Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 2/29/16

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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 World’s Most Admired Companies for 2016, how crowdfunding has made flipping houses a lot easier, tackling big global challenges with low-cost innovation, #LeadLikeAGirl, and investigating whether gamification works.

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 Albert Bollard, Clark Durant, Rohit Sood, and Matt Tobelmann: Transforming expert organizations

“Improving operations and client experience in B2B organizations is hard because they rely so heavily on highly skilled experts. But those experts can also be the source of a solution.”

From Elisabet Lagerstedt: Why Strategy Is Not Dead

“Strategy is no longer necessary, according to some – but without it, business would not utilise our full human potential.”

From Fortune: The World’s Most Admired Companies for 2016

“There’s a new AAA standard in corporate America: the one-two three punch of Apple, Alphabet, and Amazon. For the fourth time, our list of the World’s Most Admired Companies Top 50 All-Stars is led by a trio of tech giants under 40 years old. They preside over a class of blue chips and even younger tech stalwarts, such as Facebook (No. 14), Salesforce (No. 34), and Netflix, which makes a return to the Top 50 at an impressive No. 19. They also are joined by newcomers Visa and Publix, which make debuts at Nos. 47 and 49. See the full list of the Top 50 below, or use the tools at left to view all 340 companies in 54 industries.”

Industries and Analysis

From James Rufus Koren: How crowdfunding has made flipping houses a lot easier

“Berneman’s family business, Golden Bee Properties, borrowed $1 million to buy a West Los Angeles home that he plans to renovate and expand before putting it back on the market. The money didn’t come from a bank but from 44 small investors, some of whom put in as little as $5,000.”

From Katherine Peralta: As gas prices fall, drivers spending more inside the store

“Cheap gas mean drivers are more likely to stop in the convenience store to buy something with the extra cash left over from filling up their gas tanks, said Jeff Lenard, vice president of strategic industry initiatives at the National Association of Convenience Stores.”

From Felipe Caro and Victor Martínez de Albéniz: The Nuts and Bolts of Fast Fashion

“How do retail success stories like Zara and H&M manage to constantly refresh their selections and keep prices low? The answer lies in the fast-fashion business model — a way of selling clothes that takes advantage of Quick Response (QR) production and dynamic assortment planning, shrinking the time it takes to go from design to distribution (and back again).”

Innovation and Technology

From Eric D. Brown: The technology debate is usually the wrong debate

“In my experiences, how a person (or company) USES technology is more important than what technology they use.”

From Navi Radjou: Tackling Big Global Challenges with Low-Cost Innovation

“The digital revolution, therefore, is helping to create a more frugal economy, one that generates greater value in a highly efficient, socially inclusive, and eco-sustainable manner — using fewer resources. What’s more, many of the innovations originate in relatively poor, underdeveloped regions or are designed to serve low-income customers, which means that the innovators have no choice but to be frugal. Here are some striking examples of how these digital innovators are shaping the frugal economy worldwide:”

From Hu Yoshida: IT Trends That Matter For 2016

“Each year, analysts predict some of the upcoming trends in the technology industry. Here is a look at some of the IT trends that matter for 2016, according to Hu Yoshida, chief technology officer at Hitachi Data Systems (HDS).”

Women and the Workplace

From Lydia Dishman: Why Isn’t Equality In Leadership Skills Changing The Number Of Female Leaders?

“Here’s a new angle on the gender divide in leadership: Men and women score nearly equally in their ability to drive businesses, but fewer women are able to get beyond lower-level leadership positions.”

From Tacy Byham,: #LeadLikeAGirl: How Can Women Leaders Ignite Impact?

“I was inspired to think about women, work, and leadership and to consider what it means to Lead #LikeAGirl—hence this blog posting, #LeadLikeAGirl.”

From Tara Mohr: The same behaviors that spell academic success can backfire at work

“These ‘good student’ behaviors—careful preparation, seeking outside knowledge, pleasing others, and adapting to authority—are also stereotypical ‘good girl’ behaviors. Even as women achieve more success at work and in school, girls and women are still subtly encouraged to adhere to these behaviors by parents, teachers, toys, games, and popular culture at large.”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Wharton: People Love Games – but Does Gamification Work?

“Some of these experts recently gathered at a Wharton conference entitled, ‘Gameful Approaches to Motivation and Engagement.’ In a panel titled, ‘The State of Research,’ they discussed what we know and don’t know about gamification, how it works, and what kind of effect it really has on job performance.”

From Alana Massey: Why the Future of Work Is at Home

“Even a cursory look at the social, environmental, and economic impacts of working from home indicates that even more people could and should be.”

From the Economist: The measure of a man

“IN RECENT months the business press has reverberated with cheers for the end of performance reviews. ‘Performance reviews are getting sacked,’ crows the BBC. They ‘will soon be over for all of us’, rejoices the Financial Times. Such celebration is hardly surprising. Kevin Murphy, a performance-review guru at Colorado State University, sums up the general feeling about them: an ‘expensive and complex way of making people unhappy’. The problem is, they are not in fact being scrapped.”

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

Let’s try it and see

Don’t debate your ideas to death. Try them out instead.

Book Review: Work Rules!

Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Lazlo Bock is a great business book.

By and About Leaders: 2/23/16

Pointers to pieces by and about Manish Chopra, Manoj Leelanivas, Marshall Goldsmith, Lorna Borenstein, and a collection of lessons from four CEOs.

From the Independent Business Blogs: 2/24/16

Pointers to posts by Anne Perschel, Suzi McAlpine, Jesse Lyn Stoner, Karin Hurt, and Lolly Daskal.

Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 2/26/16

Pointers to stories about C.H. Robinson, Nordstrom, Kuiu, CBS, and Barneys.

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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