that everyone can reach, whether they’re officially in charge or not. She also explains why shared leadership benefits a team and organization. Ashford offers tips on how to effectively grow leadership in yourself and your employees.”

From Phanish Puranam and Eucman Lee: Can We Fix Hierarchy?

“Societies need new organisational design paradigms, if we are to overcome the urgent challenges ahead.”

Book Suggestion: Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders by L. David Marquet

Industries and Analysis

From Industry Week: The Survivors: Still American-made When Others Left Long Ago

“These stories show the challenge of producing at home — as President Donald Trump is pushing for — and also that it’s not impossible.”

From Bloomberg: In an Effort to Quench Your Thirst, Sports Drinks Are Cutting Sugar

“A multibillion-dollar market started by Gatorade has become a proving ground for the science of hydration.”

From Henrik Naujoks, Florian Mueller, Darci Darnell and Harshveer Singh: Ecosystems: How Insurers Can Reinvent Customer Relationships

“Insurers today find it increasingly challenging to differentiate themselves in the eyes of their customers. Helped by aggregator websites that make comparison shopping easy, consumers tend to make buying decisions based largely on price. Insurers eager to distinguish themselves from their competitors can promote quicker response times, friendlier call center agents and easier-to-use apps and websites, but only a handful of companies manage to do these things well enough to really wow their customers. Insurance customers are hard to impress in part because they are so difficult to engage; many interact with their insurers less than once a year.”

Book Suggestion: Made in the USA: The Rise and Retreat of American Manufacturing by Vaclav Smil

Innovation and Technology

From Dale Buss: Keys to Embracing Disruptive Technology

“In taking stock of potentially disruptive technologies, CEOs should be ready—really ready. Reinhard Fischer, chief of strategy for Audi of America, urges CEOs to ‘stop denying reality, which is what taxi operators did with Uber. Now Uber has taken about one-third of the taxi traffic in big cities.’ Disruption is happening faster than ever. ‘Before when you talked about technologies coming, you’d name one or two,’ says EY global chief innovation officer Jeff Wong. ‘Now there are 10, and they’re all relevant and important. That’s what’s really changing for the CEO.’”

From the London Business School: 2 reasons you need to experiment with AI right now

“AI isn’t all sci-fi. Businesses must adopt new technology now to prepare for the future, says Michael Davies.”

From Volker Staack: Welcoming Business Strategy Into The Innovation Sandbox

“Successful innovation is much more than a roll of the dice. Yet, many companies apparently feel lucky these days. They’re placing blind bets on innovation with huge sums of money on the line by failing to align innovation investments with business strategy.”

Book Suggestion: The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross

Women and the Workplace

From Homaira Kabir: Why Women Avoid Taking Risks At Work – And What To Do About It

“My daughter has just started her first job in business consulting. Its barely been a week, but she’s already been inculcated with the belief that women do not take enough risks. And this in an environment with systemic male-preferential norms and a largely male-dominated client base.”

From Emma Hinchliffe: 58% of men in tech say there are enough women in leadership roles, but women don’t agree

“We know the research: when women make up 17 percent of the room, men think it’s 50-50. And when women take up 33 percent of the space, men think they’re outnumbered. That extends to the C-suite, too. According to a new survey from the jobs site Comparably, 58 percent of men in tech think there are enough women in leadership roles at their company. But only 46 percent of women in tech agree.”

From Emily Canal: Why Sara Blakely Thinks Being Underestimated Can Help Women in Business

“While developing her apparel company Spanx, Sara Blakely found she was often being underestimated. It’s an issue that affects many women entrepreneurs, she says–for both good and bad.”

Book Suggestion: The Belly Art Project: Moms Supporting Moms by Sara Blakely

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From the London School of Economics: High engagement at work leads to a better family life

“A unique work-family linkage mechanism takes place when engaged employees share positive work experiences at home, write Xiaoming Zheng and Dan Ni”

From Greg Satell: Designing Workspaces To Solve Problems

“Each of these firms has designed workspaces with their innovation strategies — and the problems they seek to solve — in mind.”

From McKinsey & Company: Getting ready for the future of work

“Artificial intelligence is poised to disrupt the workplace. What will the company of the future look like—and how will people keep up?”

Book Suggestion: What To Do When Machines Do Everything: How to Get Ahead in a World of AI, Algorithms, Bots, and Big Data by Paul Roehrig, Ben Pring, and Malcolm Frank

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

Boss’s Tip of the Week: A Pinch of Preparation

It doesn’t take much preparation to dramatically improve performance. One of 347 tips from Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time.

Mise en place

Learn a lesson from the world of fine dining. When it’s time to work, make sure you’ve got everything ready to go.

Business Book Classics: Leadership is an Art

Leadership is an Art by Max DePree is a lot of wisdom packed into very few pages. It’s like having a conversation with a more experienced friend.

The Charles Darwin Model of Preliminary Research

Charles Darwin spent five years doing preliminary research and the way he did it should be a model for you.

Leaders and Strategies in Real Life: 9/26/17

Articles about real leaders and real companies in real life. This week it’s article about Amazon, Nutrisystem, Applebee’s, Casper, and Faber-Castell.

From the Independent Business Blogs: 9/27/17

Pointers to posts by Steve Keating, Tanmay Vora, Kevin Eikenberry, Lolly Daskal, and Ken Downer.

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.

The 347 tips in my ebook can help you Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time.

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