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Digital Transformation - Part III: The Internet of Things Changes Everything

09/29/2017

by Rod Collins

In 2006, Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams described in their book Wikinomics how a new phenomenon they called mass collaboration was going to change everything. They recognized that this unprecedented capacity for self-organization would give rise to powerful new models of production based on distributed peer-to-peer networks rather than centralized top-down hierarchies. Tapscott and Williams envisioned a world where this new way of organizing would eventually displace traditional corporate structures as the economy’s dominant engine for wealth creation. At the time, many critics dismissed the two authors as being carried away by breathless hype and overstating the impact of the digital revolution. While these critics acknowledged the obvious reality of fast-paced technological innovation, they scoffed at the notion that new technologies would radically change the fundamental dynamics for how our social structures work.

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Digital Transformation - Part I: It’s All About Networks

07/31/2017

By Rod Collins

In his recently published book, The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks, Joshua Cooper Ramo relates the story of one the most closely guarded secrets during the early years of the Cold War: If the Soviet Union had engaged in a nuclear first strike, it was highly likely the United States would have been unable to respond.

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Nobody is Smarter or Faster Than Everybody

07/04/2017

By Rod Collins

One of the deepest beliefs of command-and-control management is the assumption that the smartest organization is the one with the smartest individuals. This belief is as old as scientific management itself. According to this way of thinking, just as there is a right way to perform every activity, there are right individuals who are essential for defining what are the right things and for making sure that things are done right. Thus, traditional organizations have long held that the key to the successful achievement of the corporation’s two basic accountabilities of strategy and execution is to hire the smartest individual managers and the brightest functional experts.

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What Every Company Should Learn From United Airlines

05/16/2017

By Rod Collins

The recent outrage over the violent removal of a boarded paying customer to make room for a commuting employee clearly caught United Airlines by surprise. As the facts of this troubling situation unfolded, it appears that the airline’s customer service representatives and its executives were initially convinced that the only real problem that happened during the boarding process of Flight 3411 was a passenger’s refusal to accept the airline’s re-accommodation policy. Within 24 hours of the incident, United’s CEO praised his employees in an internal memo for their adherence to company policy, reinforcing his commitment to stand behind them in their proper handling of a “belligerent” customer who refused to give up his seat in deference to corporate wishes. It appears from the memo that the CEO was certain the airline did everything right and that the passenger did everything wrong.

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