The Future of the Gig Economy
MARCH 1, 2017
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. 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. Others, especially “progressives,” worry that this is the latest form of labor exploitation that will surely consume all of us, driving us into the pits of poverty.
The Big Shift in Business Models
APRIL 1, 2016
Now, of course, platforms help to organize choices and make them more accessible but we are increasingly able to use digital infrastructures and the Internet to search for potential providers wherever they might be. In the Big Shift , we are all experiencing mounting performance pressure.
United We Stand, Divided We Fall
DECEMBER 14, 2016
As I’ve written elsewhere , successful movements are built on a compelling opportunity-based narrative and mobilize people with a distinctive form of organization. It’s also very consistent with how successful movements organize. Rather than adopting hierarchical command and control structures, successful movements are all organized around small, local action groups , typically 10 – 15 people, who work together to achieve impact in very different contexts.
Scaling Learning in an Exponential World
OCTOBER 4, 2016
Knowledge management platforms have largely been organized around sharing existing knowledge. Encourage learning in all parts of the organization. Everyone in the organization needs to be learning faster by evolving new shared practices, whether they are research scientists in a laboratory or janitors trying to maintain our facilities. Like most things in organizations, the leaders help to define the culture and values. What does scalable learning really mean?
Business Practice Redesign
JANUARY 5, 2017
Increasingly, these small workgroups also include one or more participants from other institutions as we seek to tap into the practices that others outside our organization can bring to bear on a particular challenge or opportunity. The question also focuses on front-line workgroups rather than the workgroups that operate at many levels of an organization. In the world of scalable efficiency, processes rule.
Platforms Are Not Created Equal: Harnessing the Full Potential of Platforms
AUGUST 4, 2014
This Summit was organized by Geoffrey Parker, Marshall Van Alstyne and Sangeet Choudary – three guys who have spent a lot of time studying and working with platform-based businesses. Well, first of all, that platforms, at least as the organizers think of them, cover a broad range of institutional arrangements. They also tend to operate on a hub and spoke model – all the transactions are brokered by the platform owner and organizer.
Companies and Movements
NOVEMBER 3, 2014
I suggested that a movement is “an organized effort mobilizing a large number of independent participants in a grassroots effort to pursue a broad agenda for change.”. Scalable efficiency fostered a quest to bring activities inside the four walls of an enterprise and to organize them as efficiently as possible. In other words, we’re drawn to join, or organize, movements. On Labor Day, I posted about movements and the foundations for successful movements.
A 21st Century Global Declaration of Independence
JULY 4, 2014
Organization. They adopt modular and loosely coupled approaches to organizing activity to provide the maximum space for creativity and innovation in all parts of the institution.
The Dark Side of Technology
DECEMBER 4, 2013
That in turn led to a burst of innovation at the infrastructure level, figuring out how to most effectively organize and deliver the value of this technology to business and society. I’m going to disrupt the Silicon Valley script. You know the one.
Where Do You Stand? The Shifting Ground of Strategy
JULY 29, 2014
The two conventional approaches to growth – organic growth and growth through acquisition – are very resource intensive, requiring significant upfront investment, long lead-times and uncertain rewards. That provides the context for driving learning, both within your organization and across a broader ecosystem. We’re all trying our best to remain standing, but the ground beneath us is shifting at an accelerating rate.
Robots Can Restore Our Humanity
AUGUST 15, 2016
Second, highly standardize all of those activities so that they are done in exactly the same efficient way anywhere in the organization. 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.
Strategy Made Simple - The 3 Core Strategy Questions
JULY 9, 2013
In a world of accelerating change and uncertainty, they provide a compass to focus people (both within and outside our organizations) and reassure them that they can make a difference at a time when everything seems out of control. As we harness technologies that make the invisible visible, we’re finding ways to monitor interactions both within and across organizations that give an even earlier indication of potential impact on the operating metrics that matter.
Getting Stronger through Stress: Making Black Swans Work for You
APRIL 8, 2013
Taleb points out that the antifragility of a system often comes from the fragility of its components, whether we are talking about the failure of firms that drives the overall success of entrepreneurial regions like Silicon Valley or the death of individual organisms that contributes to the antifragility of nature. 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.
The Big Shift in Business Strategy
FEBRUARY 6, 2014
Often, the organizer of an ecosystem or network becomes a natural aggregator of interactions because the organizer meets the four attributes of an influence point described above. Finally, they also need to quickly turn around and apply these insights and approaches both within their organization and across a broader range of participants in the system.
The Cumulative Power of Narrative
MAY 21, 2014
You’ll be far more successful in pursuing your personal narrative if you're located in a city/region and organization that supports your personal narrative. 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.
From Race Against the Machine to Race With the Machine
AUGUST 22, 2012
Smaller, entrepreneurial organizations of course buck this trend, but what happens as soon as they start to scale? The recent book, Race Against The Machine , has caught the imagination of a growing body of readers. It’s an important book, but it doesn’t go far enough in highlighting the root causes of the unemployment we are experiencing.
Passion and Plasticity - The Neurobiology of Passion
JANUARY 18, 2011
Our brains are remarkably energy efficient organs. What if you could evolve and shape your brain in ways that help you to get better faster? What if you could unleash a virtuous cycle that connects passion, practice and performance? What if it is not just you who could do this, but a whole cohort of people who have figured out how to wire their brains to accelerate performance improvement and who are committed to working with you to get better faster together?
Defining the Big Shift
AUGUST 2, 2009
Since there are far more smart people outside any one organization than inside, gaining access to the most useful knowledge flows requires reaching beyond the four walls of any enterprise. About one month after the release of our Shift Index report , one question that keeps coming up is whether we can offer a succinctly define what the Big Shift is that our Shift Index seeks to measure. Given the magnitude, depth and far-reaching impact of the Big Shift, succinctness is a challenge.
A Power of Pull Milestone
DECEMBER 4, 2012
This was not just a surface change; it went to the essence of what it meant to be a corporation and would ultimately change all aspects of running a business – strategy, operations and organization, not to mention technology platforms and belief systems. In the past, there were two ways to deliver that growth – organic growth and acquisition. Today marks a milestone in The Power of Pull – the release of the paperback edition of the book.
Edge Perspectives with John Hagel: The Power of Power Laws
MAY 2, 2007
As McKelvey observes in another paper ("Extreme Events, Power Laws, and Adaptation" - unfortunately not yet available online) co-authored with Max Boisot: Organizations can be shaped or forced into a Gaussian form.
Anticipating the Next Wave of Experience Design
MARCH 28, 2011
Most of these participants are organized into high performing teams (known as guilds), yet the participants stay richly connected with others outside their teams through rich networks of discussion forums, video repositories and social relationships that transcend individual teams. We live in a world defined by increasing time pressure and more and more things competing for our attention.
Revolution from the Edge
MARCH 8, 2011
The annual TED event that I attended was organized around the broad theme of the rediscovery of wonder. What fills you with wonder? What do you wonder about? These different, but related questions were posed often during the TED event last week. As always, TED catalyzed deep thinking and deep emotion as I navigated through awesome sessions and stimulating conversations lasting late into the night.
Alone Together - An Important New Book by Sherry Turkle
JANUARY 10, 2011
Riesman in fact tied this shift explicitly to the needs of the modern organization. More recently, Robert Putnam wrote his seminal book, “Bowling Alone” , a decade ago to draw attention to the significant decline in participation in civic organizations by the average American, blaming it in part to the rise of television and the Internet. The rise of the push driven organization and its implications for the individual. Sherry Turkle has been on a journey.
Passion Versus Obsession
MARCH 2, 2010
This can lead to what traditional institutions perceive to be subversive or rebellious behavior, driving passionate and obsessive people to the edges of organizations and society. When I was a little boy, I was obsessed with chemistry. I had a chemistry lab in my home and I could not wait to retreat to my little lab and conduct the most amazing experiments, exploring all kinds of permutations of chemical mixtures.
Edge Perspectives with John Hagel: Community 2.0
APRIL 1, 2007
This is especially a problem for large companies seeking to organize virtual communities. These metrics will increase the importance of virtual communities but they also make it imperative for community organizers to rigorously monitor these metrics in their own operations.
Pareto Power and Leveraged Growth
DECEMBER 6, 2008
This profile applies to both organic growth and acquisitions where effective post-merger integration often takes far longer than executives ever anticipate.Companies need to pursue leveraged growth. The Pareto 80/20 rule can be used to drive significant cost restructuring, but it can also generate powerful leverage, enabling companies to deliver far more value to the market with far fewer resources.
Edge Perspectives with John Hagel: Mastering New Marketing Practices
JULY 29, 2006
They would much rather design and deploy a clever marketing program than figure out how to change the hearts and minds of people throughout the organization.
Edge Perspectives with John Hagel: Hamel on Management Innovation
FEBRUARY 20, 2006
Hamel’s stories at the outset, focusing on DuPont, Procter & Gamble, Visa and Linux all tend to reinforce this search for breakthroughs - fundamentally new ways of organizing and managing a business that support the success of the company for decades.
A Labor Day Manifesto for a New World
SEPTEMBER 7, 2009
They are not bound by geography, job classification, institutional affiliations or demographic categories – they can be found anywhere from the frontlines of the largest organizations to the garages where entrepreneurs are preparing to unleash the next wave of innovation. Everything about these institutions – strategy, operations and organization – will need to be reconceived through this talent development lens.
Edge Perspectives with John Hagel: Wasting Talent
FEBRUARY 28, 2007
Similarly, most companies now have reasonably well established development programs for their top executive ranks, but how many systematically measure talent development throughout their organization?
Edge Perspectives with John Hagel: Disney, Pixar and Jobs
FEBRUARY 3, 2006
Many of the most creative folks at Pixar today are refugees from larger organizations (including, ironically, Disney).
Edge Perspectives with John Hagel: From Push to Pull
OCTOBER 18, 2005
Pull and push approaches differ significantly in terms of how they organize and manage resources. Of course, all push approaches are not software programs – this is a broader metaphor to describe one way of organizing activities and resources.
The Great Reset
JUNE 14, 2010
For Richard, economic landscape is not just a metaphor, it is quite literally the way we organize ourselves across the land. The first Great Reset in the 1870s was defined by a revolution in transportation technology and energy systems which in turn led to a fundamental shift in the organization of production, known as the “American system of manufacture.” Here’s a paradox. Silicon Valley’s success hinges on an explosive mix of people and place.
Edge Perspectives with John Hagel: Langlois and the Vanishing Hand
AUGUST 11, 2006
streight aka vaspers the grate, on the edge of evening | August 24, 2006 at 06:45 PM Hagel-san, Thank you your new theory of the Organizations & Market.
The Power of Pull Has Finally Arrived
APRIL 13, 2010
These companies will lose their most talented workers to more magnetic organizations that provide better chances for learning and growth. In an even more recent book, Storytelling in Organizations , JSB discussed the role of storytelling in helping to communicate tacit knowledge. When you write a book, there comes a point when you begin to believe it will never see the light of day.
Edge Perspectives with John Hagel: Innovating on the Edge of Big Waves
JANUARY 29, 2008
The natural response is to create highly segmented organizations – one part of the company focuses on the core business while separate organizational units focus on highly innovative (and more risky) business initiatives.
Edge Perspectives with John Hagel: Fractal Spikes and Global Competition
JANUARY 14, 2008
While many Silicon Valley companies participate in process networks, very few have successfully organized and orchestrated these process networks.
Edge Perspectives with John Hagel: Restoring Balance in the New Year
JANUARY 4, 2008
We can take the notions of emergence and self-organization too far and dismiss the role of forceful leaders.
Reinventing the Sacred
FEBRUARY 22, 2010
When I was a young boy, I grew up with parents who were disillusioned with organized religion. As the first people to go to college, not to mention graduate school, in either of their families, they chose reason over religion. In spite of this, I early on developed a fascination with spirituality, but the concept of the sacred eluded me until recently.
Challenging Mindsets: From Reverse Innovation to Innovation Blowback
JANUARY 6, 2010
These institutional innovations will be far more difficult for Western companies to appropriate precisely because they challenge basic assumptions about roles and relationships across companies, not just the way individual companies are organized or managed. Views on innovation in developing economies are evolving rapidly, yet they still do not capture the full significance of what is going on.