6/9/13: 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. I'm pointing you to articles about leadership, strategy, innovation, work in the future, and women and the workplace. Highlights are leadership lessons from the arts, 3-D printers, business cards in the Digital Age, Cisco’s teleworking study, and working mothers. 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 Chief Executive: 3 Rules for Understanding How Value Leads to Better Performance
"A big part of why we say a non-price position is a material cause of exceptional performance—we found that when exceptional companies abandoned a non-price position, their performance subsequently suffered. For example, in the appliance industry, Maytag delivered a two-decade run of superior profitability that ended in 1986. Its non-price position was defended by a painstakingly constructed combination of product excellence, effective advertising, and high-touch distribution. Its products consistently won superior ratings from Consumer Reports: the Maytag Repairman, who spent his days idled by the legendary quality of Maytag’s clothes washers, became an icon of American advertising; and a distinctive network of more than ten thousand independent retailers proved a highly effective sales channel. In contrast, Whirlpool spent that same twenty-year period manufacturing appliances for Sears, whose Kenmore brand competed with Maytag largely on price."

From Inc. Magazine: 4 Great Leadership Lessons from the Arts
"Math and science are noble endeavors, but real leadership is taught in the arts. Here are four powerful lessons taught best by artists."

Innovation and Technology

From McKinsey: Connecting everything: A conversation with Cisco’s Padmasree Warrior
"Despite two decades of increasing connectivity between people and devices over high-tech networks, only 1 percent of what could be connected in the world actually is, argues Padmasree Warrior, Cisco Systems’ chief technology and strategy officer. As the level of connection swells over mobile and other platforms during the next decade, she expects sweeping changes in how consumers shop, businesses handle data, and individuals grapple with the data available about themselves. This interview was conducted by McKinsey’s Rik Kirkland in Davos, Switzerland. What follows is an edited version of Warrior’s remarks."

From the Wall Street Journl: How Ford, GE and Mattel Use 3-D Printers
"Also known as additive manufacturing, because objects manufactured in this manner are built one successive layer of material at a time, the technology is allowing manufacturers to get products to their customers more quickly."

From the Mercury News: 3-D printing predicted to mold our tomorrows
"It is a time -- with tangible signs popping up with increasing frequency around the globe -- when nearly any product one needs is created by simply pushing a button and printing it out in usable three dimensions. "

Industries and Analysis

From the Chicago Tribune: Food trucks, entrepreneurs, startups bring food to Chicago's downtown office workers
"Chicago's downtown office workers are seeing a larger buffet of options for lunch, thanks to a growing number of entrepreneurial ventures that are harnessing technology to feed hungry cubicle dwellers who are bored with brown bags or sandwich shops. The city's burgeoning lunch scene includes food trucks, which use social media to reach diners in real time and mobile payment technology to swipe credit cards, as well as startups that market their software-powered services to companies as a way to boost employee happiness and productivity."

From the NY Times: Restaurant Chains Try to Woo a Younger Generation
"greater interest in local foods and a tendency to watch their dollars."

From Newsday: Business cards see rebirth in digital age
"The humble business card is not staring at imminent extinction, agree area professionals. Indeed, as digital design and production allow for shorter print runs, lower costs and quicker turnaround, people are finding creative new uses for them."

From the Wall Street Journal: Startups Tap Into Mobile-App Explosion
"As the mobile business booms, an industry of little-known companies that serve app developers is growing quickly behind the scenes."

From the LA Times: High prices are driving more motorists to rent tires
"Chains such as Rent-a-Wheel and Rimco are seeing business boom. Many consumers pay double or triple the cost of buying and face aggressive repossession policies."

Work Now and in the Future

From the Kansas City Star: More employees stand up for their workplace health
"Across American offices, workers like Schwarz are dumping their sit-down desk chairs in favor of standing desks, treadmill desks and big exercise, or stability, balls. Researchers say the small but growing trend is a very good thing."

From Fast Company: Cisco Says Telecommuting Saves Money, and the World
"A Cisco survey of 2,000 people worldwide has revealed that employees who telecommute experience higher rates of productivity, work-life flexibility, and overall satisfaction. As if that isn't enough, the survey also showed that telecommuting saves the company money and drastically reduces carbon dioxide emissions."

From TLNT: The Challenges and Benefits of Having a Team Working Virtually
"If a company intends to reap the many benefits of teleworking, they have to do it the right way. Virtual teams require strong management and the right kind of support. How does a leader do that?"

From Forbes: How Technology Is Changing The Way Organizations Learn
"Now, we are entering a new industrial revolution and machines are starting to take over cognitive tasks as well.  Therefore, much like in the first industrial revolution, the role of humans is again being rapidly redefined.  Organizations will have to change the way that they learn and managers’ primary task will be to design the curricula."

Women and the Workplace

From the NY Times: Breadwinning Wives and Nervous Husbands
"A study reveals that women’s growing financial success may be contributing to a decline in marriage stability. And one reason may be a lingering attitude from the 'Mad Men' days."

From the NY Times: The Triumph of the Working Mother
"Those who stay at home report more sadness, anger and depression."

Carnivals and Such

The June 3rd, 2013 Leadership Development Carnival

From John Hunter: Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog Carnival #194

Carnival of HR - reMix edition

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

6/4/13: 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 by and about Brent Saunders, Mary Micucci, Jenna Fagnan, William K. Howell, Adam Aronson, and how an array of CEOs remember their first day on the job.

6/5/13: 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 being brutally honest, being a real team player, passing the “More Human Leadership” test,  your words have power, and thinking about work life balance.

6/7/13: 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 Sony, Sweet Potato Sensations, John Woolard, and going solo.

"A. G. Lafley: Going Home Again," "Do you really want that promotion?" and "Conversations " 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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