Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 8/25/14

  |   Leadership Reading Print Friendly and PDF

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 great leadership isn’t about you, whether spinoffs save the publishing industry, why big companies struggle with innovation, whether other women can follow Mary Barra’s route to success, and how a manager can promote the ‘future of work.’

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 Venu Gupta: Add Value or Someone Else Will

“The lure of maximising profits at the cost of creating customer value can be devastating in the long term.”

From Bob Donnelly: The Real Value of Key Performance Indicators

“There is an old business maxim: ‘If the customer gets to the future before you do, they will leave you behind.’ The point: When growth begins to falter, it’s often too late to do anything about it, because the trends that caused it to happen have accelerated faster than your ability to change.”

From John Michel: Great Leadership Isn’t About You

“The lesson Washington’s profoundly positive example teaches is that leading people well isn’t about driving them, directing them, or coercing them; it is about compelling them to join you in pushing into new territory. It is motivating them to share your enthusiasm for pursuing a shared ideal, objective, cause, or mission. In essence, it is to always conduct yourself in ways that communicates to others that you believe people are always more important than things.”

Industries and Analysis

From Pinar Yildirim: Can Spinoffs Save the Publishing Industry?

“A hundred and eight years after Frank Gannett founded a newspaper in Elmira, N.Y., his business plan has been upended, in line with an industry-wide trend. McLean, Va.-based Gannett this week announced a plan to spin off its struggling newspaper publishing division from the company’s more profitable and faster-growing broadcasting and digital business. Gannett’s decision follows similar moves in the past two years by News Corp., Time Warner, Tribune Media and a partnership of E.W. Scripps and Journal Communications.”

From Olivier Denecker, Sameer Gulati, and Marc Niederkorn: The digital battle that banks must win

“The average consumer’s banking relationship is dominated by making payments. So why are banks doing so little to defend this critical beachhead?”

From Patrick Hadlock, Shankar Raja, Bob Black, Jeff Gell, Paul Gormley, Ben Sprecher, Krishnakumar (KK) S. Davey, and Jamil Satchu: The Digital Future: A Game Plan for Consumer Packaged Goods

“‘The best way to predict the future is to create it,’ Peter Drucker observed. The digital revolution puts the ability to do just that within the reach of almost any company.”

Innovations and Technology

From Steve Lohr: For Big-Data Scientists, ‘Janitor Work’ Is Key Hurdle to Insights

“The analysis of giant data sets promises unique business insights, but much manual effort is still required to prepare the information for parsing.”

From Henry Doss: Innovation, Leadership And T. E. Lawrence

“Leading innovation and innovators is essentially leading into the unknown. For all our desire and need to create certainty in our businesses and in our lives, the act of creating something new is essentially the act of jumping off a cliff. We cannot predict the future with much clarity, nor can we foresee all of the potential fallout from innovative actions.”

From George Deeb: Why Big Companies Struggle With Innovation

“But, one thing had become perfectly clear in all cases: once a company gets to a certain size, it starts to lose its appetite for risk, across many facets of its business. And, the bigger the company gets, the more risk averse it gets, regardless of whether or not the company had innovation wired into its original DNA as a high-flying startup from years before.”

Women and the Workplace

From Vivek Wadhwa: Where Are the Women? The Changing Face of Technology

“In July, Twitter reported that only 10% of its tech jobs are held by women. This report joins a host of recent demographic disclosures by tech firms, from Google to Facebook, that together reveal a disproportionately white, male workforce. Now, a new book co-authored by entrepreneur-turned-academic Vivek Wadhwa, Innovating Women: The Changing Face of Technology, with journalist Farai Chideya, attempts to address the discrepancy of women in the tech field by sharing their personal and professional stories.”

From Jeff Green: Barra’s career path shows how a woman becomes CEO, but can more follow?

“Mary Barra made corporate history seven months ago when she became the first female CEO of a major global carmaker. Yet for all the gains made by women in the highest levels of U.S. companies, most are still in the wrong jobs if they want to follow Barra’s career path.”

From Selena Rezvani: Five Reasons Women Should Get MBAs

“for those who aspire to lead, the job outlook for business school graduates has improved, with more companies planning to hire recent MBA and master-level business graduates. And for women in particular, there are some converging competencies that we can learn in the B-school environment that train us uniquely to lead:”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From the Economist: Got skills?

“FOR decades vocational education has suffered from the twin curses of low status and limited innovation. Politicians have equated higher education with traditional universities of the sort that they themselves attended. Parents have steered children away from ‘shop class’. And vocational studies have been left to languish: the detritus of an industrial era rather than the handmaiden of a new economy.”

From Adam Burden: HR vs the line manager: how to make strategy a reality

“HR teams are expected to excel at everything from payroll to employee wellbeing, despite their resources being squeezed. How can they get line managers on board to ease the pressure? Hay Group’s Adam Burden finds out.”

From Bill Hurley: How a Manager Can Promote the ‘Future of Work’

“These numbers will only grow as more ‘anywhere workers’ realize the many benefits of the new way to work, particularly as advances in collaboration technology enable workers to be connected virtually to their teams via laptops and mobile devices as easily as they might be in a brick-and-mortar office. Given that, what practices do managers need to do to promote ensure their teams are collaborating effectively? Here are five best practices to remember when managing or supporting a virtual team:”

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

A Leadership Lesson from Roy Clark

The names we use for jobs and roles are important.

By and About Leaders: 8/19/14

Pointers to pieces by and about Barney Harford, Richard Hytner, Jamie McCourt, Amanda Lang, and Frederick Gale Ruffner Jr.

From the Independent Business Blogs: 8/20/14

Pointers to posts by Jesse Lyn Stoner, Karin Hurt, Terry ‘Starbucker’ St. Marie, Mary Jo Asmus, and Ed Batista.

Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 8/22/14

Pointers to stories about LinkedIn, Rohan Oza, Rosenbauer America, ChannelNet, and J. Solotken & Co.

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.

Join The Conversation

What People Are Saying

There are no comments yet, why not be the first to leave a comment?