One country, two revolutions

24. October 2011

Tom Friedman, NYT. 23-10.

The latest phase in the I.T. revolution is being driven by the convergence of social media — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Groupon, Zynga — with the proliferation of cheap wireless connectivity and Web-enabled smartphones and “the cloud” — those enormous server farms that hold and constantly update thousands of software applications, which are then downloaded (as if from a cloud) by users on their smartphones, making them into incredibly powerful devices that can perform myriad tasks.

Marc Benioff, the founder of, a cloud-based software provider, describes this phase of the I.T. revolution with the acronym SOCIAL. S, he says, is for speed — everything is now happening faster. O, he says, stands for open. If you don’t have an open environment inside your company or country, these new tools will blow you wide open. C is for collaboration because this revolution enables people to organize themselves within companies and societies into loosely coupled teams to take on any kind of challenges — from designing a new product to taking down a government. I is for individuals, who are able to reach around the globe to start something or collaborate on something farther, faster, deeper, cheaper than ever before — as individuals. A is for alignment. “There has never been a more important time to have all your ships sailing in the same direction,” said Benioff. “The power of social media is that it is easier than ever to both articulate, and reinforce, the vision and values that create and inspire alignment.” And L is for the leadership that does that. Leadership in a SOCIAL world has to be a mix of bottom-up and top-down. Leaders need to inspire, enable and empower everything coming up from below in a company or a social movement and then edit and sculpt it with a vision from above into a final product.

Read the whole article:

Getting Ahead of the Curve in a World of Cascading Crises

4. December 2010

  Date: 03-12-2010
 Source: Technology Review

 How scenario planning and forecasting tools can help organizations prepare for the worst—or seize entirely new opportunities.

 Four years ago, the threat of an avian-flu pandemic catapulted up the agenda of governments, global health agencies, and companies. The outbreak of an earlier virus, which caused a disease called SARS, had illuminated what a fast-spreading global virus could do to travel, commerce, and public well-being. As a shipping company, UPS took the flu warnings seriously. The head of strategy assembled 20 managers from different areas of the company for several workshops that explored how the disease might affect UPS’s ability to serve its customers. The objective was to examine and rehearse responses to various scenarios. Participants came up with five of them, each of which described the possible origins of a pandemic, the consequences, and the contingency plans that UPS might implement.

Luckily, the avian-flu pandemic did not materialize. But in April of 2010, an unknown (and unpronounceable) little volcano in Iceland began spewing tons of ash into the air, disrupting travel across Europe and forcing the UPS air hub in Cologne, Germany, to shut down. UPS recognized that just as in some of the pandemic scenarios, air travel would be impossible in certain regions. And because it understood the consequences, it was able to work backwards, adapting its flu contingency plans to the volcanic eruption. The company rerouted flights from affected European hubs to Istanbul, Turkey, and directed its network of trucks to deliver packages over long distances on the ground. Service was not interrupted. Read the rest of this entry »

Die spannendsten fünf Business-Bücher der letzten Monate

13. October 2010

Meine persönliche Einschätzung.

Why It’s Smart To Be Optimistic

16. August 2009

aus der aktuellen Business Week:

Sure, it has been a harrowing storm. And now is no time to discount the dangers that still exist. But opening your mind to optimism can help you seize the opportunities ahead

By Peter Coy

The U.S. economy is in such bad shape that the loss of (just) a quarter-million jobs in July was greeted as good news. Long-term unemployment and foreclosures continue to mount in the worst economic downturn since the 1930s. Health-care costs are out of control. An aging population around the globe is driving government spending through the roof. And scientists say we need an expensive crash program to fight global warming or we’ll incinerate ourselves. It’s little wonder that despite some positive news lately, the daily Gallup Poll on U.S. economic conditions as of Aug. 11 found that 53% of Americans think the U.S. economic outlook is getting worse (yes, even worse), vs. 42% who think it is getting better.

But before you assume a purely defensive posture—knees pulled to chest, hands on head—remember this: Just as people become overly exuberant in good times, they tend to get too pessimistic in bad times. While the economy remains deep in a hole, and could indeed get worse, the truth is that nobody really knows what will happen next. Prudence demands that you prepare yourself for all possible outcomes, including some highly positive ones. Read the rest of this entry »

MBAs: Public Enemy No. 1?

26. May 2009

BusinessWeek logoTop News May 20, 2009, 5:20PM EST

The debate over business schools’ culpability in the financial crisis rages on, with no clear end in sight

By Francesca Di Meglio

It’s easy to see why MBAs are getting blamed for the financial crisis. In the 1970s when Lehman Brothers’ Richard Fuld was attending NYU Stern School of Business (NYU Stern Full-Time MBA Profile) and Merrill Lynch’s Stan O’Neal was knocking around Harvard Business School (Harvard Full-Time MBA Profile), the gospel of shareholder value was gaining a stranglehold on the nation’s business schools. Fuld, O’Neal, and other newly minted MBAs of their generation would go on to inherit a world where following that gospel—by boosting shareholder returns in the short-term—left them exceedingly rich. Read the rest of this entry »

Management 2.0 – Personalising Risk Management

30. March 2009

Gary Hamel, einer der besten Management-Denker unserer Zeit, hat – unzufrieden mit der Stagnation der Management-Fortschritte – das MLab gegründet.

Aus deren Zeitschrift der gute Artikel über Risk Management.

Tom Davenport hat zynisch gesagt, die Banken hätten das Risk Management “outgesourced” (an die Finanzmarktaufsichten und die Rating Agenturen). Hier wird dies bestätigt: Nur zwei von drei Risk Management Aktivitäten (die formalisierung und Externalisierung) seinen erfolgt, hier folgt ein starkes Pladoyer für die Personalisierung.