Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 11/30/15

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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 how company culture shapes employee motivation, the role of big data in medicine, the dark side of creativity, recruiting and retaining more women in technology organizations, and tomorrow’s working world.

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 Martin Reeves, Knut Haanæs, and Johann Harnoss: Tomorrow Never Dies: The Art of Staying on Top

“Many large companies risk falling into the ‘success trap’: Instead of exploring opportunities for the future, they’re overexploiting existing business models.”

From Susan D’Mello: Innovative leaders

“Top innovators’ behaviors and traits cluster in four key areas, Korn Ferry’s global research on 3,000 mid- to senior-level leaders shows. And when such leaders are innovative, the data suggest that their organizations are more likely to be innovative, too.”

From Lindsay McGregor and Neel Doshi: How Company Culture Shapes Employee Motivation

“In a recent strategy meeting we attended with the leaders of a Fortune-500 company, the word ‘culture’ came up 27 times in 90 minutes. Business leaders believe a strong organizational culture is critical to success, yet culture tends to feel like some magic force that few know how to control. So most executives manage it according to their intuition.”

Industries and Analysis

From the Economist: Up against the paywall

“IS IT boom or doom in the news business? Headline-grabbing sums are being invested in online newspapers: Axel Springer, a German publisher, bought Business Insider in September, in a deal valuing it at $442m. And in August NBCUniversal, a film and television studio, invested $200m in BuzzFeed, another online publisher. Yet for those publications founded in the era of hot-metal type, advertising revenues continue to fall, as illustrated by figures this month from News Corp and Tribune Publishing (whose titles include the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times).”

From Suzette Parmley: Stores taking steps to click with online shoppers

“And while there are a number of surveys with varying numbers, one thing was consistent: Online shopping will be hot this holiday season. Retail experts are projecting 9 percent to 12 percent growth in online retail sales over last year. One survey has online surpassing the $100 billion sales mark for the first time.”

From McKinsey & Company: The role of big data in medicine

“Technology is revolutionizing our understanding and treatment of disease, says the founding director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at New York’s Mount Sinai Health System.”

Innovation and Technology

From Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic: The Dark Side of Creativity

“Few psychological traits are as desirable as creativity — the ability to come up with ideas that are both novel and useful. Yet it is also true that creativity has been associated with a wide range of counterproductive, rarely discussed qualities. Being aware of these tendencies is important for anyone trying to better understand their own creativity, or that of other people.”

From Elif Bascavusoglu-Moreau: Innovation Metrics and KPIs: Are You Getting What You Pay For?

“Everyone’s pushing hard for innovation in science, technology, logistics and business planning but how do you know you’re getting the best return on your investment?”

From Matt LaWell: C-Level Execs: Cloud Will Shape Future More Than Any Other Tech

“The IBM C-Suite Study is based on interviews with 5,247 C-level executives from 70 countries — a fair sample size, to say the very least — and the tech results, which are infographed above courtesy Statista, are telling.”

Women and the Workplace

From Kara Spragure: Recruiting and retaining more women in technology organizations

“Board members of the nonprofit organization Girls Who Code reflect on why women are typically underrepresented in technology-related jobs and how to improve the numbers.”

From Sally Helgesen: Role Model Behavior

“These and other comments bring to mind past laments about senior women who had supposedly failed in their duty to serve as role models by opting to make personal decisions based on their own assessment of what was most important in their lives.”

From Caroline Howard: How Melinda Gates Became The World’s Most Powerful Advocate For Women And Girls

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel invited one of the greatest collections of women leaders ever for a G7 meeting inside her vast concrete-and-glass Chancellery this September. You could find the director of the World Health Organization (Margaret Chan) and the CEO of General Motors GM +0.00% (Mary Barra). The prime minister of Norway (Erna Soldberg) and the former prime minister of Denmark (Helle Thorning-Schmidt). A Nobel Peace Prize winner (Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf) and a queen (Rania of Jordan). And in the front row of a circular conference table set for about two dozen, sitting directly across from Merkel: a former Microsoft manager turned philanthropist, Melinda Gates.”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Irving Wladawsky-Berger: The Growing Value of Social Skills

“I recently read a very interesting paper, The Growing Importance of Social Skills in the Labor Market, by Harvard professor David Deming. Deming’s paper shows that over the past several decades, labor markets have been increasingly rewarding social skills, that is, interpersonal skills that facilitate interactions and communications with others. He presents evidence that since 1980, social-skill intensive occupations have enjoyed most of the employment growth across the whole wage spectrum, and that employment and wage growth have been particularly strong in jobs that require both high cognitive and high social skills.”

From Julian Birkinshaw: Tomorrow’s working world

“Everything from new technology to social and demographic change is shaping how, where and when we work. But what will the workplace of the future look like?”

From Killian Fox and Joanne O’Connor: Five ways work will change in the future

“As part of our report on how work is changing, we take a peek into a world where your boss is tracking you, your neighbour is a robot, and it’s cool to be old… employment, but not as we know it”

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

By and About Leaders: 11/24/15

Pointers to pieces by and about Amber Guild, Mark Zuckerberg, Tony Clement, Lori Goler, and Stan Lee.

From the Independent Business Blogs: 11/25/15

Pointers to posts by Jesse Lyn Stoner, Art Petty, Marcella Bremer, Anne Perschel, and Aad Boot

Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 11/27/15

Pointers to stories about Urban Outfitters, Amazon, Unilever, Living Social, and Playboy.

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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