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Globalization - Handle With Care

Any organization that conducts business on a global basis has to be concerned about war, terrorism, tariffs, regulations, and bone-headed politicians.

From Edge Perspectives, Fragility of Globalization, John Hagel writes, "...warnings for those of us who take globalization for granted. Make no mistake about it: globalization is a fragile process - there is nothing inevitable about it. As it unfolds, it deeply threatens entrenched economic and political interests. Those interests may spark a backlash and we may well find ourselves thrust back into a much more protectionist era."

John Hagel has set me back on my heels. I never thought much about the "fragility of globalization". I've been doing the Washington read on things like "The Flat World" from Tom Friedman and I believe he says something like, no 'N' countries will ever go to war if they're partners in the same supply chain. What's more, I get caught up in the bloggy clouds and believe the momentum for globalization is full steam ahead without interruption. I need to zoom-out and look at the big picture.

Anyway, Mr. Hagel continues that "... the talent market is having a profound impact on reshaping both the economic and political landscape of the world." Which leads me to this next piece where a goup of people are helping to educate others.   We strongly believe that ideas can come from EVERYWHERE; the initiative with the Uganda Digital Bookmobile is exciting and should be supported by all of us.

US Businesses Dumbing Down.

U.S. companies failing to transfer critical knowledge , from Management Issues. "Many U.S. organisations are failing to capture critical knowledge and experience from older employees approaching retirement and few seem able to transfer valuable knowledge to newer employees, according to research from consultants Accenture."

Accenture interviewed more than 500 full-time U.S. workers between 40 and 50 years of age.

How can so many US Businesses be so short sighted? I gotta toss this in... Ideascape is a platform for enterprise blogging, bookmarking, and idea discovery with workflow, conversation, & decision-making management. Employees blog about their daily work activites (tacit knowledge), which is captured, disseminated, and archived. It creates a gigantic learning and development environment. A digital meeting place for employees to find, discover, and share ideas while learning and having fun, which improves the performance of the orgainzation.

"Blogging constitutes a new form of decision-making. Expertise location, i.e., knowledgebase management is antiquated. If you have a problem, you don’t want a database; you want a person or conversation that can help – hence the growth of the blogging medium. Herein, of course, lies the implications for business. People are using blogs to discuss and debate everything from politics to Chapstick." Goodblog, from What I Learned at the Blogging Conference.

Candor In The Workplace

Now I got you, you SOB! You're mine. Funny but a serious problem that exist in every organization. On Critics, Criticism and Remarkability, Seth, "What people are afraid of isn't failure. It's blame. Criticism."

Social Software, Whatever?

Danah Boyd writes, " I’ve been meaning to write a paper on The Significance of ‘Social Software for some time, but… In the meantime, i’ve written an abstract for public criticism."

"In this paper, I will explore the contributions of social software. I will argue that there have been notable technological advancements, but that their significance stems from the rapid iteration of development in ongoing tango with massive user participation. In other words, the advances of social software are neither cleanly social nor technological, but a product of both.

I will explicitly address three case studies central to the narrow scope of social software - Friendster, blogging and Flickr. I will discuss how tagging, audience management (such as ACLs) and articulated social networks are neither technological advances nor social features, but emerge as a product of collective action and network affects. While parts of these technologies have been built in research, the actual advances are impossible to construct in a laboratory due to the sociological effects necessary for maturation."

The "rapid iteration of development in ongoing tango with massive user participation" is right on target. She is opening her research to anyone that is interested and that wants to particpate. I bookmarked it and tagged it with socialsoftware and research on del.icio.us.

What can businesses learn from this? From a marketing angle, check out the posts from Evelyn and Hugh.

Watch the Stories You Make Up About Your Customers Evelyn writes "Marketers are simply notorious for it: we segment, and slice and dice the population and make broad-ranging assumptions. We make up stories about sets of customer..."

make your customers the marketing department from hugh on gaping void is about what he and his partner sig believe. Sig: "Make the customer integral to the process, make the customer the central player in "The Flow"" and Hugh:  "Make your customers the marketing department."

Einstein's Dreams, 14 MAY 1905

"There is a place where time stands still. Raindrops hang motionless in
air. Pendulums of clocks float mid-swing. ...As a traveler approaches this place
from any direction, he moves more and more slowly. His heartbeats grow farther
apart, his breathing slackens, his temperature drops, his thoughts diminish,
until he reaches dead center and stops. For this is the center of time. From
this place, time travels outward in concentric circles-at rest at the center,
slowly picking up speed at greater diameters.

Getting Loose

We agree with sig and we firmly believe in Peter Drucker's dictum, "that there is only one valid purpose for any business: to create and satisfy a customer." Everything else, from value and service to profits and market share, follows from that premise. After all, it's customers who pay the bills. It's customers who keep us employed.

Coordination Theory in a Flat World

Follow me here for my understanding of what this flat world business is about, and what we can do about it as individuals, employees, business founders, owners, stakeholders, and as managers.

Doc Searls has a provocative post, the "Long Tail" about his interview with Tom Friedman, author of The Flat World and the subsequent discussion with other bloggers about the ideas Mr. Friedman puts forth in his new book. Not many people can ignite such passion in people like Doc. Julie Leung, "Thanks to Doc Searls, I burned the soup..but it was worth it" Check it out:

"Later last night, while the pan was soaking and the kids were sleeping, I returned to read Getting Flat, Part 2 from Linux Journal. Doc's piece, with references to works by Thomas Friedman and John Taylor Gatto hit me with its truth immediately, in a way that soaks into the soul. Although I had other duties that needed to get done last night, I wanted to post on it ASAP. While I sorted through piles of papers and evaluated bills, Doc's words continued to cook in my mind..."

Ideas are exploding in the blogosphere around Friedman's, Doc's, Dan Gillmor's, Dave Pollard's, et al. Hugh, from gapingvoid has opened a pandora's box with his post on "Culture and Technology", which lead to this "new gapingvoid rule", and "What level of transparency can a company live with?" and now "more hamish". He is all over the place, but drives home several good points that jibe with the ideas in Friedman's book, Doc's discussion, as well as what we are trying to accomplish at Advancing Insights with Ideascape. 

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