Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 4/20/15

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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 why big ideas mark the path from strategy to execution, the implications of the cheap, convenient cloud, three promises and perils of Big Data, what women can do about gender pay gap, and how MOOCs are taking local knowledge global.

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 Angela Hausman: Strategy, Strategy, Strategy; My Kingdom For The Right One

“Using the wrong strategy with a particular environment can lead to disaster. Think about what happened at Apple when they brought in John Scully from Pepsi as CEO. Scully did a great job for Pepsi (operating in a classical strategic corner), but applying similar strategies to Apple, which operated in the shaping corner almost lead to disaster not just for the company, but its consumers.”

From Ken Favaro: Big Ideas Mark the Path from Strategy to Execution

“Walter, Schultz, Bravo, and Zeitz could have generated all the goals, actions, and implementation discipline that any ‘world class’ executive would have wanted, but that would not have been enough to create a winning enterprise. Instead, they designed innovative strategies based on novel ideas they owned unconditionally, and their commitment to those ideas enabled them to lead their companies through thick and thin to execute their strategies. In other words, their path was problem-idea-strategy-leadership, not goals-actions-implementation.”

From W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne: The Secret to a Successful Strategic Planning Process

“A strategy canvas can help CEOs and their teams visualize their company’s current strategic position in its marketplace and chart its future strategy. By building a strategic planning process around a strategy canvas, the C-suite can focus its attention on the big picture rather than by becoming immersed in numbers and operational details.”

Industries and Analysis

From Kim Severson: There’s No Mayonnaise Like My Mayonnaise

“Are you a Hellmann’s fan or devoted to Duke’s? Brands have their die-hard followers.”

From the Economist: The cheap, convenient cloud

“As cloud-computing prices keep falling, the whole IT business will change.”

From James Bradshaw: Streaming wars: How disruptors are shaking up the TV business

“The new six-part television drama Between chronicles a town besieged by a disease that spares only the young, leaving teenagers in charge. But watch closely when it premieres next month and you might catch a glimpse of a TV world in similar turmoil.”

Innovations and Technology

From Eric Almquist, John Senior, and Tom Springer: Three promises and perils of Big Data

“Big Data solution providers make big promises. Just plug your data into our solution, they say. We’ll deliver a stream of insights that enable dramatic improvements in marketing productivity, customer experience quality and service operations efficiency. It’ll be a snap for you and your team; our technology and your data scientists will do all of the heavy lifting.”

From Bruno Lanvin and Thierry Geiger: The World’s Most Tech-Ready Countries 2015

“Those able to harness the power of information and communication technology are reaping ever more benefits. But in poor countries, digital poverty is holding back growth and development, leaving them further behind.”

From James Heskett: Are Technology Companies Ripe for Disruption?

“Is it my imagination, or has the world of information technology become so inbred that it is losing touch with users, particularly those of a certain age? If it’s not my imagination, that’s the tech world’s problem and opportunity. At the risk of employing the most overused and misused term of the decade, are the masters of disruption themselves providing attractive opportunities to those who would disrupt them?”

Women and the Workplace

From Anne Perschel: Gender Pay Gap – What Women Can Do

“The founding partner of a professional services firm sent the following email to a client. As you read it, take a guess about the sender’s gender.”

From Hilary Burns: While progress has been made, millennial women still face the gender pay gap

“Millennial women don’t think the gender pay gap is a problem that affects them. That’s according to Caroline Ghosn, CEO of Levo League, an organization dedicated to advancing women in their careers.”

From Deborah Kolb and Jessica L. Porter: ‘Office Housework’ Gets in Women’s Way

“More often than not, women are the ones who help others when asked — they plan the meetings, take the notes, and take on other types of ‘office housework,’ in Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s immortal phrase. These thankless-but-necessary tasks keep organizations humming. But as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Wharton professor Adam Grant noted in a New York Times article, while women are expected to do more of this work, they don’t get credit for it and suffer backlash when they refuse to do it.”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Tracey Lien and Paresh Dave: In a cameras-everywhere culture, science fiction becomes reality

“With each technological advance, more of our lives — from the humdrum to the hyper-dramatic — is being caught on camera.”

From J.D. Harrison: Companies know where you went online. Now, they can follow you around in real life

“It’s no secret that marketers and advertisers can track the sites you visit on the Internet, helping them learn about your lifestyle and tailor Web advertisements and promotional e-mails just for you. What happens, though, when that power moves offline? What if, in addition to learning about you by tracking the sites you visit on the Internet, companies could learn about you by keeping tabs on the places you visit in person?”

From Wharton: Coursera’s Andrew Ng: How MOOCs Are Taking Local Knowledge Global

“In an interview about MOOCs and their impact, Ng says they allow universities to take their great content and project it onto a larger audience than they ever did before. A recent study co-authored by Wharton professor Ezekiel J. Emanuel on the impact of MOOCs on traditional business education, also found that rather than poaching students, MOOCs complement, enrich and help business schools reach new diverse audiences.”

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

How to have a more creative team without changing the people

Human beings are naturally creative. Your challenge is to get them to share ideas at work. It’s not that hard.

By and About Leaders: 4/14/15

Pointers to pieces by and about Daniel Lubetzky, Ajay Banga, Colleen Johnston, Ralph Rubio, and Matt Levatich.

From the Independent Business Blogs: 4/15/15

Pointers to posts by Jesse Lyn Stoner, Mary Jo Asmus, Tanmy Vora, Anne Perschel, and Tanveer Naseer.

Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 4/17/15

Pointers to stories about Lear, General Mills, Cargill, Amazon, Google, Avon, and Under Armour.

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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