John Hagel

The Connection Between Narrative and Purpose

John Hagel

Both narrative and purpose can be crafted at the level of each of us as individuals, organizations and broader social entities like cities, religions and movements. It’s directed to the people within the organization although it can be useful in helping others outside the organization (e.g., investors, partners, customers) to better understand what the organization is trying to achieve. They instill loyalty in a growing number of people outside the organization.

The Big Shift From Engagement to Passion

John Hagel

Celebrate those who are passionate (remember there are 13% of the workers who already have this kind of passion) and who are taking risks in addressing challenges that will help them, and the organization, get to higher and higher levels of performance. For decades now, companies have been relentlessly tracking levels of employee engagement. Every large company I know has an employee engagement survey it regularly administers. Is it possible that they’re tracking the wrong thing?

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The Big Shift in Business Models

John Hagel

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.

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The Future of the Gig Economy

John Hagel

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.

United We Stand, Divided We Fall

John Hagel

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.

Flows, Fragility and Friction

John Hagel

What I’ve meant by that is that business for the past several centuries at least has been organized around stocks of knowledge as the basis for value creation. 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?

Making a Movement: Narratives and Creation Spaces

John Hagel

One dictionary defines a movement as “an organized effort to promote or attain an end.” This suggests two key elements: intentionality and organization. There must be an intent or goal that provides the rationale for a movement to exist and there must be some degree of organization to help focus collaborative effort to achieve that intent or goal. Creation spaces help to organize activities in ways that accelerate learning.

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Platforms Are Not Created Equal: Harnessing the Full Potential of Platforms

John Hagel

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

John Hagel

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

John Hagel

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.

Robots Can Restore Our Humanity

John Hagel

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.

The Dark Side of Technology

John Hagel

  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

John Hagel

  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.

Strategy Made Simple - The 3 Core Strategy Questions

John Hagel

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

John Hagel

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.

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The Big Shift in Business Strategy

John Hagel

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

John Hagel

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

John Hagel

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

John Hagel

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

John Hagel

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

John Hagel

  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

John Hagel

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

John Hagel

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

John Hagel

  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

John Hagel

  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

John Hagel

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

John Hagel

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.

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Edge Perspectives with John Hagel: Fragility of Globalization

John Hagel

Edge Perspectives with John Hagel Exploration of emerging innovations on a broad array of edges that are rising up to challenge the core About Recent Posts The Great Reset Passion and Flow Economic Recovery? Dont Count On It.

Pareto Power and Leveraged Growth

John Hagel

  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. 

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Edge Perspectives with John Hagel: Mastering New Marketing Practices

John Hagel

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

John Hagel

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

John Hagel

  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

John Hagel

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

John Hagel

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

John Hagel

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

John Hagel

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

John Hagel

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

John Hagel

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

John Hagel

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

John Hagel

While many Silicon Valley companies participate in process networks, very few have successfully organized and orchestrated these process networks.