Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 10/23/17

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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 looking for leadership guidance in classic philosophy, why the best senior teams thrive on disagreement, how America can bring back manufacturing, four innovation mistakes that you really need to avoid, preparing teams to lead innovative change, Women in the Workplace 2017, and four ways work will change in the future.

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 the London School of Economics: Looking for leadership guidance in classic philosophy

“With critical distance, you gain perspective on who you are and what kind of leader you can become, writes Nathan Harter.”

From Manfred Kets De Vries: Why empathy makes for stronger organisations

“The strategy meeting was running smoothly. For days, the senior management team had been preparing intensely for their final presentations about a planned corporate transformation to the CEO. He was quite unpredictable. Would he go for their plan, or shoot them down?”

From Orla Leonard, Nathan Wiita, and Christopher Milane: The Best Senior Teams Thrive on Disagreement

“Most team leaders try to build cohesion on their teams. Through team-building exercises and the careful establishment of norms and processes, leaders aim to create a culture of trust, psychological safety, and good feeling.”

Book Suggestion: The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness by Lolly Daskal

Industries and Analysis

From Wharton: DowDuPont’s Andrew Liveris: How America Can Bring Back Manufacturing

“Smokestacks belching hazardous gases, rivers so polluted they catch fire, workers in identical overalls turning bolts with wrenches: For many Americans, the word ‘manufacturing’ conjures up negative, old-fashioned images. Or, we think of it as something that takes place in less-developed nations, as has increasingly been the case. Many have said that factories will continue to locate wherever the work can be done most cheaply, despite political messaging about bringing back manufacturing jobs.”

From the Economist: American factories could prosper if they find enough skilled workers

“A widening skills gap means that over half of new manufacturing jobs in the decade to 2025 may go unfilled.”

From Nielsen: The Forces of Change in FMCG Retail

“Three major channel disruptions will transform the U.S. food and beverage landscape over the next five years: the growth of online grocery led by Amazon, the expansion of deep discounters like Aldi and Lidl, and the new popularity of alternate food and beverage options, including quick-service restaurants and meal kits. Nielsen’s global retail practice leader, Louise Keely, explored the relative size and impact of these disruptions during a recent panel discussion at the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s Leadership Forum.”

Book Suggestion: Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America by Michael Ruhlman

Innovation and Technology

From Greg Satell: 4 Innovation Mistakes That You Really Need To Avoid

“One of the things that startup guru Steve Blank likes to say is that no business plan survives first contact with a customer. What he means that every idea is wrong. Sometimes it’s off by a little and sometimes it’s off by a lot, but it’s always wrong and the sooner we find its flaws the sooner we can start making it work.”

From Henrik Bresman: Preparing Teams to Lead Innovative Change

“A new model of organisational change for today’s fast-moving industries.”

From Lawrence M. Fisher: Why Larry Smarr Is Pioneering Collaborative Innovation

“Larry Smarr has become a vital conductor of innovation by insisting that scientists and researchers at the incubators he runs collaborate across the lines that separate disciplines.”

Book Suggestion: Mapping Innovation: A Playbook for Navigating a Disruptive Age by Greg Satell

Women and the Workplace

From Alexis Krivkovich, Kelsey Robinson, Irina Starikova, Rachel Valentino, and Lareina Yee: Women in the Workplace 2017

“More companies are committing to gender equality. But progress will remain slow unless we confront blind spots on diversity–particularly regarding women of color, and employee perceptions of the status quo.”

From Janet Burns: The Results Are In: Women Are Great For Business, But Still Getting Pushed Out

“In the past several years, research has shown that the increase of women in leadership is helping businesses to thrive in unprecedented ways. The data also suggest that, in many areas, employers and their industries have yet to return the favor.”

From Eva Del Rio: Advice to Women Who Want to Earn Equal Pay

“Many people assume that because I’m in HR (and female) that I automatically agree that women are victims of systematic discrimination. But, not necessarily.”

Book Suggestion: Women in Tech: Take Your Career to the Next Level with Practical Advice and Inspiring Stories by Tarah Wheeler

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Gale Moutrey: To Win at Workspaces, Blur the Edges of the Office

“A 2017 Gallup report revealed the most engaged employees spend 60 to 80 percent of their time working away from the office. People at work report a lack of collaboration spaces to help them be creative, frequent noise disruptions while working and an inability to effectively communicate creative ideas to coworkers. People are leaving the office because they don’t have the right places to get work done. It is time to redefine what the office means and create workplaces that inspire and that people want to work in.”

From Steve Lohr: Don’t Get Too Comfortable at That Desk

“New designs are partly a backlash to wide-open floor plans and include a ‘palette of places,’ meaning that people don’t sit in just one spot.”

From Louise Lee: Four Ways Work Will Change in the Future

“At a Stanford symposium, experts discuss shifting education expectations, technology’s impact, and new worker demands.”

Book Suggestion: Data-ism: The Revolution Transforming Decision Making, Consumer Behavior, and Almost Everything Else by Steve Lohr

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

Boss’s Tip of the Week: Help the team succeed

What must you do today to help your team succeed? One of 347 tips from Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time.

Leadership: Three Inconvenient Truths about Teams

Some things make it easier to create an effective business team.

Book Review: The Asshole Survival Guide

We all encounter assholes. We’ve all been an asshole. This book will help you in either situation.

Writing a Book: Starting the Research

My mother used to say that “Well begun is half done.” Great business books begin with great research. Here’s how to do it well.

Leaders and Strategies in Real Life: 10/17/17

Articles about real leaders and real companies in real life. This week it’s article about Lego, Citrine Informatics, Beam Suntory, Google, and Dollar General.

From the Independent Business Blogs: 10/18/17

Pointers to posts by Jesse Lyn Stoner, Lolly Daskal, Kate Nasser, Julie Winkle Giulioni, and Ed Batista.

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.

The 347 tips in my ebook can help you Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time.

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