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 the decline of the baronial C.E.O., restoring a founder’s mentality, Mary Meeker’s internet trends, five steps to embed cutting-edge innovation, the role of consumers in responsible innovation, successful leadership depends on embracing diversity, the future of robots, why more of your employees should be working remotely, and making measurement work for you.
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
“With these departures, the American era of the baronial chief executive, sitting atop an industrial dominion with all the attendant privileges, is drawing to a close.”
“Do you send your children to the least demanding school you can find? Of course not. What kind of parent are you? You know that they need to measure up to a high standard in school if they are to do well in life. Yet every day I hear business leaders claim that they want to avoid competition. Are you one of these leaders? What kind of leader are you?”
“You can feel it when you walk in the door. People are bustling through the halls. Knots of employees are engaged in animated conversation. Office doors are open. You hear laughter. The business could be 100 years old, with thousands of employees, but it still feels like a start-up. Why? Because this company has a Founder’s Mentality® culture—a high-energy, high-performance culture. Walk into a company that has lost the Founder’s Mentality and you can feel the difference. It’s quiet—too quiet. Employees are trapped in meeting rooms. The halls are empty and doors are closed. There is no buzz, no spark. Workers are going through the motions.”
Industries and Analysis
“Yet there is a dramatic and exciting new future for shopping centers . . . and the signs of the ‘mall of the future’ are becoming more abundant with each passing week. These new properties are living, breathing communities—where retail takes its place alongside trendy, upscale eateries, sprawling green spaces, compelling entertainment and recreational facilities—and even spiritual hideaways”
“The age of automation seems to be upon us. Robots are delivering food in San Francisco. Last week, I had an uninspiring lunch at a largely automated quinoa joint in Manhattan. Self-driving cars are developing by leaps and bounds. Even in China, factories are using technology to substitute for workers on assembly lines.”
“Google and Facebook are locking up nearly all of America’s internet advertising growth and will become even more dominant this year, as advertisers move away from TV and onto the web, according to famed tech forecaster Mary Meeker.”
Innovation and Technology
“Distancing innovation teams from company headquarters can help incubate new ideas.”
From Jacques Bughin, Eric Hazan, Sree Ramaswamy, Michael Chui, Tera Allas, Peter Dahlström, Nicolaus Henke, and Monica Trench: How artificial intelligence can deliver real value to companies
“Companies new to the space can learn a great deal from early adopters who have invested billions into AI and are now beginning to reap a range of benefits.”
From the London School of Economics: Time to acknowledge the role of consumers in responsible innovation
“Innovation is a complex and often uncertain evolutionary process that involves many actors, not just producers, argue Michael P. Schlaile, Matthias Mueller, Michael Schramm, and Andreas Pyka”
Women and the Workplace
From Erling BarthClaudia GoldinSari Pekkala KerrClaudia Olivetti: The Average Mid-Forties Male College Graduate Earns 55% More Than His Female Counterparts
“But there is far less agreement on why this happens and how the gap can be closed. Is the gender pay gap due to more valuable (but hard to measure) labor market skills that men have or is it due to different ‘choices’ regarding career-versus-family tradeoffs? And what about labor market discrimination against women? We may never fully understand the various drivers behind the gender pay gap, but it is nevertheless instructive to learn how men and women’s earnings evolve during the first 20 years of their careers.”
From the London School of Economics: Even holding the same job title, men and women play different roles at work
“Men spend more time in activities that increase wages, such as planning, negotiating and presenting, writes Aspasia Bizopoulou.”
“Genuine cultural change starts at the top, argues Stanford professor Brian Lowery.”
Work and Learning Now and in the Future
“Yet the future lies not in greater precision and accuracy, but the ability for robots to collaborate effectively with humans. Rethink Robotics is one of the companies at the forefront of this revolution, so I talked to Jim Lawton, the company’s Chief Product and Marketing Officer, to learn more about what we can expect the future of robotics to look like.”
“Career mobility is the new way of the future. According to a 2012 Future Workplace Study, 91% of millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years, and Fast Company reported a study pointing toward 4-year careers. But are today’s organizations prepared for this kind of career mobility?”
“Working remotely is a growing trend that’s showing no signs of slowing down. Forty-three percent of the US workforce worked remotely in 2016, and 34 percent of business leaders say half of their company’s full-time workforce will be working virtually by the year 2020. This trend can be attributed to the desire for more flexibility in when and where they work—research has found that virtual work is the most desired flexible work option people want in a job.”
More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock
How will you know if a change you agreed on has happened or not? One of 347 tips from Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time.
“What gets measured gets done” is powerful wisdom, but you should be careful how you use it.
My five-star review of Creativity Inc: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in The Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull.
Thinking of writing your first business book? You’ll wrestle with at least these half dozen challenges.
Articles about real leaders and real companies in real life. This week there are pointers to several articles about Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods.
Pointers to posts by Suzi McAlpine, Terry “Starbucker” St. Marie, Steve Keating, Lolly Daskal, and Mary Jo Asmus.
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.