Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 9/7/15

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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 five strategy questions every leader should make time for, why old media can still beat new media, the Economist Technology Quarterly, the three things holding women back at work, and rethinking 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 Ram Charan: 20/20 Foresight

“Many business leaders need to improve their perceptual acuity. Here’s how you can develop the ability to look around corners — and become a catalyst for change.”

From Lars Fæste, Thomas Gumsheimer, and Matthias Scherer: How Five Companies Launched Digital Transformations

“Companies that have delayed implementing digital technology need to get off the sidelines. By applying a three-step transformation framework, they can build up their digital capabilities through real-world experience.”

From Freek Vermeulen: 5 Strategy Questions Every Leader Should Make Time For

“Have you ever noticed that when you ask someone in your company, ‘How are you?’ they are more likely to answer ‘Busy!’ than ‘Very well, thank you’? That is because the norm in most companies is that you are supposed to be very busy – or otherwise at least pretend to be – because otherwise you can’t be all that important.”

Industries and Analysis

From Alastair Dryburgh: Why old media can still beat new media

“Why is it that everywhere you go, you see old media promoting new media? The London Underground is full of adverts for online fashion retailers, job search websites, travel apps, even Facebook. I went to a local market last weekend and saw people in branded T-shirts handing out flyers for an online handyman and cleaning service. Flyers! In the local market! How retro can you get? That was old-school even when I was at school.”

From Jacob Bunge: Startups Put Data in Farmers’ Hands

“Farmers and entrepreneurs are starting to compete with agribusiness giants over the newest commodity being harvested on U.S. farms—one measured in bytes, not bushels.”

From Scott Canon: Your food has been, perhaps forever, genetically modified

“Particularly in the horizon-swallowing grain fields that blanket the Midwest, biotechnology rules. That’s why you’ll probably eat some for breakfast. And lunch and dinner. Polls reveal rising consumer fears about eating GMOs. Yet those worries may come too late to matter.”

Innovations and Technology

From Quy Huy and Yidi Guo: A Chinese Billionaire’s Instruction Manual for Innovation

“Ironically, a rulebook for innovation could be the best approach for shaking up rigid organisational culture.”

From Paul Sloane: The Rise of the Corporate Innovation Unit

“Consider that some 90% of companies believe that they are too slow to market with new products. In the consumer goods category around 80% of new products fail. Since 2000 52% of the Fortune 500 have merged, been acquired or gone bankrupt. Innovation has never been more important nor so difficult. These are some of the reasons why senior corporate executives are increasingly turning to separate innovation labs to spearhead their new product development.”

From the Economist Technology Quarterly: More from Moore

“Chipmaking: Moore’s law may be running out of steam, but chip costs will continue to fall”

Women and the Workplace

From Mary Johnson: Wells Fargo’s first female head of commercial banking for the Carolinas, Suzanne Morrison, started her career with a job at a Chinese restaurant

“She’s the first woman ever to hold the position at Wells Fargo, so we sat down with her to discuss a few other ‘firsts’ in her life.”

From Kristin Magaldi: Stress, Other Health Issues Common In Women Working With Mostly Men

“Whether we choose to believe it or not, it’s not often easy being a woman in the working world. A lot of work places are still sex-segregate — for example, most elementary school teachers are women, while chemistry professors are mostly men — and women who enter into mostly male-dominated career fields still face a lot of obstacles. But does this have repercussions on a woman’s health?”

From Paula Parfitt: The three things holding women back at work

“When companies try to improve their gender diversity they tend to look at policies such as childcare and flexible working, they should be looking at their culture and beliefs instead.”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Barry Schwartz: Rethinking Work

“Is it human nature to hate your job? On the contrary.”

From Liz Ryan: The Ten Worst HR Ideas Of All Time

“All but one of the Ten Worst HR Ideas of All Time in my list became staples of the HR Weenie’s Playbook after 1984, when I took my first HR leadership job.”

From Kristen Leigh Painter: As work becomes more mobile, office designs change and buildings adapt

“McKinney, who works at Clockwork Active Media in Minneapolis, is one of millions of people across the country who work in spaces that have been completely rethought to reflect changes in how people approach their jobs and their lives.”

More Leadership Posts from Wally Bock

Your questions could be the answer

Asking great questions is the way to come up with great answers.

By and About Leaders: 9/1/15

Pointers to pieces by and about Joe Denny, Greg Schott, Brad Peters, David Landsman, and Sophie Brochu.

From the Independent Business Blogs: 9/2/15

Pointers to posts by Chris Edmonds, Mary Jo Asmus, David Greer, Art Petty, and Steve Roesler.

Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 9/4/15

Pointers to stories about Carrefour, Adidas, Painting with a Twist, Gizmo Guy, and Kellogg

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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