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 measurable impact of inspiring a sense of purpose, transforming retail to (R)Tech, how to stop worrying and learn to love The Retail Apocalypse. why IBM’s Rometty sees AI changing, not eliminating, future jobs, Fortune’s 2017 Most Powerful Women in Business list, the tip of the gender bias iceberg, why Digital-Era change runs on people power, and how binging impacts online learning.
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 the London School of Economics: Leadership: The measurable impact of inspiring a sense of purpose
“Money and fear are poor motivators. Finding a common inspiration for the team is an alternative that works, writes Kevin Gaskell”
“You think I’m going to talk about ‘native mobile’ trumping technologies born on the desktop. No. My point is that native mobile is just part of a larger pattern. We may be sharing the same technologies around the world, but the way we use them is very different. Because conditions vary so much from place to place, businesses born in different places look very different too. But we won’t see that if we our heads are stuck here in the valley.”
From Frank Cespedes, Jay Galeota and Michael Wong: CEOs Should Get Personally Involved in Talent Development
“Executives repeatedly cite employees as critical for success; we rarely hear them mention picking a software package or supplier in the same way. But C-suite attention and rigorous processes are typically in place for software and supplier selection, not for core staff activities. At a minimum, you have three levers for managing human capital with the same rigor as other assets:”
Book Suggestion: The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha
Industries and Analysis
“In the past few years, we’ve experienced the seeds of transformation to a new age of retailing. U.S. and global consumers are driving change at an unprecedented rate. Ubiquitous internet access, uncertain political dynamics, and changing consumer values, preferences, and lifestyles have led to disruption in virtually every industry; retail, perhaps more than any other. This digital revolution continues to transform the way customers buy and interact with retailers and products. And the pace and depth of these changes are accelerating. The new retail landscape poses risks, but also fertile soil for many new opportunities.”
“The hit 80s movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High recently turned 35 years old. For anybody who grew up during that period, it evokes memories that are both nostalgic and quaint. Back then, social life revolved around, of all things, a shopping mall, where kids would go to shop, gossip and work.”
“Target, Best Buy among those reinvesting in the physical as digital surges.”
Book Suggestion: The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone
Innovation and Technology
From Irving Wladawsky-Berger: Artificial Intelligence is Ready for Business; Are Businesses Ready for AI?
“AI is now seemingly everywhere. In the past few years, the necessary ingredients have come together to propel AI beyond the research labs into the marketplace: powerful, inexpensive computer technologies; advanced algorithms and models; and most important, oceans and oceans of data.”
“In IBM Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty’s vision of the near future, all businesses will need artificial intelligence to succeed, but software and machines will take jobs away from very few actual humans.”
“I was thinking over the weekend that for years we’ve positioned innovation incorrectly. Too often we position innovation as creating a new and valuable offering or solution, ready when customers are ready to demand new products and services. In other words, we’ve positioned innovation as something to do to prepare for future business, future needs and future demands. Innovation does answer for these issues – identifying needs and developing ideas for products and services for unmet and perhaps unanticipated needs.”
Book Suggestion: Relentless Innovation by Jeffrey Phillips
Women and the Workplace
“This is the 20th year we’ve published Fortune’s Most Powerful Women list. Our 2017 ranking is comprised of 26 CEOs controlling $1.1 trillion in market cap, seven newcomers, one returnee, and nine women in the tech industry. Here are the names behind the numbers.”
“Gender inequality in the workplace is still commonplace, and leaders face considerable challenges when seeking to institute a more gender-equitable company culture. They find it difficult to systematically hold managers accountable for gender-parity goals, to implement unbiased performance management systems, and to modify the way in which talent is sourced.”
“Given the ugliness at the lower levels, should those above water and at the top just shut up and be grateful? I think not.”
Book Suggestion: Difference Works: Improving Retention, Productivity and Profitability through Inclusion by Caroline Turner
Work and Learning Now and in the Future
“In our work with organizations around the world and in a variety of industries, we have found that putting people first can lead to innovative thinking and dynamic results—but only if change programs include these people-centric approaches:”
“The phrase ‘Netflix and chill’ may apply to more than just a lazy Friday night on the couch, remote in hand. New research from Wharton marketing professors Eric Bradlow and J. Wesley Hutchinson, along with Wharton doctoral candidate Tong (Joy) Lu, examines the effects of heavy content consumption in the context of online learning. Recently, Bradlow joined Knowledge@Wharton to discuss their paper, ‘Binge Consumption of Online Content.’”
“Ask the members of any team if they want to institute better processes, and be prepared for them to roll their eyes. “‘Better processes’ means ‘more bureaucracy,’” someone will mutter. But ask that same team how much they enjoy doing projects the hard way — duplicating efforts, scrambling to meet deadlines when someone drops the ball, or bearing the brunt of customer fury — and you can expect the floodgates to open.”
Book Suggestion: The Compromise Trap: How to Thrive at Work Without Selling Your Soul by Elizabeth Doty
More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock
You don’t control much, but it’s enough. One of 347 tips from Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time.
Your company may want you to become a boss. They’re wrong a lot. Here’s how to tell if you should take that promotion or pass.
My review of Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice by Clayton M. Christensen, Karen Dillon, Taddy Hall, and David Duncan
Great things take time. That include great business books.
Articles about real leaders and real companies: about Bob Sutton, Phil Knight, Edith Harmon, Ray Dalio, and three companies who failed to adapt.
Pointers to posts by Karin Hurt, Rebecca Elvy, Steve Keating, Doug Thorpe, and Kevin Eikenberry.
Book Suggestion: Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time by Wally Bock
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.