Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 5/8/17

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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 what makes a CEO “exceptional,” how to tell leaders they’re not as great as they think they are, how companies say they’re using Big Data, how the Internet Of Things is transforming industries you would never think of, a new global measure of gender progress, the firm of the future, and the future of department stores.

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 Michael Birshan, Thomas Meakin, and Kurt Strovink: What makes a CEO ‘exceptional’?

“We assessed the early moves of CEOs with outstanding track records; some valuable lessons for leadership transitions emerged.”

From Nicolas Kachaner and Peter Kunnas: Always-On Strategy

“Why do companies fail or fall behind their rivals? Among the many reasons, three stand out. Some companies miss a major strategic shift or industry disruption. Others see a big change coming but fail to develop the right strategy in response. And some define a winning strategy but are not able to implement it effectively. To increase their odds of success in today’s turbulent environment, leading companies are complementing their traditional annual strategy-setting process with something more dynamic. We call it always-on strategy.”

From Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic: How to tell leaders they’re not as great as they think they are

“Although we live in a world that glorifies self-belief and stigmatises self-doubt, there are really only two advantages to thinking that you’re better than you actually are.”

Industries and Analysis

From Michael Dart and Robin Lewis: The Future of Department Stores

“Jeff Gennette was named CEO of Macy’s Inc. in 2017. He began his retail career in 1983, as an executive trainee at Macy’s West. During our recent conversation with Jeff, intriguing insights surfaced as to the future of department stores.”

From Irving Wladawsky-Berger: Not Your Grandfather’s Manufacturing

“The February 23 issue of the NY Times Magazine was devoted to the future of work, and in particular, to what it called the new working class. The Oxford Dictionary defines working class as ‘The social group consisting of people who are employed for wages, especially in manual or industrial work.’ The working class includes many traditional blue-collar occupations, – factory workers, truck drivers, electricians, plumbers, – but it also now includes an increasing number of white-collar and service jobs.”

From Luis Benavides, Marnix Hollander, Frédéric Lefort, and Julian Salguero: CPG manufacturers need a comprehensive strategy for digitization

“Increasingly competitive CPG markets are making consumer-centered innovation—and the successful adoption of digital technologies—essential as the CPG landscape evolves through 2030.”

Innovation and Technology

From Randy Bean: How Companies Say They’re Using Big Data

“Are companies seeing any value to their investments in ‘big data’? I’ve been surveying executives of Fortune 1000 companies about their data investments since 2012, and for the first time a near majority – 48.4% — report that their firms are achieving measurable results from their big data investments, with 80.7% of executives characterizing their big data investments as ‘successful.’”

From Craig Guillot: Using Machine Learning Tools to Drive Manufacturing Innovation

“Machine learning is poised to revolutionize manufacturing by increasing production capacity, while lowering material consumption rates.”

From Greg Satell: The Internet Of Things Is Transforming Industries You Would Never Think Of

“But in the late 1990’s computers became truly transformative. Combined with the Internet and email, they became conduits to a continuous flow of information that could be processed, analyzed and turned into action. As digital connectivity begins to transform physical machines, it’s likely that we’re now in the early days of a similar productivity boom.”

Women and the Workplace

From Kai L. Chan: A New Global Measure of Gender Progress

“Societies should look beyond where women fall behind and instead try to tap the full potential of both sexes.”

From the London Business School: Females Friendly

“Women co-operate well in the workplace, say Selin Kesebir. Competition is harmful”

From David Arnott: Female physicians paid less than male doctors in every major metro, every specialty, new study says

“A new study suggests that even the highly skilled medical field isn’t immune from wide discrepancies in how much men and women are paid for the same work.”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Lauren Weber: In the $75 Billion Videogame Industry, Hiring People Is a Last Resort

“The surprise hit game ‘Rocket League’ shows how contractors are changing the world of work. Staffers do the most important jobs while outside labor comes and goes.”

From James Allen, James Root and Andrew Schwedel: The Firm of the Future

“The prevailing paradigm that has underpinned business for the past 50 years is under review. The simplest version of that paradigm is that firms exist first and foremost to deliver returns to their shareholders’ capital—and the sooner they deliver it, the better. We will describe the challenges confronting this paradigm. But the first question we asked as we observed the changes was this: Is such a shift unusual? Has the idea of the firm been consistent over time, or has it changed before?”

From the London School of Economics: Future of work: making a living from cutting our own hair?

“We’re fast changing from paid effort to customer self-service, while there are few new job categories in sight, writes Carsten Sørensen”

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

Boss’s Tip of the Week: Take Breaks

Breaks help keep you fresh and balanced. One of 347 tips from Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time.

Leadership Balance

Dynamic balance, the balance of the athlete or the dancer, lets you engage in purposeful motion and change direction quickly.

How Stephen Lynch chooses what to read

Here’s how the Head of Strategy and Consulting for RESULTS.com chooses what books to read.

Leaders and Strategies in Real Life: 5/2/17

Articles about real leaders and real companies in real life. This week it’s article about Amazon, TiVo, Vitamix, Peapod, and Panera Bread.

From the Independent Business Blogs: 5/3/17

Pointers to posts by Kevin Eikenberry, Art Petty, Lolly Daskal, Mary Jo Asmus, and Ken Downer.

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.

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