The periodic round up:
- IT as Manufacturing – Commoditisation, modularisation and small bets … this is a long way from “IT as we know it”, but right where it should be (even if it DOES upset a few large vendors )
- How is social business like urban traffic? – Stowe Boyd again exploring the benefits of subordinating personal productivity to network productivity, drawing parallels with research into traffic management that indicates that forcing drivers to think more selflessly (and not seek the most personally efficient outcomes) actually improves traffic flow. So too, at work we may be collectively better-performed if we think less of our personal productivity and more of our network’s.
- Alain de Botton’s 10 Commandments – for Atheists – Is religion required for morality? Atheists would contend not, and de Botton’s list is a good start for developing /nurturing our morality independent of a belief in gods … “We are holding on to an unhelpfully sophisticated view of ourselves if we think we are above hearing well-placed, blunt and simply structured reminders about goodness. There is greater wisdom in accepting that we are in most situations clunking and rather simple machines, with only a few moving parts and in want of much the same firm, basic guidance as is naturally offered to children and domestic animals. ”
- America’s Real Criminal Element: Lead – An interesting, and somewhat disturbing look at what lead has done to society, and still is. It’s probably not the whole story, but the statistics suggest it’s a large part of it … and there’s still plenty of petrol-related lead in our soil, and still plenty of old places with lead paint.
- Why IT Should Be on the CEO’s Agenda – Is enterprise architecture’s time about to arrive? Now economic observers are beginning to notice that just thinking seriously about IT isn’t enough – there has to be a bridge between the CEO and IT’s strategic potential. Enter the enterprise architect. As this article says: “Enterprise architecture can be understood as a change and transformation framework to provide open and flexible business architecture for change management under conditions of high uncertainty.”
The periodic round up:
- Adapt or Die? – My post on social media adoption and commitment … (I warned you)
- Meetings: Where Work Goes to Die – We all hate them, but that's probably because we're doing them wrong. Here's some good ideas about effective meetings. The one I liked most? Make ALL attendees optional, and if nobody shows up, maybe they're right.
- Does Airport Security Really Make Us Safer? – The questioning of billions of dollars on useless security theatre in out airports is going mainstream … the problem is overblown, the "solution" is expensive, and ineffective to boot.
What works? Locking the cockpit door, matching luggage to passengers, passengers who will fight back. Best place to invest? Good old-fashioned intelligence and police work …
- Why Oracle May Really Be Doomed This Time – It's become popular to start writing off the software dinosaurs – this is another recent crack at it, suggesting that Oracle will be done away with by a new generation of users and cloud/SaaS.
It's a story that's been told before, but the conviction is increasing …
- The End Of ERP – So what happens to monolithic ERP software in the age of service-based offerings? According to this guy (who has a vested interest, it should be said), they die …
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.