Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 11/24/14

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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 11 leadership lessons from Alexander the Great, what mom-and-pop stores can teach grocery chains, imitation is what makes us human and creative, even Harvard MBA women are disappointed by their careers, and the future of HR.

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 Wharton: The Latest Innovation: Redesigning the Business Model

“Innovation has become a buzzword in business today, as new-product sales advantages so often flow from new designs or features. Think mobile phones, tablets, or even autos. But apart from product or service leaps, can innovation in the way a company conducts business give it a leg up? Research from Wharton management professor Raffi Amit and co-author Christoph Zott, a professor at IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain, suggests that it can. In this Knowledge@Wharton interview, Amit covers the highlights of a research paper titled, ‘Business Model Innovation: Creating Value in Times of Change.'”

From Nicole Bennett, Ruba Borno, Sebastian DiGrande, Jim Hemerling, and John Wenstrup: Transforming Technology Companies: Putting People First

“Big shifts in the technology industry are straining companies’ operating models, ways of working, and talent needs.”

From Manfred Kets de Vries: 11 Leadership Lessons from Alexander the Great

“Visionary, team builder, mentor, he shows us some timeless leadership lessons but also some glaring failures.”

Industries and Analysis

From Paul Gao, Russell Hensley, and Andreas Zielke: A road map to the future for the auto industry

“As the sector transforms itself, will the automobile keep its soul?”

From Tim Laseter and Steffen Lauster: What Mom-and-Pop Stores Can Teach Grocery Chains

“To stave off online competitors, supermarkets should work with their suppliers and get back to personalized service.”

From Kristine Owram: The next pop can? How Ford’s new F-150 trucks are shaking up the aluminum industry

“After several years of turmoil, the North American aluminum industry may have found its saviour in Ford Motor Co.’s new F-150 — arguably the biggest thing to happen to the metal since Coke and Pepsi ditched steel cans in 1967.”

Innovations and Technology

From Christopher Mims: The Web Is Dying; Apps Are Killing It

“Tech’s Open Range Is Losing Out to Walled Gardens”

From Kat McGowan: Imitation is what makes us human and creative

“We prize originality, yet humans are natural-born copycats and only good imitators survive. Is it time to celebrate the rip-off?”

From John Dyer: Are Radical Lean Manufacturing or Six Sigma Improvements Too Risky?

“If company leaders don’t encourage people to smash paradigms and accept a certain amount of risk, then there will be few, if any, radical process improvements.”

Women and the Workplace

From Robert Reiss: Top Women CEOs On How Bold Innovation Drives Business

“Today 26 Fortune 500 companies have women CEOs. Personally, after interviewing more than 400 CEOs, I recognize patterns and believe that women are generally far better at seeing synergies between businesses. So I want to go on the record and say, if America has one strategy to advance our economy it should be to have at least 50 women CEOs of Fortune 500 Companies.”

From Jock Finlayson: Women in the Workplace: Then, Now and Tomorrow

“The growing role of women in the workforce and the broader economy arguably represents the most consequential socio-economic development of the past 50 years.”

From Jena McGregor: Even Harvard MBA women are disappointed by their careers

“Another day, it seems, another study about the gender gap in careers. Over the last week, Gallup told us women are more pessimistic about the job market. New Bloomberg Businessweek data showed us that female MBAs reported an average of nearly $15,000 less in expected annual pay than men did. And research by a Canadian duo tells us the pay gap might have something to do with women working disproportionately for older men.”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From the Detroit Free Press: Detroit Free Press Top Workplaces 2014, small companies

Wally’s Comment: Lots of good profiles and comments.

From Harold Jarche: The Future of HR

“These organizations are now facing increasingly complex business environments that require continuous learning while working. Typical strategies of optimizing current business processes or reducing costs only marginally influence the organization’s overall performance. Faster market feedback challenges the organization’s ability to act. Decision-making becomes paralyzed by process-based operations and the formal chain of command.”

Cisco Connected World Technology Report 2014

“The 2014 Cisco Connected World Technology Report provides insight into the future of work as Generation Y professionals increasingly enter the workforce and as workers of all ages become more accustomed to mobile devices and working remotely.”

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

Learning about innovation from Mr. Edison and his phonograph

There are a lot of lessons in the story of Thomas Edison and his phonograph and some probably aren’t what you expect.

By and About Leaders: 11/18/14

Pointers to pieces by and about Mary Navarro, Zhang Ruimin, Larry Page, Mary Barra, and Kenichiro Yoshida.

From the Independent Business Blogs: 11/19/14

Pointers to posts by Jesse Lyn Stoner, Kate Nasser, Lolly Daskal, Mary Jo Asmus, and Steve Roesler.

Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 11/21/14

Pointers to stories about Under Armour, Vegan-To-Go, Fender, Koss, and Disney.

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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