Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 2/13/17

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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 change starts with a leader’s ability to look inward, thinking in scenarios improves forecasts, the art of business, three snapshots of digital transformation, winning in IoT is all about the business processes, to address gender bias at your company, start with teams, the importance of developing women leaders, and why every workplace needs a fool.

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: Change starts with a leader’s ability to look inward

“‘Still moving’ leadership avoids meaningless busy action that doesn’t deliver change, writes Deborah Rowland.”

From Peter Joos: Thinking in Scenarios Improves Forecasts

“Making accurate predictions based on historical precedent is flawed, but thinking in scenarios reduces uncertainty.”

From the London Business School: The art of business

“Business problems benefit from an artistic as well as a scientific perspective, says Rupert Merson.”

Industries and Analysis

From Ben Thompson: The Great Unbundling

“To say that the Internet has changed the media business is so obvious it barely bears writing; the media business, though, is massive in scope, ranging from this site to The Walt Disney Company, with a multitude of formats, categories, and business models in between. And, it turns out that the impact of the Internet — and the outlook for the future — differs considerably depending on what part of the media industry you look at.”

From McKinsey & Company: Three snapshots of digital transformation

“As companies grapple with the different dimensions of digitization highlighted in McKinsey’s latest research (see ‘The case for digital reinvention,’ forthcoming on McKinsey.com), here are snapshots of three industries in the eye of the storm: financial services, food retailing, and pharma.”

From the Economist: America’s booming pet health-care business

“AT THE 42,000-square-foot clinic in Hollywood that is owned by VCA, an animal-hospital chain, you may find a Pomeranian on a course of stem-cell therapy or a Shih Tzu having a hip replacement. There is even an underwater treadmill for cats.”

Innovation and Technology

From the Economist: Adidas’s high-tech factory brings production back to Germany

“BEHIND closed doors in the Bavarian town of Ansbach a new factory is taking shape. That it will use robots and novel production techniques such as additive manufacturing (known as 3D printing) is not surprising for Germany, which has maintained its manufacturing base through innovative engineering. What is unique about this factory is that it will not be making cars, aircraft or electronics but trainers and other sports shoes—an $80bn-a-year industry that has been offshored largely to China, Indonesia and Vietnam. By bringing production home, this factory is out to reinvent an industry.”

From Jack Torrance: How big firms are using accelerators to stave off disruption

“Well, some are going down the ‘Can’t beat them? Join them,’ route. Corporate venturing, where big firms invest in start-ups, usually in their own industry, is nothing new. But in the hope of learning more from their new partners many companies, including John Lewis, Barclays and British Airways are taking a more hands-on approach, in the form of so-called accelerators. These offer promising start-ups a combination of funding, mentoring and other support.”

From the Boston Consulting Group: Winning in IoT: It’s All About the Business Processes

“There is no such thing as ‘the’ Internet of Things; today’s market is heavily driven by specific use case scenarios.”

Women and the Workplace

From Todd Warner and Michelle King: To Address Gender Bias at Your Company, Start with Teams

“The initiatives adopted by organizations to advance women tend to include mentoring programs, networking, coaching, increased maternity leave, child care benefits, and flexible work options. These efforts, and the tens of millions of dollars spent on them, are treating symptoms. Real diversity efforts require organizations to address the social patterns that stifle women’s careers, not just the symptoms that result from them.”

From Valentina Zarya: The Mary Tyler Moore Show: Not Much Has Changed for Female Writers

“The Mary Tyler Moore Show was as revolutionary for what went on behind the scenes as for what happened on screen.”

From Trish O’Brien: The Importance of Developing Women Leaders

“Many words have been written and research conducted on the subject of women’s leadership development, including a study completed by my company in 2014. And while the findings are enlightening and the insights valuable from a standpoint of changing hearts and minds, we now have to follow through with practical steps.”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Manfred Kets de Vries: Why Every Workplace Needs a Fool

“All of us have heard about court jesters or fools, who historically were the entertainers in the household of noblemen or monarchs during the Medieval and Renaissance times. One of the prime examples was Shakespeare’s fool in King Lear. Like many other fools, the character did more than just provide comic relief. He spoke truth to power and was able to point out faults that no one else could: he challenged the power-holders, criticised the king, and was the only one who had the courage to tell him the way things were. After the humorous laugh had passed, his brazen antics opened up a serious space for others to reflect and question long held perceptions of wisdom and truth.”

From Ron Thomas: A Lattice Is the Career Ladder for the 21st Century

“There must be a better way. Our workplace isn’t what it used to be; it will never revert to what it used to be. All preconceived notions and traditional policies are under stress to realign with the new world of work. The proverbial ladder, which meant that you had to move into a managerial role to move up in the organization, is long past its prime. That concept is outdated as there will be fewer hierarchical layers going forward. The future workplace will be more virtual, more collaborative, team, and project based.”

From Google: HR Information Systems 2.0: Integrating People Analytics

“How Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) is taught hasn’t changed much in decades while workplaces have undergone a technological and data revolution. To prepare future business leaders, we have the opportunity to rethink how business schools teach and leverage HRIS.”

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

Boss’s Tip of the Week: Use your weekend for good

Your weekend shouldn’t be two more regular work days. One of 347 tips from Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time.

The Secret of Great Leadership

Many authors and speakers say they will share the secret of great leadership. But, can they deliver?

Book Review: Great by Choice

Here’s my five-star review of Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, And Luck – Why Some Thrive Despite Them All by Jim Collins and Morten Hansen.

Leaders and Strategies in Real Life: 2/7/17

Articles about real leaders and real companies in real life. This week it’s articles about Tien Tzuo, Sherman Avery, Multivac, Uber, and Donna Shoff.

From the Independent Business Blogs: 2/8/17

Pointers to posts by Anne Perschel, Suzi McAlpine, Aad Boot, Julie Winkle Giulioni, and Karin Hurt.

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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