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 Dean Smith’s wisdom on leading teams, why the Philippines has become the call-center capital of the world, whether activist investors target women C.E.O.s, Creating value through advanced analytics, and why achieving work-life harmony is more valuable than striving for work-life balance.
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
“It’s a small detail, one of the thousands sure to be shared as the accolades and eulogies come out about Smith’s extraordinary life and career. His legendary status — iconic basketball innovator, principled civil rights advocate, teacher of boys, maker of men — has been extolled in a flood of remembrances since his death Sunday at the age of 83. But he was also a leader of teams, a coach who put his players first and made sure they did the same for each other, not least of all in an environment where egos so often lead to the reverse.”
“Do you trust with your head or with your heart? There is a big difference between cultures when it comes to building trust, and not understanding that can put a business relationship in peril.”
“Facts vs. intuition. Man vs. machine. Algorithms vs. emotions. When we’re given the choice of trusting another person’s conclusions, or our own guesses, or accepting facts as based on algorithmically analyzed data, most of us tend to trust the human more. But that’s not always the best choice. In a recent interview on the Knowledge@Wharton show on Wharton Business Radio on SiriusXM channel 111, Wharton practice professor of operations and information management Cade Massey and Wharton doctoral student Berkeley Dietvorst explain what their research revealed about the biases hiding in our decision-making, and why we’re so reluctant to trust computer-generated answers if the machine has ever been less than perfect — even though our own record is even worse”
Industries and Analysis
From Harold L. Sirkin, Michael Zinser, and Justin Rose: Why Advanced Manufacturing Will Boost Productivity
“Roughly three-quarters of U.S.-based manufacturing executives surveyed said that they expect advanced manufacturing to improve productivity and create more localized production.”
“The combination of cheap labor and specialized skills has made the Filipino workforce invaluable to a growing list of U.S. companies, which use them to field customer complaints, generate sales leads, code data, format documents and read medical scans and legal briefs.”
“The incandescent bulb of Thomas Edison is phasing out of production, thanks to a 2007 federal energy efficiency law. And when consumers now enter the lighting aisle, they face bulbs of various shapes, technologies and price points that make comparison shopping more difficult.”
Innovations and Technology
“Some companies really get big data. Not only do they realise size matters – they understand you also have to know what to do with it. Here’s a list of seven companies I think are at the top of the game, when it comes to cutting-edge use of data to strategically achieve business goals. If you run a business yourself and are interested in big data projects, there is something to be learned from every one of these. So in no particular order …”
“Second City, the Chicago improv troupe that launched the careers of Tina Fey, Bill Murray and many other comic actors, wants to apply one of the key rules of improvisation—saying ‘yes, and’ to fellow actors—to business.”
“So far, there isn’t an entrepreneurial time machine in which to go back and fix your startup’s missteps. But veteran entrepreneur Enon Landenberg, founder of sFBI, and his team are sharing what they wish they knew in their 20s.”
Women and the Workplace
“Only 23 women lead companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index. Yet at least a quarter of them have fallen into the cross hairs of activist investors.”
“Money is an uncomfortable topic, and women don’t want to talk about it. That’s according to a new study released by Fidelity, which found that while 92 percent of women want to learn more about financial planning and 83 percent plan to take action, few actually make the jump.”
From Lisen Stromberg: Forget the Gender Wars, Silicon Valley is on the Front Lines of Global Gender Transformation
“If you wanted to build a campaign to keep girls from pursing careers in tech, you couldn’t have done a better job than all of the doom and gloom news that has been written up lately about how hard women have it in Silicon Valley.”
Work and Learning Now and in the Future
“This spring, 200 recruits at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, Illinois, will get more than new uniforms and buzz cuts — they’ll receive tablet computers loaded with documents intended to help them during their time in uniform.”
A tip of the hat to SmartBrief for pointing me to this one.
“It’s easy for tech-savvy executives to get excited about Big Data and advanced analytics these days. Newly available tools allow companies to do things they couldn’t do before, like recommending specific products to online buyers or mining workers’ compensation claims data to recommend better treatment options for injured employees. But whiz-bang capabilities don’t create real value unless an organization incorporates these new techniques into its day-to-day operations.”
From Susan Cramm: Why Achieving Work-Life Harmony Is More Valuable than Striving for Work-Life Balance
“Do you ever feel as if you’re living multiple lives? And that your various incarnations—executive, spouse, parent, friend, volunteer, artist, athlete—conflict with, rather than complement, each other? Many of us hold on tight to the hard-wired belief that life is something to be lived once work hours are over. It’s a sad thought. Somewhere out there, a senior finance executive can’t wait to retire so that he can start using his time to pursue a career as a musician. A young woman may be volunteering in an unpaid internship in a school in India, which fulfills her passion to help others, while applying for a job back home that serves only to pay the bills.”
More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock
Why you’re happy is the most important drive of whether you’re productive.
Pointers to pieces by and about Diane Hessan, Kat Cole, Mary Mack, Katherine Barr, and Jack Ma.
Pointers to posts by Anne Perschel, Art Petty, Ed Batista, Mary Jo Asmus, and Eric D. Brown.
Pointers to stories about Amazon, Jolly Goods, Pandora, Tommy Bahama, and Radio Shack.
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