Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 10/31/16

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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 the attributes of an effective global leader, six big issues that will disrupt manufacturing, study reveals the strong returns from investing in innovation, the rewards of an engaged female workforce, and how work will change in the next economy.

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 Sylvia Ann Hewlett: The Attributes of an Effective Global Leader

“Nayak is describing a set of competencies that employees must master if they are to become leaders on the global stage. As organizations grow and become more global, it’s crucial that they develop these skills in their local talent so that they can work effectively across cultures. Based on Center for Talent Innovation (CTI) research, we’ve identified four competencies that rising talent needs to master to become global leaders.”

From Mark Hefner: Strategic planning must change with the times

“If you’re frustrated by your organization’s current strategic planning and execution processes or the outcomes from that work, you’re not alone. Whether they’re developed in-house or brought in by outside strategy firms, many strategy methodologies are of little value if they don’t keep up with the times. So if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got. Clearly, it’s time to reconsider how your organization goes about developing and executing strategy at all levels. Here are 10 changes needed to enable a wholesale paradigm shift in strategic planning and execution methods that will significantly improve your results:”

From Jena McGregor: Only one of the 10 best-performing CEOs in the world runs a U.S. company

“Guess one CEO of an American company that Harvard Business Review ranked in the top 10 of its list of the best-performing CEOs. Warren Buffett? Mark Zuckerberg? Disney’s Bob Iger? Bain & Co.’s Bob Bechek, who employees voted the best in another ranking? You’d be wrong on all of them. On its 2016 list of the world’s best-performing chief executives, released this week, eight of the top ten are CEOs of European companies. One runs a Brazilian bank. And just one CEO of a U.S. company cracked the top 10: Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and CEO of Nvidia, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based technology company known for its graphics processors in gaming units.”

Industries and Analysis

From Ruth Simon and Loretta Chao: America’s Biggest Filer of Patent Suits Wants You to Know It Invented Shipping Notification

“Spice Jungle is among more than 100 mostly small companies sued in 2016 by Shipping & Transit, whose litigiousness makes it the largest filer of patent lawsuits in the U.S. this year, according to legal analytics firm Lex Machina. The number of businesses affected by Shipping & Transit’s actions is likely even larger, because this count doesn’t include those that paid quickly to avoid a lawsuit. Shipping & Transit doesn’t sell tracking systems, or anything else. Its business address is a house in Boynton Beach, Fla. Claiming patents ‘for providing status messages for cargo, shipments and people,’”

From Craig Guillot: 6 Big Issues that Will Disrupt Manufacturing

“Manufacturers face many challenges today as they try to prepare their business for the future. To help all manufacturers make that transformation easier, the Manufacturing Leadership Council recently announced its Critical Issues roadmap to Manufacturing 4.0.”

From the Economist: Change of tune

“Once enemies of record labels, Spotify and Apple are now spinning profits for them.”

Innovation and Technology

From Adi Gaskell: Study Reveals the Strong Returns from Investing in Innovation

“For those of us who are on board with the merits of innovation, it can seem obvious that innovating is a good thing. Ok, we might accept that innovation is not always done very well and the results could therefore be a bit of a let down, but overall, innovating is better than not innovating.”

From Julian Birkinshaw and Kathy Brewis: If at first you don’t succeed…

“When James Dyson’s invention failed to work, he modified it slightly, then tried again. And again.”

From Julie Bort: Lots of Amazon’s projects have failed…and that’s ok, says Amazon’s Andy Jassy

“While it’s easy to point to all that success, no one ever seems to forget the company’s big fat failures either. On Tuesday, speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s WSJ D Live conference in Laguna Beach, California, Jassy was asked about Amazon’s short-lived Fire phone. He responded by listing all the other projects that Amazon tried and biffed over the years since he joined the company, back in May, 1997.”

Women and the Workplace

From Laura Dunn: Trina Gordon, President and CEO, Boyden World Corporation

“Trina Gordon is President and CEO of Boyden World Corporation and a member of the Board of Directors. Previously, Trina was Managing Director and the leader of Boyden Chicago. Prior to joining the firm, she was a Partner at William H. Clark Associates, Inc. She has extensive experience in management consulting and executive search for global public corporations, privately held companies, and private equity owned businesses.”

Thanks to Smartbrief on Leadership for pointing me to this story

From Kate Bassett: Moya Greene, Royal Mail: ‘Women need to take the risky roles’

“‘There are big opportunities out there – but too many of the women I speak to in the UK are afraid of those roles. They are holding themselves back,’ she says. ‘I always say to other women: ‘Don’t let the worry about your children defeat your ambition’. The best jobs I’ve had were the ones I was most afraid of.’”

From Matthew Krentz, Claire Tracey, Miki Tsusaka, Rainer Strack, Jennifer Garcia-Alonso, Diana Dosik, and Julie Kilmann: The Rewards of an Engaged Female Workforce

“Employee engagement is a critical indicator of a company’s success. Engaged employees feel a bond with their company, are proud to work there, and take steps to improve the company’s prospects. However, BCG’s latest research shows that some of the world’s biggest and best-known companies have lower engagement than they should among senior-level women. This creates two problems. First, research has shown that companies whose employees aren’t engaged have weaker financial performance. Compounding this outcome, if promising women leave, companies could pay an additional financial penalty for having a less diverse leadership team.”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Jesse Sostrin: Wake Your Sleeping Learning and Performance Giants

“I call these challenges the hidden curriculum of work because it is this unspoken, unwritten work that doesn’t show up in your job description, yet determines your ability to stand out. Learning to navigate it is a business imperative with significant untapped human-capital potential. And just like any other form of capital — social, political, financial — a leader can either squander it or leverage it.”

From McKinsey & Company: How work will change in the next economy

“Tim O’Reilly talks to McKinsey’s James Manyika about the interplay between technology, the economy, and the future of work.”

From Luke Stangel: Three Problems with Top-Down Teams (and How to Fix Them)

“A researcher shows how to encourage participation, influence, and even conflict.”

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

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Biology is not destiny. Your mindset and effort determine how much you can improve at almost anything.

Book Review: Under New Management

My review of Under New Management: How Leading Organizations are Upending Business as Usual by David Burkus.

By and About Leaders: 10/25/16

Pointers to pieces by and about Kim Townsend, Bethenny Frankel, Jim Whitehurst, Carlos Ghosn, and Jean-Claude Biver.

From the Independent Business Blogs: 10/26/16

Pointers to posts by Art Petty, Kate Nasser, Terry “Starbucker” St. Marie, Lolly Daskal, and Mary Jo Asmus.

Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 10/28/16

Pointers to stories about Amazon, Lacoste, Ford, Chipotle, and Mighty Handle.

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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