3/30/14: 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 Rethinking Strategy in the Age of Digital Disruption, the music industry, robots, women in leadership, and workplace flexibility.

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 Wall Street Journal: Q&A: Secrets of CEO Whisperer Ben Horowitz

“Ben Horowitz claims that he’s made every leadership mistake in the book—and that is precisely why he’s qualified to advise startup-company founders on running and managing brand-new enterprises”

From Robert Sher: Midsize Companies Must Prioritize Ruthlessly

“The world is littered with the hollowed-out shells of firms that tried to do too much and spent too big trying to grow too fast. Many of those firms were midsize companies; they didn’t have the resources of the big firms to sustain setbacks, nor were they scrappy like most small companies, making do with the resources they had.”

From BCG Perspectives: Rethinking Strategy for an Age of Digital Disruption

“Philip Evans, a BCG Fellow and senior partner in the firm’s Boston office, focuses on the strategic implications of changing information economics. He is a coauthor of  Blown to Bits, one of the handful of books from the dot-com era that are still worth reading today.”

Industries and Analysis

From Nicole Perlroth: Crowdfunders of the Maker of Oculus Rift Denounce a Facebook Buyout

“Oculus VR got its start on Kickstarter, raising $2.4 million. Some donors want their money back.”

From Newsday: Gum sales decline but candy options grow

“It’s not that Americans still don’t ever enjoy a stick of Trident or Orbit, the two most popular brands. They just aren’t as crazy about chomping away on the stuff as they once were, with U.S. sales tumbling 11 percent over the past four years.”

From Wharton: How the Music Industry Could Use Streaming to Reinvent Itself

“The music industry is being inexorably drawn to a new business model centered on streaming subscription services, 15 years after music swapping pioneer Napster galvanized the industry and was then shut down by the courts. Now, a convergence of sorts is occurring around the subscription model.”

Innovations and Technology

From INSEAD: How Can You Leverage Big Data?

“Research and ideas shared at recent INSEAD alumni panel discussions shed light on the elements required to capture and effectively use big data.”

From the Wall Street Journal: Corporate Turf Fight: Who Controls the Data?

“Big data comes with a big internal turf question: Who gets to decide how it’s collected, used, stored and protected?”

From The Economist: Immigrants from the future

“Robots offer a unique insight into what people want from technology. That makes their progress peculiarly fascinating, says Oliver Morton.”

Women and the Workplace

From Sohan Murthy: Women in Software Engineering: The Sobering Stats

“If you live and work in Silicon Valley one thing has been obvious for a long time. When you walk in to any tech company office, the male software engineers dramatically outnumber their female counterparts. Now we have the numbers to prove it – and it turns out that this trend applies worldwide, not only to the Valley.”

From Avivah Wittenberg-Cox: It’s Time for a New Discussion on “Women in Leadership”

“The time has come to reframe the gender issue. The chancellor of Germany, the head of the IMF, and the chair of the US Federal Reserve are women. General Motors, IBM and Lockheed Martin are run by women. Sixty percent of the world’s university graduates are women, and women control the majority of consumer goods buying decisions. In the US, women under 30 out-earn their male peers and 40% of American households have women as the main breadwinner. In many companies and countries where I work, from Iran or Brazil to Russia, managers tell me that they recruit a majority of young women as they clearly outperform their male peers.”

From Ruchika Tulshyan: Do We Hate Female Bosses?

“Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn is America’s most well-liked CEO, according to a  new Glassdoor study. A full 100 percent of LinkedIn employees who filled out Glassdoor’s survey said they approved of  the way Weiner is leading the business social network. Others in the top 10 include Howard Schultz of Starbucks and Craig Jelinek of Costco Wholesale. The list consisted of more than 200 companies with a workforce of over 1,000 employees.The only two women on it – Sharon Turney of Victoria’s Secret and Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer ranked 35 and 50, respectively. Is it purely numbers?”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From The Economist: Fighting the flab

“Corporate headquarters have put on weight, and need to slim down again.”

From Sue Shellenbarger: Why Likability Matters More at Work

“Likable people are more apt to be hired, get help at work, get useful information from others and have mistakes forgiven. A study of 133 managers last year by researchers at the University of Massachusetts found that if an auditor is likable and gives a well-organized argument, managers tend to comply with his suggestions, even if they disagree and the auditor lacks supporting evidence. Likability is more important—and harder to pull off—on video than in person.”

From Scott Behson: Increase Workplace Flexibility and Boost Performance

“The potential benefits of workplace variability are numerous — increased morale, motivation, and the ability to attract and retain talent — yet many managers don’t know where to start. Others are afraid that performance could suffer or something important could fall through the cracks.”

Leadership Posts by Wally Bock

If you liked these selections, you should check out my other curated posts. Here are the ones from last week.

3/25/14: By and About Leaders
Pointers to posts by and about Martin Richenhagen, Douglas Merrill, Mary Barra, Bill Fatt, and Don Knauss.

3/26/14: From the Independent Business Blogs
Here are pointers to posts on not thinking too much, intuition, micro-goals, leading for the future, and the language of leadership.

3/28/14: Stories and Strategies from Real Life
Pointers to stories about

Mindfulness” and “The Decompression Zone” were popular posts on my blog last week.

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