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 three steps for successful digital integration, leading in an increasingly VUCA world, why CEOs should care about smart automation, how the gender pay gap widens as women get promoted, and the next generation of social media in the office.
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
“The ‘uberisation’ of the economy is making companies rush into digital integration, but they need to build some critical capabilities before investing.”
“At the heart of organisational complexity is the battle between emergence and entropy. Julian Birkinshaw charts the best way forward.”
“Many people feel unengaged and unhappy at work across the Western World. The disengagement level at work has reached a crisis point. Managers need a new ‘toolkit’ to engage people but above all a new lens to view their people: the lens of kind leadership that engages people to give their best in a Culture of Kindness. Let me present the three culture types I see and how Appreciative Inquiry can help to build a Culture of Kindness.”
Industries and Analysis
“The traveling I’ve done over the years has also afforded me the chance to analyze the world’s VUCA levels. I have been talking about the concept of VUCA for some time now. It’s an acronym developed by the U.S. military after the collapse of the Soviet Union to describe a multipolar world: volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. Volatility reflects the speed and turbulence of change. Uncertainty means that outcomes, even from familiar actions, are less predictable. Complexity indicates the vastness of interdependencies in globally connected economies and societies. And ambiguity conveys the multitude of options and potential outcomes resulting from them. Where once we could count on the seeming certainty and predictability of binary choices — capitalism versus communism, democracy versus autocracy, Corn Flakes versus kasha — choices and consequences are now far less clear.”
“The largest container lines are bulking up to try to withstand a fresh downturn.”
“Much of the added spending by business clients is not ending up in the pockets of lawyers. It is going to service firms that have taken over much of the investigative work at the heart of lawsuits and other litigation.”
Innovations and Technology
“I’ve written before (and often) about challenges around clarity and communication introduce difficulty when corporations try to create new products and services. Notice that for a blog about innovation, I didn’t use the ‘i’ word in the sentence above. That’s because I think corporations confuse the ends from the means, and in doing so create unnecessary barriers to creating valuable products and services.”
“Before telling the world about their innovation-in-progress, companies should carefully weigh the costs and benefits.”
“Technology is shaking up all types of markets today, obliterating old business models everywhere with newer, more dynamic approaches. In particular, machines have gotten smarter, and can perform high-level analysis and make decisions—processes that used to be exclusive to the human brain. This is a quantum leap in processing, and we’re at a point now where machines are able to think for themselves.”
Women and the Workplace
“But what happens to that gap when we look at men and women doing the same work? PayScale, the compensation data and software company I work for, released a new study today titled ‘Inside the Gender Pay Gap’ where we examine gender pay gaps based on the 1.4 million full-time U.S. employees who successfully completed our survey between July 2013 and July 2015. When we control for all factors that influence compensation outside of gender (i.e. job title, location, years of experience, education, company size, management responsibilities, skills, etc.), the gender pay gap for men and women overall shrinks to 97 cents on the dollar. However, the gap widens for certain groups of female workers, and not the ones you’d necessarily expect — executives, women with children, and women who hold higher degrees.”
“There’s some good news from the finance industry, however incremental in scope, for female leaders. On Thursday, Goldman Sachs released its list of new managing directors — a highly coveted finance job just one step down from partner — and there are more women on the list than ever before.”
“Young women need lines of sight to Bay Street’s upper echelons, and Ms. Moorehead’s success signals they can make it without having to compromise who they are. Folksy, energetic and refreshingly authentic, she is one of the few people brave enough to admit her success involved some flukes. ‘I feel lucky – honest to goodness,’ she explains over lunch at Colette, a French-themed restaurant in Toronto’s Thompson Hotel. ‘Many of the things I did earlier in my career, I didn’t realize would all knit together to this life … So I don’t ever make the mistake of thinking I planned it all.'”
Work and Learning Now and in the Future
“As the automation of physical and knowledge work advances, many jobs will be redefined rather than eliminated—at least in the short term.”
“Email is still the king of office communications, but company-hosted social networking platforms are gaining in popularity, especially among younger workers.”
“Thousands of HR professionals travelled to the CIPD’s Annual Conference and Exhibition last week. The event focused on future HR and its impact on organisations, but for those who did not make it to Manchester, Martin Couzins provides 11 take-aways from the event.”
More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock
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