Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 3/16/15

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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 digital imperative, how online home sales may become reality, what to do while you’re waiting for Steve Jobs, what “disruptive innovation is, and how companies with high employee ratings outperform the S & P 500.

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 Ralf Dreischmeier, Karalee Close, and Philippe Trichet: The Digital Imperative

“As entire industries are disrupted by bold digital entrants and business models, more and more companies are at risk of extinction. Music, retailing, media, and travel are far along on this path, but we are also seeing similar patterns in more traditional industries, such as banking, agriculture, energy, health care, industrial goods, and manufacturing. Digital strategy and transformation must therefore be a top priority of the CEO and the senior management team. Companies can’t just dabble at the edges by appointing a charismatic chief digital officer or CIO, adopting the latest shiny technologies, or ‘letting a thousand flowers bloom.’ The digital imperative calls for more fundamental action in five areas.”

From Phanish Puranam: Can You Design an Organisation?

“Organisational ‘master builders’ are defined by their problem-solving acumen, not just their experience.”

From Wharton: How to Build a Strategy for ‘the Long Game’

“Business leaders often find themselves focused on short-term goals that distract them from creating a longer-term strategy. According to Paul Schoemaker, research director for Wharton’s Mack Institute for Innovation Management, that is only one of the barriers to being more strategic. Knowledge@Wharton recently discussed strategy with Schoemaker, whose new book with Steven Krupp, Winning the Long Game: How Strategic Leaders Shape the Future, addresses this challenge.”

Industries and Analysis

From J.P. Donlon: Andrew Liveris’s Winning Formula

“Dow Chemical’s CEO has a message for fellow U.S. manufacturers: Rethink your role in the evolving global supply chains and partner with others in training and developing the workforce you will need for the future.”

From John Tuohy: You won’t believe how much dough airport eateries earn

“Shapiro’s pastrami at Indianapolis International Airport needs to pass more than just the taste test. Each day, in an underground tunnel, it also gets the eye test from the Transportation Security Administration.”

From Pete Carey: Online home sales are becoming a reality

“Backed by Nationstar Mortgage, Homesearch is building an online ‘concierge service’ that will handle every stage of a deal, from loan approvals to purchase or sale, and display your progress on an online dashboard. Within five years, the goal is to make buying a house as simple as buying something from Amazon.”

Wally’s Comment: Can technology help streamline the process? Probably. But, “as simple as buying something from Amazon”? That’s hallucenogenically optimistic.

Innovations and Technology

From John Nanry, Subu Narayanan, and Louis Rassey: Digitizing the value chain

“Digital manufacturing and design are drawing attention from innovators and investors alike. Sometimes referred to as ‘Industry 4.0’ (especially in Europe) or as the ‘Industrial Internet’ (General Electric’s term), these labels reflect a basket of new digitally-enabled technologies that include advances in production equipment (including 3-D printing, robotics, and adaptive CNC mills1 ), smart finished products (such as connected cars and others using the Internet of Things), and data tools and analytics across the value chain.”

From Greg Satell: What To Do While You’re Waiting for Steve Jobs

“It’s an intriguing model. Find a visionary leader—or become one yourself—and watch the money roll in. Unfortunately, in the history of the world, there has only been one Steve Jobs, one Elon Musk and one Henry Ford, so it’s a good idea to have a plan B. Here’s what you can do while you’re waiting for the next Steve Jobs to come your way.”

From Robert Hocking: What is “Disruptive Innovation” Supposed to Mean?

“The tradition of much of retail, grocery in particular, is to create stores that are more like warehouses, with very little to inspire shoppers who consistently state their desire to find inspiration when they visit a grocery store. And these are people whose average repertoire includes just four recipes, yet they need to put 21 meals a week on the table. They find even less inspiration online. Grocery retail’s common solution is to streamline operations, strip out value, and claim to pass the savings onto shoppers.”

Women and the Workplace

From Cheryl Buxton, Dana Landis, James Lewis, and J. Evelyn Orr: Can organizations gain an edge by tapping female entrepreneurial talent?

“Female entrepreneurs have the leadership qualities that organizations should value the most, reveals a new survey jointly produced by the Korn Ferry Institute and Springboard Enterprises, a network of founders of high growth companies led by women. Organizations may want to consider tapping into the talent pool of female entrepreneurs, who score higher on key leadership attributes than either male or female executives holding C-level and VP positions.”

From Danielle Paquette: When companies know more but say less about their gender gap

“Avon is among a growing number of multinational companies that have turned to analytics to track what happens to female employees throughout their careers – but like many businesses, it is hesitant to disclose what it finds.”

From Caroline McMillan Portillo: Girl Scouts of the USA turns 103

“Juliette ‘Daisy’ Gordon Low had a vision, a plan to get young girls out of the home and into the open air — to hike, camp, learn first aid and do community service. She believed all girls should be able to develop physically, mentally and spiritually. So she started with a group of 18 girls in Savannah, Ga., on March 12, 1912. It became Girl Scouts of the USA.”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Jonathan Story, David Gautschi, and Joseph Keating: How Business Schools Must Evolve

“Business education must enable students to reconcile enterprises with the changing realities of the global marketplace.”

From the Economist: The log-on degree

“College in America is ruinously expensive. Some digital cures are emerging.”

From Glassdoor: Multi-Year Financial Analysis Shows Public Companies Recognized For High Employee Ratings Outperform S&P 500 By 122%

“In the ‘Does Company Culture Pay Off?‘ report, Glassdoor Research conducted three studies that evaluated: (1) whether public companies on Glassdoor’s 50 ‘Best Places to Work’ list (through three possible portfolios) and Fortune’s 100 ‘Best Companies to Work For’ list outperform the overall stock market, (2) whether being named to the annual Glassdoor list affects short-term stock prices, and (3)whether being low rated, according to company reviews on Glassdoor, is associated with lower stock returns than the overall stock market.”

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

My “Mount Rushmore” of leadership books

James Beaulieu asked me for my “Mount Rushmore” of leadership books. Here’s the list with comments on why I picked each one.

By and About Leaders: 3/10/15

Pointers to pieces by and about Susan Salka, Joel Peterson, Steve Ells, Ray Tanguay and Arne Sorenson.

From the Independent Business Blogs: 3/11/15

Pointers to posts by Jesse Lyn Stoner, Steve Roesler, Lolly Daskal, Mary Jo Asmus, and Karin Hurt.

Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 3/13/15

Pointers to stories about Benihana, Kroger, Shinola, Lids, and McDonald’s.

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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