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 strategize first, analyze later, how MOOCS are disrupting education, state of the internet, from negotiation to leadership: female professionals as change agents, and the pivotal role of the learning professional of today and tomorrow.
Be alert 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
“After one year of doing stand-up, I noticed I was a better presenter and much more engaging in client and prospect meetings. It dawned on me that the comedy skills I was learning for fun were actually helping me be a more effective CEO.”
“The people who gravitate to strategic planning functions and strategy consulting firms tend to be highly analytical. That, I believe, is a problem. To be sure, analysis is important but in the end, strategy is and will always be a creative process.”
“In the recent era of uncertainty and financial constraint, many companies have focused on efficiency. They have energetically cut costs, even in the ‘go-to-market’ commercial functions crucial to driving revenue—sales, marketing, pricing, branding, and customer insight. These companies have achieved productivity gains, but they’ve reached the point of diminishing returns. We’re learning again that we can’t cut our way to growth. A small set of successful companies are taking a different path. They are transforming their commercial functions and capabilities to create an engine of short-term revenue growth and long-term profit. They are doing so with little risk. These near-term victories are ‘self-funding’ the creation of strategic capabilities.”
Industries and Analysis
“The beauty of every real business transformation is that we can’t know how it will change everything. Innovations like Facebook, Twitter, and the iPad have cascaded incredible changes across our lives in ways that no one could have predicted or even understood before the last decade. With the advent of MOOCs, a similar scenario is playing out in learning and education.”
“The Honest Kitchen, Sojos, Freshpet are fresh new names in the $21 billion U.S. pet food business”
Innovations and Technology
“It’s no secret that big data offers enormous potential for businesses. Every C-suite on the planet understands the promise. Less understood—and much less put into practice—are the steps that companies must take in order to realize that potential. For all their justifiable enthusiasm about big data, too many businesses risk leaving its vast potential on the table—or, worse, ceding it to competitors.”
“Mary Meeker puts out an annual report on Internet trends every year that is a sort of farmer’s almanac for the tech industry. It puts all the crucial data in one place, with Ms. Meeker’s particular spin on what’s most important.”
“Chains such as Chipotle Mexican Grill and In-N-Out Burger may rely on a stable menu of popular items, but Taco Bell engineers a constant rotation of products in hopes of not only keeping consumers coming back but also uncovering the Next Big Thing.”
Women and the Workplace
“Following closely on the ‘bossy ban’ from Sheryl Sandberg, new research out from Georgia State University shows that women are called ‘pushy’ twice as often as men.”
“The Catalyst Research Center recently released the report ‘Feeling Different: Being the ‘Other’ in U.S. Workplaces’ providing interesting data and insight into perceptions of diversity and inclusion in U.S organizations. The study points out the error of common association, which can often cause individuals feelings of ‘otherness.’ This feeling often results from our categorization of groups by their dominant group, i.e. referring to nurses who are male as ‘male nurses’ as opposed to ‘nurse’, which is commonly associated with the female gender, the position’s majority group. Likewise, male CEO’s are commonly referenced as simply ‘a CEO’ where female CEO’s experience their gender being pointed out: she is ‘a female CEO.'”
“Women who feel their strengths are underappreciated can use a salary negotiation as an opportunity to address second-generation gender bias.”
Work and Learning Now and in the Future
“Businesses everywhere risk losing critical business-related expertise every day. Whether retiring or resigning, every lost employee is critical information that’s difficult—if not, impossible—to regain. Something has to change. You need to store that knowledge before it walks out your office doors forever. Easier said than done, right?”
“Whether we’re talking about the corporate learning environment of today or 10 years from now, one truth will remain: The right experiential and continuous learning will deliver the sustained human capability businesses are seeking. Executives know this—and they want results now.”
Wally Bock’s Curated Leadership Posts
5/27/14: By and About Leaders
Pointers to posts by and about Tom Leighton, Eva Chen, Brett Wilson, Benoit Daignault, and John Elkann.
5/28/14: From the Independent Business Blogs
Pointers to posts by Susan Mazza, Karin Hurt, Lolly Daskal, Les Hayman, and Art Petty.
5/30/14: Stories and Strategies from Real Life
Pointers to stories about Alice + Olivia, Lenovo, Kar’s Nuts, Urban Outfitters, and Wawa.
My Summer Reading List Post
It’s required that every business blogger offer up a summer reading list post. Here’s mine.
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