Study: Decentralized organizations will win, especially in challenging times

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For decades management theorists have argued over whether and when organizations should be centralized or decentralized.

However the situation is now dramatically different than it was before, as we become richly connected and the world we live in becomes increasingly complex and interdependent.

A new paper reviewed by Stanford Graduate School of Business examines the relative success of firms through the recent global “Great Recession”, depending on their degree of centralization.

The authors, Nicholas Bloom of Stanford University, Philippe Aghion of Harvard University, Raffaella Sadun from Harvard Business School, and John Van Reenen from London School of Economics, reportedly found that:
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4 important implications of us reaching Crunch Time

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A little while ago we released our “Crunch Time” framework, looking at the 14 domains where we are hitting dramatic disruption, including work, money, privacy, government, education, media, climate and more. You can see the full Crunch Time framework on the Future Exploration Network website.

We have created a short video to introduce the concept of Crunch Time, and the four major implications that apply across the board.


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It’s an attitude: Embracing the future

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On my RossDawson.com site I list some of the more popular topics for my keynote speeches.

Particularly for internal corporate events, one of the most popular themes is ‘Embracing the Future‘, in which I not only point to the dramatic shifts underway and the potential of the future, but show that the attitude of embracing those changes will bring the greatest personal opportunities.

I recently created a short video to help describe the main themes of the keynote, shown below.


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Innovation and future-proofing in mid-tier firms: The central role of CFOs

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Last week I gave the keynote on Future-Proofing Your Organization at a function organized by American Express to launch their very interesting American Express CFO Future-proofing Survey.

There were many interesting insights in the report, with many media outlets picking up that 45% of CFOs of Australian mid-tier firms believe their company is at risk of failure in the next 3-5 years if innovation is not prioritized.

Some of the main themes coming from the qualitative research are shown in this graphic from the report:

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Source: American Express CFO Future-proofing Survey
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Slides: Future of Business: Crowds and Sharing Economy

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I am at Innovation Partnership Program, a three-day executive education program in Silicon Valley for senior executives from Fortune 100 companies, done as a joint venture between Singularity University and XPrize.

It is an exceptional program providing a deep dive into the exponential technologies driving change, including AI, robotics, crowds, 3D manufacturing, medicine, genetics, computing, digital finance and the strategic implications for enterprise.

I presented the session on crowds on the first day, providing a big picture overview of crowds, crowdsourcing and the sharing economy.

My slides are below. As always, they are not intended to be meaningful for those who did not attend the presentation, but may still be useful to others.

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The new layer of the economy enabled by M2M payments in the Internet of Things

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Last week I gave a keynote on The Future of Banking to a group of the most senior risk leaders in a major bank, sharing some provocative ideas on how the banking landscape may change in the years to come.

One of the ideas I shared briefly was on how micro-payments between connected devices could enable an entirely new layer of the economy.
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Concept video: The Future of Work

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A while ago at Future Exploration Network we created the Future of Work Framework to provide a high-level overview of how the world of work is shifting.

Over the past year I have used the framework extensively as a starting point for executive briefings and strategy workshops on the strategic implications of the rapidly changing world of work.

However the static visual can be hard to interpret on its own, so we have now created a short video that delves into and narrates the framework.


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Business transformation: an ongoing process of shifting to more open organizations

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A recent article in CMO.com titled Telcos Undertake Customer-Focused Transformation shared some of my thoughts on the realities of business transformation. The article opens:

Transformation isn’t so much a process as a modus operandi for successful businesses in the digital age, according to Australian futurist and digital strategist Ross Dawson.

Dawson said that successful, ongoing transformation comes from a fundamental change in business culture–away from secrecy, hierarchy, and fear, and toward greater openness in which failure is embraced as a learning tool.

“There needs to be a real shift in the culture of the business–not just at the top levels of the organization–and this requires greater risk taking, as well as greater transparency,” Dawson said. “This transparency and visibility around what is being done in the transformation, and the successes as well as failures, are vital to any business transformation.”

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Agencies must adapt to a marketing world based on open systems

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John Winsor, CEO of crowdsourcing-based advertising agency Victors & Spoils and Chief Innovation Officer at global marketing conglomerate Havas, has long been an innovator and provocateur in agency world.

He gave the keynote at the Future of Crowdsourcing Summit I ran in San Francisco and Sydney in 2010, and his agency was featured as a case study of crowd business models in my book Getting Results From Crowds.

John has just published an excellent article on HBR Blogs titled The Future of Marketing, as Seen at Cannes Lions.
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The future of offices: facilitating interaction and making work fun

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Last week I was interviewed on the Daily Edition TV program about the future of offices.

Click on the image below to see a video of the interview.

DailyEdition_080714
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