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 problem of too much talent, improving healthcare while curbing cost, Transforming organisations for sustained innovation, why when women get stuck, corporate america gets stuck, and how big data can take the pain out of the annual performance review.
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 Michael J. Silverstein and Rune Jacobsen: Take Giant Leaps (Because You’re Not Going to Win with Timid Steps)
“Every successful company starts with a dream. This is what drives its founders. But there are far more dreamers than there are apostle companies—those rare and valuable businesses whose fanatical customers follow them, promote them, and propel them to infinite growth. Why is this? It’s because apostle companies are led by people who have not only dared to dream but also dared to act. These entrepreneurs do not know all the answers, but they are not inhibited by fear or a desire to protect the status quo. They are prepared to lose everything for a chance at the big win. When confronted with risk, they bet boldly—they take giant leaps.”
“It’s true of basketball players, businesspeople, and even baboons: When too many powerful personalities are present, discord ensues.”
“If you want to be a leader whom people follow with absolute conviction, you have to be a likable leader. Tyrants and curmudgeons with brilliant vision can command a reluctant following for a time, but it never lasts. They burn people out before they ever get to see what anyone is truly capable of.”
Industries and Analysis
“Drinking behaviors like these have cut the top light-beer brands’ share of the $100 billion beer market to 31.8% from a peak of 35.5% in 2007, according to industry tracker Beer Marketer’s Insights. Craft beer’s market share doubled to 9% over that period, and imported beer rose slightly to 14.1 percent.”
From Chris Llewellyn, Nils Peters, and Gila Vadnai-Tolub: Improving healthcare while curbing cost: Med-tech companies offer a solution
“Research tells us that the potential value of partnering with med-tech companies is great. Yet many hospital executives are still not fully satisfied.”
“But today these islands of security are being battered as never before. Professional-services firms are becoming more business-minded: Accenture now contracts lots of work to people in the emerging world and has abandoned the partnership model to become a public company. Customers are getting fussier: big firms will no longer put up with consultancies that woo them with partners and then send in a team of juniors. But the most important source of instability is information technology.”
Innovations and Technology
From Dan Gregory and Kieran Flanagan: How to Increase Your Organization’s Collaborative Intelligence
“Collaboration is a word that has become a prime contender for boardroom buzzword bingo. Chief executives often speak to its need and demand it of their employees, but few have a real grasp on how to systematize it within an organization nor how to measure its application and effectiveness.”
“‘Market-oriented’ firms are better able to innovate consistently, but getting there requires complex and demanding organisational change.”
“No matter how popular and beloved your brand may be, its survival depends on your organization’s ability to adapt. Postmortems on companies like Blockbuster Video and Borders Books have pointed to issues with organizational structure, capabilities, and technology. But at the center of those corporate demises is the failure to innovate. Through more than a decade of innovation training with the world’s top organizations, I’ve isolated five innovation nightmares that, if course-corrected early enough, don’t have to result in imminent doom.”
Women and the Workplace
“‘Star Wars’ posters and cheesy T.V. shows can do real-world damage.”
“At the current pace of progress, we are more than 100 years away from gender equality in the C-suite. If NASA launched a person into space today, she could soar past Mars, travel all the way to Pluto and return to Earth 10 times before women occupy half of C-suite offices. Yes, we’re that far away.”
“Attitudes and preconceptions about gender roles are deeply rooted.”
Work and Learning Now and in the Future
“Four years ago, the 90,000 workers at Atos, a global IT-services company based in France, averaged 15 to 20 hours a week reading and writing e-mails to one another. E-mail ‘was becoming a burden to our employees rather than an enabler,’ says human resources chief Philippe Mareine. So management issued a startling request: Stop it. Instead of e-mailing, employees were urged to communicate through an in-house social network called BlueKiwi.”
“Many people dream of giving up their daily commute and padding to work in their pajamas and slippers. But telecommuting has to be carefully thought out and implemented to be successful, new research says.”
“A new program aimed at HR departments says it can unearth employee information that human managers might miss.”
More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock
You’ll do much better if you use After Action Reviews to learn from success as well as failure.
Pointers to pieces by and about Chris Metz, Joseph Jimenez, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Deborah Lee James, and Elizabeth Holmes.
Pointers to posts by Karin Hurt, Suzi McAlpine, Lolly Daskal, Jesse Lyn Stoner, and Mary Jo Asmus.
Pointers to stories about Luther Florist, Primark, Shantell Martin, Walmart, and Theranos
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.