Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 10/13/14

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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 where great strategy begins, a look ahead for US manufacturing, preparing to be creative, fostering a better work environment for women, and a report on World of Learning 2014.

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 Brent Saunders and Ken Banta: Great Strategy Begins with a CEO on the Frontlines

“It can certainly be valuable to have the help of strategy officers or teams on refining and implementing strategy, but the strategy itself needs to be conceived and owned by the CEO (or equivalent for a division). Otherwise, strategy often becomes a diffuse product of group thinking and compromises among multiple stakeholders in the organization.”

From Zhenya Lindgardt and Margaret Ayers: Driving Growth with Business Model Innovation

“Business model innovation is complex and difficult to execute—but when done successfully can create lasting competitive advantage.”

From Trish Gorman: Go Forth, Strategize: How Apple, Google, Novartis, Accel Partners Leverage Strategic Offsites

“When designed and executed well, in-person offsites generate benefits that simply can’t be replicated online. And today’s best offsites aren’t anything like the old model of the top-down information dump. Instead, they encourage — and expect — everyone to contribute and engage.”

Industries and Analysis

From Danny Hakim: Aboard a Cargo Colossus: Maersk’s New Container Ships

“The world’s biggest container ships, longer than the Eiffel Tower is high, are a symbol of an increasingly global marketplace. But they also face strong economic headwinds.”

From Marilyn Geewax: U.S. Manufacturing: A Remembrance And A Look Ahead

“If it weren’t for American manufacturing, I wouldn’t be here today.”

From Evelyn M. Rusli: Secret of New Veggie Burgers: Plant Blood

“But this bioengineered blood comes from plants and is the crown jewel of Mr. Brown’s three-year-old company, Impossible Foods, which has so far created a hamburger that looks, feels, tastes and cooks almost like the real thing.”

Innovations and Technology

From Kristen V. Brown: Forget smartphones — dumbphones are now hip

“Smartphones have gained so much significance in our lives that choosing one is a little like choosing a religion. Our preference for either an iPhone or an Android model seems to suggest something fundamental about who we are. By the terms of this analogy, Tamar Beja would be a nonbeliever.”

From Visual.ly: The Smarthomes Of Yesterday

“This is a timeline style infographic showing the evolution of smart technology and where it is heading.”

From Annabel Kalmar and Jens Nackmayr: Are You Ready to Get Creative?

“What makes companies ready for successful innovation? We know it’s not the size of their R&D budgets, even relative to their revenues. Since 2005, the annual Strategy& Innovation 1000 studies have examined which companies spend the most on R&D and which firms have the most success with it. The conclusion, year after year, has been the same: There is no correlation between innovation spend and business performance.”

Women and the Workplace

From Caroline McMillan Portillo: 5 things to know about the state of female entrepreneurs and venture capital

“It was the first comprehensive analysis of venture capital investments in female entrepreneurs since 1999. And while the results of the Diana Project, released this month, showed some promise, we’ve still got a long way to go before women get equal treatment from venture capitalists.”

From Nanette Fondas: Research: More than Half of Top Female Execs Were College Athletes

“All managers want to hire people with discipline, determination, and drive. Women executives are no different. And according to a newly-released study, women executives who once played competitive sports, in college or elsewhere, prefer to hire other people with athletics in their background.”

From Steven Sinofsky: Fostering a Better Work Environment for Women

“Recently, frequent Re/code contributor Steven Sinofsky was having a Twitter exchange with CNBC on-air editor Jon Fortt about ‘speaking up’ in the workplace. Sinofsky was about to post this essay on the subject when discussion emerged yesterday over Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s remarks at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, being held in Arizona.”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Stew Friedman: What Successful Work and Life Integration Looks Like

“Too many people believe that to achieve great things we must make brutal sacrifices, that to succeed in work we must focus single-mindedly, at the expense of everything else in life. Even those who reject the idea of a zero-sum game fall prey to a kind of binary thinking revealed by the term we use to describe the ideal lifestyle: ‘work/life balance.’ The idea that ‘work’ competes with ‘life’ ignores that ‘life’ is actually the intersection and interaction of four major domains: work, home, community, and the private self.”

From Peggy Drexler: Consider The Benefits Of The 4 Day Work Week

“We’re programmed to believe that working longer and harder begets great achievement. But what if working less is the real key to success? Some employers find a four-day workweek increases productivity and job satisfaction and helps retain all talented workers, not just the women who want to be with kids.”

From Martin Couzins: World of Learning 2014: innovation is what you need

“Martin Couzins reports on last week’s World of Learning 2014 conference in Birmingham, where innovation and future trends in learning and development were major themes.”

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

Straight Talk about Leadership

There’s way too much hype and nonsense about leadership. It’s time for some straight talk.

By and About Leaders: 10/7/14

Pointers to pieces by and about Gianmaria Fulgenzi, Peng-Sang Cau, Deborah Bial, Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and John Lowe.

From the Independent Business Blogs: 10/8/14

Pointers to posts by Karin Hurt, Terry “Starbucker” St. Marie, Mary Jo Asmus, Lolly Daskal, and Julie Winkle Giulioni

Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 10/10/14

Pointers to stories about CNN, EV Fleet, Proto Labs, Hewlett-Packard, and Tesco.

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