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 Jeff Bezos explaining why it will never be Day 2 at Amazon, why we need new corporate structure for new economy, blockchain as the major next step in the evolution of the internet, the Amazon-Walmart showdown that explains the modern economy, developing the next wave of women leaders, and the golden age of restaurants is stranger than it seems.
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 Taylor Soper: In annual shareholder letter, Jeff Bezos explains why it will never be Day 2 at Amazon
“In the letter, Bezos poses a question: What are the techniques and tactics to avoid becoming a ‘Day 2’ company, and how does a large company maintain the values of ‘Day 1’?”
“UK employees give their senior leadership low marks on key aspects of people management, such as developing future leaders, gaining trust and confidence, and demonstrating sincere interest in employee wellbeing.”
“Companies are creating new structures that fit their needs and goals rather than falling back on traditional, hierarchical, bureaucratic, and command-and-control configurations. Like families, once dominated by a traditional, husband and wife and children structure and now outnumbered by non-traditional (one parent, extended, same sex parents, etc.) structures, companies are re-thinking how they do their work. Globalization, technology, competition, and a multi-generational and diverse workforce are causing companies to either build a different structure from the start (e.g., WordPress) or transform themselves (e.g., Zappos) from a traditional structure to something more effective for the new economy.”
Industries and Analysis
“The moral of this story is obvious: the publisher represented the business side of the newspaper, and the effect of the Internet was to make the job and impact of editorial easier and that of a publisher immeasurably harder, in large part because many of a publisher’s jobs became obsolete; it is the editorial side, though, that has paid the price.”
“Walmart and Amazon have had their sights on each other for years, each aiming to be the dominant seller of goods — however consumers of the future want to buy them. It increasingly looks like that ‘however’ is a hybrid of physical stores and online-ordering channels, and each company is coming at the goal from a different starting point.”
“The quality and variety of food in the U.S. has never been better. The business seems to be struggling. What’s really going on?”
Innovation and Technology
“For the past two years, I’ve read lots of article on blockchain technologies, and written over 15 entries in my blog on the subject. When discussing the long-term potential of blockchain, I once more find myself saying something like: Blockchain has the potential to transform the economy, society and our personal lives. And, to help me better understand how such a transformation might evolve over the years, I’ve found it quite useful to compare the current state of blockchain to that of the Internet in its early years.”
“Lately I’ve been reading about the efforts to build or create innovation accelerators. Universities, businesses and even cities and regions are talking about innovation and the need to create accelerators or innovation enablers. I’m glad that everyone is excited about innovation, and that they want to provide the means to help it flourish and help it move more quickly. But the thing is, like most late arrivals, they’ve got the wrong end of the stick as the Brits like to say.”
“In the digital era, even companies that have distinguished themselves as disruptors cannot afford to rest on their laurels. If they do, they face the chance of being disrupted themselves. Saikat Chaudhuri, executive director of the Mack Institute for Innovation Management and an adjunct professor of management at Wharton, examines this issue in his latest white paper, co-authored with Mack Institute research associate Pragna Kolli, titled: ‘Navigating Digital Disruption: How to Thrive Through Innovation Management.’”
Women and the Workplace
From the London School of Economics: Why have the gender divisions of work and care been so slow to change?
“The answer may lie in the expectations of young women and men and the career paths they choose, writes Paula McDonald.”
“A Stanford GSB conference explores women’s higher barriers to entry and the value of the network.”
“Google pioneered diversity reporting in 2014 and has invested hundreds of millions in changing the ratio. But their latest report shows they still have a long way to go.”
Work and Learning Now and in the Future
“Working across cultures can sometimes be frustrating, but the results are well worth the learning journey.”
“Mayfield took to the stage at MT’s Future of Work: Digital conference today to tell delegates about his plan for dealing with the technological challenges businesses have on the horizon – from robots to AI.”
“Today, we’re entering a new era, where open platforms are going beyond just software and starting to take hold in everything from scientific research to manufacturing. In fact, as our ability to connect to ecosystems of talent, technology and information continues to increase exponentially, the solution to many tough problems is becoming more social than technical.”
More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock
Every decision you make sets a precedent. One of 347 tips from Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a little “wisdom channel” in my head. It’s filled with little sayings that remind me of important things.
Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World by General Stanley McChrystal is an excellent book about leadership and organizations.
Here’s a simple way to tell stories on the fly.
Articles about real leaders and real companies in real life. This week it’s article about Tom Enders, Satya Nadella, Jack Welch, Mary Barra, and Rich Lesser.
Pointers to posts by Art Petty, Jesse Lyn Stoner, Kevin Eikenberry, Steve Keating, and Suzi McAlpine.
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.