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 using predictive analytics to clone your best decision makers, women are changing the face of venture funding, frugal innovation, global workforce gender diversity, and automation, jobs, and the future of work.
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
“Leadership is a tough business, especially in the digital era. In earlier times, managers paid their employees to perform tasks and directed them how, where and when to do them. These days, however, professionals are paid to solve problems and create things, like products, strategies and new technologies.”
From Michael C. Mankins and Lori Sherer: Decision Insights: Using predictive analytics to clone your best decision makers
“In the middle of the spectrum, however, lies a vast and largely unexplored territory. These decisions—both relatively frequent and individually important, requiring the exercise of judgment and the application of experience—represent a potential gold mine for the companies that get there first with advanced analytics.”
“Ford, Apple, Netflix, Starbucks, and Google struck gold with these breakthrough strategies, and changed the game in their respective industries:”
Industries and Analysis
“Disruption surrounds us. There are more mobile devices than people in the world. By 2020, more than 50 billion connected Internet of Things devices will likely be in service. Smart cities, smart homes, autonomous vehicles, and cognitive computing are quickly becoming realities. New business models built around smart devices, high-speed networks, cloud computing, and data analytics are rapidly emerging. Traditional sources of advantage are rupturing, while new sources of value are forming.”
“The lower costs associated with reshoring are driving more local manufacturing activity; technological developments are drastically changing the way plants operate; and capital investments are on the rise. The result will be a landmark year in 2015 for U.S. manufacturing.”
“A new tech bubble seems to be inflating. But when it pops, it should cause less damage than the dotcom crash of 2000”
“In a northeast Minneapolis laboratory, veteran chemical engineers think they have found a better way to produce biodiesel from waste grease.”
“For our upcoming book, we studied the leaders of over 50 companies in the U.S. and Europe that are trailblazing frugal innovation. These pioneering leaders are not only radically changing their company’s business model (the hardware) but also changing the mental model of their employees (the software) in order to embed frugality into the corporate DNA. From these pioneers, we have gleaned five valuable lessons for CEOs who want to foster a frugal culture in their own organization:”
“Cisco Systems announced Thursday what it calls ‘connected analytics,’ a mix of hardware, software and services based on sensor data. The idea is to offer rapid analysis of fast-changing information, like the people moving through a store, or beer sold in a stadium, so that companies can respond in time.”
Women and the Workplace
“We really haven’t come that far, fellow females. Not when recent polls show too many women in business — whether by their own fault or by their being mislabeled — are still being perceived as too gruff, too assertive, too downright mean when they’re in positions of authority.”
“Focusing on diversity in the workplace is an essential step in building a great culture. Advancing gender diversity is a key focus area that organizations should look to, armed with the knowledge that there is still significant progress to make before most workplaces achieve true gender equality. Women are still significantly underrepresented at all levels in the workforce worldwide. Mercer’s 2013 Human Capital Report found that only 60%-70% of the eligible female population participates in the global workforce, while male participation is in the high 80’s. In a recent diversity study by Mercer based on 178 submissions from 164 companies in 28 countries covering 1.7 million employees, Mercer explores this issue and proposes solutions. Three key facts emerged from Mercer’s data:”
From Caroline McMillan Portillo: Women are changing the face of venture capital. Here’s how — and why it matters
“The dearth of women in tech has been the elephant in the room for decades. But as dismal diversity statistics have trickled out of some of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies, the issue has drawn more attention — and outcry. The diversity problem is especially pronounced in the world of venture capital, where even promising advances with firms and female startup founders have come with a catch.”
Work and Learning Now and in the Future
“A group of economists, tech entrepreneurs, and academics discuss whether technological advances will automate tasks more quickly than the United States can create jobs.”
“Employers are rushing to embrace the Internet of Things, with its array of smart gadgets, to keep watch on their workers. Studies contend that these devices help reduce theft, boost productivity and weed out lazy, incompetent or abusive employees.”
“This report, the eighth in The Boston Consulting Group’s Creating People Advantage series, explores key trends in people management by considering ten broad HR topics and 27 subtopics. We looked at each subtopic’s future importance, companies’ current capabilities with regard to the subtopics, the levels of effort invested in them, and how urgently each subtopic needed action. We also explored the link between people management capabilities and economic performance.”
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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.