Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 6/29/14

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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 how to lead strategic change without inciting a mutiny, The higher-education business, creating breakthrough innovation, why a woman’s career gains can slip away in midlife, and the fastest way to build leadership in your company.

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 Roger Martin: Strategy Isn’t What You Say, It’s What You Do

“You sometimes hear managers complain that their organization has no strategy. This isn’t true. Every organization has a strategy: its strategy is what it does.  Think about it. Every organization competes in a particular place, in a particular way, and with a set of capabilities and management systems — all of which are the result of choices that people in the organization have made and are making every day.”

From Quy Huy: How to Lead Strategic Change Without Inciting a Mutiny

“Strategic change is in the works, pressure to meet targets is mounting and there are rumblings in the ranks. As CEO how do you maintain your leadership role and avoid a mutiny?”

Industries and Analysis

From Robert Souza, Thomas Jensen, Cornelius Kaestner, and David Potere: Making Big Data Work: Retailing

“Although some leading companies have gained a reputation for deft data handling, most retailers have not yet built the analytical capabilities and internal processes necessary to take advantage of the deep well of information they can access.”

From the Economist: The higher-education business: A winning recipe

“Two big Brazilian education firms, now in the process of merging, show how universities can do both quantity and quality”

Education was in the business news in another way recently. The New York Times wrote “Starbucks to Provide Free College Education to Thousands of Workers” through an agreement with Arizona State University (ASU). This seems a little like a technology-enabled version of the original GI Bill. Read “A New College Model” to get an idea of the possible benefits for ASU.

Innovations and Technology

From Michelle Stacy: For Breakthrough Innovation, Focus on Possibility, Not Profitability

“Successful innovations programs create a balance between the probable/profitable short-term programs and the possibility programs that challenge the status quo. Unfortunately, most companies are organized and focused on the probable/profitable short term, and therefore miss the potential of breakthrough innovation that comes from being focused on the possible.  This is frequently how well-established category leaders miss opportunities that transform their categories.”

From Rashik Parmar: The business of innovation – where do you start?

“Everyone knows that innovation is essential for survival in today’s business world, however many business leaders struggling to stay afloat find little time for innovation. Fortunately, five new patterns have been identified which show how technology and data can spark new ideas to help leaders find new opportunities to succeed in today’s environment.”

From HBS Working Knowledge: Leading Innovation is the Art of Creating ‘Collective Genius

“As Linda Hill sees it, innovation requires its own brand of leadership. The coauthor of the new book Collective Genius discusses what’s been learned from 16 of the best business innovators.”

Women and the Workplace

From Dionne Searcey: For Women in Midlife, Career Gains Slip Away

“Many women are leaving the work force in their peak earning years, which is a setback for them and the economy.”

From Singapore Management University: Women (and men) can have it all

“Value of caregiving must be recognised for men and women to be truly equal”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Allison Bailey, Christine Barton, and Katie Mullen: The Five Faces of Online Education

“In the not-so-distant past, the relatively small number of people who took online classes in the U.S. saw at-your-own-pace learning as a good alternative to traditional, in-person classes. Adults with careers and children often took advantage of online classes and degrees due to the convenience the classes afforded them to learn anywhere, anytime. In the minds of many people, online degree programs were largely associated with for-profit institutions, even though many nonprofit institutions offered individual online courses.”

From Randy Ottinger: The Fastest Way To Build Leadership In Your Company – Insource

“How much does your company spend on outsourced services and staff augmentation every year? Seriously, do you know how big that number is? Would that money be better spent on building expertise within your own ranks? Could you actually save costs by insourcing? These questions are being asked more and more in the executive ranks.”

From Louise Altman: Rethinking the Workplace Relationship of the Future

“Isn’t it time to change the dominant stories we’ve been taught about workplace relationships? They’re old, exhausted and defeating. They’re based on models of thinking about human motivation and dynamics that have been discredited by modern science. These old stories are steeped in mistrust. They’re hierarchical and parental in nature and based on a belief that the sole motivation for work is monetary.”

More Curated Posts from Wally Bock

By and About Leaders: 6/24/14

Pointers to pieces by and about John Chen, Are Traasdahl, Nicole Wilski, Jody Greenstone Miller, and Henry Blodget.

From the Independent Business Blogs: 6/25/14

Pointers to posts by Karin Hurt, Terry “Starbucker” St. Marie, Les Hayman, Kevin Eikenberry, and Mary Jo Asmus.

Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 6/27/14

Pointers to stories about Happy Hanky, Kevco, Kure, Sephora, and WISErg.

You might also enjoy my post “Are leaders born or made?

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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