Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 11/10/14

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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 looking at yourself in the leadership mirror, new fast-food chains bet on healthy eating, The Global Innovation 1000, how female CEOs actually get to the top, and the post-hierarchical organization.

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 Manfred Kets de Vries: Take a Look at Yourself in the Leadership Mirror

“To gain a better understanding of your leadership strengths and weaknesses, take a look at yourself through the eyes of others.”

From Thomas J. Saporito: Where Have All the General Managers Gone?

“As economic conditions improve, organizations are realizing they face a ‘talent gap’ that will hamper their ability to grow the business. With few exceptions, the clients I work with today are concerned about their ability to maintain an uninterrupted flow of talented individuals at the general manager level who can be ‘called up’ to the corporate team as opportunities arise.”

From Michael Birshan, Emma Gibbs, and Kurt Strovink: Rethinking the role of the strategist

“Strategic planning has been under assault for years. But good strategy is more important than ever. What does that mean for the strategist?”

Industries and Analysis

From Shan Li: Bye-bye, burgers: New fast-food chains bet on healthy eating

“Some of the fastest-growing fast-food chains aren’t slinging artery-clogging cheeseburgers or cooking up calorie-packed fried chicken.”

From Tim Barker: Strong harvest, low prices create storage problems for region’s farmers

“A complicated dance involving current and future grain prices has many farmers scrambling to come up with extra storage space after filling their own silos to the brim. They’re doing everything they can to avoid selling at rates that don’t even cover production costs.”

From David Carr: Journalism, Independent and Not

“SugarString, a Verizon-run website, highlights problems with the blurring of news and advertising, while The Texas Tribune, a nonpartisan news organization, is thriving.”

Innovations and Technology

From Barry Jaruzelski, Volker Staack and Brad Goehle: The Global Innovation 1000: Proven Paths to Innovation Success

“Ten years of research reveal the best R&D strategies for the decade ahead.”

From Michael Kassner: Gartner’s top 10 technology trends for 2015: All about the cloud

“Gartner analysts suggest you keep a close eye on the items listed in its latest trend report. Michael Kassner examines the technologies on the list and finds a common thread: cloud.”

From Ron Miller: The Path To Successful Digital Transformation Starts With Pockets Of Innovation

“I’ve been hearing about ‘Digital Transformation’ for a couple of years now, and as I’ve wandered the halls of Web Summit this week in Dublin, I’ve heard lots of talk about how companies must transform and change the way they approach development and IT, while searching for innovative ways of doing business. But doing that remains daunting and scary for many organizations. Whether it’s because of a classic Innovator’s Dilemma or just fear of change, some companies remain paralyzed as the world changes around them. One approach that could help these companies get moving is creating pockets of innovation instead of trying to change the whole company at once.”

Women and the Workplace

From Marion Chapsal: The Female Elephant in the Room | Women on Stage

“During the latest Presentation Zen Studio, our European Master Class with Garr Reynolds, in Paris, with 22 attendees, 16 men and 6 women, something a little embarrassing happened. When Phil Waknell announced who the speakers were, we realized that only men were presenting. It was absolutely up to us, anyone could have presented, there was no rules, no special requirements.
Men. Only men.
No women? Not even one?!!!
I felt a pang of guilt in my chest.
I was part of the organization of this event. I was also part of the potential speakers.
So why didn’t I present? Why didn’t any woman present? Was it pure chance? Could there be something else?”

From Selena Rezvani: How To Go After Awards And Recognition (And Win)

“Just last week, a Director at a well-regarded business school explained to me that she couldn’t get female business students to apply for the annual business plan competition. Despite her encouragement and rallying, she just couldn’t convince more women to enter. As I considered her quandary, I couldn’t help but see this as a problem that persists well after business school.”

From Sarah Dillard and Vanessa Lipschitz: Research: How Female CEOs Actually Get to the Top

“We decided to put our expensively honed analytic skills to work testing that advice by looking at the career paths of the 24 women who head Fortune 500 companies. What we found surprised us.”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Brigid Schulte: A company that profits as it pampers workers

“At a time when surveys show many Americans are worried about their jobs and research shows that long hours of face time in the office are highly rewarded, workers at Patagonia set their own hours. And the company signals that it doesn’t want those hours to be excessive; The child development center closes at 5 p.m. The headquarters buildings are locked, with everybody out, at 8 p.m., and on weekends.”

Fm Harold Jarche: The post-hierarchical organization

“The way we manage our organizations is largely ineffective for the complex challenges we face, whether driven by the environment, demographics, economics, or politics. Hierarchies assume that management knows best and that the higher up the hierarchy, the more competent and knowledgeable that person is. But hierarchies are merely centralized networks. They work well when information flows mostly in one direction: down. Hierarchies are good for command and control. They are handy to get things done in small groups. But hierarchies are rather useless to create, innovate, or change. Hierarchies are ineffective when things get complex.”

From China Gorman: A New Voice Demanding Flexibility: Dads!

“Data from How Men Flex, The Working Mother Report is the result of survey responses from 2,000 men and women (evenly split) with questions aimed at understanding the impact of flexible work arrangements on their lives.”

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

Plan, review, adjust, repeat

Planning can help you succeed, but only if you review and modify your plan.

By and About Leaders: 11/4/14

Pointers to pieces by and about Steve Ballmer, Chanda Kochhar, Laurie Glimcher, snf C. Dean Metropoulos plus the advice of forty top execs.

From the Independent Business Blogs: 11/5/14

Pointers to posts by Lolly Daskal, Karin Hurt. Chris Edmonds, Mary Jo Asmus, and Scott Eblin.

Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 11/7/14

Pointers to stories about stores within stores, Whirlpool’s ‘smart’ washing machines, Macy’s, Google, and Solamar.

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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