6/15/14: 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 The myth of ‘the first 90 days,’  how traditional businesses are thriving in an age of disruptive innovation, the innovation strategy big companies should pursue, a look at gender diversity at b-schools, and what a corporation can be.

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 Ken Favaro: Strategy or Culture: Which Is More Important?

“‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast.’ These words, often attributed to Peter Drucker, are frequently quoted by people who see culture at the heart of all great companies. Those same folks like to cite the likes of Southwest Airlines, Nordstrom, and Zappos, whose leaders point to their companies’ cultures as the secret of their success.”

From Ajit Kambil: The myth of ‘the first 90 days’

“There is a potentially dangerous assumption that’s being propagated by popular business tomes. From The First 90 Days to the slightly more generous The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan, best-selling business books are placing perilous time constraints on newly minted members of a C-suite. But there’s good news for executives who find themselves taking the reins: These time constraints are merely a best-selling myth.”

From Dr. David Dinwoodie: 4 Elements of Strategically-Aligned Leadership Strategies

“To successfully align business and leadership strategies, CEOs must take into account four organizational elements essential for superior performance.”

Industries and Analysis

From Ricardo Lopez: Organic agriculture attracts a new generation of farmers

“Motter and his business partner, Jeff Kramer, are part of a growing crop of farmers — many of them young — choosing to produce food without pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. As consumers demand more fresh and local food grown with minimal environmental effects, a new generation has taken up organic farming.”

From the Economist: Second wind

“Some traditional businesses are thriving in an age of disruptive innovation.”

From Dale Buss: Why B2C Companies Are Shifting Their Digital Offerings to the Forefront

“Many consumer products companies are turning their tech capabilities—which for most organizations have served as business enablers rather than product offerings in their own right—into key competitive differentiators. And marketing their digital offerings is having a positive effect on brand equity and stock price.”

Innovations and Technology

From Tony Davila: The Innovation Strategy Big Companies Should Pursue

“The inability of established firms to come up with breakthrough innovations is a truism today. It wasn’t always so. Joseph Schumpeter, the 20th century economist known for heralding the role of innovation in the evolution of society, argued that established firms were best positioned to innovate because of the resources available to them. Edith Penrose, one of the most prominent management thinkers of the 20th century, agreed.”

From Sam Grobart: How to Build a New Gadget in Seven Steps

No quick summary can do this justice. Click through and check it out.

From Travis Hessman: Innovation: By the Numbers

“In fact, to Ram Ramakrishnan, executive vice president, CTO and general innovation champion at Eaton Corp. (IW 1000/290), numbers, and specifically metrics, have become the go-to tool for building the innovative environment that keeps the company moving.”

Women and the Workplace

From Melissa Korn: A Look at Gender Diversity at B-Schools

“An internal report from UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management, detailed in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal, found that the school’s faculty composition revealed ‘gender ghettos’—high concentrations of men or women—in some departments. For example, nearly half of professors in the school’s Management and Organizations area are women, while they make up 5.6% of finance faculty and 9.1% of the strategy team.”

From Leah Eichler: Media’s message about women? The same old story

“Ever since Jill Abramson was forced out as executive editor of The New York Times with inferences that her gender played a role in her downfall, the message seems loud and clear: Unconscious bias stubbornly persists and it can hit even the most powerful.”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Serguei Netessine: Product Knowledge Drives Sales Leadership

“Retail sales associates with strong brand expertise sell 87 percent more than peers without.”

From Lynda Gratton: What a corporation can be

“The great institutions of our age are global corporations. Their power and influence touch every life on earth. But how can we shape the corporations the world needs for the future? Lynda Gratton provides a roadmap to the corporation of tomorrow.”

From Annie Peshkam: Inspiring Leadership Through a Detective Story

“The best learning facilitators take their audience on a journey of investigation where everything is questioned.”

More of My Leadership Posts

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

6/10/14: By and About Leaders

Pointers to posts by and about Heather Higginbottom, Victor Allis, John Krafcik, Ryan Carson, and David Abney.

6/11/14: From the Independent Business Blogs

Pointers to posts by Lolly Daskal, Steve Roesler, Jesse Lyn Stoner, Les Hayman, and Julie Winkle Giulioni.

6/13/14: Stories and Strategies from Real Life

Pointers to stories about JJ’s Red Hots, Covisint, Loxa Beauty, the Los Angeles Clippers and Google.

The Business School Dilemma” and “Warning: Trouble’s Coming” were popular posts on my blog last week.

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