Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 12/27/16

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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 the line between confidence and hubris, five overlooked principles shaping the destiny of your business, the simple economics of machine intelligence, the economy’s hidden problem: we’re out of big ideas, how to increase profits through gender-balanced leadership, and change the game with simulations.

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 Tim Laseter: The Line between Confidence and Hubris

“You can identify early signs of failure or success from a prospective CEO’s behavior.”

From Ross Kelly: Tech CEOs Feel the Heat as their Competitors Bite Back

“More than two-thirds of the 580 tech-company senior executives questioned by professional services firm KPMG said disruptive technologies are having a positive impact on their organization. But less than a third said they were ‘very prepared’ to address disruptive technologies in their strategic vision.”

From John Sviokla: Five Overlooked Principles Shaping the Destiny of Your Business

“Until you grasp Turing’s theory of computability, Coase theorem of transaction costs, Bell’s law of computer classes, Baldwin and Clarke’s concept of modularity, and Nakamoto’s law of the distributed ledger, you’re not prepared to lead a digital company.”

Industries and Analysis

From Wharton: The Final Frontier: How Entrepreneurs Cracked the Aerospace Industry

“Space exploration is a complex, highly technical and increasingly expensive endeavor that traditionally has been the domain of big governments. But more private firms are jumping into the fray and achieving success. In a recent paper, ‘Watershed Moments, Cognitive Discontinuities, and Entrepreneurial Entry: The Case of New Space,’ Wharton management professors Laura Huang and Anoop Menon — along with coauthor Tiona Zuzul from the London Business School — studied the watershed moments that have enabled this frenzy of entrepreneurial activity. Huang and Menon recently spoke with Knowledge@wharton about their findings.”

From Nick Graham: Fit To Be Un-Tied

“When John F Kennedy was elected president in 1960, it was an exciting time for the country. Young and handsome, with a pouf of great hair, Kennedy signified the new vitality and promise of America. With a beautiful wife and celebrity appeal never matched in an elected leader, he had appeal in every way, for every aspect of menswear, except one. He didn’t like to wear a hat.”

From Frank Witsil: Restaurants consider ending tips in favor of higher wages

“When Lucy Carnaghi and her cousin Molly Mitchell opened their Detroit diner, Rose’s Fine Food, two years ago, they based it on progressive ideas: They would sell fresh and mostly local food to customers and create a great place to work for employees.”

Innovation and Technology

From Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, and Avi Goldfarb: The Simple Economics of Machine Intelligence

“The year 1995 was heralded as the beginning of the ‘New Economy.’ Digital communication was set to upend markets and change everything. But economists by and large didn’t buy into the hype. It wasn’t that we didn’t recognize that something changed. It was that we recognized that the old economics lens remained useful for looking at the changes taking place. The economics of the ‘New Economy’ could be described at a high level: Digital technology would cause a reduction in the cost of search and communication. This would lead to more search, more communication, and more activities that go together with search and communication. That’s essentially what happened.”

From H. James Wilson, Paul Daugherty, and Prashant Shukla: How One Clothing Company Blends AI and Human Expertise

“When we think about artificial intelligence, we often imagine robots performing tasks on the warehouse or factory floor that were once exclusively the work of people. This conjures up the specter of lost jobs and upheaval for many workers. Yet, it can also seem a bit remote — something that will happen in ‘the future.’ But the future is a lot closer than many realize. It also looks more promising than many have predicted.”

From Greg Ip: The Economy’s Hidden Problem: We’re Out of Big Ideas

“Dwindling gains in science, medicine and technology hold back growth; is America too risk-averse?”

Women and the Workplace

From Wendy Marx: How These Three Women Made Mid-Career Pivots Into Data Science

“If girls can be exposed to STEM programs early on in their educational careers, there’s no reason why adult women can’t make the leap into a data-based role later on in their professional ones. In fact, that’s exactly what these three women did—and not from adjacent roles that were heavy on computational skills, but by pivoting out of creative jobs. Here’s how.”

From McKinsey & Company: What’s stalling progress for women at work?

“Corporate America’s gender-diversity programs are falling short. Companies need to think differently to ignite change.”

From Skip Prichard: How to Increase Profits Through Gender-Balanced Leadership

“That’s why Melissa Greenwell’s new book, Money on the Table: How to Increase Profits Through Gender-Balanced Leadership, got my attention. Melissa is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of national retailer The Finish Line, Inc. Her new book utilizes current research and demonstrates that more women in management equals better financial performance.”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Datis: Games Get Goals Met – Here’s How

“Are you using games to help your team achieve their goals? Gamification creates healthy competition, learning, communication and incentives. When used properly, gamification can change the face of goal attainment in your organization.”

From First Round: Less Work, More Play: Change the Game With Simulations

“Simulations are used by pilots, the military and disaster response teams to prepare themselves for highly intense and hard-to-predict situations like catastrophes and attacks. Wassenaar believes that startups can also use them to build more resilient teams and prepare employees for change. Here, Wassenaar outlines why simulations are invaluable, when they’re most effective and how to use them to help startups maneuver through difficult junctures.”

From Quentin Hardy: The New Workplace Is Agile, and Nonstop. Can You Keep Up?

“Whether you like it or not, your boss may want you to start acting more like a programmer. In offices ranging from a museum in Sydney, Australia, to a car dealership in Maine, to the tech department at the insurance giant Allstate, the work force is adopting a tech industry concept called agile computing.”

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

Do you make these common leadership mistakes?

When I started out in leadership, I believed a lot of things that turned out not be true. Here’s a list of some of them.

Read like the Warrior Monk

General James Mattis is famous for several things, the most important of which is his dedication to professional reading.

By and About Leaders: 12/20/16

Pointers to pieces by and about Howard Schultz, Charles Koch, Gotham Chopra, Jackie Wilson, and Abe Ankumah.

From the Independent Business Blogs: 12/21/16

Pointers to posts by Dan Rockwell, Ed Batista, Kate Nasser, Jesse Lyn Stoner, and Mary Jo Asmus.

Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 12/23/16

Pointers to stories about Zara, Eddie Bauer, Pepsico, Coke, and Quirky.

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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