Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 9/14/15

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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 why your company needs a resident futurist, how more manufacturers are transforming into a “Digitally Mature Enterprise,” a history of human-computer interaction, why powerful women love Google, and why they leave, and digital Taylorism.

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 Panos Mourdoukoutas: The First Golden Rule Of Leadership

“Develop an inner clarity. Understand your bright and dark sides, your personal strengths and weakness. Self-comprehension is a fundamental precondition necessary for real leadership.”

From Michael J. Silverstein, Dylan Bolden, and Dan Wald: Demand-Centric Growth: How to Grow by Finding Out What Really Drives Consumer Choice

“The conventional view is that consumers are fickle and inconsistent, hard to understand and predict, and therefore unmanageable. We disagree. We think they are perfectly consistent, perfectly understandable, and quite predictable. The secret is to ask the right questions. Too often, companies do not understand this. They commission the wrong kind of research. They ask the wrong questions. They base their conclusions on syndicated data—historical purchases by category reported by Nielsen, IRI, NPD, Crest, and others.”

From Elisabet Lagerstedt: Why Your Company Needs a Resident Futurist

“Being far-sighted about your strategy can help you prepare for the big global changes already unfolding.”

Industries and Analysis

From Norbert Schwieters and Tom Flaherty: A Strategist’s Guide to Power Industry Transformation

“The way we create, use, and manage electricity is finally changing, and the implications go far beyond the utility sector.”

From Jeremiah Connolly and Parmeet Grover: The new dynamics of automotive supply

“The sector is popular with private investors. But before jumping in, buyers must understand the nuances that will drive growth in the next five years.”

From Katie Kuehner-Hebert: More Manufacturers Are Transforming Into a “Digitally Mature Enterprise”

“Manufacturers should strive to become “digitally mature enterprises” if they truly want to transform how their businesses work, a growing number of experts say.”

Innovations and Technology

From the Economist: The software secretaries

“Technology firms are competing to become consumers’ personal secretaries, with big implications for commerce and privacy.”

From Steve Lohr: Humanizing Technology: A History of Human-Computer Interaction

“Today, billions of people roam the Internet from computer phones they hold in their hands. Dramatic advances in hardware, of course, are a big part of the explanation, notably the flywheel of technological dynamism known as Moore’s Law, celebrating the chip industry’s ability to double computing power every couple of years (there’s a debate about whether the pace is tailing off, but that’s another story). Yet there is another force in the striking democratization of computing beyond hardware, one that is more subtle but still crucial. That is the steady stream of improvements in the design of computer products, mainly software, which have opened the door to new users by making computers easier to use.”

From Irving Wladawsky-Berger: Realizing the Potential of the Digital Economy

“A few weeks ago I attended the 12th annual Brookings Blum Roundtable on Global Poverty. Organized by the Brookings Institution, the Blum Roundtable brings together policy and technical experts from government, academia, business, investors and NGOs from all over the world. This year’s event, – Disrupting Development with Digital Technologies, – explored the impact of the digital economy on the ways business and development organizations now engage with emerging and developing countries.”

Women and the Workplace

From Sarah Green Carmichael: Female CEOs Find Stock-Based Pay Harder to Get, Easier to Lose

“It’s long been a complaint in populist corners that chief executives receive huge stock-based payouts — even sometimes when their companies don’t perform that well. Well, researchers have now discovered an exception to both rules: women.”

From Dale Buss: Women Executives Are Monitoring and Analyzing Mayer’s Maternity-Leave Decision

“Marissa Mayer has been shaking things up since she became CEO of Yahoo in 2012. Sometimes she causes waves with how she’s trying to lead the once-pioneering tech brand back to its old relevance. And sometimes—as now—Mayer is the subject of controversy over how she handles the very public intersection between her private life and as a mother and her position as a leading icon of female CEOs.”

From Patricia Sellers: Why powerful women love Google, and why they leave it

“New CFO Ruth Porat is the latest in a parade of accomplished women leaders at Google–many of whom now work elsewhere.”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Wharton: How Google’s Rules Can Work In Your Office

“Take power away from managers. Don’t trust your gut. Be open and transparent. These are just a few of the insights from Work Rules! Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead, by Laszlo Bock, head of people operations at Google. Bock recently visited campus as a guest lecturer in the Authors@Wharton series. While Bock was on campus, Cade Massey, a Wharton practice professor of operations, information and decisions, spoke with him about why he wrote the book and what Google has learned about work that the company believes can benefit us all. An edited transcript of the conversation follows.”

From the Economist: Digital Taylorism

“A modern version of “scientific management” threatens to dehumanise the workplace.”

From David Streitfeld: Data-Crunching Is Coming to Help Your Boss Manage Your Time

“A new generation of workplace technology is allowing white-collar jobs to be tracked, tweaked and managed in ways that were difficult even a few years ago. Employers of all types — old-line manufacturers, nonprofits, universities, digital start-ups and retailers — are using an increasingly wide range of tools to monitor workers’ efforts, help them focus, cheer them on and just make sure they show up on time.”

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

Learning from your peers

Your peers can help you do a better job sooner. Here’s how to get the most from their experience.

By and About Leaders: 9/8/15

Pointers to pieces by and about Brian Moynihan, Dominic Casserley, Angela Brown, Joel Myers, and Leon A. Gorman.

From the Independent Business Blogs: 9/9/15

Pointers to posts by Art Petty, Anne Perschel, Kate Nasser, Karin Hurt, and Mary Jo Asmus.

Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 9/11/15

Pointers to stories about Telus, Primark, Redshift Sports, Haggen, and Stetson.

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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