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 putting servant leadership to the test, facing up to digital disruption, ten principles for leading the next Industrial Revolution, six steps every company can take to develop women leaders, external incentives and internal motivation, and twelve forces that will radically change how organizations 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 the London School of Economics: Putting servant leadership to the test and doing away with scepticism
“When leaders are other-centred, concerned about the team and the community, employees respond in kind, write Mitchell Neubert and Emily Hunter.”
From McKinsey & Company: Facing up to digital disruption: Reinventing the core with bold business strategy
“A solid, industry-specific digital strategy and cutting-edge execution can set the stage for increased revenue growth and a better return on investment.”
“The tech landscape is lush with entrepreneurs whose success blossomed only after the founders had modified or even abandoned their original vision. Facebook became something quite different from the Harvard-specific social connection site created by Mark Zuckerberg. Airbnb? That short-term housing rental juggernaut started as a way for people to find roommates. What eventually became the ride-sharing app Lyft originally offered carpooling software for large companies.”
Industries and Analysis
“I wrote about The Smiling Curve back in 2014; it is a concept that was coined by one of those computer OEMs, Stan Shih of Acer, in the early 1990s, as a means of explaining why Acer needed to change its business model.”
“The increasingly global and complex nature of supply chains carries elevated risk of costly disruptions caused by a variety of unpredictable factors – natural disasters, industrial accidents, political shocks, etc. At the same time, an intensifying emphasis on efficiency has removed nearly all the slack from most firms’ supply chains. In response to both pressures, many managers have been diversifying their supplier networks – fearing that relying too much on any one supplier would enhance exposure to potential disruption, and would also grant that supplier a dangerously advantageous bargaining position in price negotiations.”
“All our talk about creating dynamic environments filled with dreamy aesthetic and sensory experiences is worth nothing without a rock-solid tech infrastructure that ensures these experiences are meaningful.”
Innovation and Technology
“It isn’t often that the broad infrastructure that underlies industrial civilization undergoes a dramatic transformation. But just such a change appears to be happening now. As sensors spread through factories and warehouses, software predicts the need for maintenance before it is manifest, power grids and loading docks become intelligent, and custom-designed parts are produced on demand, the label the next industrial revolution is coming to represent this great wave of technological change. The leaders of this revolution are companies making advances in fields such as robotics, machine learning, digital fabrication (including 3D printing), the Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics and blockchain (a system of decentralized, automated transaction verification). Because these technologies all reinforce the others’ impact, they are leading to a new level of proficiency, and new types of opportunities and challenges for business and for society at large.”
“I recently read Twelve Principles for Open Innovation 2.0, an article published last year in Nature by Martin Curley. Curley, – who’s long been involved with innovation in both his business and academic positions, – nicely summarized its evolution over the past several decades, first from closed to open innovation, and now to what he calls open innovation 2.0. Let me discuss each of these phases of innovation.”
“Every age is defined by its technology. The stories of Dickens wouldn’t have been possible without the steam engine and the industrial revolution it brought about. For that matter, neither would the those of Vanderbilt or Carnegie. And what would the 20th century have been like without the internal combustion engine and electricity?”
Women and the Workplace
“This is first of two parts on gender diversity in leadership positions. Today’s article discusses the current lack of women leaders, the reasons why, as well as describing the benefits women leaders bring to an organization.”
“This is second of two parts on gender diversity in leadership positions. Today’s article offers some steps organizations can take to develop future women leaders.”
“The recent installation of the fearless girl statue bravely facing down the Wall Street bull created a resonant image for women. It symbolized a fight many have experienced – or are still experiencing. Every time we turn around, there’s another story or study about how hard it is for women to make sustained progress in the workplace. I’ve yet to meet a successful professional woman who couldn’t fill a good evening’s worth of stories of the extra hurdles she’s had to jump through to get to her position.”
Work and Learning Now and in the Future
From Emilia Wietrak: External incentives and internal motivation – a perfect pairing to boost work performance!
“If you’ve ever managed a team, you’ve probably faced the challenge of keeping your staff enjoying their work. The good news? You are not alone! Keeping employees motivated is a challenge across many organizations. For many years, practitioners have tried to figure out what is more beneficial for work outcomes: internal enjoyment and interest in doing the activity for its own sake – known as intrinsic motivation – or external incentives like material benefits, promotion and acknowledgement?”
From Vikram Bhalla, Susanne Dyrchs, and Rainer Strack: Twelve Forces That Will Radically Change How Organizations Work
“During a comprehensive, yearlong analysis of the global work landscape, The Boston Consulting Group identified 60 major trends propelling this tidal wave, which we’ve grouped into 12 primary forces. These forces, or megatrends, fall into four categories. The first two address changes in the demand for talent: technological and digital productivity and shifts in ways of generating business value. The second two address changes in the supply of talent: shifts in resource distribution and changing workforce cultures and values.”
“Below, 10 chief executives of organizations featured on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For share how they’ve responded to the societal shifts brought on by new technologies and shifting demographics. Some stress the radical ways in which their companies have changed, while other highlight the fundamental aspects of their jobs, such as creating a positive, inclusive work environment, which remain the same.”
More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock
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Pointers to posts by Kevin Eikenberry, Jesse Lyn Stoner, Julie Winkle Giulioni, Mary Jo Asmus, and Lolly Daskal.
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.