30. January 2012
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Three breakthroughs are poised to transform this century as much as telephony and electricity did the last.
In January 1912, the United States emerged from a two-year recession. Nineteen more followed—along with a century of phenomenal economic growth. Americans in real terms are 700% wealthier today.
In hindsight it seems obvious that emerging technologies circa 1912—electrification, telephony, the dawn of the automobile age, the invention of stainless steel and the radio amplifier—would foster such growth. Yet even knowledgeable contemporary observers failed to grasp their transformational power.
In January 2012, we sit again on the cusp of three grand technological transformations with the potential to rival that of the past century. All find their epicenters in America: big data, smart manufacturing and the wireless revolution. Read the rest of this entry »
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 Salesforce.com, 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: http://fbkfinanzwirtschaft.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/one-country-two-revolutions/
12. October 2011
Source: THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
When you see spontaneous social protests erupting from Tunisia to Tel Aviv to Wall Street, it’s clear that something is happening globally that needs defining. There are two unified theories out there that intrigue me. One says this is the start of “The Great Disruption.” The other says that this is all part of “The Big Shift.” You decide.
Read further: http://fbkfinanzwirtschaft.wordpress.com/2011/10/12/something%e2%80%99s-happening-here/
4. December 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 »
22. September 2010
Source: THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
To visit China today as an American is to compare and to be compared. And from the very opening session of this year’s World Economic Forum here in Tianjin, our Chinese hosts did not hesitate to do some comparing. China’s CCTV aired a skit showing four children — one wearing the Chinese flag, another the American, another the Indian, and another the Brazilian — getting ready to run a race. Before they take off, the American child, “Anthony,” boasts that he will win “because I always win,” and he jumps out to a big lead. But soon Anthony doubles over with cramps. “Now is our chance to overtake him for the first time!” shouts the Chinese child. “What’s wrong with Anthony?” asks another. “He is overweight and flabby,” says another child. “He ate too many hamburgers.”
That is how they see us. Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
20. June 2009
Hans Rosling, doctor, researcher and global health professor, is looking at some of the world’s most important statistics in a very exciting way.
27. May 2009
So now, in the graveyard of giants, it’s worth asking: Was Malone right? Was his age of nimble mammals simply delayed by the final march of corporate dinosaurs into the tar pits?
This crisis is not just the trough of a cycle but the end of an era. We will come out not just wiser but different.
Read the full article by Chris Anderson, Wired’s editor in chief.