Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 10/12/15

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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 big data decision making, TV transformed, six building blocks for creating a high-performing digital enterprise, why we need quotas to fix the lack of female engineers, and what it’s like to work at a company with no bosses.

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 José Antonio Marco-Izquierdo: Profit Is Less About Good Management than You Think

“Benjamin Graham, the father of value investing, seldom met the managers of the companies he invested in because he felt they would tell him only what they wished him to hear and because he didn’t want to be influenced by impressions of personality. His talented student, the legendary Warren Buffet, thought the same: when management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact.”

From Susan H. Greenberg: Gil-li Vardi: Can Businesses Learn from Military Strategy?

“A military historian says organizational assumptions are rarely correct.”

From Mark Mallinger: Big Data Decision Making

“The process we use to gather information in making decisions can be as important as the decisions themselves. Do you rely more on sophisticated analytics or intuition? Using a self-report exercise, this article assists the reader in recognizing their decision-making style and offers a framework to enhance the process.”

Industries and Analysis

From Markus Lorenz, Michael Rüßmann, Rainer Strack, Knud Lasse Lueth, and Moritz Bolle: Man and Machine in Industry 4.0

“Industrial production was transformed by steam power in the nineteenth century, electricity in the early twentieth century, and automation in the 1970s. These waves of technological advancement did not reduce overall employment, however. Although the number of manufacturing jobs decreased, new jobs emerged and the demand for new skills grew. Today, another workforce transformation is on the horizon as manufacturing experiences a fourth wave of technological advancement: the rise of new digital industrial technologies that are collectively known as Industry 4.0.”

From Kyle Arnold: Mom and pop eateries lose ground to chains

“About 57 percent of restaurants that have opened in the Orlando metropolitan area in the past decade have been chains, consisting of eateries with more than three locations, according to data from research firm NPD Group. Independents, or those with one or two locations, are still the majority of restaurants in Central Florida with 51 percent of the establishments, but the share is shrinking, NPD’s data shows.”

From the New York Times: TV Transformed

“The audience now watches TV in many different ways, and viewers’ expectations have changed dramatically. Writers are having a hard time keeping up.”

Innovations and Technology

From Driek Desmet, Ewan Duncan, Jay Scanlan, and Marc Singer: Six building blocks for creating a high-performing digital enterprise

“Digitization affects almost everything in today’s organizations, which makes capturing its benefits uniquely complex. Here are the most important aspects that winning companies consider.”

From Christopher Mims: Soon, Power Will Be Delivered to Your Device by Air

“Four basic types of technology are vying to achieve Tesla’s vision of wireless transmission”

From Louise Lee: How to Mitigate the Downside of Success

“Innovative companies often see creativity dwindle over time.”

Women and the Workplace

From Valentina Zarya: When childcare costs more than rent, fewer women choose to work

“A new research paper from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a worker advocacy group, finds that caretaking costs have become so exorbitant that in most parts of the U.S., families spend more on childcare than they do on rent (included in that number: babysitting, nannies, and out-of-home day care centers).”

From Denise Smiles: We need quotas to fix the lack of female engineers

“Starting early, removing the stigma and promoting the wider sector will also encourage more women into engineering, says Denise Smiles.”

From Jessica Kleiman: Tweetable Career Advice from Six Successful Women

“In my capacity as Chief Communications Officer on the board of New York Women in Communications (NYWICI), the preeminent professional organization for women across the communications industry, I had the distinct honor of serving on the nomination committee for the WiCi Awards, an annual event honoring rising stars in our business–young women who are changing the way we share information and shape perceptions in the worlds of government, media, advertising, technology and fashion. During the awards breakfast and panel, held at Conde Nast’s gorgeous new offices in New York’s Freedom Tower, and emceed by MAKERS founder Dyllan McGee, we celebrated six of these accomplished women, who enlightened the crowd with their words of wisdom on everything from confidence to work-life balance to bouncing back from adversity.”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Laura Vanderkam: The Science Of When You Need In-Person Communication

“In the debate over whether people should work in the office, or remotely, the in-the-office folks have one good point. A lot of things happen when we interact face-to-face that don’t necessarily happen virtually.”

From China Gorman: Today’s Frontier is NOT Technology

“The report, published in January, analyzes a survey conducted by Harris Interactive among 2,026 adults over 17 years old in the United States. Here’s an interesting data point that may interest you: nearly two-thirds (63%) of U.S. employees report that they ever work virtually. Surprised? I was. Given the heated discussions about the lack of workplace flexibility and work/life integration, that’s a lot of people with at least some flexibility. And over two-thirds of those folks think their management needs to communicate better in order to keep them engaged.”

From Roger D. Hodge: What’s It Like to Work at a Company With No Bosses?

“What was ‘Teal,’ and why was it better than being ‘Green’? And what did it mean for an online retailer with annual sales of more than $1 billion, that fills 280,000 orders per week, to be ‘self-organized’? These were open questions, and no one at Zappos, including Hsieh, claimed to have the answers. But Hsieh had forcefully positioned himself at the vanguard of a growing movement that hopes to bring about the end of corporate management as we know it.”

Thanks to Smartbrief on Leadership for pointing me to this story

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

So, now you’re a boss

Congratulations. You used to be an individual contributor and now you’re a boss. Here’s some advice to help you make the best of it.

By and About Leaders: 10/6/15

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From the Independent Business Blogs: 10/7/15

Pointers to posts by Julie Winkle Giulioni, Suzi McAlpine, Karin Hurt, Chris Edmonds, and Mary Jo Asmus.

Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 10/9/15

Pointers to stories about L.L. Bean, EverSport, Hermès, Ted Baker, and McDonald’s.

Writing well gives you the edge in business and in life. If you want to get a book done, improve your blog posts, or make your web copy more productive, please check out my blog about business writing. My coaching calendar for authors and blog writers currently has time open. Please contact me if you’re interested.

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