Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 3/2/15

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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 Ellen Langer on the value of mindfulness in business, planet of the phones, how to leverage the workforce’s knowledge, don’t try to develop disruptive innovation, how your rolodex matters depending on your gender, and why workers need more sleep.

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 Art Kleiner: Ellen Langer on the Value of Mindfulness in Business

“A pioneer in mindfulness research says that companies can promote innovation and their own rejuvenation by setting the right context.”

From Manuel Sosa: Learning From Design Firms

“The world’s top design firms have innovation down to almost a science. For traditional incumbents looking to build innovative capabilities, design can be the ideal catalyst.”

From Parmeet Grover and Roland John: A virtuous cycle for top-line growth

“New data and better coordination can create value in the sales channel.”

Industries and Analysis

From Peter Burggraaff, Marc Schuuring, and Bill Urda: Four Digital Enablers: Bringing Technology into the Retail Store

“The retail industry is rife with digital innovation and organizational change. Consumers— drawn to the ease and convenience of always being just a click away from user reviews, comparison pricing, and endless aisles—have come to rely on online and mobile shopping. It is no surprise that traditional retailers are bringing digital channels into stores to tap those consumer preferences. At the same time, historically pure-play online retailers are increasingly opening brick-and-mortar shops in high-profile locations, seeking to capitalize on the tangible experiences that cannot be delivered through a device. Both traditional stores and pure-play online retailers are working toward the same goal: to create a highly personalized, consistent, and integrated shopping experience across all points of contact between retailers and customers.”

From the Economist: Planet of the phones

“The smartphone is ubiquitous, addictive and transformative.”

From Walt Mossberg: How’s the Media Industry These Days? Confused.

“For a few years, things appeared to be settling down a bit, as the music, written word, and video businesses seemed to be on promising digital paths. Record labels and artists were selling music on iTunes. TV networks sold new shows there and at Amazon, and sold old ones for streaming to Netflix. Big news organizations churned out iPad apps, and more started charging for their online content, even as some of their star journalists found they could fund their own breakaway sites. Those tentative paths to digital stability, though, are either faltering, or at least coming under serious question. In their place, media companies and creators seem to be entering a new period of confusion, as the financial, technological and consumer behaviors they counted on are changing rapidly”

Innovations and Technology

From McKinsey: How big companies can innovate

“Who says innovation is only for start-ups? In these interviews, the heads of three large, established companies—Intuit, Idealab, and Autodesk—argue there’s no reason big players can’t develop the next big thing.”

From Gary Cokins: Mining the Minds: How to Leverage the Workforce’s Knowledge

“Business intelligence tools are useful but not sufficient for better decision making. New technologies are surfacing that leverage the knowledge of what an organization’s most valuable asset: its employees.”

From Kevin McFarthing: Don’t Try to Develop Disruptive Innovation

“Disruptive innovation is the best type, isn’t it? New, exciting and the Rolls Royce of the innovation showroom? The one to aim for? Well, not quite….”

Women and the Workplace

From Tracey Lien: Women are leaving the tech industry in droves

“Plenty of programs now encourage girls and minorities to embrace technology at a young age. But amid all the publicity for those efforts, one truth is little discussed: Qualified women are leaving the tech industry in droves. Women in tech say filling the pipeline of talent won’t do much good if women keep quitting — it’s like trying to fill a leaking bucket.”

From Julia Love: Q&A: Lisa Lee, Pandora’s diversity program manager

“In a recent chat with this newspaper, Lee discussed how Pandora has managed to attract and retain women and the importance of transparency. The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.”

From Lily Fang: Your Rolodex Matters, but by How Much Depends on Your Gender

“Men benefit from their connections more than women, especially when they are young.”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From James Barron: As Office Space Shrinks, So Does Privacy for Workers

“The average amount of space per office worker in North America dropped to 176 square feet in 2012, from 225 in 2010, as companies have sought to cut costs.”

From Eyal Winter: Why team bonuses are more effective

“In a 2014 survey of 350 publicly traded U.S. companies, 99 percent of the firms reported using some form of short-term incentive program, but only 28 percent said they use team incentives. Furthermore, 66 percent confessed that they are not even considering this type of incentive program.”

From Wharton: Wake-up Call: Why Workers Need More Sleep

“Margaret Thatcher famously claimed to need only four hours of sleep a night. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer reportedly gets four to six, and fashion executive Tom Ford boasts of a mere three. But the rest of us need more sleep and, increasingly, we aren’t getting it. Globalization, flex hours and the work-at-home smartphone ever aglow are robbing many workers of sleep, and the consequences go beyond coming into the office with dark circles under the eyes. Several recent studies find that productivity, creativity and workplace morale are all taking a hit as a quickening capitalist society and the human need for getting to REM jostle for attention.”

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

You never told me

You may think that someone does great work and is a valuable member of the team and the company. But do they know what you think?

By and About Leaders: 2/24/15

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From the Independent Business Blogs: 2/25/15

Pointers to posts by Jesse Lyn Stoner, Art Petty, Mary Jo Asmus, Steve Roesler, and Lolly Daskal

Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 2/27/15

Pointers to stories about Bosch, Shake Shack, General Cable, Just Baked, and Target.

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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