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jerryking : flexibility   16

Technology and markets are driving employment in the right direction - The Globe and Mail
RICK LASH
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Oct. 17, 2016

The best way to achieve higher profits is ensuring maximum flexibility in the workforce so the organization can adapt to rapidly changing market needs. Having a more flexible employee pool that you can hire and furlough depending on business demands is one way to manage risk.

If technology and new finance-driven business models are fundamentally altering the future of jobs and work, what’s a new graduate (or an older worker) to do? All is not hopeless, and in fact there is indeed a silver lining, if one knows where to look.

Companies like Uber are figuring it out, at least for now. The same technology that is replacing workers with intelligent robots (on the shop floor or as an app on your smartphone) is also being used to create new models of generating wealth. Whether you are a bank driving growth through new on-line channels, a streaming music company designing creative new ways for consumers to subscribe, or an entrepreneur raising capital online for a new invention, key skills stand out as differentiators for success.
automation  technology  artificial_Intelligence  risk-management  data_driven  silver_linings  skills  new_graduates  job_search  business_models  rapid_change  workforce  flexibility  Uber  on-demand  streaming 
october 2016 by jerryking
Network orchestrators are the new path to profit - The Globe and Mail
Jul. 03, 2016 | Special to The Globe and Mail | HARVEY SCHACHTER

* "The Network Imperative" by authors Barry Libert, Megan Beck, and Jerry Wind.

Technology - Shift from physical to digital. Develop a digitally enabled platform around which people can congregate.

Assets - Shift from tangible to intangible assets. Physical assets are becoming a liability. Pay attention to your brand, a key intangible asset, and also view people as an asset, not an expense.

Strategy -move from operator to allocator. As a strategist, Mr. Libert has spent many years working with leaders to figure out what products to sell to what market. But these days, leaders should be active allocators of capital, like portfolio managers.

Leadership - The shift here is from commander – in charge of a highly structured, hierarchical, top-down organization – to co-creator, who knows how to motivate, inspire and work alongside others to develop the network.

Boards - His favourite shift, because it is the most difficult, is the switch from governance to representation.
Finally, the mindset must change to thinking less rigidly about roles, processes, products and industries.
assets  atoms_&_bits  books  business_models  capital_allocation  co-creation  eBay  Etsy  flexibility  Harvey_Schachter  intangibles  mindsets  networks  orchestration  pay_attention  platforms  portfolio_management  physical_assets  resource_allocation 
july 2016 by jerryking
From terrorism to technological disruption: Leaders need to tackle risk - The Globe and Mail
DAVID ISRAELSON
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016

“Not only do they have to think about and worry about economic changes and what their competitors are going to do, they now have a whole new level of political and regulatory risk,” Ms. Ecker says.

“You can’t predict in some cases how a policy maker is going to move. We’re seeing that in China now.”

At the beginning of 2016, as markets began a steep slide in China, that country’s regulators twice activated a “circuit breaker” mechanism to halt trading, only to abandon it after it appeared to make the drop in the market even worse.

The lesson is that sometimes “business practices and even business products that seem acceptable today, for whatever reason, when something happens can be considered things you shouldn’t be doing. There’s more policy unpredictability than ever before,” Ms. Ecker says.

“In an increasingly risky world, a CEO needs to be increasingly flexible and adaptable. You also need to have a team and know what the latest threat might be.”

That isn’t necessarily easy, she adds. “There’s no rule book. When I was in politics, people used to ask me what we should anticipate. I’d tell them, ‘Read science fiction books.’ ”....CEOs in today’s risky world also need people skills that may not have been necessary before, says Shaharris Beh, director of Hackernest, a Toronto-based not-for-profit group that connects worldwide tech companies.

“CEOs have always needed strong skills around rapid decision-making and failure mitigation. In today’s hypercompetitive startup business climate, leaders need two more: pivot-resilience and proleptic consensus leadership,” he says.

“Pivot-resilience is the ability to tolerate the stress of gut-wrenching risks when dramatically shifting strategy. In other words, be able to take the blame gracefully while still warranting respect among your team members.”

Proleptic consensus leadership is especially important for startups, Mr. Beh says. “It’s the ability to garner the team’s support for taking big risks by giving them the assurance of what backup plans are in place should things go sour.”

This consensus building “is how you keep support,” he adds. In a volatile economy, “people can jump ship at any time or even unintentionally sabotage things if they’re not convinced a particular course of action will work.” So you have to constantly persuade.
science_fiction  law_firms  law  risks  CEOs  risk-management  disruption  BLG  leaders  pivots  resilience  consensus  risk-taking  contingency_planning  unpredictability  political_risk  regulatory_risk  policymakers  flexibility  adaptability  anticipating  people_skills  circuit_breakers 
february 2016 by jerryking
Where Value Lives in a Networked World
Mohanbir SawhneyDeval Parikh
FROM THE JANUARY 2001 ISSUE

In recent years, it seems as though the only constant in business has been upheaval...Business has become so complex that trying to predict what lies ahead is futile. Plotting strategy is a fool’s game. The best you can do is become as flexible and hope you’ll be able to ride out the disruption.
There’s some truth in that view…..We have studied the upheavals and concluded that many of them have a common root--the nature of intelligence in networks. The digitization of information, combined with advances in computing and communications, has fundamentally changed how all networks operate, human as well as technological, and that change is having profound consequences for the way work is done and value is created throughout the economy. Network intelligence is the Rosetta Stone. Being able to decipher it will shape the future of business.

Four Strategies for Profiting from Intelligence Migration

Arbitrage.
Because intelligence can be located anywhere on a network, there are often opportunities for moving particular types of intelligence to new regions or countries where the cost of maintaining the intelligence is lower. Such an arbitrage strategy is particularly useful for people-intensive services that can be delivered over a network, because labor costs tend to vary dramatically across geographies.

Aggregation.
As intelligence decouples, companies have the opportunity to combine formerly isolated pools of dedicated infrastructure intelligence into a large pool of shared infrastructure that can be provided over a network.

Rewiring.
The mobilization of intelligence allows organizations to more tightly coordinate processes with many participants. In essence, this strategy involves creating an information network that all participants connect to and establishing an information exchange standard that allows them to communicate.

Reassembly.
Another new kind of intermediary creates value by aggregating, reorganizing, and configuring disparate pieces of intelligence into coherent, personalized packages for customers.
arbitrage  centralization  collective_intelligence  decentralization  digitalization  disruption  flexibility  HBR  networks  network_power  resilience  taxonomy  turbulence  turmoil  uncertainty  value_creation 
november 2015 by jerryking
Bret Stephens: The Marvel of American Resilience - WSJ
By BRET STEPHENS
Dec. 22, 2014

Innovation depends less on developing specific ideas than it does on creating broad spaces. Autocracies can always cultivate their chess champions, piano prodigies and nuclear engineers; they can always mobilize their top 1% to accomplish some task. The autocrats’ quandary is what to do with the remaining 99%. They have no real answer, other than to administer, dictate and repress.

A free society that is willing to place millions of small bets on persons unknown and things unseen doesn’t have this problem. Flexibility, not hardness, is its true test of strength. Success is a result of experiment not design. Failure is tolerable to the extent that adaptation is possible.
resilience  Bret_Stephens  hydraulic_fracturing  flexibility  experimentation  failure  adaptability  autocracies  strengths  innovation  risk-taking  Cambrian_explosion 
december 2014 by jerryking
Hillary Clinton’s Diplomatic Legacy
February 11, 2013 | The New Yorker | by George Packer.

The criticism that there is no encompassing “Obama doctrine” misses the point. Geopolitics today is too complex, messy, and various to be bent to America’s will by an overarching doctrine like containment, or a massive initiative like the Marshall Plan, or a single breakthrough like Nixon’s trip to China. A doctrine was what put the country in a deep hole; climbing out required restraint, flexibility, and opportunism. A first-term Secretary of State with one grand strategic vision wouldn’t have matched the demands of the moment, which called for a fox, not a hedgehog....The standard debates in American foreign policy—realism vs. idealism, heavy footprint vs. light footprint—don’t get to the heart of the problem with Obama’s foreign policy. It’s not that diplomatic engagement is the wrong approach; it’s just that the President’s first four years have given us the idea of diplomacy more than the thing itself. In a forthcoming book, “The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat,” Vali Nasr, a former adviser under Hillary Clinton and the late Richard Holbrooke, argues that, from North Africa to Afghanistan and Pakistan, the White House has relied too much on the military and the C.I.A. (mainly in the form of drones) to guide policy: “These agencies’ solutions were not, and could never be, a substitute for the type of patient, long-range, credible diplomacy that garners the respect of our allies and their support when we need it.” In Nasr’s view, a White House that feared being called soft and wanted to keep intractable foreign entanglements out of the news turned to Clinton only after things had fallen apart, as in Pakistan at the end of 2011, when she moved to repair a relationship that had degenerated into outright antagonism.

Obama and Clinton wanted to “pivot” away from the Middle East, toward the Pacific, but a bloody hand keeps reaching out to pull America back.
George_Packer  George_Marshall  U.S.foreign_policy  legacies  diplomacy  Middle_East  Mideast_Peace  Obama  Hillary_Clinton  geopolitics  Pakistan  complexity  messiness  restraint  flexibility  opportunism  U.S._State_Department  grand_strategy  Vali_Nasr  CIA  drones  Marshall_Plan  foxes  hedgehogs  long-range  books 
february 2013 by jerryking
Unforeseen consequences - FT.com
May 24, 2007 | Financial Times |By Robert Matthews.

The Germans have a word for it: Schlimmbesserung - literally, a "worse improvement". You may not recognise the word, but you'll know plenty of examples of what it means: efficiency drives that reduce efficiency, cost-cutting measures that prove punitively expensive, software upgrades that cause months of downtime.

All businesses can fall victim to such "revenge effects"....

Edward Tenner, a visiting scholar in the department of history and sociology of science at the University of Pennsylvania and author of Why Things Bite Back, the classic study of the phenomenon first published in 1996, believes there are several measures that businesses can take. Indeed, he has given lectures at Microsoft, Intel and AT&T on the subject.

Ensuring there is in-house expertise that can spot emerging revenge effects and deal with the consequences is crucial, Mr Tenner says. "Many companies fail to deal with revenge effects because they are 'outsourcing their brains'," he says. "Lean organisations are supposed to be more flexible, but they may also be giving up a lot of their capability to respond to change."

According to Mr Tenner, businesses can keep a constant watch for reports of potential revenge effects in news and research findings. This has never been easier, thanks to online tools such as Google news alerts and RSS (really simple syndication) feeds.

Even so, revenge effects have a nasty habit of affecting businesses in unexpected ways. "The precondition of vigilance is the selection and development of ability at all levels,"

thinking about the downside to new developments can save a lot of heartache. "Excessive optimism risks revenge effects," he says. "You have to be prepared to work in Murphy's Law mode - and to consider that every possible thing that can go wrong will go wrong."
unintended_consequences  books  limitations  in-house  specificity  outsourcing  unexpected  revenge_effects  Murphy's_Law  thinking_tragically  lean  adaptability  flexibility  responsiveness  change  downtime 
june 2012 by jerryking
Flexibility, Realism and Passion - WSJ.com
March 17, 2003 | WSJ | By PAULETTE THOMAS | Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.

Entrepreneurs' Biggest Problems -- And How They Solve Them
Among the ingredients for success: flexibility, realism and passion

Mark Goldstein, a Pittsburg immigration attorney
entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  problems  problem_solving  strategy  flexibility  Flexcar  automobile  globalization  lawyers 
may 2012 by jerryking
Manufacturing: The end of cheap China
Mar 10th 2012 | HONG KONG AND SHENZHEN | The Economist

The era of cheap China may be drawing to a close. Costs are soaring, starting in the coastal provinces where factories have historically clustered (see map). Increases in land prices, environmental and safety regulations and taxes all play a part. The biggest factor, though, is labour...If cheap China is fading, what will replace it? Will factories shift to poorer countries with cheaper labour? That is the conventional wisdom, but it is wrong....Louis Kuijs of the Fung Global Institute, a think-tank, observes that some low-tech, labour-intensive industries, such as T-shirts and cheap trainers, have already left China. And some firms are employing a “China + 1” strategy, opening just one factory in another country to test the waters and provide a back-up.

But coastal China has enduring strengths, despite soaring costs. First, it is close to the booming Chinese domestic market. This is a huge advantage. No other country has so many newly pecunious consumers clamouring for stuff.

Second, Chinese wages may be rising fast, but so is Chinese productivity. The precise numbers are disputed, but the trend is not. Chinese workers are paid more because they are producing more.

Third, China is huge. Its labour pool is large and flexible enough to accommodate seasonal industries that make Christmas lights or toys, says Ivo Naumann of AlixPartners. In response to sudden demand, a Chinese factory making iPhones was able to rouse 8,000 workers from their dormitory and put them on the assembly line at midnight, according to the New York Times. Not the next day. Midnight. Nowhere else are such feats feasible.

Fourth, China’s supply chain is sophisticated and supple. Professor Zheng Yusheng of the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business argues that the right way to measure manufacturing competitiveness is not by comparing labour costs alone, but by comparing entire supply chains. Even if labour costs are a quarter of those in China to make a given product, the unreliability or unavailability of many components may make it uneconomic to make things elsewhere.
China  cheap  comparative_advantage  competitive_advantage  competitiveness  factors_of_production  flexibility  Hong_Kong  low-cost  manufacturers  measurements  productivity  supply_chains  think_tanks 
march 2012 by jerryking
Lean Start-Ups Reach Beyond Silicon Valley’s Turf - NYTimes.com
By STEVE LOHR
December 5, 2011

The newer model for starting businesses relies on hypothesis, experiment and testing in the marketplace, from the day a company is founded. That is a sharp break with the traditional approach of drawing up a business plan, setting financial targets, building a finished product and then rolling out the business and hoping to succeed. It was time-consuming and costly.

The preferred formula today is often called the “lean start-up.” Its foremost proponents include Eric Ries, an engineer, entrepreneur and author who coined the term and is now an entrepreneur in residence at the Harvard Business School, and Steven Blank, a serial entrepreneur, author and lecturer at Stanford.

The approach emphasizes quickly developing “minimum viable products,” low-cost versions that are shown to customers for reaction, and then improved. Flexibility is the other hallmark. Test business models and ideas, and ruthlessly cull failures and move on to Plan B, Plan C, Plan D and so on — “pivoting,” as the process is known.
Steve_Lohr  entrepreneurship  start_ups  lean  experimentation  speed  business_models  pivots  minimum_viable_products  testing  Plan_B  culling  flexibility 
december 2011 by jerryking
Surprised by Opportunity - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 14, 2007 | WSJ | By WILLIAM EASTERLY.

Set big goals. Do whatever it takes to reach them. These muscular sentences form the core of commencement addresses, business-advice books, political movements and even the United Nations approach to global poverty. In "Strategic Intuition," a concise and entertaining treatise on human achievement, William Duggan says that such pronouncements are not only banal but wrong.[Duggan is therefore the perfect counterpoint to Jim Collins]

Mr. Duggan, who teaches strategy at Columbia Business School, argues that the commonplace formula has it backward. Instead of setting goals first, he says, it is better to watch for opportunities with large payoffs at low costs and only then set your goals. That is what innovators throughout history have done, as Mr. Duggan shows in a deliriously fast-paced tour of history.
[photo]

Napoleon is Mr. Duggan's canonical example -- his strategic genius was not to storm a pre-fixed position on the battlefield (the traditional approach to military strategy at the time) but to attack any old position that came along where his army was at its strongest and the enemy's at its weakest. Similarly, in the battle for civil rights, Martin Luther King Jr. seized on the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 to shift the NAACP's strategy away from filing lawsuits and toward organizing nonviolent civil disobedience.
audacity  books  book_reviews  civil_disobedience  counterintuitive  flexibility  goal-setting  goals  hard_goals  innovators  intuition  Jim_Collins  kairos  large_payoffs  MLK  NAACP  Napoleon  observations  offensive_tactics  opportunism  personal_payoffs  strategy  William_Duggan  William_Easterly 
november 2011 by jerryking
The tricks to recruiting top talent
Oct. 04, 2010 | The Globe & Mail | VIRGINIA GALT. Top
desires of a job seeker. Money: “Most of us who deal with this have a
rule of thumb that you have to give at least a 10% increase to move
anybody,” says Toronto lawyer Stewart Saxe. An equity stake: “The real
upside is in the equity participation if you are at a senior enough
level,” said recruiter Tom Long. “What they are looking for is the
opportunity to participate … and have a home run.” Work-life balance:
“Three weeks of vacation is now pretty standard. In addition, some shops
close between Christmas and New Years, and a lot of firms are also
giving five personal days as floaters,” said Katie Dolgin .
“Flexibility, being able to work from home occasionally if they have a
sick child, is important.” A safety net: This is particularly important
for executives who leave big jobs for smaller, younger enterprises,
recruiters say. Many candidates will insist on severance clauses to
protect themselves if things go south.
talent  recruiting  Virginia_Galt  Google  LinkedIn  Pablo_Picasso  ksfs  small_business  executive_management  executive_search  safety_nets  inducements  work_life_balance  equity  flexibility 
october 2010 by jerryking
Managing the Future Workplace? Start Here. - WSJ.com
SEPT. 19, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By ALAN MURRAY. How
should managers behave in this new economic order? Key trends include:
trust in business being at an all time low; continued govt. involvement
in the economy; credit remaining hard to come by; U.S. consumers
sitting on their wallets; Asia will likely continue to rise, and
technological change will likely continue to accelerate. Stay flexible.
Devour data. Be (somewhat) humble. Communicate. Plan for contingencies.
Be proactive. Insist on candor. Stay involved. Keep your organization
flat. Cross-train your talent.Assess your team.Use your judgment.
managing_uncertainty  workplaces  Alan_Murray  technological_change  future  organizational_culture  flexibility  resilience  contingency_planning  cross-training  data  data_driven  proactivity  humility  candour  Asia  credit  consumer_spending  judgment  teams  accelerated_lifecycles  trends  trustworthiness 
september 2010 by jerryking
New Franchise Idea: Fewer Rules, More Difference - WSJ.com
SEPTEMBER 18, 2007 | Wall Street Journal | by RAYMUND FLANDEZ.
Typically franchises are sticklers for the cookie-cutter approach with
rules and processes are set down for operators buying into a uniform
system. But a crop of franchisers are taking a very different approach,
giving their franchisees some freedom to run their own operations, much
like an independent small business -- from personalizing store names and
menus to fiddling with prices.
franchising  Raymund_Flandez  flexibility  pricing 
may 2009 by jerryking
Surviving the Downturn: Lessons From Emerging Markets - WSJ.com
MARCH 23, 2009 | The Wall Street Journal | by MARTIN S. ROTH and RICHARD ETTENSON

For some companies, a volatile economy is business as usual. What have they learned? No. 1: Take the offensive.

1. When the economy is down, get customers to trade up.
2. Increase product and service visibility.
3. Rethink what customers value.
4. Look at new metrics.
economic_downturn  business_models  rethinking  metrics  pricing  customer_care  emerging_markets  visibility  flexibility  offensive_tactics 
march 2009 by jerryking

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