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 six insights for transformative leaders, disrupting banking, pointers to the future, what it’s like being a woman in Silicon Valley, and a look at the future of work.
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
“Five Pricing Secrets of B2B Information-Services Companies”
“PPG (originally ‘Pittsburgh Plate Glass’) is a splendid example of such a transformation. The US-based company used to be a diversified industrial group, with activities in all types of glass, chemicals, paints, optical materials, and biomedical systems. Through a raft of acquisitions and divestments since the early 1990s, it has transformed into a focused world-leading coatings manufacturer with $15 billion in sales. Since 1995, when glass and coatings each accounted for about 40% of sales, the split has evolved to 93% coatings and 7% glass today. What makes such a transformation successful? From our analysis of a number of core shifts and conversations with the CEOs who have undertaken them, we have drawn five keys to success:”
“Nearly 80 years ago AT&T’s Chester Barnard presented a series of lectures at Harvard University, declaring that successful cooperation in organizations ‘is the abnormal, not the normal condition’ and that most organizations enjoy short-lived success at best. More recently, this theme has been echoed by Stanford University’s Jeffrey Pfeffer who noted that most organizations are victims of ineffective leaders who fail to research or apply correct management principles.”
Industries and Analysis
“As three cellulosic ethanol plants open in the Midwest, wavering U.S. policy and the oil boom leave a promising technology in limbo.”
“From Jimmy John’s comes another example of how employers are extracting more value from their entry-level workers, at a growing human cost.”
“Can online P2P lenders deliver disruptive innovation to the world of banking? Paul Jeffery and David Arnold offer their assessment.”
Innovations and Technology
“Salesforce kicked off its annual conference with a product aimed at developers who want to build visualization tools for sales and marketing people.”
“Data can be your secret weapon, but using it effectively is much more about processes and people than about tools.”
“Forecasting the internet’s impact on business is proving hard.”
Women and the Workplace
“Do men and women approach negotiations differently? That question fueled a panel discussion about women and negotiation at the recent Wharton Women in Business conference.”
“Is it harder for you to raise money than it is for a man? That’s what I asked women in the startup world as I conducted interviews for my Forbes eBook, Their Roaring Thirties: Brutally Honest Career Talk From Women Who Beat The Youth Trap. Sadly, this answer from one woman echoes much of what I heard: ‘I don’t want to talk about that because if I say anything negative, it could hurt me.’ And there we have it, women attempting to scale the heights of their careers fear if they speak out, they’ll face backlash from the people they need the most.”
“A vocal sect of gaming enthusiasts who have harassed women critics of the gaming industry gained an even darker reputation this week. One such critic, Anita Sarkeesian, had to cancel a lecture at Utah State University following multiple threats against her life, as well as the lives of others at the school that would have hosted her.”
Work and Learning Now and in the Future
“More than 8,000 human-resources executives and IT experts got together in Las Vegas last week for a glimpse at the future of HR. That sounds like a nightmare to most of us, but if you’re curious about what work will be like in the future–from facial-recognition terminals to data tools that allow managers to analyze and visualize their teams by factors such as gender, performance and potential–the event was a good place to be. Here are some of the big trends that may be arriving soon at an office near you.”
“Something is clearly wrong when only 11% of business leaders — compared to 96% of chief academic officers — believe that graduates have the requisite skills for the workforce. It’s therefore unlikely that business leaders are following closely what’s going on in higher education. Even the latest hoopla around massive open online courses (MOOCs) amounts to more of the same: academics designing courses that correspond with their own interests rather than the needs of the workforce, but now doing it online.”
“Management education is under increasing pressure to respond to the growing demands from business, government, and students to offer programs more in tune with the globalized marketplace. One broad theme calls for the re-invention of business schools through the creation and delivery of alternative models of management education. A recent study, sponsored by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), revealed a wide gap between the changing needs of the business community and the programs being offered by the business management community. The AACSB report specifically calls for strengthening the use of international partnerships, expanding internationalization within the curriculum, and connecting various global activities through a comprehensive collaboration strategy. One approach for addressing these challenges is through the increased use of crowdsourcing.”
More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock
In many ways, leading a virtual team is like leading one where everyone is in the same place, except when it comes to social support.
Pointers to pieces by and about Christopher Bailey, Ginni Rometty, Peter Thiel, and A.G. Lafley plus advice for new CEOS.
Pointers to posts by Michael Wade, Karin Hurt, Kate Nasser, Anne Perschel, and Jesse Lyn Stoner.
Pointers to stories about Hoxton Ventures, General Electric, G.E., Amazon, FirstRain, and ZestFinance.
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