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 adhocracy – a new management approach, putting humanity first in our organizations, why every great leader needs a love of learning, three technologies you need to start paying attention to right now, why big business is racing to build blockchains, Sheryl Sandberg’s blunt advice for men who want to fight sexism at work, and how manufacturing 4.0 will it impact your employees and leaders?
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
“Big organisations should think less about top-down strategy and allow more freedom at the grassroots.”
“Each month I receive an email with a preview of the latest leadership books. There are always five or six new entrants in this already crowded field. Meanwhile, my Twitter feed overflows with three steps, five tips, and seven ways to improve engagement, build trust, and employ mindfulness.”
“‘In the fast-paced environment in which organisations now function, if they are unable to learn, they are left behind,’ says Nancy Dixon of the Department of Knowledge Management and Innovation Research Centre in Hong Kong. Truly great leaders, leaders who inspire change within these organisations by pushing individuals to excel, know the value of continual learning. They have a vested interest in their own personal and professional development, and can transfer that passion to the rest of their team. In this modern era of accelerating change, leaders must cultivate a love of learning in themselves and others or, as Dixon suggests, risk stagnating while other organisations thrive.”
Book Suggestion: Learning Leadership: The Five Fundamentals of Becoming an Exemplary Leader by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner
Industries and Analysis
From the London School of Economics: Social media and successful retail operations in the hyper-customisation era
“It’s possible to increase both customer satisfaction and profitability, but careful planning is needed, write Usha Ramanathan, Nachiappan (Nachi) Subramanian and Guy Parrott.”
“For years, American companies have been saving money by ‘offshoring’ jobs — hiring people in India and other distant cubicle farms. Today, some of those jobs are being outsourced again — in the United States.”
“Manufacturing is continuing to change faster than you can innovate. You’re running hard to just keep pace with digitization, automation, expansion, and shifts in customer demand and employee demographics—the megatrends collectively known as Manufacturing 4.0.”
Book Suggestion: Data-ism: The Revolution Transforming Decision Making, Consumer Behavior, and Almost Everything Else by Steve Lohr
Innovation and Technology
“Still we need to remember that we always get disrupted by what we can’t see. The truth is that the next big thing always starts out looking like nothing at all. That’s why it’s so disruptive. If we saw it coming, it wouldn’t be. So here are three technologies you may not of heard about, but you should start paying attention to. The fate of your business may depend on it.”
“Even if the craze for Bitcoin and Ethereum abates, the power of the ‘blockchain’ tech behind those currencies is very real. Here’s how businesses are trying to harness it—and why they can’t afford to ignore it.”
“You don’t lack time to innovate. You lack allocation and purpose. You’ll forgive me if I lapse into a bit of consultant speak – can’t help but do so since I’ve been in consulting for many years. One of the factors that dictates what people do as consultants (and in other jobs or industries where time is tracked to projects or other expense categories) is the availability of charge codes. Everyone knows that lawyers, for example, typically bill their time in 15 minute increments.”
Book Suggestion: Relentless Innovation: What Works, What Doesn’t–And What That Means For Your Business by Jeffrey Phillips
Women and the Workplace
“A physics professor explains why male scientists devalue research that shows gender bias in the field.”
Thanks to Dorothy Dalton for pointing me to this post.
From John Paul Titlow: These Women Entrepreneurs Created A Fake Male Cofounder To Dodge Startup Sexism
“Penelope Gazin and Kate Dwyer faced a lot of sexism and condescension when they launched their e-commerce marketplace for weird art–that is until they introduced an imaginary cofounder named Keith.”
“For years, Sheryl Sandberg has been at the forefront of women’s fight for professional equality. The Facebook chief operating officer’s 2013 book Lean In sparked innumerable contentious, essential debates about how women can advance in the workplace. But in a new interview with LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Sandberg flips the narrative, sharing advice about what men can do to fight workplace sexism. Speaking on ‘Master of Scale,’ Hoffman’s podcast, her message is both clear and cutting: Men need to care enough about gender equality to act.”
Book Suggestion: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
Work and Learning Now and in the Future
“If you think your job is more stressful than it should be, you’re not alone. Americans work hard, and it takes a physical and mental toll, not to mention that it frequently cuts into personal time, according to a comprehensive survey on working conditions the nonpartisan RAND Corporation published Monday. But having a good boss and good friends on the job can make work feel less taxing.”
Thanks to Smartbrief on Leadership for pointing me to this story
“Manufacturing workers are retiring in droves, with an estimated 2.7 million jobs being vacated by 2025. At the same time, the growth and advancement of the industry is expected to create an additional 700,000 jobs for skilled manufacturing employees over the next decade. As a result, manufacturers are scrambling to fill this knowledge and skills deficit with the next generation of workers — millennials.”
From Khadeeja Safdar and Laura Stevens: Ding-Dong! Best Buy and Amazon Bring Back the Traveling Salesman
“The consumer electronics giants are quickly moving to hire an army of traveling salespeople and technicians who will visit customers’ homes to recommend and even install products.”
Book Suggestion: Millennial Workforce: Cracking the Code to Generation Y In Your Company by Javier Montes
More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock
Don’t divide your attention when you talk with people. One of 347 tips from Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time.
Everyone wants to live a good life. Here’s what I think it takes.
Tanmay Vora has a very detailed way to get the most from a nonfiction book that includes careful review and sketchnotes.
When you’re writing a book, you must pay attention to the forest and the trees and also the bark, branches and leaves.
Articles about real leaders and real companies in real life. This week it’s articles about GE, Sheryl Sandberg, S&P Global, Best Buy, and Aston Martin.
Pointers to posts by Art Petty, Terry “Starbucker” St. Marie, David Grossman, Mary Jo Asmus, 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.