The periodic round up:
- The Connected Company – As companies and their environments grow in complexity, we need to rethink the way they are put together – we face diminishing returns from growth because they are sub-linear (more growth, less productivity) … This post (and the book) suggests that rather than build companies like machines, we build them like living organisms:
“To design the connected company we must focus on the company as a complex ecosystem, a set of connections and potential connections, a decentralized organism that has eyes and ears everywhere that people touch the company, whether they are employees, partners, customers or suppliers.”
- If you want to get paid for your freelance work … – Then you have to have a valuable difference to all the amateurs who have the same tools, and are happy to do it for free. “Professional” might have been enough when skills and tools were scarce; now that they are abundant you’ll need to demonstrate why you’re worth paying for.
- Race Against the Machine – Digital optimist or pessimist? Will robots and artificial intelligence be the end of our usefulness? Are we doomed? Andrew McAfee doesn’t think so, and explains why in this TEDx video …
More about us
The periodic round up:
- Knock, knock, it’s the future (Building 59) – What’s behind SOPA/PIPA is a small group of large businesses whose business model is disappearing. Like Kodak, they are trying to ignore the future. Like Kodak, they may find that it is an exercise in futility and the road to failure …
- A New Style of Work – This is not only pretty much how I work these days, it’s also the future for more and more of us. As conventional “careers” disappear into organisational restructures, those who can will trend towards the “distributed” working style. When you get there, give me a call – there’s a few of you I’d be happy to work with again
- How Pursuit of Profits Kills Innovation and the U.S. Economy – … or any other economy for that matter. So outsourcing makes you profitable – what happens when somebody else does everything for your business? What reason do you have for it existing? This is one of the insidious results of a fascination with economic profit to the exclusion of other types of value, and also of only using percentage-type measures. Making your customers’ lives better will keep you in business longer and better than just chasing internally-focussed profit measure.
- The Rise of Developeronomics – Know any good software developers? Invest in them. Whether you realise it or not, your company is a software company, regardless of what you are making as a product. And those tame developers you have?: “In most non-software companies, developers have so far accepted a sort of second-class-citizen status despite their increasing scarcity and increasingly critical roles. That is about to change.” Developers – the new kingmakers …
- The City Solution – How to handle a rising population? Urbanise … National Geographic on the benefits of big cities
- Don’t Break the Internet – Stanford Law Review – A reasoned view of the dangers inherent in SOPA and PROTECT-IP which also points out the irony of the USA taking censorship on the internet further than the repressive regimes it has criticised in the past
The weekly round up:
- Collaborative Learning for the Digital Age – It’s a longer piece, but an interesting discussion about attention blindness, and how you can use groups to avoid/minimise it. If everyone focuses on the one thing, you miss a lot of other stuff, but if everyone takes a different piece of the jigsaw, and then assembles it, a fuller picture emerges.
There’s also some interesting thinking about assessment that plays out in corporate performance management …
- - Every journey … – The other recent post that highlights the personal nature of enterprise2.0 … for adoption, people have to find a solution to their problem(s), and this doesn’t usually happen according to a project timeline, but one person at a time on a serendipitous scale
- Talking about a world without faces – One of a couple of posts recently seen that go to the heart of a problem with the idea of “social business” or Enterprise2.0: in the end, social networking/media in the enterprise is only effective if people voluntarily adopt. The implication of that, often forgotten, is that some won’t. We have to be realistic, therefore, about what is possible … this post also demonstrates that adoption can only be maximised if we make the “social” part of every body’s “business”.
- Leadership: Vivek Kundra, Uncle Sam’s first CIO – It may sound like the dream job, but the outgoing CIO of the United States found many of the same problems that are familiar to the corporates (albeit with a few extra zeroes appended) – projects over budget and schedule, poorly executed, and old technology. Maybe we shouldn’t feel so bad …
- Your customer won’t take a bullet for you – Loyalty programs don’t really build loyalty in your customers – they’re a bribe or incentive to get them to so something they might not otherwise. The “new” buzzword, gamification, is also a pretty shallow substitute for a product and/or service that kicks ass. If you really want customer loyalty, make their lives better in some meaningful way …
The weekly round up:
- The mind is for having ideas not holding them – [Video] The “Getting Things Done” guy, David Allen, talking about creating clear space for your brain to do creative things. “Getting things done” isn’t about getting things done – it’s about making space in your head for more important things.
- When Employees Misinterpret Managers – “What gets measured gets done” – but you need to beware of unintended behaviours driven by poorly-thought-through metrics. And another caveat: managing by numbers only is a bit like painting by numbers: for amateurs and pre-schoolers.
- Bored People Quit – And who gets bored quickest? Your smartest people. How do you stop them getting bored? Give them interesting tasks. What if I have no interesting tasks? Prepare for a slow and tedious extinction …
- IT Outsourcing: How Offshoring Can Kill Innovation – A cautionary look at the dangers of outsourcing, particularly as it moves up the value chain from “grunt” work to “thinking work” – once you outsource your thinking, and your unique capabilities, you have no business. And as the interview points out, it’s broader than a single organisation – it means countries lose the infrastructure and network of suppliers in an industry, so the outsourcing becomes a continuing death spiral.
- Empowering Leadership – Leadership doesn’t necessarily mean having a leader: “On teams that function well, every member of the team leads. Each person takes responsibility for helping the team move forward.”
Rather than trying to discover leaders, we should be developing leadership …
- The Big Idea: Creating Shared Value – Michael Porter suggesting that there is a way to build economic value that provides societal value as well – it’s just that we might have to think outside of out-dated business models to achieve it: “The purpose of the corporation must be redefined as creating shared value, not just profit per se. This will drive the next wave of innovation and productivity growth in the global economy. It will also reshape capitalism and its relationship to society. Perhaps most important of all, learning how to create shared value is our best chance to legitimize business again. “
- Hierarchy and Network: Two Structures, One Organization – Kotter makes the valid point that hierarchies are optimised for repetition, stability and efficiency. Which means they don’t change or adapt well. He explores the possibility of a simultaneous network structure to handle change … an idea that strikes me as unlikely in practice. What I CAN see happening is a continuous flux between network (for periods of change or instability) morphing into hierarchy, and then back again through the cycle. What I PREFER to see is network structures for operation, and hierarchy for administration – suit the structure to the purpose.