3 major shifts in the nature of trust in business relationships


While the subtitle of my book Living Networks referred to the ‘hyperconnected’ economy, the reality is that living networks are built primarily on human relationships based on mutual knowledge and trust. Here is a brief excerpt from the book about what is changing in the world of trust.

Trust is a business perennial—from the days when chickens were traded for cowrie shells until we start trading with extraterrestrial races, trust has been and always will be the central factor in business relationships. However in the networked world there are three vital shifts in the nature and role of trust.
Read more

11 recommendations to create the future of government


The Institute of Public Affairs of Australia (IPAA), the professional association supporting senior Australian public service executives, is not prone to rash statements.

Thus it is very encouraging to see its new policy paper, The Future Course of Modern Government, provide some pointed insights and recommendations on how to create the government of the future.

I have put the 11 recommendations provided at the end of the report at the bottom of this post. The full policy paper is absolutely worth a read for anyone interested in the topic.
Read more

5 recommendations for successfully implementing distributed innovation and shared value


Chapter 5 from Living Networks, on Distributed Innovation – Intellectual Property in a Collaborative World, is still immensely relevant today. We are still relatively early on in working out the implications for innovation of distributed value creation.

Here is a section towards the end of the chapter which provides 5 recommendations on managing innovation in a networked world. While some of the tools have changed since this was written, the principles haven’t.


At a scientific convention in Hawaii in 1972, Stanley Cohen from Stanford University and Herbert Boyer of the University of California met for the first time in what proved to be the beginning of a long friendship and collaborative partnership. Their joint work on a process for cloning genes in microorganisms resulted in three patents that formed the foundation of the nascent biotechnology industry. Stanford University ended up as the sole owner of the patents, reaping over $150 million in royalties as a result.
Read more

Notes on the future of distributed work and organizations


I am sitting in the lounge at Sydney airport, about to fly to San Francisco. It is the ease of the iPad that allows me to put up this post on the fly.

I came straight to the airport from a media panel organized by Cisco to follow up on their Connected World research study. Below are the notes I managed to catch on my iPad as we spoke..

The panellists were:
Senator Kate Lundy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister
Jacob Murray-White, Head of Salmat’s Customer Solutions at Home Programme
Fernanda Afonso, National Chair of Australian Psychological Society and Specialist, Freehills.
Ross Dawson, Futurist

Les Williamson, Managing Director of Cisco Australia, told the story of how Cisco was born from love. Two academics at Stanford University were in a relationship, but worked on opposite sides of the campus. They created a multi-protocol router to communicate, started building them commercially in a garage, got funded, and grown spectacularly since then.

Below are live notes from the panel. I haven’t attributed them as they sometimes bring together comments from several people or my interpretation. It was a fascinating discussion.
Read more

Review of Tibbr social enterprise platform – keynote at Sydney launch on February 8


The launch last week in San Francisco of Tibbr, the social enterprise computing platform from TIBCO, attracted an immense amount of attention from the leading commentators in the space. The offering is not directly comparable to any existing enterprise social software suites, and draws on TIBCO’s strong integration heritage to create an offering that works fully across an organization’s activities.

Tibbr global launch events follow in London (yesterday) and in Sydney on February 8 at the Opera House, where I will give the opening keynote on Why social computing will drive organisational success. Here are registration details for the Sydney launch of Tibbr next week.

I hope to offer some personal thoughts on the Tibbr platform after the launch event. For now I thought it would be most appropriate simply to review some of the more interesting comments on Tibbr since the launch.

To start, here is an interview by Dennis Howlett of TIBCO’s CEO, Vivek Ranadive. Vivek begins by saying that Tibbr is an extension of the vision he had since he started TIBCO (in 1985).

Read more

Thoughts on the future of workplace communication


Earlier today I spoke on a live webcast on the Future of Workplace Communication as part of Viocorp’s Future Forum series.

I took notes during the panel session and posted these live on my blog right after the event. I took notes while the other panellists were speaking: Nicky Wakefield, head of human capital at Deloitte, Philip Cronin, general manager of Intel Australia, and Oscar Trimboli, head of the information workers group at Microsoft.

I wasn’t able to take notes while I was speaking myself, so having had a look at the panel discussion which is now archived and can be viewed at the Viocorp site (requires registration), I’ve written out some of what I said during the discussion.

10:50 – 14:00

Workplace is not a good term to refer to the future – people will be working from anywhere so workplaces will have less impact than they have today. In the bigger context we also have to question whether organizations as we know them today will exist. Transaction costs are going down, meaning that moving forward, organizations will have to justify why they exist. There will be many business models bringing together loosely coupled talent and processes.

Read more

Atlassian makes its Enterprise 2.0 ambitions clear – raises $60 million in first ever external funding


Big news: Australian enterprise software company Atlassian, creators of popular wiki Confluence, project tracking platform Jira and other innovative software, has just raised $60 million from Accel Partners in what Wall Street Journal reports as a ‘growth equity’ round.

Atlassian has been entirely bootstrapped with no external funding to date, making it one of the larger companies in that situation, given its $59 million revenue in the last financial year. The reasons given for the funding round are to fund expansion in Europe and Asia, acquisitions, and to give liquidity to its employees, who all have stock options. Similarly, Microsoft’s CFO at the time of their IPO said that they didn’t need the money but mainly wanted to give their employees a way to participate easily in the company’s success.

Read more

The rise of the cloud workplace: co-working facilities


Tele-commuting has shifted from something that prognosticators talk about to an everyday work practice for many. More and more companies are happy for their staff to spend some or all of their time working from home, facilitated by a profusion of cloud software as well as familiarity with collaboration tools such as instant messaging, screen sharing, and video chat.

At IBM, for example, 46,000 out of its 115,000 workers in the US were reported to be working at “alternative workplaces” including home. Many companies large and small are following this lead. Moreover, in the free agent economy a rising proportion people global headquarters IS their home office.

There are of course pointed upsides to working from home, not least forgoing frustrating commutes, as well as greater personal flexibility. But some people find it hard to get themselves motivated, and many miss the daily banter and social interactions of the office. This is not a trivial issue – the vagaries of working from home will be a shaping force on society and how companies operate.

One of the approaches more and more freelancers and home workers are taking is to regularly meet locally to work together, creating a pleasant, sociable, collaborative work environment.

Read more

Six platforms to get results from crowdsourcing


MyCustomer.com has just published a nice article based on an interview with me, titled Ross Dawson: Six tools to kickstart your crowdsourcing strategy.

After beginning with some background on the topicality of crowdsourcing, the article goes on:

But suddenly crowdsourcing seems to be reaching some kind of critical mass. From reports that Microsoft crowdsourced the making of Office 2010, to David Cameron asking the UK’s civil servants for money-saving ideas via the Government’s Spending Challenge, it’s not just that interest in it is peaking, it’s that organisations are already bringing crowdsourcing plans to fruition.

This all comes as no surprise to Ross Dawson, a globally recognised futurist, strategy advisor and best-selling author – and at last month’s Creative Sydney event he delivered a keynote entitled ‘The Future is Crowdsourcing’.

“We are now at the opening phases of what is a global talent economy,” he explains. “Talent is now everywhere and far more available. We’re seeing professionals increasingly working independently rather than necessarily in large corporations; we are seeing retired people who are interesting in continuing to be engaged and entrusted to projects. And clearly we have access to people around the world. So we are moving from a world where the talent was all inside big organisations to a very fluid world where the talent is available globally. And there is now a whole host of tools and platforms to be able to access all of this talent in a wide variety of ways.”

Read more

A Declaration of Interdependence


A just got an email from Tiffany Schlain, who had just seen my post on how hyper-connectivity is literally bringing the networks to life. I know of Tiffany as the Founder of the very influential Webby Awards. What I didn’t know is that she is also a filmmaker. Tiffany pointed me to the film she’s currently working on: Connected: A Declaration of Interdependence. The awesome trailer is below – well worth watching. It simply poses the question we are all facing.

Read more