5/12/13: Leadership Reading to Start Your Week

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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. They're about leadership and strategy, success and failure and important issues of the day. This week, I'm pointing you to several articles including those about why managers haven't embraced complexity, innovation at Corning, additive manufacturing, international banking, food trucks, competition in the mobile space, and why women tech entrepreneurs flourish in L.A. 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 London Business School BSR: Corporate strategy in the age of sustainability
"In the race to conform to the latest sustainability trend, companies are losing sight of the bigger picture. They need to redefine their strategies to cope with the new realities."

From Richard Straub: Why Managers Haven't Embraced Complexity
"I remember well when the idea of applying complexity science to management was first being eagerly discussed in the 1990s. By then, for example, scholars at the University of St. Gallen had developed a management model based on systems thinking. Popular literature propagated the ideas of complexity theory — in particular, the notion of the "butterfly effect" by which a small event in a remote part of the world (like the flap of a butterfly's wings) could trigger a chain of events that would add up to a disruptive change in the larger system (such as a hurricane). Managers' eyes were opened to the reality that organizations are not just complicated but complex. Why did this interest and work in complexity not lead to major changes in management practices? There are, I think, a few major reasons that it didn't — and that also suggest that the overdue change might now finally take place."

From Chief Executive: Learn (Don’t Just Manage)
"In terms of the first step, leaders and organizations are often stuck in patterns of behaving and operating that have kept them in good stead for years. Traditional approaches to development teach us to be successful by managing people, tasks and the business, but they often overlook getting unstuck from approaches that worked in the past but no longer apply.

Innovation and Technology

From Strategy + Business: The Gorilla of Agile Business Innovation
"Corning Glass Chief Technology Officer David Morse explains how the company—through speed and customer focus in research, development, and engineering—has built a multibillion-dollar enterprise."

From Industry Week: Leading Innovation
"At a time when innovation is so highly valued, a large majority of innovation efforts fail. What can company leaders do to get innovation on the right track?"

From the Journal-Sentinel: 3-D printers break the mold for manufacturing
"When Pioneer Products Inc. was asked to make the tooling for a boat part that was designed in Germany, cast in Missouri, for use by a manufacturer in Florida, the Racine company used three-dimensional printing for a prototype that could be shared by everyone in the manufacturing process."

From London Business School BSR: Mobile numbers
"A happy side effect of the mobile revolution is an array of stunning stats."

Industries and Analysis

From the NY Times: Apple’s Rivals See an Edge in Using Wireless Accessories
"Hotels outfitted guest rooms with alarm clocks containing a telltale wedge of 30 tiny pins that could play music from Apple’s devices and charge their batteries. Retail stores were thick with sound docks and other speaker systems meant to work with Apple gadgets. But Apple’s iron grip on the digital accessories in hotel rooms, store shelves and living rooms is starting to slip — potentially risking the royalties it earns from accessory makers and, more significant, giving Apple customers more freedom to switch to rival products. That could be an issue for a company whose stock has been shaken in recent months as investors worry that the iPhone business is slowing."

From the NY Times: The Food-Truck Business Stinks
"Why lukewarm hot dogs still rule the streets of New York City."

From the Economist: Twilight of the gods
"Investment banking faces a leaner, humbler future, says Jonathan Rosenthal, though a select few banks will emerge from the financial crisis even larger and more powerful."

From the LA Times: The war for mobile messaging is on
"Start-up mobile messaging apps have surged, displacing traditional SMS texts. Silicon Valley titans such as Google and Facebook want in on the action"

From the Star Tribune: Minnesota firms go wild for oil equipment
"In this Land of 10,000 Lakes, manufacturers that have spent a decade buying water treatment firms are now aggressively adding oil to the mix. Companies ranging from Pentair and Ecolab to Graco and 3M are making big bets on the energy sector by acquiring specialty equipment makers or introducing new products that protect pipelines or thin, separate, store or decontaminate oil, gas and frac sand."

Work Now and in the Future

From Strategy + Business: Turning the Tables on Success
"In today’s workplace, what goes around comes around faster, sinking takers and propelling givers to the top."

From Monique Valcour: The Ripple Effects You Create as a Manager
"What you might not appreciate is that the socially-transmitted impact of your mindset extends well beyond those people with whom you interact directly in the workplace. It also touches those to whom they are connected — most notably their partners and family members, but also their larger networks and communities."

Women and the Workplace

From HBS Working Knowledge: A Company’s Evolving View of Gender Equity
"Looking at the evolution of gender in US society over nearly 20 years, a new study by Lakshmi Ramarajan, Kathleen L. McGinn, and Deborah Kolb traces how one prominent professional-service firm internalized the shifting concerns."

From the LA Times: Female tech entrepreneurs flourish in L.A.
"Not too long ago, such meet-ups among tech-savvy women — or men, for that matter — were a rarity in Los Angeles. Entrepreneurs who wanted to launch a start-up headed to Silicon Valley. Now, L.A.'s tech scene is exploding with new firms, a number of them founded by women. Unimpeded by the Bay Area's cliquish male programmer culture, they're using their expertise in retail, entertainment, advertising and media to build digital companies whose products and services are often aimed at other women."

Carnivals and Such

Leadership Development Carnival hosted by Karin Hurt

Carnival of HR hosted by Robert Tanner at Management Journey

If you enjoyed this post, you should check out my other curated posts. Here are the ones from last week.

5/7/13: By and About Leaders
Studying individual leaders is a great way to learn about leadership. Think of each article as a mini-case study in leadership. This week I'm pointing you to posts Fred Deluca, Jeffrey Weinstein, Wendy Lea, Candace and Charles Nelson, Robert Diamond, Shellye Archambeau, David Goldberg, and Steve Case.

5/8/13: A Midweek Look at the Independent Business Blogs
Every week I select five excellent posts from this week's independent business blogs. This week, I'm pointing you to posts on lessons learned the hard way, honoring yourself, thinking about the humans, making leadership more human, and how to take an interest in people.

5/10/13: Stories and Strategies from Real Life
Some of the best learning happens when you read stories real people and real companies. Read them for ideas, for lessons, and inspiration. This week's stories and strategies from real life are about Intel, HP, movie theaters, Donaldson Company, and Sony.

"Big Data," "The Wonder of 'I wonder'," and "What happened to Ron?" were popular posts on my blog last week.

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.

If you're a boss, you should check out my Working Supervisor's Support Kit.

Wally's Working Supervisor's Support Kit is a collection of information and tools to help working supervisors do a better job. It's based on what Wally's learned in over twenty years of supervisory skills training. Click here to check it out.



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