Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 11/17/14

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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 what makes someone an engaging leader, Millennials’ readiness to lead, food and agriculture, Q&A with Tim Berners-Lee, executive women, and employees as leaders.

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 Ken OehlerLorraine StomskiMagdalena Kustra-Olszewska: What Makes Someone an Engaging Leader

“Our ongoing study of the companies we’ve labeled Aon Hewitt Best Employers – firms that achieve both top quartile engagement levels and better business results than their peers – finds that they do have something in common. It’s the prevalence of a certain kind of leader, not just at the top, but throughout the ranks of the organization.”

From Henrik Bresman and Vinika Rao: Millennials Want to Lead. Are They Ready?

“In the near future millennials will occupy every consequential leadership position in the world, be it in business, academia, government, or in the non-profit sector. Will they be ready to lead?”

From McKinsey & Company: Bringing a healthy dose of pragmatism to strategy

“Two experienced senior finance executives discuss their changing roles.”

Industries and Analysis

From Candice Choi: Rising beef prices hit fast-food chains

“Rising beef prices might not mean the cost of a Whopper is going to skyrocket, but it could mean you’ll be encouraged to order a chicken sandwich instead.”

From Tom Meersman: High-tech feeders free dairy farmers

“Increasingly sophisticated equipment is bringing dramatic change to the lives of dairy farmers in Minnesota and throughout the Midwest. Researchers at Iowa State University have calculated that the feeders can reduce labor costs by more than 40 percent, make farmers’ schedules more flexible and allow more time for producers to monitor and manage calf health.”

From Jacob Bunge: Farm Startup Seeks to Profit from Harvesting Big Data

“As large agricultural companies embrace high-tech tools to help farmers increase output, one smaller company wants to go a different route: helping farmers harvest and sell their crop data.”

Innovations and Technology

From Troy Wolverton: Q&A: Tim Berners-Lee, professor, inventor of World Wide Web

“Tim Berners-Lee hasn’t been idle since he invented the World Wide Web 25 years ago. In addition to his day job as a computer science professor, Berners-Lee has been guiding the development and spread of the Web. As the founder and director of the World Wide Web Foundation, he promotes making the Web affordable, accessible and open to everyone. As the founder and director of the World Wide Web Consortium, the standard body for the medium that’s also known as the W3C, he oversees the process of adding new features and capabilities to the Web.”

From Nick Wingfield: Microsoft’s Nadella Talks About the Future of Office

“Satya Nadella, the company’s chief executive, said Microsoft’s focus on helping people ‘get stuff done’ distinguishes it from competitors like Google and Apple.”

From Gartner: Gartner’s 2014 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies Maps the Journey to Digital Business

“The journey to digital business is the key theme of Gartner, Inc.’s ‘Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2014.’ As the Gartner Hype Cycle celebrates its 20th year, Gartner said that as enterprises set out on the journey to becoming digital businesses, identifying and employing the right technologies at the right time will be critical.”

Women and the Workplace

From Maria Blomqvist, Emma Chastain, Brenda Thickett, Shalini Unnikrishnan, and Wendy Woods: Bridging the Entrepreneurship Gender Gap: The Power of Networks

“It’s often been said that women are the most underutilized asset in the world. Studies have shown that the economic inclusion of women is fundamental to reducing gender inequality and spurring overall economic growth. Women’s economic participation has been shown to have a multiplier effect: the economic empowerment of one woman ripples meaningfully to her children and family—even to entire communities and nations.”

From Brigid Schulte and Jena McGregor: Why are so few women on the business side of tech companies?

“The conventional explanation for why there are so few women in high tech has hinged on a simple statistic: Only about 18 percent of computer science and engineering degrees go to women every year. Yet tech companies have experts in finance, marketing, sales — not just programming. And women account for nearly 40 percent of all MBA graduates”

From Adam Bryant: Executive Women, Finding (and Owning) Their Voice

“Four chief executives describe the importance of taking stands, and of making sure they’re heard.”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Jo Faragher: Flexible working: a third want to change the way they work

“Only a quarter of people feel that work is central to their lives, and around one-third would like to make changes to their working arrangements, research from the CIPD has found.”

From Kristen V. Brown: Parents just don’t understand (what’s it like to work in tech)

“LinkedIn came up with the idea last year after Fisher and others realized just how many employees had parents who didn’t get their jobs. The company commissioned an international research study that found more than one in three parents do not understand what their child does for a living. This year, more than 50 other companies across the globe participated in the event.”

From Kellogg: Where The Employees Are The Leaders

“Prioritizing employee leadership helps Barry-Wehmiller differentiate in manufacturing”

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

Questions, Praise, and Consequences

One of the most important lessons I learned from my mother was how to give feedback without giving feedback at all.

By and About Leaders: 11/11/14

Pointers to pieces by and about Sharen Turney, Martha Hoover, Bob Rogers, Janet Elkin, and Frank Blake.

From the Independent Business Blogs: 11/12/14

Pointers to posts by Jesse Lyn Stoner, Julie Winkle Giulioni, Suzi McAlpine, Karin Hurt, and Mary Jo Asmus.

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

Pointers to stories about Daisy Buchanan’s, Jim Jozwiak, Bellacures, J.C. Penney, and Scholastic.

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