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 end of competitive advantage, the commercial drone market, Disney’s technology bet, the glass-ceiling index, and telecommuting.
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
“The Columbia Business School professor says the era of sustainable competitive advantage is being replaced an age of flexibility. Are you ready?”
“Managers are mostly concerned with accomplishing short-term organisational objectives such as meeting monthly sales targets, hitting factory production quotas and drawing up shift rosters. This is especially true of middle managers. Because of the pressing and immediate nature of these goals, managers may try to motivate employees to achieve them within a specific time frame through incentives, directives and compliance requests.”
“Information is multiplying inside businesses at an exponential rate, generated by sensors, social media, transactions, smartphones, and other sources. Companies increasingly want to tap into the potential of these vast, fast-moving, complex streams of data to achieve step-change improvements in performance. But executives would be wise to consider whether the information they collect could do even more than boost performance. In fact, big data can generate billions of dollars in additional revenues that can go toward fueling growth.”
Industries and Analysis
“By offering both borrowers and lenders a better deal, websites that put the two together are challenging retail banks.”
“The skies over America are about to get a lot more crowded. As the Federal Aviation Administration prepares new guidelines for the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, an entire industry-in-the-making is champing at the bit to start using drones for commercial ventures, from selling real estate to dusting crops to baby-sitting oil rigs.”
“Americans renew their relationship with paper, ditching the cheap stuff for reading news to buy expensive stock for photo-based cards and albums.”
Innovations and Technology
“Discomfort about ‘botsourcing’ can be reduced by manipulating the human-like attributes of machines”
“The answer was on the electronic bands the couple wore on their wrists. That’s the magic of the MyMagic+, Walt Disney’s (DIS) $1 billion experiment in crowd control, data collection, and wearable technology that could change the way people play—and spend—at the Most Magical Place on Earth. If the system works, it could be copied not only by other theme parks but also by museums, zoos, airports, and malls”
“Autonomous cargo vessels could set sail without a crew under the watchful eye of captains in shore-based simulators”
Wally’s Comment: This is just one article in the Economist’s quarterly Technology Review.
Women and the Workplace
“Madhabi Puri-Buch, Head of Agora Partners, suggests that women must recalibrate their expectations about what it means to have a balanced life. Puri-Buch has first-hand knowledge of this problem. She has worked in a range of roles within the banking industry. She has served as an Executive Director on the Board of ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank and the CEO of ICICI Securities, an investment banking and broking firm. She also founded Toofles Foundation, a small trust that raises funds for grassroot NGOs. Throughout this, she has also taken her role as a wife and mother very seriously.”
“The emergent leadership Bock is talking about seems to be both non-positional (based on personal qualities rather than one’s title or formal power) and nonhierarchical (when people are comfortable acting from the center of a collaborative web). This model has, of course, been developing for some time—and I believe this shift has occurred at least partly because women have become profoundly interwoven into the fabric of most organizations and have increasingly assumed positions of authority and influence.”
“As it is International Women’s Day on March 8th, The Economist has created a ‘glass-ceiling index’, to show where women have the best chances of equal treatment at work. It combines data on higher education, labour-force participation, pay, child-care costs, maternity rights, business-school applications and representation in senior jobs. Each country’s score is a weighted average of its performance on nine indicators.”
Work and Learning Now and in the Future
“Aided by technology, telecommuting is becoming more common, and while it has its challenges, studies show that it tends to create happier, better workers.”
“Social media is helping consumers make better purchasing decisions, but it can give companies greater insights to help them make better business decisions.”
“While the ability to automate the manufacturing process—particularly through the use of industrial robots—has proved revolutionary, such technology has traditionally been accessible primarily to large companies. Boston-based Rethink Robotics has sought to make the robotics technology available to smaller organizations with its flagship product, Baxter, a more compact and affordable robot. In this interview, Rodney Brooks, cofounder, president, and chief technology officer of Rethink Robotics, says that the robot revolution has only just begun and predicts that it will spread beyond manufacturing and into other fields such as the service sector. This interview was conducted by McKinsey Global Institute partner Michael Chui. An edited transcript of Brooks’s remarks follows.”
If you enjoyed these selections, you should check out my other curated posts. Here are the ones from last week.
This week I’m pointing you to posts by and about Dan Vasella, Scott Bade, Kim Reed Perell, John Lechleiter, and Scott Saxberg.
I’m pointing you to posts on leading without regrets, your influence, behaving like a leader, crazy that works, and managerial courage.
This week’s stories and strategies from real life are about Basecamp, Lego, Coke, Home Depot, and Pingo Doce.
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