The Future of the Gig Economy
MARCH 1, 2017
The “gig economy” has become an ever-expanding meme, clocking over 500,000 citations on Google. It’s also become an interesting barometer of sentiment. Some people, especially techies, love the concept and can’t wait until the gig economy frees everyone from working as employees for large, bureaucratic organizations. So, what is the “gig economy”?
Exploring Business Types and Business Models
MARCH 20, 2017
OK, I’ve created some confusion. I’ve been writing a lot recently about business models, including here and here. But I’ve also written a lot about business types/roles, including a popular Harvard Business Review article almost 20 years ago. And, if there is a difference, what business models should each business type adopt? Tying it all together.
The Big Shift in Business Models
APRIL 1, 2016
In the Big Shift , we are all experiencing mounting performance pressure. So, what is a business model? It’s ultimately all about money. Payment.
United We Stand, Divided We Fall
DECEMBER 14, 2016
I love paradox and today we’re living through one of the biggest paradoxes of all: at a time when we seem more divided than ever, we’re actually more united than ever. What do I mean by that? All you have to do is take a cursory look through our media or our conversations when we come together as groups to see that we’re deeply polarized.
The Big Shift in Platform Business Models
JANUARY 17, 2017
Everywhere you look today, platform businesses are in the news. Most of the stories focus on what platforms do. Some highlight the value they provide in terms of ease and convenience in connecting with needed resources. Relatively few look beneath the surface to try to understand the business models that drive platform businesses. I’m skeptical.
What's the Future of Jobs?
SEPTEMBER 5, 2016
What better time to reflect on the future of work and jobs than Labor Day? I’ve written about this extensively with my latest foray on a recent blog post. Is STEM our future? Today, I want to be a contrarian. Let me challenge this on several levels. Robots are already designing and building their compatriots. Alternatives to STEM. Work versus jobs.
Flows, Fragility and Friction
OCTOBER 26, 2016
I’ve long been a fan of flows but, in the spirit of paradox, I’ve also been a fan of friction. But, wait a minute, friction slows down flows – how could I possibly favor both flows and friction? Until recently, I hadn’t even been really aware of the paradox in my perspective, much less thought systematically about ways to resolve the paradox.
The Demise of Advertising Business Models
AUGUST 29, 2016
In a blog post earlier this year, I explored the emergence and evolution of new business models enabled by digital technology infrastructures. At the very end of that blog post, as a teaser, I mentioned in passing that advertising business models are unlikely to be sustainable as the Big Shift unfolds. between Q2 2014 and Q2 2015. What do I mean?
The Real Unemployment Innovation Challenge
AUGUST 24, 2015
While unemployment rates in certain parts of the world appear to be slowly improving, unemployment in many other parts of the world remain stubbornly high and, in some cases, are even increasing. So, what is the problem? Well, there are many problems – that’s one thing that makes it so complicated and challenging. Matching supply and demand.
The Unmet Need for Trusted Talent Advisors
OCTOBER 18, 2016
In a world that’s changing ever more rapidly, we all need trusted advisors. It’s a significant unmet need that creates a very attractive business opportunity. This has been a central part of my research and writing for almost 20 years since I published a book on the topic, Net Worth. Most recently, I returned to this subject in a blog post.
The Big Shift in Strategy - Part 1
DECEMBER 15, 2014
In an exponential world, it stands to reason that our traditional, linear approaches to strategy will need to be re-thought from the ground up. One way to characterize the big shift in strategy is that we are moving from strategies shaped by terrain to strategies shaped by trajectory. What do I mean by this? Strategies of terrain.
Disruption by Trusted Advisors
MARCH 31, 2015
What’s “the next big thing”? Coming from Silicon Valley, I often get this question from executives around the world. Usually, they frame the question in terms of the next wave of technology innovation. They want to know what’s the next big technology that could disrupt everything? It’s what I call the “trusted advisor.”
Catalyzing Passion through Strategy
DECEMBER 31, 2015
As we approach the end of yet another year, I want to go out on one of my favorite topics – passion. In particular, let me explore one very promising approach to catalyze and amplify passion within the workforce. Passion and performance improvement Why do I say that? Because passion drives accelerating performance improvement. Think about it. Musi
Leave Those Resolutions Behind
JANUARY 1, 2016
As we enter the New Year, we all tend to embrace it as an opportunity for some new beginnings. New Year’s resolutions abound, all made with the best of intentions. Some resolutions are truly audacious while others focus on small improvements on the edges of our lives. How is that possible? What do I mean by “smartly made”? Focus. Leverage.
Platforms Are Not Created Equal: Harnessing the Full Potential of Platforms
AUGUST 4, 2014
Platforms are becoming increasingly central to business value creation. Yet, not all platforms are created equal – some platforms have far more potential to trigger powerful forms of increasing returns that will ultimately marginalize other forms of platforms. What is a platform? So, what did I learn?
Making a Movement: Narratives and Creation Spaces
SEPTEMBER 1, 2014
What better day than Labor Day in the US to explore movements and narratives? Labor Day emerged directly from the powerful labor movement in the US. Throughout history, we’ve had a lot of movements that have shaped our economic, social and political arenas. I believe we’re on the cusp of a new wave of movements. What is a movement? What happened?
Drawing Inspiration From Independence Day
JULY 4, 2015
Independence Day in the US is a time of celebration, recalling a historic milestone when a small group of fragmented colonies in a distant part of the world came together and bravely declared independence from a world power. The prison of conformity. What do I have in mind? How much more might we enjoy every hour of the day?
The Disruption Debate - What's Missing?
JUNE 30, 2014
I admit that I’m mystified by Jill Lepore’s article in the New Yorker attacking Clayton Christensen and his theory of disruptive innovation. Some of the commentators may be right: perhaps this article is better read as the most recent manifestation of the cultural conflict between the humanities-driven East and the technology-driven West.
The Big Shift in Strategy - Part 2
JANUARY 6, 2015
In my last blog post , I suggested that we’re going through a big shift in strategy from strategies of terrain to strategies of trajectory. Most strategies (strategies of terrain) tend to look from the present out to the future. But that’s exactly what makes strategies of trajectory so valuable. Shaping. Motivating. Measuring.
Harnessing the True Potential of Internet of Things Technology
MAY 4, 2016
Despite all the hype, businesses are still significantly under-estimating the business impact of Internet of Things (IoT) technology. In my last blog post , I explored at a high level the likely evolution of business models in the Big Shift. The Internet of Things space. The result is to make “the invisible visible at scale.” What are some examples?
Companies and Movements
NOVEMBER 3, 2014
On Labor Day, I posted about movements and the foundations for successful movements. Many of the executives that I work with me gave me quizzical looks. They asked, “Why are you writing about movements? You’re a business consultant. What does this have to do with business?” Good questions. Let me see if I can offer some answers.
A 21st Century Global Declaration of Independence
JULY 4, 2014
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all individuals are created equal and are endowed with the right to be able to achieve as much of their potential as possible. We find ourselves now at a crossroads in history. It is not surprising that our trust in these institutions is plummeting around the world. Approaches. Organization.
The Big Shift in Influence
FEBRUARY 24, 2014
Influence is becoming more and more challenging. It’s hard enough to attract attention, much less retain it or use that attention to shape the behavior of others. And yet, in a world of scarce resources and mounting pressure, the ability to influence others becomes more and more central to the ability to set big things in motion. Carruthers.
Exploring passion – what kind of passion do you have?
MAY 24, 2012
I've become passionate about passion. If we don’t have passion, we risk becoming increasingly stressed and overwhelmed. Passion of the fan.
Personal Narratives: Insight and Impact
APRIL 24, 2014
We all have a personal narrative, even though few of us have made the effort to articulate it. That’s a shame because our personal narrative can be a source of deep insight as well as a great way to amplify impact. Done right, they can be a powerful weapon in helping us to escape from the dark side of technology. What can I accomplish?
The Dark Side of Technology
DECEMBER 4, 2013
I’m going to disrupt the Silicon Valley script. You know the one. Every talk or article coming out of Silicon Valley follows the prescribed template: start with a dazzling description of awesome new digital technologies and then proceed to explore all the wonderful benefits and opportunities that these technologies will bring to us.
Expanding Horizons Through Corporate Narratives
MARCH 24, 2014
I’ve become increasingly interested in the role that corporate narratives can play in driving business success in more competitive markets - something that I've written about here and here. This isn’t surprising given how few effective corporate narratives there are out there. The defining elements of a narrative. What can we accomplish?
Where Do You Stand? The Shifting Ground of Strategy
JULY 29, 2014
We’re all trying our best to remain standing, but the ground beneath us is shifting at an accelerating rate. The implications for strategy are profound, but few have explored this terrain. Strategies of position are back Strategy was once all about position – all that mattered was where you were located and whether there were barriers to entry.
Optimism or Pessimism?
JULY 11, 2016
People often ask me whether I am an optimist or a pessimist. I have real trouble with that question because it implies that I should be one or the other. As with many things in my life, I challenge the conventional wisdom by responding that I am both. In truth, I'm a long run optimist and a short run pessimist. It served me very well.
The Untapped Potential of Corporate Narratives
OCTOBER 7, 2013
At a time when we’ve all become obsessed with the power of story-telling, I’ve become increasingly focused on the missed opportunity to harness the much greater power of narratives, especially for institutions. Yes, yes, I know that most of us use these two terms interchangeably – stories and narratives are viewed as the same thing. Will you?
What Is To Be Done (Part 3)
JANUARY 20, 2014
It’s fitting that we reach this third installment of my “What Is To Be Done?” series on Martin Luther King day. He’s an icon of the power of narrative and its role in building movements that can fundamentally change how we live and work. The power of narratives. The outcome depends on us. What will we choose to do? Bottom line.
Strategy Made Simple - The 3 Core Strategy Questions
JULY 9, 2013
In increasingly turbulent and complex times, we understandably fall prey to a dangerous temptation – both as institutions and individuals. We’re tempted to abandon long-term strategy and fall back on rapid adaptation as the only winning game – sense and respond quickly enough to events as they occur and everything will be OK. One more thing.
Getting Stronger through Stress: Making Black Swans Work for You
APRIL 8, 2013
Unanticipated events, especially extreme unanticipated events, can harm us or even destroy us. But they can also help us to grow and make us stronger. If they do the former, we tend to fear them and avoid them wherever possible. If they do the latter, our orientation shifts and we tend to welcome them. Focusing on Black Swans. As he observes, “.
The Big Shift in Business Strategy
FEBRUARY 6, 2014
Business strategy has evolved dramatically over the past four decades in response to the Big Shift that is re-shaping our global business landscape. We’re on the cusp of yet another shift that will determine who wins and who loses in the years ahead. Today, we’ll look at the importance of new approaches to strategic advantage. A brief history.
A Contrarian View on Resilience
APRIL 1, 2013
In a world of growing uncertainty and mounting performance pressure, it’s understandable that resilience has become a very hot topic. Everyone is talking about it and writing about it. We all seem to want to develop more resilience. How can I say that? But the more I heard, the more distressed I became. What does resilience mean? Aiming higher.
The Cumulative Power of Narrative
MAY 21, 2014
Narratives have great power, but their power increases dramatically when building on other narratives. What does that mean in practice? It means that we need to be thoughtful and deliberately make choices about where we choose to pursue our narratives. Context and location are critical to enhancing the power of narrative. So, what should we do?
Robots Can Restore Our Humanity
AUGUST 15, 2016
Red alert! Robots are getting more versatile and artificial intelligence (AI) is getting exponentially smarter! Our jobs are in jeopardy and no one is safe! We’ve all seen the headlines. Some respond that this is simply a resurfacing of a Luddite fear of new technology that has erupted every time new technology breakthroughs occur. What do I mean?
The Labor Day Manifesto Of the Passionate Creative Worker
SEPTEMBER 3, 2012
[Three years ago today I posted A Labor Day Manifesto for a New World. In classic Hagelian fashion it was long and complicated. On this important day, let us reflect on what we each can do to make our work more meaningful and have greater impact. These are indeed exciting times, full of promise and potential. We strive to: 1. Never.
The Paradox of Preparing for Change
OCTOBER 8, 2012
I love paradox. Here’s an example: the best way to prepare for change is to decide what isn’t going to change. Several weeks ago, I had the pleasure of speaking to a gathering hosted by the Churchill Club in Silicon Valley. The theme of the gathering was “Changing the Game.” You see, as a child, I lived a very nomadic life. Bottom line.
Narrative and Passion
OCTOBER 21, 2013
Narrative and passion are becoming increasingly central to performance at all levels – individual, institution and ecosystem. But are they completely separate topics or are they related in some way? I believe they’re deeply related and that, together, they amplify performance improvement in powerful ways. Let me explain. Bottom line.