2/23/14: Leadership Reading to Start Your Week

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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 now and in the future. Highlights include the evolvable enterprise, five  disruptions that come with 3-D printing, Intel’s sharp-eyed social scientist, women as bosses still face bias, and the myth of the bell curve.

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 Steve Johnson: Cisco’s John Chambers wants to reinvent company one more time

“Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers may be Silicon Valley’s ultimate survivor. Perched atop the massive computer networking company for 19 years, he has experienced the exhilarating high of seeing it briefly become the world’s most valuable corporation, and the lows of its stock plunge and periodic layoffs of thousands of workers.”

From McKinsey & Company: The benefits—and limits—of decision models

“Big data and models help overcome biases that cloud judgment, but many executive decisions also require bold action inspired by self-confidence. Here’s how to take charge in a clear-headed way.”

From BCG Perspectives: The Evolvable Enterprise: Lessons from the New Technology Giants

“Over the past decade, business has witnessed the rise of a new aristocracy: the new technology giants. Their growth has been stellar: Google, Amazon.com, Facebook, and eBay, for example, all surpassed $1 billion in annual sales within roughly 5 years of launch. Procter & Gamble, by contrast, took more than 20 years to reach $1 million in yearly sales and more than 100 years to pass the $1 billion mark”

Industries and Analysis

From Evan Benn: Craft beer business bubbles up in South Florida

“South Florida, it turns out, is pretty thirsty for craft beer. The brewers say they suspected that was the case, and it was only a matter of time before they started filling demand. Now, at least a handful of other hopeful brewers and their investors are planning to open soon in Miami-Dade County (see sidebar), following the footsteps of places like Due South, Funky Buddha and Wynwood”

From the Wall Street Journal: Feud Over Netflix Traffic Leads to Video Slowdown

“Netflix Inc. subscribers have seen a lot more spinning wheels lately as they wait for videos to load, thanks to a standoff deep in the Internet. The online-video service has been at odds with Verizon Communications Inc. and other broadband providers for months over how much Netflix streaming content they will carry without being paid additional fees.”

From Chief Executive: 5 Disruptions that Come with 3-D Printing

“Additive manufacturing –3-D Printing–is evolving so fast, that CEOs and others may find themselves unprepared for five disruptions that will accompany it. Here’s what to expect.”

Innovations and Technology

From Natasha Singer: Intel’s Sharp-Eyed Social Scientist

“Genevieve Bell, an anthropologist at Intel who leads a globe-trotting team, is trying to learn what consumers want most in their future electronics.”

From Columbia: Driving Productivity

“New technology empowers firms — but can leave individuals in the dust.”

Women and the Workplace

From Chief Executive: 10 Best Companies for Executive Women and What CEOs Can Do to Develop Women Leaders

“The percentage of board seats occupied by women among those ranked increased for the second consecutive year. AstraZeneca. EY, and General Mills top the list. General Motors recently named its first female CEO – although there was controversy over her ‘gendered’ salary. The experience of Deloitte LLP offers guidance to CEOs on how to retain talented women leaders by incorporating flexibility into one’s culture.”

From Jena McGregor: In new study, nearly a third of science and tech leaders think a woman can’t reach the top

“The problem of getting more young women into science and high-tech fields is getting a lot of recent attention, from a newly launched national mentorship program for budding female scientists to Super Bowl ads for engineering toys designed for girls. But keeping them in those fields — and helping them reach the top — may be an even bigger challenge”

From the NY Times: Women as Bosses Still Face Bias

“Marissa Mayer. Indra Nooyi. Virginia Rometty. Mary T. Barra. That list may seem small, but it is noteworthy that 4.2 percent of our largest public corporations are now led by women, including iconic enterprises like Yahoo, PepsiCo, IBM and General Motors. In fact, women now make up 14 percent of top officers in corporate America and 18 percent of board seats. That’s the good news. But what does that really mean when an insidious undertone of sexism pervades the conversation?”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Sally Helgesen: An Extreme Take on Restructuring: No Job Titles, No Managers, No Politics

“Zappos, which Hsieh wants to achieve full-on holacracy-hood by December 2014, will be the largest company ever to attempt this wholesale transformation, by a factor of about 30.”

From Josh Bersin: The Myth Of The Bell Curve: Look For The Hyper-Performers

“Does human performance follow the bell curve? Research says no.”

From Anne Fisher: What it takes to telecommute, or manage people who do

“Working from home productively takes certain traits that would-be telecommuters (and their bosses) can often spot ahead of time.”

If you enjoyed this post, you should check out my other curated posts. Here are the ones from last week.

2/18/14: By and About Leaders

Studying individual leaders is a great way to learn about leadership. Think of each article as a mini-case study in leadership. This week I’m pointing you to posts by and about Saundra Pelletier, Ben Baldanza, Paul Jacobs, Noel Massie, and Sandy Alderson.

2/19/14: From the Independent Business Blogs

Every week I select five excellent posts from this week’s independent business blogs. This week, I’m pointing you to posts on toughminded leadership with tenderhearted skills, tending the garden of your mind, a toolkit for leading change, business or busyness, and five things even the best leaders can do more of.

2/21/14: Stories and Strategies from Real Life

Some of the best learning happens when you read stories about real people and real companies. Read them for ideas, for lessons, and inspiration. This week’s stories and strategies from real life are about Lego, Crypton, Weight Watchers, WalMart, and Basecamp.

Speeding up our own assembly line” and “Farewell to Emma” were popular posts on my blog last week.

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