Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 5/16/16

  |   Leadership Reading Print Friendly and PDF

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 what leadership looks like in different cultures, ensuring digital readiness in financial services, when art and science combine for innovation, fixing the gender pay divide, and five reasons why everyone is so busy.

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 Tammy Erickson and Anna Johnston: 4 ways to lead the new breed of talent

“The global workforce is exercising free will, they’re clever and on the move: what should you do to lead them? Tammy Erickson sheds light on the future of work and how to thrive as a leader”

From Camilo Becdach, Shannon Hennessy, and Lauren Ratner: Rethinking the rules of reorganization

“Play favorites. Ask for bad ideas. Skip meetings. Here’s some unconventional advice on how consumer companies can get the most out of an organizational redesign.”

From Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Michael Sanger: What Leadership Looks Like in Different Cultures

“What makes a great leader? Although the core ingredients of leadership are universal (good judgment, integrity, and people skills), the full recipe for successful leadership requires culture-specific condiments. The main reason for this is that cultures differ in their implicit theories of leadership, the lay beliefs about the qualities that individuals need to display to be considered leaders. Depending on the cultural context, your typical style and behavioral tendencies may be an asset or a weakness. In other words, good leadership is largely personality in the right place. Research has shown that leaders’ decision making, communication style, and dark-side tendencies are influenced by the geographical region in which they operate. Below we review six major leadership types that illustrate some of these findings.”

Industries and Analysis

From Hanno Ketterer, Heiner Himmelreich, and Christian N. Schmid: Ensuring Digital Readiness in Financial Services

“Across industries, digital innovators are pushing customer service standards higher every day, offering ever-expanding arrays of cutting-edge, digitally enabled services and features. Prominent examples include Netflix’s low-latency, high-availability offering; Amazon’s real-time personalized offers based on customer profiles; and Uber’s convenient, intuitive user interface.”

From the Economist: Stay with me

“Neither Airbnb, a room-sharing site, nor online travel agents are hotels’ obvious adversaries. Big hotel chains subsist on weary business travellers; Airbnb does not. Yet the growing popularity of the platform, now valued at around $25 billion, means it may siphon more guests from hotels in future. Booking sites help hotels but chomp into their margins with fees of up to 25%. Last year they accounted for nearly one in five bookings in America, up from one in ten in 2006, according to Phocuswright, a research firm. In Europe, where the hotel market is more fragmented, online agents account for one in four.”

From Thomas Content: Energy storage: A market that was always years away is arriving

“Combining solar panels with batteries to keep electricity flowing when the sun isn’t shining has long been the target for companies dabbling in the emerging technologies of the power grid. This year is seeing more development in that space than ever before, thanks to falling battery and solar prices, the marketing prowess of super-entrepreneur Elon Musk, and national and international clean-energy and climate-change policies.”

Innovation and Technology

From Paul Hobcraft: When Art and Science Combine for Innovation

“The powerful combination of designing and providing something that pushes our existing knowledge, our boundaries, understanding or expectations — and capturing it in thought, explanation, or detailing the discovery makes up the art and science of innovation. We just need to find even better and consistent ways to combine them continuously.”

From Mark Eisenberg: Sales Is Toxic to Innovation

“Having had the good fortune to participate in business development and sales in both startups and large companies (Intel and Microsoft), I have arrived at the conclusion that sales is largely detrimental to successfully bringing innovative ideas to market. There is a critical transition from business development to sales, and if made prematurely it will at best delay success and at worst result in the failure of the endeavor.”

From Neil Irwin: What Was the Greatest Era for Innovation? A Brief Guided Tour

“Which was a more important innovation: indoor plumbing, jet air travel or mobile phones?”

Women and the Workplace

From Daniel Gross: Room for Improvement at the Top

“There was a surprising finding in the Strategy& 2015 CEO Success study. In recent years, when the 2,500 largest companies in the world have chosen CEOs, a noticeably higher proportion turned to people who had not previously worked for the company. But hires of another type of outsider to the boardroom — women — have fallen sharply. Last year, only 2.8 percent of the 359 incoming CEOs at the world’s largest 2,500 companies were women.”

From Joanna Goddard: How to Be a Boss

“Speaking of work, our post last month about the label ‘girl boss’ got us thinking: What makes a great boss (or leader)? Here are 18 quotes from women we admire about leadership, hiring and working really, really hard…”

Thanks to Smartbrief on Leadership for pointing me to this story

From Korn Ferry: The real gap: fixing the gender pay divide

“For years we’ve read bold headlines about the gender pay gap, reporting that globally men are paid an average of 20% more than women. Our research across 33 countries and 8.7 million people confirms this gap but also shows that when compared ‘like for like,,’ the gender pay gap reduces to 1.6%. Put simply a man and a woman doing the same job in the same function and company, get paid almost exactly the same. But one thing remains true: as a demographic group, women get paid less than men. It’s time for a new approach. It’s time to see things differently. Download your copy of the white paper today”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Ashley Stewart: Microsoft exec: Machine learning will become as accessible as clothing

“When Microsoft’s machine learning chief Joseph Sirosh was a child in India more than 40 years ago, he remembers going to a textile store, buying cloth by the yard and going to a tailor who would send him new clothes in two or three weeks.”

From Tony Crabbe: Five reasons why everyone is so busy

“We live in an age where computing power and internet connection speeds are increasing exponentially along with sheer quantity of information and entertainment. We are constantly bombarded with the ‘seething static’ of limitless information, communication and choice. In this world of too much, we are simultaneously overstimulated and bored, enriched and empty, connected yet isolated and alone.”

From Anne-Marie Slaughter and Laszlo Bock on care, leave, and valuing work and life

“How do we change the value we give to the care of children and family? Anne-Marie Slaughter sat down with Google’s Laszlo Bock to talk about mothers, fathers, and how organizations and society should better support parents and children.”

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

Learning from the Improbable Triumph of Leicester City

Leicester City won the English Premier League against 5000 to 1 odds. Here’s how they did it and what you can learn from it.

Book Review: Moonwalking with Einstein

Why should a businessperson read a book about improving memory?

By and About Leaders: 5/10/16

Pointers to pieces by and about Julius and Jacqueline McQueen, Bob Moore, Hariolf Kottmann, Rahul Kapur, and Brian Armstrong.

From the Independent Business Blogs: 5/11/16

Pointers to posts by Suzi McAlpine, Julie Winkle Giulioni, Lolly Daskal, Mary Jo Asmus, and Jesse Lyn Stoner.

Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 5/13/16

Pointers to stories about Faribault Foods, Life Fitness, SunEdison, Build-A-Bear, and Whole Foods.

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.

Join The Conversation

What People Are Saying

There are no comments yet, why not be the first to leave a comment?