Weekend Leadership Reading: 9/28/18

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Weekends are time when things slow down a little. Your weekend shouldn’t be two more regular work days. That’s a sure road to burnout. Take time to refresh yourself. Take time for something different. Take time for some of that reading you can’t find time for during the week.

Here are choice articles on hot leadership topics culled from the business schools, the business press and major consulting firms. This week there are articles about the changing nature of management and leadership.

From Rick Western: How Networks And Hierarchies Can Coexist And Drive Success

“Just 12 percent of companies that comprised the Fortune 500 in 1955 were still around by 2015. There are many reasons so few organizations endured: markets transformed, industries consolidated, business models evolved, new competitors arose and so on. Forty years of Harvard Business School research suggests, however, that one under-appreciated reason so many organizations faded is they lacked the organizational structure to adapt to the world as it changed more and more rapidly. The hierarchy, developed in the late 19th century to help administer the complexities of business’ daily life, remains the dominant form of organizational structure today. Developed to predictability, hierarchies excel at ‘keeping the trains on the track,’ but naturally resist change and reinforce the status quo – which can be dangerous in a faster-moving world.”

From Adam Kingl and Kathy Brewis: Disrupting management

“Disruption isn’t just about digital. The common theme at London Business School’s (LBS) HR Strategy Forum 2018 was that it’s time to reconsider the human side of work. Is your management fit for purpose? Are your people equipped to play their part in your organisation’s survival in a future where the ground moves even as you’re walking across it?”

From David Creelman: A Grand Unified Theory of Management?

“If you’re a keen student of management, eventually you’ll reach the point of cognitive overload. There are too many theories; they overlap in ways that are unclear and it’s hard to tell the good ones from the poor ones. Might there be a better way? Might we move towards a Grand Unified Theory of Management?”

From Evan Sinar: 50 Years of Harvard Business Review Reveals the Past and Future of Business

“For the first part of this HBR trend analysis, I gathered titles for 8,184 articles published in HBR between January 1967 and June 2018. I calculated the relationship between year and frequency of a term’s use within article titles to uncover notable terms (12 in total) fitting into one of three categories:”

From Irving Wladawsky-Berger: Social Physics – Reinventing Analytics to Better Predict Human Behaviors

“Social physics first emerged over 200 years ago as an attempt to understand society and human behavior using laws similar to those of the physical sciences. But, it wasn’t until the past two decades that we finally had enough data, powerful computers and sophisticated mathematical algorithms to develop quantitative theories of human social interactions. We were now able to reliably predict how large groups of people make decisions by analyzing how information and ideas flow from person to person.”

Book Suggestions

A decade ago, Gary Hamel and Bill Breen asked us to cast our mind “forward a decade or two” and ask what management will be like then. That was in their excellent book The Future of Management. Well, the answers are starting to come in.

Under New Management: How Leading Organizations Are Upending Business as Usual by David Burkus

Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock

Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World by General Stanley McChrystal and Tantum Collins

Every week I share some recommendations of business books that I think are worth a look. Follow this link to the most recent list.

Every Monday, I do a blog post about business reading and business books. Follow this link to the most recent post.

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