The word disruption has multiple meanings in global business with the most commonly used definition some variation of “the act of interrupting continuity”. Within the context of logistics, supply chain, manufacturing, IT, and other business operations, disruption is obviously an experience managers work diligently to avoid. A good example of a recent operational disruption was caused by the Sendai quake and tsunami, a natural disaster which was unpreventable, but predictable and therefore can be mitigated with careful risk management planning.
In the context of innovation, however, and long-term economic survival, disruption can be paradoxical when “the act of interrupting continuity” of tightly controlled markets, stale products, and outdated business models is not an evil, but rather can be a savior to businesses, ecosystems, and economies, preventing eventual operational disruption, or as we’ve seen in many cases—complete failure. Read More
Baby boomers like myself clearly recall the tumultuous years leading up to the Bicentennial of the United States. The world we grew up in was near the peak of the industrial revolution, dominated by the aftermath of the Great Depression, WW2, and the Cold War. We were raised in a culture that had witnessed first-hand the power of a unified government, which led to the victory of fascism in our parent’s generation, followed by a round trip to the moon in our own. In the childhood of my generation, nothing was impossible with sufficient government power. Read More
Fast forward to the present day. On Meet The Press last Sunday, David Brooks sent a warning that I fear will go unheard in the very ivory towers that need to heed the message: “I was up on Wall Street the other day. I know political risk better than they do; they are vastly underestimating the source of political risk out there. We could have a massive problem in the next couple of years.” The source Brooks is referring to, of course, is the American citizen and consumer. Read More
The low cost of replication in digitization of products has long been known to be seriously disruptive in the music and publishing industries. However, the conflict between low cost replication of business software and customer differentiation relative to the broader economy is not generally well understood, although vitally important. Read More
Structural integrity in organizations, increasingly reflected by data in computer networking, has never been more important. The decision dimension is expanding exponentially due to data volume, global interconnectedness, and increased complexity, thus requiring much richer context, well-engineered structure, far more automation, and increasingly sophisticated techniques. Read More
If the financial crisis confirmed anything, it is that the majority of humans are followers, not leaders, and that leaders throughout our society have yet to capture the significance of technology to their members and organizations.
One of the primary causal factors cited by thought leaders in studying crises is poor leadership, to include those who accept misaligned or conflicted interests. When we see “skimming off the top” in others we label it corruption, yet few see it in themselves at all, or choose to ignore it, resulting in the same outcome. While balance is obviously needed for survival—indeed managing that balance well is key for modern leaders, when we over-emphasize short-term profits, we then elevate the influence and power of those who are skilled at winning very short-term battles, rather than long-term wars. I have personally experienced that strategy in organizations and observed it in many others; it doesn’t end well. Read More
Above is a screen capture of an internal Kyield document that displays a graphic and text illustration of the high costs of data silos to individual organizations, regions, and society based on actual cases we have studied; in some case based on public information and in others private, confidential information. This is intended for a slide-show type of presentation so does not go into great detail. Suffice to say that human suffering, lives lost, and wars that could have been prevented that were not are inseparably intertwined with economics and ecology, which is why I have viewed this issue as one ultimately of sustainability, particularly when considering the obstacles of silos to scientific discovery, innovation, and learning as well as crisis prevention. Read More
Most professors I know are using twitter, but not for the consumer noise most are familiar with, but rather to share information easily and quickly. Similarly, on Facebook the most intelligent people I know have the most friends. It’s a more functional replacement for email that bogged us all down– that isn’t discussed here, and should have been.
The author also misses several other points in this otherwise good piece, not least of which is the need to share information with customers and partners, monitor feedback, and importantly; introduce advanced analytics that wouldn’t be available otherwise…… continued Read More