The periodic round up:

  • The Composable Enterprise – Jonathon Murray seems to come to this point from a technology view (I’m happy to be corrected), but sensibly so as he describes what has always seemed to me to be the natural extension of service design AND service-oriented architecture – a business organisation that is composed and structured based on the services it provides to itself and others; and made, unmade and remade as they change … in hardware we called it plug-and-play; in wetware we call it a service-based business. There’s not a lot of examples in the wild (Amazon being the current poster child, and is working towards it) but we are starting to hear aspirations from some of our clients to head in this direction. I suspect that most don’t yet understand the extent of the change they want to make, but this is another opportunity for business architecture to provide the required scope and thinking to make it happen.
  • The Elusive High Performance Organization – “When we think about personal or organizational performance, we tend to see it as a linear scale – bad, good, better, best – or something similar. This is an appropriate way to look at productivity, which is the primary way we measure both organizations and people, but high performance organizations do not just produce more, they produce “different”.” Jeff Scott works the theme of efficiency vs. effectiveness in a series of posts that try to define what a “high performance” organisation might look like (and suggests they might even be inefficient). This is an area where business architecture can help you figure out which organisational capabilities should be efficient/boring/in-market, and those where effectiveness (even to the point of inefficiency) is more important to pursue.
  • On marketing’s terminal addiction to personal data fracking and bad guesswork – As a follow up to the Cluetrain Manifesto’s authors’ New Clues (see below), Doc Searls has found an apt example of how marketers still kid themselves that we are no more than an aggregation of data points, and that the digital breadcrumbs we scatter as we trawl the Web somehow add up to a realistic picture of who we are, what we want and when we want it. At their best, they only get close enough to be creepy. At their worst they are almost comical in their attempts to reduce us to sausages in the consumption factory.
  • On the Merits of Darwin Not Being Copenhagen – This is a little more parochial than usual … “One of the worst things Australian cities do today is look at successful cities elsewhere and try to mimic what they’ve done. We see this a lot with Jan Gehl’s work. He does some great things, but no matter how much places like Wollongong or Adelaide alter their public domain, they’ll never be a European city with almost a thousand years of history, a high population density and 45 minute flight to the world’s largest economic centres.” While Ianto’s post is about Darwin, much of what he writes suits Adelaide as well. I’ve often said that Adelaide shouldn’t try to be Portland, or Edinburgh or any other (usually great) place, but should be a better Adelaide … different to, not the same as, any other city. Ianto goes way back into history to suggest the most likely resource to provide that differentiation: the citizenry.
  • Evernote’s CEO: Siri and wearables are doing it wrong – We’ve had artificial intelligence, search algorithms, wearables … watch out now for anticipatory computing and augmented intelligence. Phil Libin, not surprisingly, has a product that is moving in this direction so has an interest in our being interested – but cynicism aside, the idea of being (or at least appearing to be) a smarter YOU has an appeal, and seems to be a less condescending or intrusive way to provide us with the information that we’re about to want. As Libin describes it, you should “feel like you’re Superman. You’re doing everything yourself and you’re just really good at it …”
  • New Clues – For those that might have missed it, two of the Cluetrain Manifesto authors have, fifteen years later, released a new manifesto that serves to remind us that we have wasted much of the web’s promise in that time. Hopefully we’re learning …
  • What Have They Done to My Song, Ma – Sonnez en cas d’absence – “We are still playing the same old song with new lyrics and new instruments, while the need to change the melody becomes more and more obvious. We don’t need new performers anymore. To thrive in today’s world, we need new composers.” Another voice pointing out that, among other things, we continue to measure individual performance when network performance is what is needed; that the thinking that got us into this mess isn’t sufficient to the task of extracting us.