9/29/13: 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 firm as extended family, a different kind of strategy, the toilet turnaround, printing dinner, and whether "leaning in" is enough.

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 Irving Wladawsky-Berger: The Firm as a Large, Complex, Extended Family
"In a truly remarkable video, Professor Coase, then 99 years old, addressed the conference.  He started out by apologizing for not being there in person, because he now gets very tired and was not feeling well.  He then proceeded to talk about the subject of the conference with a sharpness of mind we would all wish on ourselves at 39, let alone at 99. He wanted to clarify some concepts that he had not quite gotten right in The Nature of the Firm.  That article, published in 1937 and much cited since then, he thought of as little more than an undergraduate essay."

From Chief Executive: When You Need a Coach: Blind Spots Are Less Obvious When Things Are Going Well
"Coaching is drawing greater interest by boards and c-suite executives, particularly where performance goals aren’t being met. Yet there is still a contradiction between what is expected of c-suite executives from their boards, customers, clients, their employees, even themselves and their willingness to commit to a the coaching process which can equip them with the tools to achieve expectations. Recent research by Stanford University and The Miles Group cite the massive gap between CEOs being receptive to coaching (95%) and the percentage who actually receive coaching (less than 33%). More often than not, this is due to the 'stigma' that is still attached to coaching by both boards and CEOs, that it is 'remedial' in nature rather than 'performance enhancing'."

From the Graziadio Business Review: Creating Values That Work
"Values are the most important features of developing organizational identity. In addition, values provide the frame for achieving organizational results. Defining values and associated behaviors provide both a focus and the glue that binds the leadership behavior and managerial culture. Following are eight suggestions for incorporating values and behaviors into an organization?"

From Jean-Marc Laouchez: Leadership Lessons from the Banking Upheaval
"One thing’s for sure: the old ways won’t work. New research from my company Hay Group reveals that compared with peers, financial leaders have up to now been more likely to rely on a coercive, 'just do it!' leadership style. We found that nearly half (43%) used this as their dominant approach, compared to only one third (34%) across all sectors."

From Inc.: A Management Strategy That Will Blow Your Mind (and Lead to Massive Profits)
"I know an entrepreneur who is in business for the express purpose of hiring people, treating them superbly, paying them fairly, and bringing out their best. I mean it."

Industries and Analysis

From the Charlotte Observer: Textile factories hum, but not with workers
"Mills that managed to survive rely on automation and far fewer humans"

From the Wall Street Journal: America's Toilet Turnaround
"After decades of losing out to foreign rivals, U.S. manufacturing of toilets is making a surprising, if modest, comeback—mostly under foreign ownership."

From the NY Times: A Surge in Growth for a New Kind of Online Course
"Three major sites have emerged in the last couple of years to offer massive open online courses, greatly expanding the opportunity to take college classes."

nce-shunned-industry-turning-respectable-here-come-suits-man" target="_blank" class="">From the Economist: The cannabis business: Here come the suits, man
"A once-shunned industry is turning respectable"

Innovations and Technology

From the NY Times: Dinner Is Printed
"Will 3-D printing save the world? Bring in the apocalypse? Or is it just a gadget that spits out cheap plastic trinkets? An investigation."

From BCG Perspectives - Managing the "Unmanageable": Radical Innovation
"In recent decades, one of management’s objectives has been to add discipline to innovation. Companies have greatly improved the efficiency of new-product development, and managers have been able to draw on a variety of processes, methods, and tools to maximize the return on their R&D investment. Unfortunately, these advances have had the unintended consequence of discouraging radical innovation: technical breakthroughs that render existing products obsolete or that create new markets altogether. In this report, we look at products—not services or business model innovation. Unlike incremental innovation, radical innovation involves a great deal of uncertainty—the very quality that is not tolerated by most management techniques."

From the NY Times: Law Opens Financing of Start-Ups to Crowds
"Entrepreneurs looking to the crowd to finance their big ideas just got a little extra help from the government."

Women and the Workplace

From the NY Times: To Address Gender Gap, Is It Enough to Lean In?
"The gender gap in pay and work force participation harms not only women, but the economy as well."

Work Now and in the Future

From Strategy + Business: Life in the Matrix
"As companies evolve away from traditional hierarchies, a major cultural shift is required."

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

9/24/13: 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 Rakesh Kapoor, Robert Deluce, Philip Molyneux, Neville Browne, Anna Wintour, and Tim Cook.

9/25/13: 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 soft skills, speaking from the heart, taking care of your work relationships, lessons on creating a lasting influence, and effectively engaging your team.

9/27/13: 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 healthy snacks at 7-11, Kickstarter, Yodlee, McKinsey, Yoplait, Motorola, Anheuser-Busch's brewing yeast, Macy's, and Bleacher Report.

"You can't hurry love" and "Leadership: 3 T's for Bosses" 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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