Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 3/20/17

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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 Uncertainty Advantage, Henry Mintzberg on some troubling evidence about MBAs as CEOs, the next-generation operating model for the digital world, IBM has created a revolutionary new model for computing, machine learning and knowledge discovery, top companies for women executives in 2017, and the mind-set you’ll need in order to thrive in the future of work.

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 Karen Avery and Gary Lynch: The Uncertainty Advantage

“We call this strategy the uncertainty advantage. It’s an approach in which corporate leaders leverage disruptive change by making targeted, bold moves toward new market opportunities.”

From Henry Mintzberg: MBAs as CEOs: Some troubling evidence

“Business schools like to boast about how many of their graduates have become CEOs—Harvard especially, since it has the most. But how do these people do as CEOs: are the skills needed to perform there the same as those that get them there?”

Thanks to Miki Saxon for pointing me to this post

From Albert Bollard, Elixabete Larrea, Alex Singla, and Rohit Sood: The next-generation operating model for the digital world

“We have found that for companies to build value and provide compelling customer experiences at lower cost, they need to commit to a next-generation operating model. This operating model is a new way of running the organization that combines digital technologies and operations capabilities in an integrated, well-sequenced way to achieve step-change improvements in revenue, customer experience, and cost.”

Industries and Analysis

From Erika Brown Ekiel: Changing the Pizza Paradigm, One Pie at a Time

“How robots, ‘smart’ ovens, and old-fashioned cooking skills might challenge a $40 billion industry.”

From Craig Guillot: What Manufacturing CEOs Can Learn on the Factory Floor

“Executives can learn a lot on the factory floor, not only about production and the inner workings of the products they produce, but also about their workforce.”

From the Economist: Shipping’s blues

“The many barriers to scrapping cargo ships.”

Innovation and Technology

From the London School of Economics: Crowdscanning: The future of open innovation and artificial intelligence

“Open innovation will take on a new meaning as AI will scan internal and open data to find the best ideas, write Alessandro di Fiore and Simon Schneider.”

From Greg Satell: IBM Has Created A Revolutionary New Model For Computing – The Human Brain

“Technology isn’t what it used to be. 40 years ago, computers were strange machines locked away in the bowels of large organizations, tended to by an exclusive priesthood who could speak their strange languages. They were mostly used for mundane work, like scientific computation and back office functions in major corporations.”

From Irving Wladawsky-Berger: Machine Learning and Knowledge Discovery

“After decades of promise and hype, artificial intelligence is finally achieving an inflection point of market success. It’s now seemingly everywhere In the past few years, the necessary ingredients have come together to propel AI forward beyond the research labs into the marketplace: huge amounts of data; powerful, inexpensive computer technologies; and the advanced algorithms needed to analyze and extract insights from those oceans of data. This is evidenced by the number of companies embracing AI as a key part of their strategies, the innovative, smart products and services they’re increasingly bringing to market, and the volume of articles being written on the subject.”

Women and the Workplace

From Sarah Kaplan: Tackling the Gender Gap in Entrepreneurship

“As tough as it is for talented women to climb the corporate ladder as compared to men, female entrepreneurs may have it even harder. According to a 2014 U.S. Senate report, a paltry 4.4 percent of the total value of conventional small business loans went to women-owned businesses. Women comprise only 7 percent of founders receiving US$20 million or more in the testosterone-heavy world of U.S. venture capital, Bloomberg reported last year.”

From Puja Gubbi, Sarah Hubbard And Ross Smith: How to Create a Successful Reverse Mentoring Program to Promote Gender Diversity

“Current managers can promote gender-inclusive leadership through a variety of methods such as shifting workplace culture and through an understanding of individual perspective. This perspective can be gained through establishing a reverse-mentorship program between a new hire and upper management.”

From Karsten Strauss: Top Companies For Women Executives In 2017

“Companies powered by female leadership received kudos, this week, in an annual report on businesses that have proven themselves fantastic environments for women in roles of authority. Among the most lauded firms on the list, women make up more than half of the top tenth of earners and 44% of all the executives with profit-and-loss responsibilities.”Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Global Workplace Analytics: Gallup finds huge shift in employee engagement among remote employees.

“All employees who spend at least some (but not all) of their time working remotely have higher engagement than those who don’t ever work remotely. And the tipping point for optimal engagement has increased dramatically — from less than 20% of time to 60% to 80% of time working remotely.”

From David Zinger: Jasmine Gartner Talks Engagement, Performance & Anthropology

“Jasmine Gartner is from New York and works primarily in the UK on employee engagement. She has a PhD in social anthropology, and is the author of an insightful and pithy book on engagement: Employee Engagement: A Little Book of Big Ideas.”

From Liz Alexander: This Is The Mind-Set You’ll Need In Order To Thrive In The Future Of Work

“In the 1930s, long before machine learning was anything more than a figment of popular sci-fi imagination, the Swiss clinical psychologist Jean Piaget identified four universal stages of cognitive development. His work suggested that adolescents reached a final, ‘formal operations’ stage, in which they remained throughout adulthood. This includes the ability to think through things in the abstract and draw conclusions, without the need for direct, physical experience.”

Thanks to Art Petty for pointing me to this post.

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

Boss’s Tip of the Week: Let them know what you expect

If you don’t tell your teammates what you expect, they will guess. One of 347 tips from Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time.

Leadership: Create a great working environment for your team.

If you’re the boss your challenge is to create a great working environment for your team. Here’s what a great working environment looks like.

Book Review: Simply Brilliant by William C. Taylor

Simply Brilliant: How Great Organizations Do Ordinary Things in Extraordinary Ways is an excellent mind stretcher of a book.

Leaders and Strategies in Real Life: 3/14/17

Articles about real leaders and real companies in real life. This week it’s articles about Amazon.

From the Independent Business Blogs: 3/15/17

Pointers to posts by Susan Mazza, Ken Downer, Jennifer Kahnweiler, Karin Hurt, and Mary Jo Asmus.

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.

The 347 tips in my ebook can help you Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time.

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