7/21/13: 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, industries, innovation, women and work, and work now and in the future. Highlights include the Industry Week US 500, what’s ahead for Big Data, and social business.

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 Strategy + Business: Is Strategy Fixed or Variable?
"The short answer to the question above is yes. The challenge is how to make strategy both fixed and variable at the same time, which will increase the pace and quality of your company’s decision making and execution by leaps and bounds."

From the London Business School: Can founders let go?
"Growing businesses often get to a point where their founders passion is seen as a hindrance rather than a help. Sahar Hashemi, co-founder of Coffee Republic, believes the opposite to be true."

Industries and Analysis

From the Chicago Business Journal: Wine is broadening its appeal
"Despite a slow-to-rebound economy and constraints in supply, American wine consumption increased in 2012, according to data just released by Technomic, a Chicago-based research and consulting firm for the food industry."

From the Wall Street Journal: In U-Turn, Trucking Firm Averts Bankruptcy
Trucking company YRC Worldwide Inc. YRCW -5.82% seemed to be on a collision course with bankruptcy two years ago as high debt, the weak U.S. economy and cutthroat competitors pushed it to the brink. But an unfamiliar sentiment—optimism—has recently begun to bloom at Overland Park, Kan.-based YRC, one of the country's biggest trucking concerns."

From the Mercury News: Robots to revolutionize farming, ease labor woes
"On a windy morning in California's Salinas Valley, a tractor pulled a wheeled, metal contraption over rows of budding iceberg lettuce plants. Engineers from Silicon Valley tinkered with the software on a laptop to ensure the machine was eliminating the right leafy buds. The engineers were testing the Lettuce Bot, a machine that can "thin" a field of lettuce in the time it takes about 20 workers to do the job by hand."

From Industry Week: The IW US 500: An American-Made Revenue Rebound
"Record-high revenues reflect the domestic growth U.S. manufacturers are seeing on their balance sheets."

Innovations and Technology

From Irving Wladawsky-Berger: Big Data Takes Center Stage
"A few recent articles have expressed concerns  that big data may be at the peak of inflated expectations in the so-called hype cycle for emerging technologies, and will soon start falling into the trough of disillusionment.  This is not uncommon in the early stages of a disruptive technology.  The key question is whether the technology will keep falling through the trough and be soon forgotten, or whether it will eventually move on toward the slope of enlightenment on its way to a long life in the plateau of productivity.  How can you tell which it is going to be?"

Women and the Workplace

From Chief Executive: Where Are the Women?
"Businesses in the U.S. are doing a much better job of recruiting women, identifying high-performance individuals and grooming upcoming stars for senior leadership and
board positions. As institutional barriers to women’s development are systematically dismantled and organizations large and small invest in programs designed to make workplaces more accommodating, it is appropriate to ask why progress is so slow."

Work Now and in the Future

From Strategy + Business: Douglas Rushkoff Makes the Digital Economy Work for You
"The social theorist on why new technologies are ushering in a paradigm shift, and how the transition will redefine how business is done."

From the Philadelphia Business Journal: Gensler study looks at how office space is used effectively
"A new workplace study by an international design firm found three key drivers for employee satisfaction in office environments — focus, balance and choice."

From the Sloan Management Review: Social Business
"A 2013 research report by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte shows the growing importance of social business to solving many corporate challenges. Seventy percent of survey respondents agree that social business is an opportunity to fundamentally change the way their organization works. The authors explain why some businesses are reaping value from social business, and what is holding others back."

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

7/16/13: 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 David M. Core, Paul Downs, Mike McCue, Max Levchin, Teresa Stanek Rea, David Reimer, Sharon John, Rajiv L. Gupta, and Deep Nishar.

7/17/13: 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 oblique strategies, learning empathy, the truth about teams, the good and bad of collaboration, and compensation research.

7/19/13: Stories and Strategies from Real Life
Some of the best learning happens when you read stories about real people and real companies. Read them for ideas, for lessons, and inspiration. This week's stories and strategies from real life are about Steinway, Green Mountain, Costco, jumping the S curve, Harley-Davidson’s dealers, Best Buy, serial restaurant entrepreneurs, and insourcing at General Electric.

"Life Lessons from Potluck Suppers" and "Marissa Mayer breaks the Curse of Yahoo" 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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