You must become an ignorant man again And see the sun again with an ignorant eye And see it clearly in the idea of it. --Wallace Stevens/“Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction”
“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.” —General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff, U. S. Army
I. NEW BUSINESS. NEW CONTEXT.
“We are in a brawl with no rules.” Paul Allaire
“Strategy meetings held once or twice a year” to “Strategy meetings needed several times a week.” –Meg Whitman, CEO, eBay
All Bets Are Off.
“IT MAY SOMEDAY BE SAID THAT THE 21ST CENTURY BEGAN ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2001. … “Al-Qaeda represents a new and profoundly dangerous kind of organization—one that might be called a ‘virtual state.’ On September 11 a virtual state proved that modern societies are vulnerable as never before.”—Time/09.09.2002
“The deadliest strength of America’s new adversaries is their very fluidity, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld believes. Terrorist networks, unburdened by fixed borders, headquarters or conventional forces, are free to study the way this nation responds to threats and adapt themselves to prepare for what Mr. Rumsfeld is certain will be another attack. … “ ‘Business as usual won’t do it,’ he said. His answer is to develop swifter, more lethal ways to fight. ‘Big institutions aren’t swift on their feet in adapting but rather ponderous and clumsy and slow.’ ”—The New York Times/09.04.2002
From: Weapon v. Weapon To: Org structure v. Org structure
“The organizations we created have become tyrants. They have taken control, holding us fettered, creating barriers that hinder rather than help our businesses. The lines that we drew on our neat organizational diagrams have turned into walls that no one can scale or penetrate or even peer over.” —Frank Lekanne Deprez & René Tissen, Zero Space: Moving Beyond Organizational Limits.
Eric Shinseki’s New Army Flat. Fast. Agile. Adaptable. Light … But Lethal. Talent/ “I Am An Army Of One.” Info-intense. Network-centric.
“Dawn Meyerreicks, CTO of the Defense Intelligence Systems Agency, made one of the most fateful military calls of the 21st century. After 9/11 … her office quickly leased all the available transponders covering Central Asia. The implications should change everything about U.S. military thinking in the years ahead. “The U.S. Air Force had kicked off its fight against the Taliban with an ineffective bombing campaign, and Washington was anguishing over whether to send in a few Army divisions. Donald Rumsfeld told Gen. Tommy Franks to give the initiative to 250 Special Forces already on the ground. They used satellite phones, Predator surveillance drones, and GPS- and laser-based targeting systems to make the air strikes brutally effective. “In effect, they ‘Napsterized’ the battlefield by cutting out the middlemen (much of the military’s command and control) and working directly with the real players. … The data came in so fast that HQ revised operating procedures to allow intelligence analysts and attack planners to work directly together. Their favorite tool, incidentally, was instant messaging over a secure network.”—Ned Desmond/“Broadband’s New Killer App”/Business 2.0/ OCT2002
NOKIA Connecting People
“Our entire facility is digital. No paper, no film, no medical records. Nothing. And it’s all integrated—from the lab to X-ray to records to physician order entry. Patients don’t have to wait for anything. The information from the physician’s office is in registration and vice versa. The referring physician is immediately sent an email telling him his patient has shown up. It’s wireless in-house. We have 800 notebook computers that are wireless. Physicians can walk around with a computer that’s pre-programmed. If the physician wants, we’ll go out and wire their house so they can sit on the couch and connect to the network. They can review a chart from 100 miles away.—David Veillette, CEO, Indiana Heart Hospital (Healthleaders/12.2002)
“If early soldiers idealized Napoleon or Patton, network-centric warriors admire Wal*Mart, where point-of-sale-scanners share information on a near real-time basis with suppliers and also produce data that is mined to help leaders develop new strategic or tactical plans. Wal*Mart is an example of translating information into competitive advantage.”—Tom Stewart, Business 2.0
2. The Destruction Imperative.
“Wealth in this new regime flows directly from innovation, not optimization. That is, wealth is not gained by perfecting the known, but by imperfectly seizing the unknown.” Kevin Kelly, New Rules for the New Economy
Forbes100 from 1917 to 1987: 39 members of the Class of ’17 were alive in ’87; 18 in ’87 F100; 18 F100 “survivors” underperformed the market by 20%; just 2 (2%), GE & Kodak, outperformed the market 1917 to 1987. S&P 500 from 1957 to 1997: 74 members of the Class of ’57 were alive in ’97; 12 (2.4%) of 500 outperformed the market from 1957 to 1997. Source: Dick Foster & Sarah Kaplan, Creative Destruction: Why Companies That Are Built to Last Underperform the Market
“Mr. Foster and his McKinsey colleagues collected detailed performance data stretching back 40 years for 1,000 U.S. companies. They found that none of the long-term survivors managed to outperform the market. Worse, the longer companies had been in the database, the worse they did.”—Financial Times/11.28.2002
“Good management was the most powerful reason [leading firms] failed to stay atop their industries.Precisely because these firms listened to their customers, invested aggressively in technologies that would provide their customers more and better products of the sort they wanted, and because they carefully studied market trends and systematically allocated investment capital to innovations that promised the best returns, they lost their positions of leadership.” Clayton Christensen, The Innovator’s Dilemma