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 what makes a good business leader, seven technologies that will change your business, teams with more women are smarter, how a broken toaster can help fix the world, and holacracy at Zappos,
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
“A chief executive with a diverse background usually brings innovation and new ideas to a company, but the shake-up doesn’t necessarily pay off.”
“True continuous improvement requires a servant leader attitude and outlook to be successful within an organization. Continuous improvement (in its purest sense) actually demands that leadership support others in their development. Hence, rather than excersising power over the people, the power should be shared with the people by putting their development needs first.”
“These are some of the answers I’m given to the question of what makes a good chief executive.”
Industries and Analysis
“Thanks to better technology and improved efficiency, energy is becoming cleaner and more plentiful—whatever the price of oil, says Edward Lucas”
“The Motion Picture Association of America found the number of people aged 18 to 39 who go to the movies at least once a month dropped 17 percent from last year. Considering the frequent moviegoing audience is the driving force behind ticket sales, this is a decline theaters can’t ignore.”
“Many residents of Midland, a community dependent on oil drilling, already have their backup plans in place as work starts to dry up.”
Innovations and Technology
“Which technologies, applications and products will most impact our lives—and businesses—in 2015?”
“Do-it-yourself types fly under most corporate radars, or at least they’re mischaracterized as tinkerers, post-end users or, worse, hackers. Epson has demonstrated that they can be a fruitful source for innovation, as long as a company knows what to look for, and how to apply it.”
“At a Restart Party, hosted by the local Transition Town group at the Mushkil Aasaan community center in Tooting, aged electronics are matched with a volunteer fixer—’restarters’ as they’re called—to see if something can be done. No one is selling anything. If anything, it’s the opposite: The idea is to make a fix, instead of buying something new. In the process, people are reconnecting with technology, and connecting with each other too. And it’s an inspiring thing to witness.”
Women and the Workplace
“Now, new research by Richard Fox and Jennifer Lawless, two scholars of gender and political ambition, shows that the gap in political ambition emerges very early, even by age 18.”
“Increasing the participation of women will lay a foundation for economic prosperity, according to Laura Tyson, University of California, Berkeley, professor and former chair of the US president’s Council of Economic Advisors.”
“Two new studies from scientists at MIT, Carnegie Mellon, and Union College suggest the most efficient groups — the ones who are the best at collaborating, analyzing problems, and solving them the fastest and most effectively — weren’t comprised simply of the smartest people. Instead, they had just three things in common, one of which was simply that they had more women.”
Work and Learning Now and in the Future
“One-size-fits-all education might soon be a thing of the past.”
“There is a huge shift happening in the United States right now: a return to the time-honored tradition of apprenticeship. Apprenticeship is the Western World’s oldest form of occupational training, and with good reason. By learning first-hand from an experienced tradesperson, an apprentice acquires mastery of a trade, inside and out. It is a hands-on method that equips participants with exactly the right skills and experience to transition directly into a particular job. Modern apprenticeships have countless advantages for employers and the economy on the whole, as well as for anyone, at any stage of life, looking to launch a successful, well-paid, and fulfilling career”
From Aimee Groth: Holacracy at Zappos: It’s either the future of management or a social experiment gone awry
“Hsieh is attempting to create an entrepreneurial utopia that revolves around Zappos, the e-commerce site he helped build in 1999 and has recently relocated from suburban Nevada to the old Las Vegas City Hall. As part of his extreme experimentation with civic and business organization, Hsieh is also delivering a shock to the company’s internal operations by replacing the traditional management structure with a new system called Holacracy, as Quartz has reported.”
Wally’s Comment: It’s not like no one saw this coming. Check Sally Helgesen’s article “An Extreme Take on Restructuring: No Job Titles, No Managers, No Politics” from February 2014 and the Economist’s “The holes in holacracy” from July of the same year.
More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock
Great bosses think that every encounter with a team member is an opportunity to make progress in some way.
Pointers to pieces by and about Mark Sunday, Mary Barra, Lino Saputo Jr., Kristin Muhlner, and Stephanie Kelly.
Pointers to posts by Karin Hurt, Jesse Lyn Stoner, Mary Jo Asmus, Chris Edmonds, and Tanveer Naseer
Pointers to stories about IKEA, IBM, Target, Sneaker Pawn, and Pocono Modern.
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