Learning Economy newsletter 05, September 21, 2019, and a link to an interview with Imagine Intelligent Materials’ Chris Gilbey

To what ends should we direct the power of our now wholly connected intelligence and collective internet social literacy?

This fifth issue of The Learning Economy newsletter is the second to include a link to a feature interview, this time with Chris Gilbey, executive chairman of Imagine Intelligent Materials, who accepted my request to participate.

Again, I’d have liked to have included the content of the entire interview here, but had to make do with a link.

Chris and I have been friends for 10 years, and, oddly, long before we made each other’s acquaintance, unknown to each other, we worked on the same musical acts at opposite ends of the planet. 

His earlier career was spent in the music industry, shaping the careers of acts such as AC/DC, InXs, Keith Urban, Tommy Emmanuel, The Church, and The Saints and managing the publishing catalogues of The Beatles and Elvis Presley in Australia.

While he was already in Australia, I worked in the London press office of WEA Records on AC/DC, and subsequently as a press officer at RCA Records for The Church and InXs. So, although we’ve known or encountered many of the same people, it is nothing other than an odd coincidence.

But, immersed in deeply technical issues through championing applications of graphene – “the industrial equivalent of skin” – Chris is as alert to the value and implications of internet social literacy as anyone I know. Indeed, he thinks I should be writing about it for publications such as The Economist, which at some appropriate point, I will.

The usual preamble

As a general and possibly recurring note, I intend that this newsletter will most likely comprise from six to 10 links as I find items I consider interesting enough to pass on, and its themes will be much as you see beneath. If you know others likely to be interested, please pass this on to them.

And, if you are able to suggest additional links, content or sources you find interesting and believe will fit both your own and other readers' purposes, please let me know at graham@thelearningeconomy.com.

In anticipation, thank you, I always love to be better informed, and thanks for reading. And in this instance, please forgive my indulgence in linking to one of my own posts first, but I do so in the belief that it points to one argument for organising knowledge in a familiar and structured way that most businesses can adopt as a usable platform.

That aside, I hope you enjoy the content I have linked to beneath.

Graham Lauren

The stories

An interview with Imagine Intelligent Materials’ Chris Gilbey

Graham Lauren, The Learning Economy

Look at Amazon, that what they do, and what they've done. As some book company, it's an information company, right? They have more information about customers than anybody else, and that is the reason that makes them a valuable business.

The Age of Learning

Tim Hogarth, Medium.com

Learning is the most important skill organisations need to gain in the coming decade — and we’re going to need to do some things very differently to achieve it.

Exponential answers or fake news

Robert Hillard, Information-Driven Business

Exponentials are exciting. But exponentials can also have a dark side. Fake news spreads because of the exponential power of social media. Yet, despite the downsides, the power of exponentials has been crucial for humanity.

The Big Lie of Strategic Planning

Roger L Martin, Harvard Business Review

All executives know that strategy is important. But almost all also find it scary, because it forces them to confront a future they can only guess at. Worse, actually choosing a strategy entails making decisions that explicitly cut off possibilities and options. An executive may well fear that getting those decisions wrong will wreck his or her career.

My goal is to get every ASX-listed company in Australia to declare its learning strategy. Can you help me?

Graham Lauren, Learning Economy

If you are an investor, you may previously and perfectly justifiably have backed past performance. But on the lip of a fully blown digital economy, it is the future learning-driven value growth of your shareholdings that will most interest you. For those with money at stake, this is big news.

The Industries That Are Being Disrupted the Most by Digital

Rhys Grossman, Harvard Business Review

Just over half of the respondents answered “yes” to the question “Do you have the right people to define your digital strategy?” It might be hard for people in HR to hear, but only 20% of those who responded said that their HR function was enabling them to transform.

Creating a culture of learning

Art Kleiner, Strategy + Business

You need to develop a culture of learning if you want to be innovative. Investing in people, and helping them continually develop their skills, should be embedded in a company’s culture. The role of the company is to continually challenge and develop its people, starting at the top. In fact, I think the company has an obligation to do so.

Salesforce CEO Slams 'The World's Dumbest Idea': Maximizing Shareholder Value

Steve Denning, Forbes

Jack Welch has called it “the dumbest idea in the world.” Vinci Group Chairman and CEO Xavier Huillard has called it “totally idiotic.” Alibaba CEO Jack Ma has said that “customers are number one; employees are number two and shareholders are number three.”

Business Model Innovation

Fred Wilson, AVC

I believe business model innovation is more disruptive than technical innovation, and I am excited about the move to crypto based business models supporting decentralized apps for this very reason.

Credits

Thanks to these writers: Tim Hogarth;  Robert Hillard; Roger L Martin; Rhys Grossman;  Art Kleiner; Steve Denning; Fred Wilson.

Please participate in Learning Economy research

What is universal internet social literacy and what can we do with it?

Believing there is far more intelligence in the world than ever gets heard or used, I am also convinced there is much new value to be created and learned from by making sense of and bringing focus to previously disparate, disaggregated and underused knowledge.

The internet lends itself neatly to such ideas. It is the only vehicle we have ever had that does this. And it is also favourably disposed to the discovery of where knowledge isn’t being applied to learning where one might have hoped it would be.

To those reading here, I’d like to invite your personal participation in, first, an Australian, but ultimately, an international study on the subject above. Please follow the link above for more.

Who am I?

I am an independent writer for hire, and by professional background, a former sub-editor on the pages of the Australian Financial Review newspaper group at Fairfax Media in Sydney.

I also have an MBA (Technology) from the University of New South Wales in Sydney. The forward-looking focus of that qualification is on creating and managing the organisations of the future, both driving and in response to changes in technology.

Through it, my professional experience, my skills and other related study, I discovered a fascination for documenting and transforming knowledge to drive social organisational and community learning, for its many applications, using the best technologies ever invented for the purpose.

I have a professional aim to build my business on the back of transforming workplace knowledge into reports managers and leaders can act on, using Wikipedia, broadly, as a model for an early deployment, as I have described in this post on The Learning Economy.

I aim also to work on helping ASX-listed companies transform their knowledge into annual reporting that will attract investors and bolster their share prices.

That aside, as a freelancer, I’ve written much corporate and marketing documentation over a number of years, and one thing I enjoy and feel comfort in doing is turning speech into blog posts, features and documents for business purposes.

I also have an appetite for assisting busy executives by helping them, by recorded interview, turn and tidy their knowledge, experience and thoughts into opinion pieces, posts and corporate statements.

If my skills can prove of help, contact me to find out more at graham@thelearningeconomy.com.

Learning Economy newsletter 04, August 16, 2019, and a link to an interview with Deloitte Australia’s Robert Hillard

To what ends should we direct the power of our now wholly connected intelligence and collective internet social literacy?

This fourth issue of The Learning Economy newsletter is the first to include a link to a feature interview, and Robert Hillard kindly accepted my request to participate.

I’d have liked to have included the content of the entire interview here, but I found that this system can’t accommodate its full length to distribute via email. Go figure – I don’t understand it, either.

Robert is chief strategy and innovation officer of top accounting, finance and management consultancy Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, in Melbourne, Australia. I greatly enjoyed this conversation, and I’ve also included the link beneath in the first of the stories.

In this age, information doesn't just provide a window on the business, increasingly it is the business, and as the author of Information-Driven Business (Wiley, 2012), Robert gets this, more than most. We spoke in early August for a free-ranging conversation, with a limited agenda.

In his role, Robert positions his firm to tackle the disruption of technology, new competitors, challenging economic conditions and changing regulatory priorities.

He was previously managing partner of Deloitte Consulting, more than doubling the size of the business during his tenure, and was, at the same time, a member of the Global Deloitte Consulting Executive.

I previously interviewed Robert in relation to the nature of the evolving workspace in my role as a director of Shiro Architects, researching “what lies beyond activity based working?” The text of that conversation is here.

I’ve also cited his work before in two previous issues of this newsletter, in Innovation is a collision of learning and The new division of labor: On our evolving relationship with technology

As he explains, by background, he is not only a technologist but an information management specialist, and he has strong and instructively formed views about how knowledge is best formed and managed by leaders and teams across an organisation, using the most powerful tools ever invented for the task. 

I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did.

The usual preamble

As a general and possibly recurring note, I intend that, interviews aside, this newsletter will most likely comprise from six to 10 links as I find items I consider interesting enough to pass on, and its themes will be much as you see beneath. If you know others likely to be interested, please pass this on to them. 

And, if you are able to suggest additional links, content or sources you find interesting and believe will fit both your own and other readers' purposes, please let me know at graham@thelearningeconomy.com.

In anticipation, thank you, I always love to be better informed, and thanks for reading. And in this instance, please forgive my indulgence in linking to one of my own posts first, but I do so in the belief that it points to one argument for organising knowledge in a familiar and structured way that most businesses can adopt as a usable platform.

That aside, I hope you enjoy the content I have linked to beneath.

Graham Lauren

The stories

An interview with Deloitte Australia chief strategy and innovation officer, Robert Hillard

Graham Lauren, Learning Economy

Robert Hillard is not only a technologist but an eminently qualified information management specialist, and he has strong and instructively formed views about how knowledge is best formed and managed by leaders and teams across an organisation, using the most powerful tools ever invented for the task. 

How Mental Models Drive Strategy, Often For The Worse

Greg Satell, Digital Tonto

The right idea can make a business work and, over time, our successes become ingrained in our mental models. The opposite is also true. If we begin with the wrong mental model, important problems become impossible to solve.

Being Transparent About Your Long Term Strategy

Fred Wilson, AVC

Elon Musk famously posted Tesla’s long term strategy in 2006 and ended the post with “don’t tell anyone.” That has led many entrepreneurs around the world to follow suit and be transparent about what they are up to and why. 

Why Aren’t We Talking About LinkedIn?

John Herrman, New York Times

“We bring implicit theories, or rules, to how we behave at work,” said Amy C. Edmondson, a professor at Harvard Business School. “Everyone at work has two jobs, and the other is the job of looking good… These rules are largely oriented toward the second job.”

Why Your Brain Loves Good Storytelling

Paul J. Zak, Harvard Business Review

Many business people have already discovered the power of storytelling in a practical sense – they have observed how compelling a well-constructed narrative can be. But recent scientific work is putting a much finer point on just how stories change our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

Why Knowledge Management Is Important To The Success Of Your Company

Lisa Quast, Forbes

Three key reasons why actively managing knowledge is important to a company’s success are: 1) It facilitates decision-making capabilities, 2) It builds learning organizations by making learning routine, and, 3) It stimulates cultural change and innovation.

Design Thinking + Business Model Innovation

Marc Sniukas, InnovationManagement

Most successful business model innovators only experiment with one business model innovation idea. Experimentation happens on the level of how to make this one idea work, rather than on the level of which business model alternative works best.

Bias busters: Premortems: Being smart at the start

Gary Klein, Tim Koller, Dan Lovallo, McKinsey & Company

Research shows that premortems reduce teams’ overconfidence significantly more than other critiquing and risk-analysis methods do.

A New Way to Look at Competitors

Steve Blank, Steve Blank

Today most startups are trying to re-segment existing markets or create new markets. How do you diagram that? What if the basis of competition in market creation is really the intersection of multiple existing markets? Or, what if the markets may not exist and you are creating one?

Credits

Thanks to these writers: Greg Satell;  Fred Wilson; John Herrman; Paul J. Zak;  Lisa Quast; Marc Sniukas; Gary Klein, Tim Koller, Dan Lovallo;  Steve Blank.

Please participate in Learning Economy research

What is universal internet social literacy and what can we do with it?

Believing there is far more intelligence in the world than ever gets heard or used, I am also convinced there is much new value to be created and learned from by making sense of and bringing focus to previously disparate, disaggregated and underused knowledge.

The internet lends itself neatly to such ideas. It is the only vehicle we have ever had that does this. And it is also favourably disposed to the discovery of where knowledge isn’t being applied to learning where one might have hoped it would be. 

To those reading here, I’d like to invite your personal participation in, first, an Australian, but ultimately, an international study on the subject above. Please follow the link above for more.

Who am I?

I am an independent writer for hire, and by professional background, a former sub-editor on the pages of the Australian Financial Review newspaper group at Fairfax Media in Sydney.

I also have an MBA (Technology) from the University of New South Wales in Sydney. The forward-looking focus of that qualification is on creating and managing the organisations of the future, both driving and in response to changes in technology.

Through it, my professional experience, my skills and other related study, I discovered a fascination for documenting and transforming knowledge to drive social organisational and community learning, for its many applications, using the best technologies ever invented for the purpose.

I have a professional aim to build my business on the back of transforming workplace knowledge into reports managers and leaders can act on, using Wikipedia, broadly, as a model for an early deployment, as I have described in this post on The Learning Economy.

I aim also to work on helping ASX-listed companies transform their knowledge into annual reporting that will attract investors and bolster their share prices.

That aside, as a freelancer, I’ve written much corporate and marketing documentation over a number of years, and one thing I enjoy and feel comfort in doing is turning speech into blog posts, features and documents for business purposes.

I also have an appetite for assisting busy executives by helping them, by recorded interview, turn and tidy their knowledge, experience and thoughts into opinion pieces, posts and corporate statements.

If my skills can prove of help, contact me to find out more at graham@thelearningeconomy.com.

Learning Economy newsletter 03, July 29, 2019

To what ends should we direct our now wholly connected intelligence and collective internet social literacy?

This issue follows more closely than I had anticipated on the heels of the last, but having been reading, researching and saving far longer than I have been publishing newsletters, I have a backlog of stories and links to share. And my studies have led me to some fascinating content along the way.

I am also eager to hasten my first-hand research into where we can take, and to what uses our imaginations can put, our collective internet social literacy, other than posting to Facebook, and so on.

Believing there is far more intelligence in the world than ever gets heard or used, I am also convinced there is much new value to be created and learned from by making sense of and bringing focus to previously disparate, disaggregated and underused knowledge.

The internet lends itself neatly to such ideas. It is the only vehicle we have ever had that does this. And it is also favourably disposed to the discovery of where knowledge isn’t being applied to learning where one might have hoped it would be. 

For this reason, living in Australia, I am seeking a partner to create a learning index of the companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, or ASX. I believe that only when we understand better those businesses’ undertakings on how they will use their own collective internet literacy to get smarter will we understand their true investment potential. This is in nothing less than Australia’s national interest.

Currently, with those specific companies in mind, their annual reporting makes for a disappointing read.

For those interested in this idea and perhaps in partnering with me and possibly even sponsoring some low-cost research, I’ve written a couple of pieces. 

The first was an analysis of the ASX’s listed financial services sector, entitled Led by its banks, is Australia sleepwalking into creating the dumbest and most unreliable financial services industry the country could dream up?

The second was On the basis of its understanding of the Learning Economy, which of these top 25 Australian Listed Investment Companies would you give money to invest for you? It drilled down on the published learning declarations of only the Listed Investment Companies (LICs), but I found it no more heartening than the first.

And then, as something of a come-on to their leaders, I wrote Questions for ASX investment fund leaders: Post-Facebook, it’s time to bring your reporting up to date to meet the future needs of small-scale Australian investors.

In Australia, with the minerals boom slowing and the emerging forces of greater regional geopolitics shifting around us unpredictably, we need to be getting better use out of every brain engaged in our workplaces. That will partly result from us getting better use from our collective internet social literacy, and recognising its power to transform everything we perceive, which is the subject of the first piece I have linked to here.

That aside, until next time around, I hope you enjoy the others.

Regards

Graham Lauren
graham@thelearningeconomy.com

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

Learning Economy research: What is universal internet social literacy and what can we do with it?

Graham Lauren, The Learning Economy

To those reading here, I’d like to invite your personal participation in, first, an Australian, but ultimately, an international study on the subject in the title. Please follow the link above for more.

My Eureka Moment With Strategy

Roger L Martin, Harvard Business Review

When everybody has an opinion, Roger Martin writes, getting around the block to formulating strategy lies in asking the single most important question in strategy.

How To Pitch an Idea

Scott Berkun, Scott Berkun

Ideas demand change. By definition, the application of an idea means that something different will take place in the universe. Even if your idea is undeniably and wonderfully brilliant, it will force someone, somewhere to change how they do something.

Strategy as Revolution

Gary Hamel, Harvard Business Review

It's old, but Gary Hamel really is the master in his field, and in this, his 10 principles are timeless.

You can’t have success without failure: What business owners can learn from Walt Disney, Steve Jobs and JK Rowling

Sabri Suby, Smart Company

As James Dyson told Entrepreneur in 2012: “Failure is interesting — it’s part of making progress. You never learn from success, but you do learn from failure.” 

The Four Building Blocks of Transformation

Al Kent, David Lancefield, Kevin Reilly, Strategy + Business

Successful transformations may be relatively rare, but they do exist — and yours can succeed as well. A transformation, in this context, is a major shift in an organization’s capabilities and identity so that it can deliver valuable results, relevant to its purpose, that it couldn’t master before. It doesn’t necessarily involve a single major initiative (though it could); but the company develops an ongoing mastery of change, in which adaptability feels natural to leaders and employees.

To Take Charge of Your Career, Build Your Tribe

Gianpiero Petriglieri, Harvard Business Review

We heard freelance journalists, consultants, designers, software engineers, and executive coaches share tales of creative struggle, bitter loneliness, and chronic uncertainty. And yet, most of them claimed that they would not have it any other way. They might be uncomfortable, but they were free.

MarketBusting: Strategies for Exceptional Business Growth

Rita Gunther McGrath and Ian MacMillan, Harvard Business Review

As industries emerge and evolve, most players eventually settle on a common unit of offering. Yet, it’s often possible to grow a business by changing your unit of business to reflect more closely value created for customers, or your performance on existing key metrics that uniquely favours your company.

How “systems thinking” can level up your work - and your life

Aytekin Tank, JotForm Blog

Shared learning is powerful. When groups work together to achieve significant goals, it solidifies understanding. It etches the lesson into our minds.

Why your design team should hire a writer

John Saito, Dropbox Design

The mechanics of writing are hard enough to get right, but do you know what’s really hard? Those hand-wavy concepts like word choice, tone, and rhythm. Those skills take forever to master.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

Who am I?

I am an independent writer for hire, and by professional background, a former sub-editor on the pages of the Australian Financial Review newspaper group at Fairfax Media in Sydney.

I also have an MBA (Technology) from the University of New South Wales in Sydney. The forward-looking focus of that qualification is on creating and managing the organisations of the future, both driving and in response to changes in technology.

Through it, my professional experience, my skills and other related study, I discovered a fascination for documenting and transforming knowledge to drive social organisational and community learning, for its many applications, using the best technologies ever invented for the purpose.

I have a professional aim to build my business on the back of transforming workplace knowledge into reports managers and leaders can act on, using Wikipedia, broadly, as a model for an early deployment, as I have described in this post on The Learning Economy.

I aim also to work on helping ASX-listed companies transform their knowledge into annual reporting that will attract investors and bolster their share prices.

That aside, as a freelancer, I’ve written much corporate and marketing documentation over a number of years, and one thing I enjoy and feel comfort in doing is turning speech into blog posts, features and documents for business purposes.

I also have an appetite for assisting busy executives by helping them, by recorded interview, turn and tidy their knowledge, experience and thoughts into opinion pieces, posts and corporate statements.

If my skills can prove of help, contact me to find out more at graham@thelearningeconomy.com.

Learning Economy newsletter 02, July 15, 2019

To what ends should we direct our now wholly connected intelligence and collective internet social literacy?

Like any publishing endeavour in its early stages, this project is, naturally, attempting to find its voice, form and, huh, audience. However, above all, the question it aims to pose and promote is, Facebook entries aside, to what other, better outcomes can we direct our now wholly connected intelligence and collective internet social literacy?

I have an ambition that this newsletter should reach as many like minds as possible, and in seeking answers to this question, I aim to populate future editions with exclusive interviews with the brightest emerging minds with answers to this enquiry.

I aim to complement this with a range of unique insights from prominent society and business thought leaders on the growth and possible applications of internet social literacy.

And I will couple the above with a selection of valuable and related writings about where the internet and our growing abilities with its technologies are taking our society next, sourced through research conducted daily from across the web

I especially want to reach out to Australian shareholders

A change in human behaviour as fundamental to our progress as the shift to a socially connected online world is as profound, and possibly even more consequential, as was the uptake of the telephone.

Because it therefore has an effect on the ways in which we trade and on how we both market and buy goods and services, the ability with which businesses organise what they know and can learn therefore also has an effect on which companies are deemed investment worthy, and for those we’d trust with our investment dollars.

My experience to date is, strangely, that the mainstream investment media is not ready or curious enough to give time to this thinking about the effects of internet social literacy on shareholder value. (Admittedly, we are still in very early days, however.) So if anyone has suggestions as to the best way to reach the widest base of those with investments through, say, their superannuation, to persuade them of the merits of investing only in smarter, faster learning businesses, I’d be appreciative of any pointers. 

Australia first

Because we are beginning here, I’d like to play my part in making the Australian economy the most productively internet literate in its region and on the planet.

And as, in the beginning, the audience for this newsletter is likely also to be predominantly Australian, I’d like to find introductions or ways of getting at this stage the thoughts of some of its more influential citizens and business representatives.

So, if you know, or can connect me with some of the following to open the door to a conversation, I’d be most appreciative.

First, I’d like to talk with Harvey Jones, workplace collaboration lead at Atlassian, who in this piece said, “Our mission is to unleash the potential of every team, and we do this by making products that help teams to function more effectively… We enable them to communicate, share, and find information to track projects and activities.”

I believe harnessing some of the attention and energy of internet social literacy can help Atlassian achieve that goal, and if someone can make that introduction for me to Harvey, or even better to Atlassian leaders Mike Cannon Brookes or Scott Farquhar, I’d welcome the opportunity of helping them sell its Confluence workplace wiki into more organisations across Australia, and the world.

Although he isn’t strictly speaking an Australian, but he and his Virgin brand have a prominent reputation and presence here, and the spirit of his piece I have linked to beneath, encouraging people to “embrace the side hustle” is definitely in keeping with the startup spirit of the age. Moreover, as I think he could make a really valuable contribution to its connected thinking, can anyone help me get to Richard Branson to interview him for his views on how he might use internet social literacy? Again, any connections or introductions will be gratefully received and acknowledged if you can help me achieve this. 

To catch their views of the potential of this emerging phenomenon, I’d really like to be able to interview both Steve Vamos, chief executive of Xero (and former boss of Microsoft Australia), and Daniel Petrie, another former leader of Microsoft here.

From the realm of Australian politics, I’d like to seek the views of recent former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and his subsequent independent replacement in the eastern Sydney electorate of Wentworth, Dr Kerryn Phelps.

Among local Australian city leaders, I’d also like to talk with Clover Moore, mayor of Sydney, which is where I live. She has long set her stall out on making the city sustainable, something which can’t happen without drawing on and creating new knowledge.

From the Australian media, I’d like to talk with Ita Buttrose, newly appointed chair of the ABC (that’s the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, for overseas readers), and therefore someone likely to be able to bring much to this discussion. Within the ABC itself, I can add to my wish list of interviewees the host of its RN (Radio National) show Late Night Live, Phillip Adams, and Geraldine Doogue, presenter of its weekend broadcast, Saturday Extra.

In anticipation, thank you for your assistance in getting to talk to these people.

General

As a general and possibly recurring note, I intend that this newsletter will most likely comprise from six to 10 links as I find items I consider interesting enough to pass on, and its themes will be much as you see beneath. If you know others likely to be interested, please pass this on to them. 

And, if you are able to suggest additional links, content or sources you find interesting and believe will fit both your own and other readers' purposes, please let me know at graham@thelearningeconomy.com.

In anticipation, thank you, I always love to be better informed, and thanks for reading. And in this instance, please forgive my indulgence in linking to one of my own posts first, but I do so in the belief that it points to one argument for organising knowledge in a familiar and structured way that most businesses can adopt as a usable platform.

That aside, I hope you enjoy the content I have linked to beneath.

Graham Lauren

News links

How capturing internet social literacy, the raw energy of the most naturally abundant, connected, powerful and transformative management force for change the post-Facebook world has yet seen, to grow the Wikipedia of what your business knows and can learn, will make you twice as much money, more agile and better prepared for the certain disruptions of a fully networked, digital industrial revolution

Graham Lauren, The Learning Economy

In its own page, The essence of Wikipedia, Wikipedia explains that it is based on the idea that, “No one knows everything, but everyone knows something.” Emulating this principle within your own organisation to extend what it knows beyond which anyone within it can imagine is an entirely reasonable and achievable proposition. This post outlines how this may be done to increase the effectiveness with which your business competes, using the knowledge it both already has, and can build and attract.

Embrace the side hustle

Richard Branson, Virgin

Richard Branson: "Not being able to quit your job shouldn’t mean you have to quit your dream – instead, it should complement it. Some of the world’s most successful companies began as side projects, with their founders working evenings or weekends to turn their ideas into realities. Virgin is a prime example of this – all of our Virgin businesses started while we were working on something else."

Help Employees Create Knowledge — Not Just Share It

John Hagel and John Seely Brown, Harvard Business Review

Without diminishing the value of knowledge sharing, we would suggest that the most valuable form of learning today is actually creating new knowledge. Organizations are increasingly being confronted with new and unexpected situations that go beyond the textbooks and operating manuals and require leaders to improvise on the spot, coming up with new approaches that haven’t been tried before. 

Why Every Company Needs a Chief Experience Officer

Denise Lee Yohn, Harvard Business Review

A good customer experience (CX) influences brand perceptions, affects business performance and makes a person five times more likely to recommend a company and more likely to purchase in the future. But the employee experience (EX) also significantly influences business performance, with those high in employee engagement outperforming others, experiencing lower employee turnover and developing more successful innovations.

Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System

Donella Meadows, The Donella Meadows Project

This celebrated piece may be one of the clearest and well known articulations of systems thinking. In it, the now-deceased Meadows discusses why delays in feedback loops are critical determinants of system behaviour, and a reason why a massive central-planning system, such as the Soviet Union or General Motors, necessarily functions poorly.

Here’s What Most People Get Wrong About Minimum Viable Products

Greg Satell, Digital Tonto

What is often missed is that a minimum viable product isn’t merely a stripped down version of a prototype. It is a method to test assumptions and that’s something very different. A single product often has multiple MVPs, because any product development effort is based on multiple assumptions.

Five moves to make during a digital transformation

Jonathan Deakin, Laura LaBerge and Barbara O’Beirne, McKinsey Digital

When considering a response to digital disruptions, organizations face many critical choices. Should they transform their existing business model or build a new one? Should they drive down costs or focus on customer engagement? Which areas of the business will require more investment in digital initiatives, and which will need to defund their own initiatives to free up resources for the ones that perform well or reflect higher-priority objectives?

5 Signs of Killer Business Strategy

Jasmine Bina, Medium.com

Visionary founders have a hypothesis about where the world will be in 5, 10 or 20 years and place their bets on that vision. You can solve a problem that exists today, but that doesn’t take into account the fact that your target audience is dynamic and always changing. Our cultures and beliefs are evolving with increasing momentum, and great businesses are built around a forward-looking point of view. That means inherent risks are involved. Placing bets on the future should feel risky. WeWork has made huge bets on the future of how we define our work lives, where in the world we will be working, how we much we will be willing to pay to work the way we want, and how fragmented the workforce will become as the gig economy continues to replace corporate careers. They’ve even expanded that hypothesis to WeLive. Ask yourself if your brand strategy dares to look into the future, and if what you see there is informing your approach today.

The new division of labor: On our evolving relationship with technology

Peter Evans-Greenwood, Robert Hillard and Alan Marshall, Deloitte Insights

Putting technology to effective use isn’t only about recognizing the superiority of a new tool, or even just about learning how to use it. It’s also a matter of emotional acceptance and social validation—factors that are at least as important as the intellectual understanding that the new technology is “better.” This is true for much more than word processors. From shipping containers3 to smartphones,4 both work habits and social norms had to change before the core technology could have a transformative impact.

3 Simple Habits to Improve Your Critical Thinking

Helen Lee Bouygues, Harvard Business Review

A lack of metacognition — or thinking about thinking — can make people overconfident.

Advanced social technologies and the future of collaboration

McKinsey Global Institute, McKinsey & Company

Tools should follow—not lead—new ways of working. Most companies have begun adopting digital tools, including social technologies, or even transforming their businesses with digitization in mind. But a mistake that many make is choosing the tool first and then expecting change will follow. 

Open-Source Spying

Clive Thompson, New York Times

The Internet flourished under the credo that information wants to be free; the agencies, however, had created their online networks specifically to keep secrets safe, locked away so only a few could see them. This control over the flow of information, as the 9/11 Commission noted in its final report, was a crucial reason American intelligence agencies failed to prevent those attacks. All the clues were there — Al Qaeda associates studying aviation in Arizona, the flight student Zacarias Moussaoui arrested in Minnesota, surveillance of a Qaeda plotting session in Malaysia — but none of the agents knew about the existence of the other evidence. The report concluded that the agencies failed to “connect the dots.”

Shaping technology to be a social benefit to all

Paul Barclay, ABC Radio National, Big Ideas

Apologies, this is a link to download an Australian radio broadcast of a show called Big Ideas. In it, Geoff Mulgan, chief executive of the United Kingdom’s National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA), talks of amplifying human intelligence by combining AI, and CI, or collective intelligence, the latter being an expression I’d never previously heard described as if formalised by its acronym.

Thanks to these writers: Richard Branson;  John Hagel and John Seely Brown; Denise Lee Yohn;  Donella Meadows; Greg Satell; Jonathan Deakin, Laura LaBerge and Barbara O’Beirne;  Jasmine Bina; Peter Evans-Greenwood, Robert Hillard and Alan Marshall; Helen Lee Bouygues;  McKinsey Global Institute; Clive Thompson; Paul Barclay.

Learning Economy newsletter 01 reposted

Hi, I've just switched platform for this email to Substack, so I apologise if you find you've seen this content before. The next one will, I promise, be entirely fresh.

How To Tell If Someone Is Truly Smart Or Just Average- Michael Simmons, Accelerated Intelligence
Are these just the idiosyncrasies of geniuses, or do these entrepreneurs employ a way of using their brain that we too could learn from in order to become smarter, more successful, and more impactful ourselves?

13 Mental Models Every Founder Should Know- Jayme Hoffman, Mission.org
I liked this quote: "Mental models are to your brain as apps are to your smartphone."

Innovation is a collision of learning- Robert Hillard, Information-Driven Business
It seems to be when the personal learning and interests of staff collide with their organisation’s learning journey that innovation is most likely to happen. It is the journey of discovery that enables both the breakthrough ideas and the willingness to try incremental advances that supports an organisation’s innovation.

How a Work Environment Can Stifle Innovation, and What You Can Do About It- Sean Tang, Build with Google Cloud
A shared vision illustrates the future of your teams and allows the people on them to visualize what they’re working toward and what new behaviors they’ll need to adopt. A vision for the future should not only create a shared understanding about what needs to change, but more importantly, why.

What Leaders Must Know About Learnability, An Essential Workplace Skill- Srikanth Karra, Forbes.com
"... in next-generation organizations, learning is more than just a passive action. It is an essential workplace skill that is necessary for individual and organizational success."

Your Future Competition Isn't Who You Think It Will Be- Sarah Kinsela, Lend Lease Innovation
If Amazon can tell you what you are going to purchase next, could they automate office space leasing where they know clients have demand?

How to get your company’s people invested in transformation- David Lancefield, Strategy + Business
"Leaders of successful transformations harness the power of their people by listening properly, identifying the influencers, and fostering a sense of personal investment."

Uncovering the hidden talent on your staff- Vicki Huff, Strategy + Business
There’s likely more talent within your company than you realize. Creative problem solvers probably already exist at every level of your organization. You need people with an innovative disposition, who are open-minded and can move quickly. They need to be comfortable taking risks — and failing — and be highly collaborative.

12 Principles of Digital Workplace User Adoption- Kieran Kelly, CMS Wire
User adoption is about far more than just IT. The best teams have backgrounds in user experience, visual design, communications, marketing, training, customer services and more.

Why most digital workplace initiatives will fail- Macy Bayern, TechRepublic
Successful digital workplace programs focus less on technology and more on the employee experience, making changes to the work environment as needed.

Loading more posts…