30 August 2004
Several emerging trends have floated to the surface repeatedly with substantiating evidence that they are already integrating and shifting the paradigm for how we do business. Look at how the reduced cost for communication and all the available tools, interfaces, and platforms have drastically changed our communication practices. And those new communication practices are evolving the hierarchical power structures of the corporate organization into more democratic and collaborative networks.
These new assets in human communication and interaction are democratizing the kingdoms of corporations and publishing, and creating whole new industries and sectors that are completely networked. Individuals – we – are gaining more voice and finding channels and shared platforms for our collective voice. Business is becoming more people-centric and less process-centric.
Co-creation is no longer the domain of artists and writers, it is the collaborative space created by giving old ways new context. Individuals are feeling empowered by their connectivity to others as well as by having access to information and ways that were previously inaccessible to them. They are reaching for what they previously thought was unattainable – doing what they love with personal choices now for who, what, where and why.
We see more and more one-person business hubs pulling together dream-teams to handle projects. Employees feel more secure now in leaving the big corporations after a few years because they can continue to serve their prior employer in a much more personalized way and with greater freedom. Within companies, older employees are feeling the freedom created by all the new ways to communicate and share ideas. Collaboration and social networking are the new buzzwords in the hallways. Younger employees don’t know any other way of being except technology-enabled, connected, and accessible with 24/7 integrated communications.
Are we finally headed into an age of innovation and creativity?
I highly recommend reading Tom Malone’s new book “The Future of Work” and Dan Gilmore’s “We the Media”. If you have time, add Richard Florida’s “The Rise of the Creative Class” and James Surowiecki’s “The Wisdom of Crowds”.
28 August 2004
Is it the impact of our behavior on the world around us?
Is it the impact on our lives of what we believe and therefore continually act out?
What if organizations explored their brand purpose from this perspective? This would mean exploring the impact of not only the human effect of each employee, but exploring the impact of every customer, client, user, distributor, and any person who came into contact with the brand in some way.
I think that we would then pay much more attention to our touching points in the brand organization. This would make the brand very physically aware of its connections. We could begin to sense and register the touching points, aware of what transacted and ready to capture the value of that exchange. I am not talking about the exchange of currency, but the readiness to identify whatever the real value of exchange was.
If we began to try and capture the human effect on brands, could we harness its true cost and true value to create a new accounting methodology within our way system of valuation?
My thinking is following this path because of a conversation that I had last week with Arjan ter Linden from the group called The Human Effect. They work with companies on building innovation into the system by clearing the way for individual’s to find their purpose driven path and discovering what that could mean for them in terms of innovative potential and contribution to their companies. They called these workshops “Being Extraordinary”.
The essence behind The Human Effect fascinated me because of the work I’ve been doing on profiling methodologies for one of the business models I developed called The Evolutionary Brand Called M.E. – My Emergence. Maybe we can take this one step further and develop a tracking system to capture the cost and value of the human effect and not just account for financial profits and losses. That would be a brand enterprise dynamic.
We use money as our currency of exchange in worldwide accounting because we can count it. When, in fact, humans play a greater role in business and economic frameworks than money. What if we could develop a way to track the human effect on our businesses, networks, governments, and organizations of all kinds?
What is the cost of the human effect? What is the value of the human effect? If there a way to define it and track it? Can we build software systems to capture the cost and value of the human effect?
The human effect is powerful and holds a wealth and abundance that money cannot touch. The human effect is also costly and can break the bank.
If you have any further input, ideas or suggestions on how to further this thinking and land it into something more concrete, please share your thinking with me.
24 August 2004
I found the maps measuring psychological distances of countries interesting. Wonder if he can do this with company organizational networks - or map the people politics in organizations?
Check out Douwe's maps:
Physical distances are not the same as psychological distances. Physical distances are easy enough to measure, but how do we go about measuring psychological distances? The Mapped Web does this by taking the chance that given a page contains the name of one country it will also contain the name of another country as a measure for psychological distance. The resulting images show us how close countries are to each other in psychological terms.
This procedure can be extended to create maps for specific areas by including extra search terms. Look at all the pages on the Internet with the word War on them, which countries correlate? Probably countries that have something to do with each other in wars. The images below picture some of the relations between countries in this way.
A 200x200 matrix with the relative frequencies of country name combinations represents actually a 200 dimensional space with the countries as dots in between them. The trick is to reduce this amount of dimensions to two so we can actually plot something. This is usually done by a technique called Principal Component Analysis, where two new axis are constructed that represent the lot in the best possible way. The program here uses a different technology, the sammon algorithm. Here we just start with a random initial configuration. Over a number of iterations, we move the countries in the directions where they want to go, i.e. they are attracted to countries which they are closer to according to the matrix than according to the configuration and are repulsed by countries are too close to.
The results are the maps below. You can download two scripts, generateMatrix, which takes one parameter, the keyword, and generates a text file with the distances matrix for that keyword and stressOptimize, which generates the map. The latter uses the brilliant VPython visualization. The nice thing is that it is animated during the iteration, so you see what goes on. This project was largely done together with Ernst Wit, a fellow Savage Minder, who also came up with the initial idea.
The World Map according to the Web
The upper part of the map is dominated by the Anglosaxion countries; To the right Europe sits, with Germany and France in ever closer union. The lower part of the map is Asia, with Japan the most central because westernized nation.
Economics relations in the world
In the middle, the powerhouses of the world, the US, Japan and Germany, with China and its two satelites Hong-Kong and Taiwan waiting in the wings. What about the cluster India, Russia and Israel? I don't really know, but they do correlate. May because they are relatively poor countries that do well on technology?
Wars of the world according to the web
The war map is spread out and tense; so many wars, so little space on this bitmap. The second world war axis are visible in the right corner, as are the axis of evil in the lower right corner. Russia, China and Japan form an uneasy triangle of historic conflict. The US is in the middle of everything.
Ireland and Germandy are in the middle, as large contributors to American immigration, but destinations themselves nowdays. The big immigration countries keep their distances from the others and warp the map a bit; immigration isn't that much an issue there as it is for the exporters of people in Asia, who are much closer to each other.
You can reach Douwe by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
23 August 2004
ChangeThis launched last week as one of the hottest new sites on the internet. It proposes a new form of media using existing tools to challenge the way ideas are created and spread. Seth Godin thought up the original idea and then wrote the first draft of the business plan for ChangeThis. He inspired five people - Amit Gupta, Catherine Hickey, Noah Weiss, Phoebe Espiritu and Michelle Sriwongtong - to build ChangeThis during the summer of 2004 .
They believe in Manifesto-thinking, and launched with the new manifesto from Gary Kawasaki - The Art of the Start.
Gary Kawasaki opens up our minds and pours in some valuable insights that we can apply to starting up businesses in his new book The Art of the Start. Download his The Art of the Start manifesto from the newly launched ChangeThis site. I enjoyed his FAQ's (Frequently Avoided Questions) in particular.
They had another manifesto that caught my attention. The Customer Evangelist Manifesto discusses building the kind of relationship with your customers where they go out into the world and praise your brand for all the right reasons. This is one manifesto that should be shared with everyone working for those large companies with call centers.
Take the time to read through the rest of manifestos and some of the proposals. Consider sending them one of your own.
18 August 2004
In her elise.com: On the Job blog from August 6, 2004, Elise Bauer compiled a comprehensive overview of the weblog tools market. She has managed to inventory the tools with links, identify the market share and use index, and shine the light on this emerging business sector. If you want to quickly get up to speed with weblogging, Elise's blog from August 6th is a perfect resource.
For example, here are some of the links to weblog tools mentioned in her article:
Hosted Blog Services
Hosted Blog Communities
Open source and free:
Blog Indices and Search Resources
Websites Focused on Blog Market Sizing
If you read through the posted comments, people have also built on what Elise has listed.
Definitely worth a read.
17 August 2004
The Science of Getting Rich
From Wikibooks, the free textbook project.
This book was written in 1910 by Wallace D. Wattles, one year before his death. According to United States copyright law, it is now in the public domain.
The Science of Getting Rich provides an unusual method for gaining wealth: It preaches against competitive economic practices, instead concerning itself with the betterment of the world.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
|August 16, 2004|
16 August 2004
Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
After a couple of weeks of trying to sort out the emotional impact of packing and putting my life back into storage again, I had to figure out how to work and live out of suitcases. I was feeling seriously depressed � feeling rather lost and not sure where to turn. I was exhausted from moving and trying to find an affordable, new place to live as well as a new place to work. Amsterdam is very expensive and the choices are limited. If you don't own a place, you have two choices � the housing LIST, which has a very long waiting list, or the private sector, which is ridiculously expensive. I have a rather good chance at getting another place, but it will take time. As a foreigner without family here, where am I to live in the meantime?
A real understanding of the meaning and significance of homelessness began to scare me. I realized that this is how people without large cash reserves become homeless. How could something like this happen to me? A sense of panic set in and threw me off balance. Most of my life I have owned my own home and had a business. I realized then and there that homelessness has nothing to do with capabilities, it has to do with having enough quick cash reserves and open access to profitable social networks.
Two of my dear girlfriends came up with a solution for me. Since they both travel a lot, one gave me the keys to her studio and flat, and the other gave me the keys to her newly purchased first home. Considering the inconvenience and lack of privacy this creates for both of them, I couldn't believe their generosity. So here I am tripping back and forth between these places as they travel, able to continue my work and also luxuriate in the living and working space of two dear friends.
Where would we be without the generosity of friendship? Friends show up bearing the most wonderful and unexpected gifts.
Anyway, thank you, Sarah - and thank you, Renee. I now understand the true value of social capital.
8 August 2004
Someone has posted some
colorful photos of the event. Check them out.
7 August 2004
"Can we solve the problems of the future? Thomas Homer-Dixon tackles this question in a groundbreaking study of a world becoming too complex and too fast-paced to manage.
The challenges we face converge, intertwine, and often remain largely beyond our understanding. Most of us suspect that the "experts" don't really know what's going on and that as a species we've released forces that are neither managed nor manageable. This is the ingenuity gap, the critical gap between our need for ideas to solve complex problems and our actual supply of those ideas.
Poor countries are particularly vulnerable to ingenuity gaps, but our own rich countries are no longer immune, and we're all caught dangerously between a soaring requirement for ingenuity and an increasingly uncertain supply. As the gap widens, the result can be political disintegration and violent upheaval.
With riveting anecdotes and lucid argument, Thomas Homer-Dixon uses his ingenuity theory to suggest how we might approach these problems -- in our own lives, our thinking, our businesses, and our societies.
To receive regular updates and articles by Thomas Homer-Dixon about issues raised in The Ingenuity Gap, send your email address to email@example.com
One: How Are We Changing Our Relationship to the World?
* Careening Into the Future
* Our New World
* The Big I
Two: Do We Need More Ingenuity to Solve the Problems of the Future?
* An Angry Beast
* Glimpsing the Abyss
* Unknown Unknowns
Three: Can We Supply the Ingenuity We Need?
* Brains and Ingenuity
* Ingenuity and Wealth
* White-Hot Landscapes
Four: What Does the Ingenuity Gap Mean for Our Future?
Thomas Homer-Dixon, or "Tad" as he is known to his friends and colleagues, is Director of the Center for the Study of Peace and Conflict at the University of Toronto, and Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto."
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1 August 2004
reaching into the great beyond
setting body free for spiritual delight
Will he tred space in time to go there
releasing all that came before
willingly anxious open even to dare
in visional clarity
in touching reality
He takes her hand in deep connection
mastering time in a side glance
comforting spirit in a safe protection
How can she look out further at whim
escaping now the soul that came
knowing instinctive that she belongs to him
in visional clarity
in touching reality
They meet only for moments in time
falling in step whispers apart
closing tight the gaps with ether words sublime
Can they wait and hold longer to bind
swelling passions deeply alive
erupting from souls so meant to be entwined
in visional clarity
in touching reality
Stripped of facade their dance will begin
engaging time in life's fury
shattering all fear of lost inhibition
Where will one start, the other one end
capturing their magic alchemical blend
in visional clarity
in touching reality