The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors took a large step Tuesday toward joining the growing "open data" movement of making government statistics readily available to anyone with a computer and Internet connection.
It is difficult for me to think that a company of its size can do so, but I have been beginning to think that Google gets it. I often say that Apple is the last great industerialist, and that Google is the first great 21 century company. In many ways they are demonstrating a strong understanding of how working with knowledge is different than working with the traditional factors of production, and how these differences are changing the ways that business is conducted. They are also leading the way to a richer understanding of how to actualize value by empowering people.
Here, the First Round Capital Review took the time to jot down some notes from a Jonathan Rosenberg talk to some graduating students at Claremont McKenna College. It sounds like he may be one of the reasons that Google just might be onto something.
Wikipedia is often not thought of as a platform for pedagogy, since so many teachers explicitly tell their students to steer clear of the site as a source of information. However, as a site for learner-driven inquiry and informal education, it is...
Alan Storey's insight:
I've been thinking about developing a Wiki as I work to build a better knowledge management system. I am not too far along, so there may be obvious reasons, but I wonder sometimes why I would not just contribute to Wikipedia, rather than build a wiki of my own?
Reading Liz Losh's article about how Adrianne Wadewitz is advocating the use of Wikipedia in educational settings as a way for students to learn while contributing to the knowledge base, caused me to revisit.
Moving forward, I think institutions of all kinds will have to become mindful about information management. I can't help but wonder, due to the nature of knowledge, how much open source platforms will play into this. Some people are saying that in the business environment that is evolving, what you get will be tied directly to what you give. Will contributing to Wikipedia and other open-soutce knowledge bases turn out to be an effective way for institutions (especially small ones) to develop and manage their own?
"Indeed, the same criticism made about banks — socialization of risk, privatization of reward — holds for the innovation economy."
Alan Storey's insight:
The ideas expressed in this post are part of an emerging set of challenges to the free market. How do you fence in (and out) knowledge? How will the market address environmental challanges? Can the market meet the ethical demand on the first world to deliver people from poverty and provide them with healthcare and basic dignity?
If the market cannot supply this type of demand, government will always fill the void. If businesses want to defer the business of society and citizenship to government, they must step up and contribute tax revenue for it to operate. If businesses feel that the market can meet these needs more efficiently and with a higher quality outcome, they must become engaged citizens, involved and invested in the work of community, society, and civil collaboration.
For the young and unemployed in the world's big cities, dreams of opportunity and wealth do come true -- but too often because they're heavily recruited by terrorist groups and other violent organizations. Human rights advocate Mohamed Ali draws on stories from his native Mogadishu to make a powerful case for innovation incubators for our cities' young and ambitious.
Physicist doubts work like Higgs boson identification achievable now as academics are expected to 'keep churning out papers'
Alan Storey's insight:
If you're having trouble understanding that there is a crisis across the board in institutional architecture and management, here is a great example as to why. If you feel like it is all going to hell in a hand-basket, or even just that we are loosing ground, I suggest that the type of problem that Dr. Higgs brings to light in this article is one of the most important to address in terms of turning it all around. If you've given up, this little Scoop.it page is not the place for you. You know, unless you like it.
How much talent has been overlooked and unrealized? How many solutions are right under our nose? Where can nascent ideas go to become acutalized? Institutions must be built to address this latent demand. Perhaps existing ones can be retooled and remodeled. They just seem so far gone.
Perhaps not the highest quality format, but a quality discussion with Michael Porter, as he runs down some key points about cluster development and it's role in economic development and the quality of competition.
“I’m pleased now that we’re having less pushback… Many people thought that clusters was another way of saying ‘industrial policy’ and industrial policy was fundamentally about targeting specific industries… Clusters are not about targeting. Clusters are about a natural, fundamental process, that goes on in any economic development process, which is that clusters form and upgrade if the environment allows them to, and all clusters are good, and the implication is not targeting, the implication is to create a structure so that clusters can actually form and be more productive. I think we are trying to get over that old tired discussion. Now we’re focusing on: how do you actually do this? And what sorts of intervention are useful, and what kinds of organizations and institutions and processes are really necessary?”
“In my view now, a lot of the questions of what to do in economic policy have become much, much, much clearer. We kinda’ know sorta’ what to do, we know it’s context specific, what they did in Singapore is not what you need to do in some different circumstance; but we now kinda’ have the tools to figure out sort of what needs to be done, what are some of the key policies we need to put in place, what are some of the things we need to kinda’ get accomplished. But I think the great holy grail now, that we spend a lot of time on here, is: how do we actually get it done? That’s a process of how government works, that’s a process of how public and private people actually work together. It’s how to get things done. It’s fundamentally an organizational problem. And it’s a problem of creating a common direction and a common vision. …What we spend a lot of time on here is: how do we think about that systematically? Now that we kind of understand the what, you know, how do we understand the how?”
'let's talk about garbage' by UGO architecture and design is focused around the biggest slum in asia dharavi, home to over 1 million inhabitants.
Alan Storey's insight:
"...the substitute accommodation offered by the local authorities does not meet the needs of the self-sustained community. the replacement flats are based on westernized models of housing and ignore the cultural and social needs of the people. they do not allow them to run craftsman’s workshops and other businesses from their homes."
- from the article
Despite the fact that it is conceptual, I am deeply excited to hear about this project.
The authors, including the Tata Group’s former chairman, say companies need “a deeper purpose.”
Alan Storey's insight:
When I say it, it seems crazy and far fetched. Here is a more established position.
From the article:
"There is no more time to waste. For companies, the time has come to launch “corporate lifeboats” — such as new business experiments in next-generation clean technologies and serious business initiatives in the underserved space at the “base of the pyramid.” Now is the time for corporations to transform their operations for sustainability — and to strategically design, incubate and commercialize socially inclusive businesses and environmentally beneficial technologies, particularly in developing countries. We are in urgent need of sustainable business practices and technologies that are profitable for companies and simultaneously deliver economic, social and environmental benefits for the developing, as well as the developed, worlds. We are in urgent need of companies that have a greater purpose than making money."
Business management magazine, blogs, case studies, articles, books, and webinars from Harvard Business Review, addressing today's topics and challenges in business management.
Alan Storey's insight:
Not all start-up businesses are "Start-Ups".
I think that most often, the term "Start-Up" is used in reference to the inception of a team built around the development and delivery to market of a particular product or service, with the intention of eventually being sold, or taken public, allowing the founder(s) and their team to walk away with a nice chunk of consideration for their efforts.
I think this is a narrow definition. I think a start-up is any start-up business. Many businesses are about far more than a product or service. Many businesses are about the development of institutional effort toward the advancement of a project, a passion, a group of people, an idea, a talent, an ideal, a set of values, etc. A family is in the business of providing for the subsistence, sustenance, education, and overall quality of life for the members of the family. A local government is in the business of orchestrating the collaborative efforts of the community (at least theoretically). A custom motorcycle shop is in the business of sustaining its owners' passion for motorcycles and fine craftsmanship. The business is not the project. The business is the medium. It is an extension of those conducting it. The business is an expression of people, places, hopes and dreams. Shit like that.
I remember reading in a college business management textbook that management is both an art and a science. With all the progress in technology, and little elsewhere, I think we're too heavily trending toward scientific management, and have all but forgotten about the art of it. And I think this is causing a lot of problems. It’s not that scientific management is bad; it’s just that it is incomplete. “What can be measured can be managed”, the mantra of the scientific manager, leaves out the important reality that what cannot be measured must be managed as well in order to do truly great and important things with business.
In his book "The Lean Start-Up", Eric Reis lays out a sort of methodological technology that has already revolutionized the "start-up" culture, community and process. It is a tool of scientific management. I think it is smart and will be utilized in many different ways to be highly effective in the development of products, services and, importantly, markets.
I worry about one thing though. I’ve noticed in my view from afar, that the venture capital community has embraced the lean start-up method, which is good, but I worry how that will affect what seems like an already tenuous relationship between venture capital and artistic management. I think venture capital is all in on scientific management, and that requiring lean start-up practices in order to obtain capital could further alienate efforts that lie outside the realm of the measured.
Venture capital and artistic management need each other. In order to discover truly innovative companies, capital must empower projects that are pushing the boundaries of what is. Relying on proven methodology for testing, measuring and analyzing what is, won’t necessarily bring forth new ideas or new solutions.
They will however, lend quite well to helping a team test the viability of new ideas and solutions once they are in place. I think that this methodology will become common practice in all levels of business to one degree or another, and that most people will eventually be using or dealing with some manifestation of it in their work.
That’s why I like this article by Steve Blank. It’s a good general overview of the concept by one of the prominent thinkers of the movement.
"Companies that are truly serious about attracting, retaining, and developing high-quality talent should operate as growth platforms where people can develop faster than they could at other organizations. That will require organization leaders to think holistically about how they can bring people together both physically and virtually, and how to develop management systems that help to motivate, measure, and cultivate talent."
"Talent development is essential at all levels and in all domains of an organization. Too often, however, when executives talk about talent, they limit the discussion to executives or knowledge workers. Yet in a global economy characterized by increasing performance pressure across most industries, from manufacturing to professional services, organizations cannot afford to be so restrictive in their discussions of talent development. To continue to build operational excellence, companies should design work environments that can help employees across the board improve their performance."
- From the article.
I am excited about the recognition of the institution as a potential platform for creativity and growth.