Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 1/16/17

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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 leading by design, seven ways for business leaders to successfully navigate and overcome the unknown, five principles of innovation, why we need to feel safe to be creative, and what to expect at work in 2017.

Be sure to look for dots that you can connect.

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Thinking about Leadership and Strategy

From Bill Barnett: Leading by Design

“Leading by example shows the way, but leading by design creates a system that discovers the way.”

From Julie Benezet: 7 Ways for Business Leaders to Successfully Navigate and Overcome the Unknown

“CEOs like their business strategy to be predictable and planned out. But we are living in a time today when the fear of the unknown has never been greater.”

From Rod Collins: The agile dilemma: mindset or method?

“For those readers who are not familiar with Agile, this innovative approach to creating software emerged out of a February 2001 gathering of seventeen software developers in Snowbird, Utah. Among them were Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber, the coauthors of what has come to be known as Scrum, and Ward Cunningham, the originator of the wiki, which became popularized with the explosive growth of Wikipedia.”

Industries and Analysis

From Christopher Mims: Automation Can Actually Create More Jobs

“Since the 1970s, when automated teller machines arrived, the number of bank tellers in America has more than doubled. James Bessen, an economist who teaches at Boston University School of Law, points to that seeming paradox amid new concerns that automation is .stealing. human jobs. To the contrary, he says, jobs and automation often grow hand in hand. Sometimes, of course, machines really do replace humans, as in agriculture and manufacturing, says Massachusetts Institute of Technology labor economist David Autor in a succinct and illuminating TED talk, which could have served as the headline for this column. Across an entire economy, however, Dr. Autor says that’s never happened.”

From Justin Rose, Henk van Duijnhoven, Christian Köpp, Jonathan Van Wyck, and Chad Moutray: Productivity Now: A Call to Action for US Manufacturers

“Productivity growth—output growth that exceeds the growth of the workforce and capital employed—has been the lifeblood of the US manufacturing sector for much of the recent past. From 1972 through 2010, the sector’s output more than doubled, while its workforce decreased by more than 30%. (See Exhibit 1.) These steady gains in productivity have been a major factor in the renaissance of US manufacturing.”

From Peter Stumbles, Mohit Wadan, Andrew Carleton and Jason Heinrich: Big, Bold Bank Cost Transformation

“‘Where are the cost savings that everyone promised?’ It’s a chronic lament of bank CEOs and COOs after yet another session with their senior teams, reviewing progress from digital or productivity initiatives that have not delivered their projected savings.”

Innovation and Technology

From Tom Puthiyamadam: Digital Transformations Start with Frontline Workers

“Recently, one of the largest hotel chains in the world transformed itself with digital technology — for the second time. By all accounts, the first effort had been a failure. The company had invested a significant amount of time and money installing a major new system that promised to increase efficiencies, streamline day-to-day operations, and enhance the guest experience. The problem? The system was so cumbersome, difficult to learn, and ineffective that the hotel’s employees routinely bypassed it, preferring pen and paper to take notes and relay guest information.”

From Greg Satell: 5 Principles of Innovation

“Take one look at an Einstein, a Henry Ford or a Steve Jobs and it seems that they were bequeathed with something unique. They have a flair and a surety about themselves that borders on the sublime. Yet many others also have flair and surety and never accomplish anything of note. Moreover, as I’ve written before, stories of great innovators often contain struggle and privation. Given a deeper look, innovation seems more learned than innate and there is surprising consistency about what drives it. Here are 5 principles to guide you.”

From Saga Briggs: Why We Need to Feel Safe to Be Creative

“We can all think of instances throughout history when high-stakes situations led to innovative discoveries or notable creative achievements: the space race that came out of the Cold War; NASA’s quick response to a failing air filtration system aboard Apollo 13; the development of Enigma machines during World War II. But most of the time, in day-to-day life, stress actually hampers creativity.”

Women and the Workplace

From Dayna Evans: Women Are Penalized at Work for the Possibility They Might Have Kids Someday

“The ‘motherhood penalty’ is a term that was coined to describe what happens to women’s salaries after they have kids. No, their salaries don’t rise to cover the ever-increasing cost of child care, threat to health care, and price of education. Instead, women’s salaries have statistically proven to drop when they return to work — 4 percent for every child they have. There is no ‘fatherhood penalty’. because, well, men tend to be paid more after they have children. Go figure.”

From Dan Schawbel: Laura Vanderkam: Successful Women Sleep And Work Reasonable Hours

“I spoke to Laura Vanderkam, author of the new book I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time, about the topic of gender inequality in the workplace, why the most successful women get enough sleep and work reasonable hours, why she focuses her writing on productivity, why she doesn’t believe in work life balance, and how your family should be supportive as you best manage your life.”

From Jack Torrance: The gender pay gap is largely down to parenthood

“Young women earn only slightly less than their male peers but the gap widens with age.”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Science for Work: Interview with Dr. Richard A. MacKinnon, Insight Director at the Future Work Centre

“Dr. Richard MacKinnon is the Insight Director at the Future Work Centre. A Chartered Psychologist, Chartered Scientist and Registered Coaching Psychologist, Richard has over 16 years of experience as a practitioner in a variety of organisational settings. At the Future Work Centre, Richard is responsible for setting the research agenda, developing evidence-based solutions for clients and representing the centre at conferences and media events.”

From Jena McGregor: What to expect at work in 2017

“So what can we expect will happen in the workplace in 2017? We asked several human resources experts and employment lawyers to make predictions about the coming year — the changes they think we’ll be talking about regarding compensation, benefits and how bosses manage their people. (Or perhaps seem more like Big Brother: Get ready for a few to experiment with location-based tracking of workers, experts say.) Six predictions they made for the year ahead:”

From Julie Winkle Giulioni: Want to Institutionalize Career Development? Look for (or Cultivate) these Cultural Markers

“Processes overshadow people. Deadlines trump genuine development. And a checklist mentality competes with creating authentic connections. But interviews with and input from thousands of leaders worldwide offer a different view of what’s needed to support genuine and sustainable career development. When asked specifically what helped them develop most powerfully, 8500+ leaders offered these observations.”

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

Not just goals, a goal system

If you want your goals to make a difference for you, you need a system.

The Five Best Business Books I Read in 2016

I read a lot of business books in 2016. Here’s my pick of the five best.

By and About Leaders: 1/10/17

Pointers to pieces by and about Norm Porges, Jason Fried, Michel Landel, Eric Wiseman, and Terry Winograd

From the Independent Business Blogs: Date 1/11/17

Pointers to posts by Mary Jo Asmus, Ed Batista, Art Petty, Anne Perschel, and Jesse Lyn Stoner.

Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 1/13/17

Pointers to stories about Amazon, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Good Vibes Body Art, and Two Little Red Hens.

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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