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 leadership lessons from the Brothers Grimm, Mall-ennials, the end of office voice mail, getting more women into senior management, and whether freelancing is the future of work in the U.S.
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
“Whether it’s kissing frogs, slaying dragons or battling wits with the wicked witch, fairy tales hold salient leadership lessons for today’s executives.”
“Do you approve of the way your CEO is leading your company? Glassdoor has announced the winners of its annual Employees’ Choice Awards for the Highest Rated CEOs in 2015. This year, there are five categories spanning North America and Europe. The list below recognizes the 50 Highest Rated CEOs at large companies (1,000 or more employees), determined by the people who work for them in the U.S. – their employees.”
“It’s fashionable to say we live in fast-changing times. Does that mean leadership itself must change?”
Industries and Analysis
From Jordan Blum: Energy companies grew “lazy” and “flabby” while oil prices were high, executive says
“Energy companies grew a little too fat and happy during time of $100 a barrel oil prices, but they have quickly turned a corner to become much more efficient, energy executives said at a Calvetti Ferguson accounting firm forum.”
“People 18 to 34 are tech-attached, but when it comes to shopping, they’re out and about. Retailers at home and abroad are taking notice.”
“Investors are betting hundreds of millions of dollars on meal-kit delivery services, Fast Company reports. From Plated to Blue Apron to HelloFresh, the companies send boxes of the necessary ingredients to make a particular recipe. The Associated Press calls the services ‘ Hamburger Helper for the Amazon.com era,’ as they’re geared toward health-conscious millennials who want home-cooked meals without the hassle of grocery shopping and meal planning.”
Innovations and Technology
From Sanjay Kaniyar, Peter Peters, and Ulrike Vogelgesang: Transitioning to standard software: Lessons from ERP pioneers
“Banks and insurance companies are at an inflection point with their aging proprietary IT systems. A move to standard software may allow them to save time and costs and create new digital services.”
“Recent reports show that companies such as Coca-Cola and JPMorgan Chase are disconnecting voice mail from their workers’ office landlines as employees increasingly rely on email, instant messaging, cell phones and even text messages to reach the people they need at work. (Some unfortunate employees, such as those in client-facing jobs, will be keeping it.) Citigroup and Bank of America, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, are considering doing the same.”
“The challenge is that, because many leaders are unsure of the steps to take to move forward, they are also unclear about what skills are required to help them get there. And because they do not necessarily have the right expertise in place to assist, they are adopting a wait-and-see approach in the hope of learning from others’ mistakes.”
Women and the Workplace
“In my first job out of college, in the late 70s, I was the only woman on the manufacturing floor as a production manager at General Motors. It didn’t take long to realize that I should have asked a few more questions during my job interview. I knew I was in for a challenge the first day I walked into the plant, and everything and everyone stopped. It was like one of those hushed movie moments. Everyone stared at me. At first I thought there was something wrong with my appearance, but soon realized I was the first and only woman who stepped on the production floor for GM who served in a management role. My second day on the job, someone started a fire in my wastebasket. Later that same day, someone sabotaged all the parts that were coming down the assembly line in my area.”
“Since taking charge at Banco Santander SA, Ana Botín has overhauled the giant bank’s strategy and shaken up the executive team assembled by the man she calls ‘the former chairman.’ Her unnamed predecessor: her late father.”
“Lea Blinoff discusses what’s changed for women in finance over the last 20 years.”
Work and Learning Now and in the Future
“Plex surveyed more than 130 manufacturers on the technologies they use today and any emerging technologies they plan to incorporate in the future. For reference, close to 50% of these manufacturers operate internationally, more than 67% operate multiple facilities, 89% reported rising revenue during the last five years, and 39% reported a revenue increase of more than 20%. Like any survey, this one has a small margin of error, but it’s a more accurate reflection of the industry and its future than most forecasts.”
“An industry dedicated to serving the companies that offer freelance and contract work and the people who fill those openings is growing. Gigs can be found at a number of websites, such as Upwork.com and Freelancer.com, or through hiring services that connect professional freelancers and companies. And companies that provide shared rented office space, such as WeWork, let freelancers mingle with fellow contractors.”
“This week, I’d like to point out the McKinsey Global Institute’s new report, A Labor Market That Works: Connecting Talent With Opportunity in the Digital Age. Even if you only the read the Executive Summary, this is worth your time. It’s full of employment-related data from the major global economies as it links those statistics to the growing impact of online talent platforms – and their potential, in the gig economy, to transform both the employer/employee relationship and how workers find work and build economic opportunity. It’s important information and their analysis of (mostly) Linkedin data are arresting.”
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