Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 3/30/15

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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 three things CEOs worry about the most, the bionic bank, three ways to find forgotten innovation, the real reason most women don’t go into tech, according to women, training and performance, and the art of keeping employees from leaving.

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 Boris Groysberg and Katherine Connolly: The 3 Things CEOs Worry About the Most

“CEOs have a lot to worry about, but what are their greatest concerns? What keeps them awake at night? We interviewed 24 CEOs and asked them to name the biggest challenges facing their organizations. (Please note that titles used here reflect the positions the individuals held in 2013, when we conducted the interviews for a separate article). Their concerns fell into three broad categories: talent, operating in a global marketplace, and regulation and legislation. Given that CEOs set the tone and priorities for their organizations, it is important to understand what they interpret as the major challenges and opportunities.”

From Gary L. Neilson, Jaime Estupiñán, and Bhushan Sethi: 10 Principles of Organization Design

“These fundamental guidelines, drawn from experience, can help you reshape your organization to fit your business strategy.”

From Glenn Llopis: 6 Leadership Failures That Put Your Company at Competitive Risk

“Companies lose momentum when they fail to see the opportunities that their competitors are consistently seizing. This happens when a company’s senior leadership refuses to change with a rapidly evolving marketplace and the consumers who want brands to evolve with them. Companies fail to grow and compete when their senior leadership gets lazy and they lack the required skills and competencies to stay in lock step with the market, let alone stay ahead of it and define the trends themselves. At the very least, they must start paying more attention to their employees and the consumers who are telling them it’s time to do things differently.”

Industries and Analysis

From Tom Meersman: Organic dairy farming struggles to keep up with demand

“A burgeoning market has left processors struggling to catch up and raised prices for organic dairy producers.”

From James R. Hagerty and Jeff Bennett: U.S. Car-Making Boom? Not for Auto-Industry Workers

“The trend casts a cloud over the celebrated comeback of one of the nation’s bedrock industries. As the inflow of low-cost foreign parts accelerates, wages at the entry level are drifting away from the generous compensation packages that made car-factory jobs the prize of American manufacturing.”

From Ian Walsh, Axel Reinaud, Jean-Werner de T’Serclaes, Beatriz Reyero, Brad Noakes, and Nicole Mönter: The Bionic Bank

“Banks of all types are still adjusting to a postcrisis environment characterized by forces such as changing regulatory frameworks and risk cultures, the digital and data revolutions, shifting client behaviors, new competitors, and a multispeed world. In order to thrive in such a challenging, dynamic climate, banks need a tool kit that offers practical steps to attaining or maintaining market leadership.”

Innovations and Technology

From Jen Swetzoff: Linda A. Hill on the Creative Power of the Many

“The Harvard Business School professor explains how leaders can harness collective genius to achieve innovation success.”

From Steve Jacobs, Mona Malone, Les Dakens, and Carolina Aguilera: Making the Big Behaviour Breakthrough

“Changing how things get done can be a powerful performance-enhancing tool. But achieving desirable shifts in habits and routines can be extremely tricky, even baffling. Part of the problem involves a lack of understanding of what makes some good ideas and innovations catch on like wildfire, while others struggle to gain traction. When trying to understand this, it is useful to examine the history of certain medical breakthroughs.”

From Mona Patel: 3 Ways to Find Forgotten Innovation

“Look to the myriad layers of corporate lore and blocks to creativity that add up to a pile of excuses.”

Women and the Workplace

From Tracey Welson-Rossman: The Real Reason Most Women Don’t Go Into Tech, According To Women

“As the founder of TechGirlz, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping middle school girls understand opportunities in the technology industry, I have spent a lot of time researching and comprehending why there has been a decline in girls and women entering the field. The facts are clear: girls think computer careers are boring, the media portrays techies as nerds and geeks, schools offer few programming or tech classes, and parents do not fully understand all the choices that tech offers for careers. It has become undeniably obvious that technology as a career is not being presented to girls in a way that is attractive to them. The solution is simple: change how technology jobs are presented and girls will choose to pursue them.”

From Ben Casselman: Male CEOs Get Bonuses; Female CEOs Get Blame

“When companies do well, male executives reap the rewards at a far greater rate than their female counterparts. But when business turns bad, it’s women who suffer the greatest financial consequences. That’s the conclusion of new research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.”

From Joan C. Williams: The 5 Biases Pushing Women Out of STEM

“My own new research, co-authored with Kathrine W. Phillips and Erika V. Hall, also indicates that bias, not pipeline issues or personal choices, pushes women out of science – and that bias plays out differently depending on a woman’s race or ethnicity.”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Richard Benson-Armer, Silke-Susann Otto, and Nick van Dam: Do your training efforts drive performance?

“Building organizational capabilities is a top strategic priority, but an inability to measure the impact is a growing concern among executives we surveyed.”

From Henrich Greve: The Art of Keeping Employees from Leaving

“What have they discovered by analysing their employees? Well, they are more likely to leave if they have problematic managers or little contact with co-workers, less likely to leave when they are given opportunities to change jobs internally (especially promotions), plus a variety of other smaller discoveries.”

From Singapore Management University: Creating a motivated and engaged workforce

“In Self-Determination Theory (SDT), Edward Deci and Richard Ryan posited that an individual’s feelings of autonomy, competence, and relatedness play a decisive role in that person’s motivation in any given situation. Within a professional context, providing an environment that satisfies all three needs is perhaps the single most important task for a corporate leader.”

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

10 surefire ways to fail as a leader

What to fail as a leader? Here are ten surefire ways. Mix and match as you please.

By and About Leaders: 3/24/15

Pointers to pieces by and about Steve Jobs, Gordon Bethune, Alexandre Ricard, Cathy Engelbert, and Leila Velez.

From the Independent Business Blogs: 3/25/15

Pointers to posts by Kate Nasser, Mary Jo Asmus, Steve Roesler, Jesse Lyn Stoner, and Art Petty.

Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 3/27/15

Pointers to stories about Luxury liners, Meredith publishing, Kind Healthy Snacks, Urban Outfitters, and Barnie’s Coffee & Tea.

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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