Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 12/28/15

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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 the next big questions in management, shipping companies brace for continued delivery boom from online shopping, what the research tells us about team creativity and innovation, developing female leaders, and six companies that are redefining performance management.

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 Hannah Priest: Performance management: the ‘six conditions’ of high performance

“A performance-management system – however a company decides to devise it – is essential for tracking trends, ensuring fairness and meeting legal requirements. But that is as far as it goes, because the key to performance does not lie in a process, it lies in encouraging the right behaviours to build a high-performance culture.”

From Art Kleiner: The Next Big Questions in Management

“So if we want to know where management thinking is going, perhaps it is most useful to look for the questions that people are not quite yet asking. Some of them may be surfacing now, seemingly out of nowhere. They may seem impractical or irrelevant. They may come from out of left field (or distant center or right field, for that matter). But sooner or later, they will likely strike us as the self-evident questions that we should have been asking all along.”

From Henry Kressel and Norman Winarsky: 3 Key Principles for Maintaining a Cycle of Continuous Innovation

“The unfortunate fact is that many companies begin with great success and fail to renew themselves. It’s those that pursue a continuous process of growth through innovation on all fronts—business model, products, marketing strategy, and business relationships—that thrive.”

Industries and Analysis

From Katie Peralta: Shipping companies brace for continued delivery boom from online shopping

“As online shoppers scramble to finish their holiday gift-buying, shippers are buckling down with larger staff, extra hours and new technology – all efforts to make sure deliveries in the Charlotte area are made on time.”

From Mike Hughlett: Changing consumer tastes forcing companies like General Mills to change — fast

“Customers are eating more fresh produce and meats, more and more often bypassing the center aisles where ‘Big Food’ companies like Golden Valley-based General Mills reign. They also are turning to products from newer companies, which are having an easier time finding a niche in the market.”

From Arun Jain: The Big Picture on the Big Picture

“‘Remaining competitive’ takes on many meanings, depending on your location in the world. Here are some thoughts on how American manufacturers can do it better today. (By the time you finish reading this column, another entrepreneur will have figured out a way to make it happen for his or her company.)”

Innovation and Technology

From Roger Schwarz: What the Research Tells Us About Team Creativity and Innovation

“There are areas in the research on teams where the findings are all very clear, as are the prescriptions for leaders. Creativity and innovation are not among them. We know how some factors affect creativity and innovation, but we’re only just beginning to understand some of the more complex relationships.”

From Barnaby Lashbrooke: How to think about AI and the human element

“With new products and services that use AI becoming available each day, and the global market for smart machines increasing by 20 percent annually, it’s certainly no surprise that companies are testing the limits to determine how AI may replace human engagement.”

From Wayne Turmel: Why smart people resist new technology

“Ahhhh, technology! Brilliant minds work hard to create new, faster, better or easier ways to get our job done. Productivity goes up, seconds get shaved off tasks that add up to big savings in time, the company saves money, which in turn saves your job (work with me here, that’s their story and we’re going to accept it for the moment). Why, then, are smart, competent, usually motivated people so reluctant to adopt new workplace tools?”

Women and the Workplace

From Bravetta Hassell: Are You Developing Female Leaders?

“You should be. Creating a pipeline of gender-diverse leaders can be critical to organizational performance.”

From Dana Manciagli: Claudia San Pedro of Sonic Drive-In gives 3 ways Hispanic women can navigate corporate America

“Claudia San Pedro, executive vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer for Sonic Drive-In, is one of the few Hispanic women to have successfully joined this exclusive club of C-suite executives. And she understands how to navigate the road to success.”

From Julie Bort: It’s time to stop making women work harder than men to be recognized, high-profile female CEO says

“She came up the ranks first as an engineer, then a CTO, and just landed the US CEO role at a highly watched electric vehicle startup NextEV.”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Alex Nikotina, Amr Shokry, and Heather Blanchard: Balancing Work and Life: Overcoming the Challenges of the 21st Century

“HR practitioners at Ashton College collaborated with Amr Shokry, a director of Human Resources and an instructor of the Diploma in Human Resources Management, to outline a few 21st century challenges that many of us face.”

From Jon Reed: The future of work intensifies – can a platform be ethical?

“With 2015 winding down, the debate over the gig economy has moved from W-2 versus 1099 into a potent look at whether talent platforms will lead us to a flexible work utopia or a systematic transfer of risk from companies to freelancers. Looming behind this debate is a potentially bigger job disruption via robotics and automation.”

From Kris Duggan: Six Companies That Are Redefining Performance Management

“But as that institution of performance management fades away, what’s taking its place? To answer that, here’s a look at six companies (and many more here) that have recently put in place some of the most forward-thinking alternatives to the dreaded annual review.”

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

Great leaders grow in solitude

Leadership is practiced in public, but great leaders treasure solitude to reflect on the world, its challenges, and their place in it.

By and About Leaders: 12/22/15

Pointers to pieces by and about Lillian Vernon, Sheryl Connelly, Nathan Blecharczyk, Tom Walsh, and Melanie Whelan.

From the Independent Business Blogs: 12/23/15

Pointers to posts by Kevin Eikenberry, Julie Winkle Giulioni, Jesse Lyn Stoner, Chris Edmonds, and Steve Roesler.

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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