Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 12/14/15

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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 why agility pays, how Pfizer set the cost of its new drug at $9,850 a month, how to spot a game changing innovation, pursuing gender equality as a competitive advantage, and the best places to work in the U.S. this year.

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 the Lightouse Blog: Why Experts Agree You Should Build Rapport with Your Team

“If you want to retain your team over the long term and take advantage of motivators that last, then there’s more to the job of leading your team. One of the most underrated, and foundational parts of management is taking the time to build rapport and trust with each person on your team.”

Thanks to Smartbrief on Leadership for pointing me to this story

From Michael Bazigos, Aaron De Smet, and Chris Gagnon: Why agility pays

“New research shows that the trick for companies is to combine speed with stability.”

From Ira Chaleff: 5 Ways to Make ‘Intelligent Disobedience’ the CEO’s Best Friend

“A CEO told me what keeps him up at night is the thought his people will tell him what they think he wants to hear. This is not an unreal fear.”

Industries and Analysis

From Robin Lewis: Amazon – The Rock and a Hard Place For Third-Party Merchants

“From a real-time perspective, a snapshot of Amazon reveals a sprawling marketplace with the potential to become the largest transactional agent in the history of the world. From a strategic perspective, the long-term view of Amazon is that of a distribution platform that has no growth limitations and eagerly invites any product, brand, retailer or service entity in the world onto its platform to share this opportunity of limitless growth.”

From Jonathan Bray, Kelly Howe, Michael Zinser, and Vladimir Lukic: Is It Time to Take the 3-D Plunge? Hope Versus Hype in Additive Manufacturing

“For more than two decades, companies have been excited about a revolutionary industrial process that has the potential to reinvent manufacturing. Additive manufacturing—also known as 3-D printing—certainly represents a significant change in the way items can be produced. As opposed to traditional injection molding, casting, or other subtractive manufacturing processes, additive manufacturing takes a digital file and creates three-dimensional objects by printing successive layers of materials that are then modified slightly to create the desired end product. (See Exhibit 1.) Many predict that this technology will eventually displace myriad traditional manufacturing processes.”

From Jonathan D. Rockoff: How Pfizer Set the Cost of Its New Drug at $9,850 a Month

“A look at Pfizer’s long journey to set Ibrance’s price—a process normally hidden from view—illuminates the arcane art behind rising U.S. drug prices that are arousing criticism from doctors, employers, members of Congress and the public. A Senate committee is holding a drug-price hearing on Wednesday, focusing on sudden large increases imposed by companies that purchased the rights to drugs developed by others.”

Innovation and Technology

From Annet Aris: How to Spot a Game Changer

“Four essential questions for predicting whether an invention will really change our lives.”

From Adam Richardson: Prototyping That’s Less Prone to Failure

“It’s the old garbage-in/garbage-out story: if your experiment isn’t grounded in enough reality, you’ll be deluding yourself with data that has the air of truthiness but is in fact wrong.”

Thanks to Smartbrief on Leadership for pointing me to this story

From the Economist: Technology Quarterly

“Though recycling will become more complicated, a much wider choice of materials will transform manufacturing.”

Women and the Workplace

From Leslie Picker: Pursuing Gender Equality as a Competitive Advantage

“TSG Consumer Partners, a private equity firm that is 50 percent women, believes that a balanced perspective enhances its success.”

From Jena McGregor: More women at the top could spell less corporate trouble

“In a recent study, the number crunchers at MSCI, a research-based index and analytics firm, looked at more than 4,200 companies and found that those with more women at the top had returns on equity of 10.1 percent per year, compared with 7.4 percent for those without.”

From Peggy Drexler: Women Must Address Tyranny Of ‘Bitch’ Culture

“For a highly evolved society so intrigued by and invested in progress, it’s funny how the word bitch, demeaning women since as early as the 15th century, has managed to stick around.”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Steve Lohr: Automation Is a Job Engine, New Research Says

“The fear that technology is poised to kill jobs in unprecedented numbers is widely prevelent these days. Nothing is likely to ease that anxiety much, but a new research paper might prompt some second thoughts.”

From Wharton: Gamification: Still a Gamble, but One with Real Payoffs

“Would you invest in a motivational program for your employees that has a success rate of only 60% or 70%, and is based on a field so new that researchers are still arguing about how to define it? That field would be gamification: loosely, the application of motivational game elements to non-game situations such as business, education and fitness.”

From Lydia Dishman: These Were The Best Places To Work In the U.S. This Year

“After calculating millions of employees’ opinions, this is what the best places to work and the happiest companies have in common.”

Thanks to Smartbrief on Workforce for pointing me to this story

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

Presentations: Tips to help you do better

Read this if the thought of giving a speech makes you break out in a cold sweat or feel like you’re going to throw up.

By and About Leaders: 12/8/15

Pointers to pieces by and about Due Quach, Tony Xu, Tony Hsieh, Aileen Lee, and Chuck Williams.

From the Independent Business Blogs: 12/9/15

Pointers to posts by Kate Nasser, Chris Edmonds, Lolly Daskal, Mary Jo Asmus, and Sharlyn Lauby.

Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 12/11/15

Pointers to stories about Barry Diller, Slack, Kiko, CommCore, and Weight Watchers.

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