5/4/14: 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 and learning now and in the future. Highlights include ” Why the Old Paradigms of Strategy Development Are Out of Date,” “Driving Digitization in Retail Banking,” “With ingenuity and a 3-D printer, group changes lives,” “Here’s why women CEOs are more likely to get sacked from their jobs, ” and “Opening up to MOOCs: opportunities for L&D.”

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From Chris Outram: Why the Old Paradigms of Strategy Development Are Out of Date

“Most of the tools managers use to craft business strategy today were developed in the 20th century. Strategy formulation needs an update”

From Roger Martin: Are You Confusing Strategy with Planning?

“Setting yourself up to succeed is a good idea in some contexts. But it’s usually a bad idea in strategy making. Instead of doing the difficult work of making a coherent set of choices to position themselves to win, most companies default to writing a strategic plan that lists a bunch of initiatives with associated financial projections.”

From Ken Favaro: Strategy Is Not about the Competition

“Today, we see military metaphors used everywhere in business: price ‘wars,’ market share ‘battles,’ marketing ‘campaigns,’ promotional ‘blitzes,’ and even ‘bullet’ points. Books on war are often cited as sources of great wisdom for business strategy. Even Tony Soprano, the TV mob boss, got into the act when he argued that Sun Tzu, who wrote The Art of War, was a better strategist than Machiavelli. But war is mostly a zero-sum game, and business is mostly not.”

Industries and Analysis

From Stephanie Strom: As Parents Make Their Own Baby Food, Industry Tries to Adapt

“Sales of commercially prepared baby food have been steadily falling since 2005 as parents take a do-it-yourself approach.”

From Martin Roets: Driving Digitization in Retail Banking

“An analysis of the digital capabilities across a range of industries and geographies reveals that retail banks lag behind industries like retail and telecommunications—on average scoring 16 percent lower on customer-facing digital capabilities than retailers—with significant gaps in banks’ ability to build online communities, loyalty, and engagement.”

From The Economist: Additive manufacturing: Heavy metal

“Three-dimensional printing may help entrench the world’s engineering giants”

Innovations and Technology

From Chief Executive: How to Create Market Domination Through Innovation

“Innovation is a combination of years of hard work and trusting your gut instinct. But your company’s success is only as good as your last product. How do you keep innovation going for decades, as Apple has done with iPods, iPhones and iPads? We scoured the online universe and found four ideas from experts who are leading the way.”

From Andrea Chang: With ingenuity and a 3-D printer, group changes lives

“In a small tin shed, Ebeling connected a 3-D printer to a laptop. The printer began melting plastic to form three-dimensional pieces, which he then joined together like Legos. He worked off a design created by a carpenter friend who, after accidentally severing four fingers with a table saw, had built his own prosthesis.”

From Michael Schrage: How Innovation Ecosystems Turn Outsiders into Collaborators

“Running a truly innovative company means constantly improving your innovation culture and process. Running a successful innovation ecosystem, however, demands more. Successful innovation ecosystems make people outside the company measurably smarter, richer, and more innovative. Biologically speaking, innovation ecosystems invest in symbiosis, not parasitism. Growth isn’t zero-sum.”

Women and the Workplace

From Lynn Russo Whylly: Women CEO Appointments Are on the Rise

“Just 3% of this year’s incoming CEOs are women, but that number is expected to increase, resulting in about one-third of all CEOs being women by 2040. These are key findings from Strategy&’s 2013 Chief Executive study, which looked at trends of incoming and outgoing women CEOs over the last 10 years.”

From Lottie O’Conor and Harriet Minter: Female CEOs are more likely to be sacked than their male colleagues

“While the number of women at the top is growing, the chances of them staying there are significantly lower, a report shows”

From Jena McGregor: Here’s why women CEOs are more likely to get sacked from their jobs

“When Carol Bartz became the chief executive of Yahoo in 2009, her appointment was less seen as evidence of a corporate breakthrough for women than as evidence of another trend: the ‘glass cliff.'”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Lauren Weber: Employers Are Getting More Flexible — Up to a Point

“Chances are good that your boss has gotten more understanding about those occasions when you need to pick up a prescription from the pharmacy that closes at 6 PM or work at home while waiting for your new refrigerator to be delivered. But you won’t have as much luck when you ask for a summer sabbatical.”

From Gretchen Gavett: Why a Quarter of Americans Don’t Trust Their Employers

“The American Psychological Association’s new Work and Well-Being Survey, released earlier this week, paints a hopeful picture about the state of American workers, with a few troubling caveats. I talked to Dr. David Ballard, the head of APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence, about employee-employer trust, how companies should tackle the issue of stress at an organizational level, and why we might be all wrong in the way we think about worker engagement. An edited version of our conversation is below.”

From Martin Couzins: Opening up to MOOCs: opportunities for L&D

“Learning and development (L&D) is awash with acronyms and now there’s a new one on the block, the MOOC – or massive open online courses. Martin Couzins looks at how employers can use these platforms to offer low-cost and interactive learning routes for staff.”

Wally Bock’s Curated Posts on Leadership

4/29/14: By and About Leaders

Pointers to posts by and about Mike Jackson, Hans Vestberg, Angus Davis, Mark Cutifani, and S.D. Shibulal.

4/30/14: From the Independent Business Blogs

Pointers to posts by independent bloggers Lolly Daskal, Chris Edmonds, Dan McCarthy, Art Petty, and Jesse Lyn Stoner

5/2/14: Stories and Strategies from Real Life

Pointers to stories about Grubhub, Avon, Proctor and Gamble, Dogg Haus, and NPS Pharmaceuticals.

Great business teams” and “Fox Conner: Master Mentor” were popular posts on my blog last week.

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