Tag Archives: future

Interesting stuff from June 25th through July 31st

The periodic round up:

  • The future of outsourcing – A short and succinct piece on both the advantages and the dangers of outsourcing, and the implications of it for your business. And the importance of drawing the line in the right place:
    “Only a fool would outsource their heart or lungs by choice.”
  • Turn Big Data aspirations into business value – Big data is one thing; finding the business value in it is a bit harder – MIT’s Sloan Management Review suggests that
    “…a large percentage of stored data serves no useful purpose because management has not specified how it will be used: who will make what decisions or provide what services with what data.”
    Interestingly, the research suggests starting at the operational level rather than attempting analytics.
  • - The Obvious? – State Of The Net 2012 – Euan’s talk at State of the Net 2012 – a primer on not only what internal use of social media organisations can adopt, but a consideration of the implications of doing so for individuals.
  • Atlassian’s big experiment with performance reviews – My opinion of individual performance reviews is fairly well-known, and anecdotally well-supported. What has been missing, though, is a viable alternative to the process that most HR software supports. Atlassian found this too, but being software developers weren’t prepared to let that lie. They are not only hacking together a working alternative process, but are sharing it for our interest and education …
  • At Large in the Post-Normal Beyond Futurism – If you struggle with what we consider “normal” at the moment, you may have bigger problems with “post-normal”, and the ubiquity of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity). Boyd considers what we might need to make sense of the world, and sees “speculative design” which considers “implications” as more important than “applications” of design




Interesting stuff from March 14th through March 20th

The periodic round up: 

  • The Great Devolution – It seems we have to get to within a hair’s breadth of catastrophe before we realise there’s a problem. Haque describes our current devolution as institutional failure, and leaves us on an uncharacteristically pessimistic note … 
  • The New Rules Of Innovation: Bottom-Up Solutions To Top-Down Problems – Another look at innovation and creativity; with some slightly off-centre ideas about how we can improve our chances of solving the “wicked” problems facing us. Major points: re-invent education to put it back in touch with the needs of this century, rather than the 19th; find a different type of capitalism to reward the productive economy; and rethinking government’s role in assisting innovation.
  • How to Be Creative – Interesting article about how everyone of us can be creative – it’s a skill rather than a gift. What may be “gifts” are the techniques of creativity, but they’re not exclusive to any of us; they can be developed.
  • Are jobs obsolete? – Douglas Rushkoff suggests that, as has been happening for centuries, technology is doing away with jobs as we know them. While the current idea seems to be to let the people who lose jobs suffer, Rushkoff posits that it is time for a rethink of whether or not the idea of working for someone else still makes sense. It is after all, a relatively recent phenomenon …



Interesting stuff from December 19th through January 23rd

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


Interesting stuff from May 16th through May 26th

The weekly round up:

  • Bitcoin, Ven and the End of Currency – The author has a vested interest in the outcome he speaks about, but this is nonetheless an interesting look at the possibilities of virtual currencies, and what they might ultimately mean for current financial systems, and continued sovereignty of nation states.
  • When Did Everyone Decide To Pay Themselves Last? – When companies jump into social media, they tend to look at Facebook, Twitter, etc as the important places to be. This alternative view suggests that the first priority should be tending to content and places that YOU own – improve your own assets first, build your own brand(s) before Facebook's …
    One quote: "signal to noise ratio in platforms you don’t control is usually poor, and content there decays quickly – frequently ending up in archive purgatory, never to be read again. Yet content created on your own site or blog has value forever, given infinite life by search engines and getting shared well into the future by users"
  • The Customer-Centered Innovation Map – A lengthy but interesting discussion about deconstruction of customer processes, with the objective of discovering points in the process we can provide value, and/or innovate. An important note – what the post calls "job mapping" is different to "process mapping" (although it may use the same artefacts), because the objective is to find WHAT the customer is trying to get done with each process step, rather than HOW they're doing it.
  • MIT management professor Tom Malone on collective intelligence and the “genetic” structure of groups – When you've got wicked problems to solve, and you want to put together a group of people to think it through, what are the criteria for inclusion? Counter-intuitively, the cognitive intelligence of the group isn't correlated to the cognitive intelligence of the individuals involved – a better predictor is their emotional intelligence, or social sensitivity. So, at the moment the quickest way to smarter groups is to include more women …
  • Is a Well-Lived Life Worth Anything? – Is the world of chasing a bigger house, bigger car, bigger burger and more STUFF starting to pall? Do you ever think "there has to be more meaning to life than this"? Welcome to the "Eudamoniac Revolution" … it all sounds like fairies at the bottom of the garden, wishful thinking or utopianism. But I dare you to read this and then tell me you don't want a better life, rather than just a bigger one.

    … or as the French would say: "Avoir empêche d´être".

  • 10 visions of the future – … mainly of the Internet. Intel's anthropologist Genevieve Bell has a few ideas what the internet will look like at some point in the future. Australians will possibly be more comfortable than most with the idea that it will be "more feral", and will be used for "sledging" (there's more subtlety in those ideas than it seems, by the way).
  • Developing Talent – Retaining and Attracting Talent – Talent – everybody wants to hire it, everybody wants to retain it. Unfortunately, it often seems no-one wants to develop it. But if your business gets a reputation as a developer of talent, you'll find and retain more talent than you know what to do with …
    But it's more than training programs: "we would suggest that training programs are becoming more and more marginal to talent development. What matters most is the talent development that occurs in our daily work environment."
    And it's more than executives – everyone in the business has a role to play in providing and sustaining customer service, so everyone needs to be developed.