Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 6/1/15

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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 John Nash’s legacy is the future of business strategy, manufacturing’s temporary worker boom, how innovation brings out the human in us, how companies drain women’s ambition after only two years, and changes in the US workforce.

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 Boston Consulting Group: Digital, for All of Us

“More than 120 senior Euro 500 executives from 19 countries, representing a wide range of industries, gathered in Barcelona on April 23 and 24 for BCG’s sixth European Strategy Leadership Summit. The theme was ‘Digital, for All of Us,’ in recognition of the growing importance of technology for all companies—not just tech companies. Here are seven takeaways.”

From Eric McNulty: Reconsidering the Charismatic CEO

“Business culture may be a bit less star-focused than it was when Khurana published his book. The decline of print publications takes some of the glamour out of having one’s picture on the cover of Forbes or Fortune. Some of today’s more enduring stars — Tim Cook, Jeff Immelt, and Indra Nooyi, for example — seem to have an air of humility about them. They don’t pretend to be omnipotent masters of the universe. Others remain brash (Jamie Dimon pops to mind), but are as often in the headlines defending themselves and their firms from government inquiries as they are for spectacular performance.”

From Wharton: John Nash’s Legacy: The Future of Business Strategy

“Nash, however, argued that one could have better outcomes if he or she formulated a strategy while anticipating the behavior of others. ‘This allowed us to solve so many more games, because now we didn’t need to have a dominant solution,’ said Weigelt. ‘We could have the ‘Nash common vision’ of what the future looks like.’ That vision came to be known as the Nash Equilibrium.”

Industries and Analysis

From Ajay Lala, Mukani Moyo, Stefan Rehbach, and Richard Sellschop: Productivity in mining operations: Reversing the downward trend

“A new metric shows just how far mining productivity has declined. It also points to ways to improve productivity more effectively.”

From Laura Putre: Manufacturing’s Temporary Worker Boom

“The Kelly Girl of long ago has been replaced by the temporary worker on the shop floor. What does that mean for manufacturing companies?”

For perspective read “New Data Spotlights Changes in the U.S. Workforce.”

From Betsy Petrick: Mid-Market Firms Are Concerned About Their Global Expansion Capabilities

“Many mid-market business owners plan to expand globally, but feel constrained, saying they lack the tools to manage a global workplace. According to a recent ADP study, two in five midsized business owners say globalization has affected how they conduct their day-to-day business.”

Innovations and Technology

From Harrison Jacobs: Los Angeles tech guru explains the startup movement that is going to define the next era of the web

“As the head of the tech ‘startup studio’ Science and the former CEO of MySpace, Michael Jones has a unique perspective on the tech industry. Like many, Jones categorizes the past eras of the internet into Web 1.0 and 2.0. Today, however, he thinks we have entered 3.0.”

From Amine Ouazad: Innovation Brings Out the Human in Us

“New technologies have made face-to-face communication and local relationships more important, not less.”

From Matt Abrahams: Become a Better Virtual Communicator

“An expert on public speaking explains how online technology changes the way we communicate.”

Women and the Workplace

From Orit Gadiesh and Julie Coffman: Companies Drain Women’s Ambition After Only 2 Years

“Women with two years or less of work experience slightly led men in ambition. But for women who had more than two years on the job, aspiration and confidence plummeted 60% and nearly 50%, respectively. These declines came independent of marriage and motherhood status, and compared with much smaller changes for men, who experienced only a 10% dip in confidence.”

From Claire Cain Miller: When Family-Friendly Policies Backfire

“It turns out that generous maternity leave and flexible rules on part-time work can make it harder for women to be promoted — or even hired at all.”

From Lauren Noël and Christie Hunter Arscott: Be the company millennial women love

“With millennials projected to account for 75% of the workforce by 2025 and women accounting for upwards of 50% of this total, one of your company’s greatest talent challenges is likely: ‘how do we crack the code of attracting, advancing, and retaining next generation women leaders?’”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Rachel Feintzeig: At MIT, Mastering the Science of Working from Home

“A group of employees at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s business school is experimenting with policies that could usher in a new era of flexible of work. MIT being MIT, that experiment involves some robots.”

From Jennifer Gerves-Keen: Re-imagining Performance Management

“There has been a lot of talk over the last few years of the ineffectiveness of many performance management systems. The data coming out of the field of neuroscience is in support of creating something new, and clearly shows that numerical performance ratings in particular have negative impacts on both motivation and ongoing performance.”

From Lauren Weber: New Data Spotlights Changes in the U.S. Workforce

“The nature of employment seems to be undergoing radical change. Among the trends weakening the traditional model of steady, full-time employment are on-demand work platforms like Lyft and Instacart; software to help companies schedule employees’ shifts almost in real time; and a desire among many workers for greater flexibility.”

For perspective read “Manufacturing’s Temporary Worker Boom.

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

Leadership “wisdom” that makes me crazy

Too many books, blogs, and web sites on leadership are filled with “wisdom” that’s just plain stupid.

By and About Leaders: 5/26/15

Pointers to pieces by and about Andrew N. Liveris, Sergio Marchionne, Lance Uggla, Lori Senecal, and Max Yoder

From the Independent Business Blogs: 5/27/15

Pointers to posts by Suzy McAlpine, Jesse Lyn Stoner, Nina Simosko, Lolly Daskal, and Mary Jo Asmus.

Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 5/29/15

Pointers to stories about TPS Logistics, General Mills, Nestle, MapQuest, Sugar Bowl Bakery, and Art Twain.

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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