Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 9/19/16

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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 the real problem with core values and organizational culture, the importance of continuing education for digital leaders, how to create a great workplace for women, principles of the 21st Century workplace, and AI and the Future Office.

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 Prateek Raj: How to come up with a strategy under true uncertainty

“The uncertainty of Brexit was unusual. It is unlike a ‘risk’, such as the risk of an earthquake in Japan, which can be anticipated and thus appropriately planned for. Neither is it like the usual everyday uncertainty, about the number of tourist arrivals, or sales figures of the newest fashion trends, whose range and likelihood can be estimated, and decisions can be made accordingly. Instead, Brexit resembled true uncertainty where it was difficult to even characterise the nature of uncertainty itself.”

From Sangeet Paul Choudary, Geoffrey Parker, and Marshall Van Alstyne: Making Money Out of a Platform Business

“Creating network effects alone is not sufficient to monetise a platform business.”

From Jamie Notter: The Real Problem with Core Values and Organizational Culture

“There’s nothing wrong with all those values, of course. They’re great. But organizations don’t need ‘great’ values, they need to value the things that specifically drive their success.”

Thanks to Smartbrief on Leadership for pointing me to this story.

Industries and Analysis

From Wharton: Rethinking Retail: When Location Is a Liability

“In the fifth article of a series that will be published over the coming year, authors Barry Libert, Megan Beck and Jerry (Yoram) Wind explore the need for traditional retailers to change their mental and business models if they want to survive and thrive against digital disruptors. Libert is the CEO of OpenMatters, a firm specializing in business model science, and Beck is the chief insights officer.”

From Kari Alldredge, Jen Henry, Julie Lowrie, and Antonio Rocha: Winning in consumer packaged goods through data and analytics

“Our 2016 survey of North American companies highlights best practices in customer and channel management.”

From Industry Week: The Internet of Things Gets Real

“Few new technologies have roiled manufacturing (and most other industries) as much and as completely as the Internet of Things, since, well, the Internet itself. From its inauspicious beginnings,the promise of IoT has captured the imagination of business thought leaders and technologists in every industry.”

Innovation and Technology

From Nicholas Bry: Customer driven innovation at Ricoh

“Mike Irvine is the leader of Ricoh’s European Technology Centre. His team is responsible for bridging the gap between Customers business needs and the Ricoh engineering and development teams. He is also a member of Ricoh’s Global Technology Centre leadership where he is responsible for the development of Ricoh’s Global Solutions and Technology standards and capabilities.”

From Chris Curran: The Importance of Continuing Education for Digital Leaders

“Whether you’re a newly minted MBA or an experienced leader, you’re always honing your skills and navigating change. And technology is one discipline in which you really can’t afford to stagnate. With digital transformation so central to strategy for most companies, all executives — especially CEOs — must embrace a learning mind-set. Gone are the days you can delegate the job of keeping up with technology to the IT staff.”

From Rash Gandhi, Sanjay Verma, Elias Baltassis, and Nic Gordon: Look Before You Leap into the Data Lake

“Rapid advances in technology and analytical processing have enabled companies to harness and mine an explosion of data generated by smartphone apps, website click trails, customer support audio feeds, social media messages, customer transactions, and more. Traditional enterprise data warehouse and business intelligence tools excel at organizing the structured data that businesses capture—but they stumble badly when it comes to storing and analyzing data of the variety and quantity captured today and doing so at the speed now required.”

Women and the Workplace

From Susan S. Silbey: Why Do So Many Women Who Study Engineering Leave the Field?

“Engineering is the most male-dominated field in STEM. It may perhaps be the most male-dominated profession in the U.S., with women making up only 13% of the engineering workforce. For decades, to attract more women to the field, engineering educators have focused on curriculum reform (e.g., by promoting girls’ interest in math and science). While these efforts have brought in more women to study engineering, the problem is that many quit during and after school. Focusing solely on education doesn’t address the fact that women tend to leave the profession at a higher rate than men. Women make up 20% of engineering graduates, but it’s been estimated that nearly 40% of women who earn engineering degrees either quit or never enter the profession. Clearly, some elementary and high school reforms are working, but those at the college level are not.”

From Jeffery Tobias Halter: The barriers to advancing women: What men aren’t seeing

“Women’s advancement is stuck. The number of women in senior leadership and the executive level has been stuck at approximately 15% for the last 10 years. Many people find this hard to believe, as organizations have been working hard to resolve their lack of women’s retention and advancement. Despite decades of women flooding into middle management, only one out of five are senior leaders today and less than one out of 10 CEOs are women. The problem is, men see a lot of women in the workplace and think the problem is solved.”

From Jessica Rohman and Tabitha Russell: How to Create a Great Workplace for Women

“Pay and flexibility matter, but women also want development opportunities and influence over policy.”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From the Economist: Shhhh!

“MOST companies worry about discriminating against their employees on the basis of race, gender or sexual preference. But they give little thought to their shabby treatment of introverts. Carl Jung spotted the distinction between introverts and extroverts in 1921. Psychometric tests such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator consistently show that introverts make up between a third and a half of the population. Susan Cain’s book on their plight, ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking’, has sold more than 2m copies; the TED talk based on the book has been viewed just over 14m times. And yet, if anything, the corporate approach to introverts has been getting worse.”

From Hank Jackson: Principles of the 21st Century Workplace

“Drawing from our HR expertise and nearly 70-year history of helping people and organizations thrive, we have identified three principles that will enable us to meet the demands of business today. The 21st century workplace must be innovative, competitive and fair.”

From Murad Salman Mirza: AI and the Future Office: Organizing for Tomorrow

“History has borne witness to three industrial revolutions and we are now in the throes of the fourth—one which gives rise to a new form of workplace partnership grounded in the technology of artificial intelligence. As per Klaus Schwab’s insights in his article, ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution,’ what it means and how we might best respond is of increasing importance.”

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

14 reasons why it’s tough to be a boss

Being a boss isn’t easy. Here are fourteen reasons why.

Business Book Classic: The Abilene Paradox

The Abilene Paradox is one of the unknown gems of management literature. It is wisdom in a delightful package.

By and About Leaders: 9/13/16

Pointers to pieces by and about Nicole Vanderbilt, Stephen Cheung, Kara Hayft, Emma Lawton, and Aron Ain.

From the Independent Business Blogs: 9/14/16

Pointers to posts by Tanmay Vora, Terry “Starbucker” St. Marie, Mary Jo Asmus, Susan Mazza, and Jesse Lyn Stoner.

Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 9/2/16

Pointers to stories about Kroger, AirBnB, Alessi, Netflix, and Apple.

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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