management

Economics of Cognitive Work Part II: Exploring the B2B Paradigm

In a recent blog post I began to explore some ideas concerning the nature and economics of cognitive work in the modern corporation. I made a distinction between Business to Consumer (B2C) work and Business to Business (B2B) work. In B2B work, leaders have to create a way for their organizations to coordinate and collaborate to create solutions for their customers. Think about how complicated it is to get a large commercial insurance policy underwritten, or a new airplane built to specification, or a new company’s IPO launched successfully. 

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Information Osmosis and the Case against Chief Culture Officer

Seen from the point of view of information, a modern company is a fortess - a fortress that's very good at erecting barriers to the natural flow of information from outside in and vice versa.

While these impermeable walls of opacity were (and probably continue to be) essential to being in business, they also raise the cost of doing business - by making it expensive to haul information across the border, both ways.

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From Linear to Organic

"Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution" Clay Shirky

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What I Learned from Prahalad

Late last month the business world suffered a tremendous loss with the passing of C.K. Prahalad. Harvard Business Review is not exaggerating when it calls Prahalad, one of the world’s “wisest and most influential management thinkers.” I “discovered” Prahalad during my time at Sony, when my primary responsibilities transitioned from working on discrete projects and deliverables to transforming the organization, its culture, and its operations.

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Luxury, Left Brain, Right Brain

Popular psychology simplifies the different functions of our brain hemispheres by using “left brain” to indicate analytical thinking and “right brain” to mean creativity and emotion. That may be a bit of an oversimplification, but it’s a useful shorthand. In The Luxury Strategy, authors J. N. Kapferer and V. Bastien emphasize the need for a management team that has both characteristics.

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Will the CIO Lose the C?

co-authored with Chris Curran

There is some disturbing new data for the role of the CIO. Thomas Wailgum of CIO.com says, “Given the… warning signs, it’s easy to speculate that the CIO’s role and the department’s sovereign power might be slip-sliding away.” Half of our Diamond Digital IQ Survey respondents said that more than 30% of the dollars spent on IT is done outside of IT. Power in any organization usually follows those who can create new revenue and value, but our survey shows that 75% of the CIO’s innovation role is internally facing.

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The Management Secrets of the Grateful Dead

Here's something that Deadheads could have told you 40 years ago -- there's a lot the Grateful Dead can teach you about running a business. In the March 2010 issue of The Atlantic, senior editor Joshua Green uncovers some of the management secrets of the Grateful Dead. In fact, as Green writes, "the Dead's influence on the business world may turn out to be a significant part of its legacy. Without intending to - while intending, in fact, to do just the opposite - the band pioneered ideas and practices that were subsequently embraced by Corporate America":

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Neuromanagement: The Rule of Three?

Trivia question: Why were local phone numbers originally seven digits long? The answer is that in the early days of local phone service, researchers found that seven digit numbers were about as long as most people could remember without forgetting or making errors. (One oft-quoted study on the “seven” topic is The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on our Capacity for Processing Information by George A. Miller.)

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Should We Revive Dying Brands and Companies? Or We’re Better off Creating New Ones? Does "The Circle of Life" Apply Here?

We make assumptions that it is the management team responsibility to extend or prolong the life of any companies even if they have fewer reasons to exist. Management is different from practicing medicine, although sometimes I am called the strategy doctor. Instead of wasting resources and energy to save a company or a brand, should we just take whatever assets and redeploy them In life, the cycle of life is the natural order of things.

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Is Everyday Management a Social Threat to Employees?

There’s a neat article by Reuters discussing how workers’ brains and management practices often work at cross-purposes. They cite, among others, Charles Jacobs, author of the book “Management Rewired,” recently reviewed here. An excerpt of the Reuters piece:

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