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Networks and ecosystems

The Information Age will demand a new optimal organisation structure emphasizing networks and ecosystems, not hierarchies. (Sibos 2011)
by

Sean Park

on 20 January 2015

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Transcript of Networks and ecosystems

We're living in the wake of the petrochemical revolution of 100 years ago. The petrochemical revolution gave us free energy--free mechanical energy, in this case. It changed the texture of society in most ways. This revolution, the information revolution, is a revolution of free energy as well, but of another kind: free intellectual energy. It's very crude today, yet our Macintosh computer takes less power than a 100-watt light bulb to run and it can save you hours a day. What will it be able to do ten or 20 years from now, or 50 years from now? This revolution will dwarf the petrochemical revolution.

- Steve Jobs, 1985 (Playboy Interview)
industrial age
information age
1971
economies of scale
commodification
information scarcity
company men
dis-economies of complexity
customization
information abundance
free agents
hierarchy
linear decision making
high information costs
tightly coupled
efficient
conformity
brittle
command & control
coercive
reactive
inertia
opaque
arbitraging scarcity
cult of the CEO
The less confident you are, the more serious you have to act.
- Tara Ploughman
"But that is exactly it. Because they 'understand all that' they won't find the edge. They won't find the new. And worse, they'll trample on it, inadvertently crush it, beneath a certain mediocrity inherent in professional competence."
- Zero History, William Gibson
networks
(super) nodes and mavens
distributed
low information costs
leveraging abundant information
loosely coupled
resilient
community
emergent
fractal
adaptive
source: http://blog.placematters.org/2011/02/28/boulder-beats-portland-san-francisco-is-the-best-and-other-superlinear-outcomes/
sub-linear
super-linear
The new architecture of work is now emerging, after decades of transition. White collar work became knowledge work which has now become creative work. The transition from process to networks is not just a recasting, not just a different style of communication. The work is styled as information sharing through social relationships, and where ‘following’ takes the place of ‘invitation’. People coordinate efforts, but work on a wide variety of activities, which are not necessarily co-aligned with others’ work, and which are not necessarily even known in a general way. A new degree of privacy and autonomy animates cooperative work, in comparison to collaborative work. Individuals cooperating hand off information or take on tasks in a fashion that is like businesses cooperating: they see the benefit in cooperating, and don’t have to share a common core set of strategic goals to do so: they don’t need the alignment of goals that defines old style business employment.

- Stowe Boyd, from "The architecture of cooperation"
http://www.stoweboyd.com/post/9291095442/the-architecture-of-cooperation
collaboration
cooperation
The great thing about cities, the thing that is amazing about cities is that as they grow, so to speak, their dimensionality increases. That is, the space of opportunity, the space of functions, the space of jobs just continually increases. And the data shows that. If you look at job categories, it continually increases. I'll use the word "dimensionality." It opens up. And in fact, one of the great things about cities is that it supports crazy people. You walk down Fifth Avenue, you see crazy people, and there are always crazy people. Well, that's good. It is tolerant of extraordinary diversity.

This is in complete contrast to companies, with the exception of companies maybe at the beginning (think of the image of the Google boys in the back garage, with ideas of the search engine no doubt promoting all kinds of crazy ideas and having maybe even crazy people around them).

Well, Google is a bit of an exception because it still tolerates some of that. But most companies start out probably with some of that buzz. But the data indicates that at about 50 employees to a hundred, that buzz starts to stop. And a company that was more multi dimensional, more evolved becomes one-dimensional. It closes down.

Indeed, if you go to General Motors or you go to American Airlines or you go to Goldman Sachs, you don't see crazy people. Crazy people are fired. Well, to speak of crazy people is taking the extreme. But maverick people are often fired.

- Geoffrey West
anthemis group = F(opportunity, talent)
portfolio
ecosystem
community

Anthemis (Án-the-mis) is a genus of about 100 species of aromatic herbs in the Asteraceae… Nicknamed “the plants’ physician”, it seems to improve the health of other plants grown near it. (source: Wikipedia)
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