The quest for autonomy

Autonomy comes from the Greek word autonomos, meaning (auto) ‘self’ (nomos) ‘law’. It refers to ‘the capacity of a rational individual to make an informed, un-coerced decision’ [Wikipedia]. For some time we’ve known that autonomy is what really makes people happy at work (not money! evidenced here and here). Luckily, enabling people to doing things in a self-guided way is exactly what makes companies most innovative and profitable. Just look at Google engineers, encouraged to take 20% of their time to work on whatever they like; hence Gmail, Google News... Read The Rest →

Innovation killers

There are two types of company out there: companies who encourage their mavericks and companies who constrict them until they’re forced out (after months, often years, of long-drawn-out subpar productivity). There’s a scary tendency in many companies for the best people – those most likely to produce big leaps forward – to do their innovative stuff under the radar, keeping schtum about their latest super-cool project, in case the powers that be stick their ore in and squish it dead before it’s off the ground. Yes, this is ridiculous. Yes,... Read The Rest →

Heaven for mavericks

Ricardo Semler took over his Dad’s Brazilian business, Semco, in the 80s. Semco now employs over 3,000 people in manufacturing, professional services and high-tech. They increased their annual revenues from $35 million to $165 million between 1994 and 2001. At its peak, there was a 17-month waiting list for the bi-weekly tour of Semco, as corporate leaders from all over the world clamored for a peek at their magic dust. Semco has no org chart, no official structure, no business plan, no company strategy, no 3-year or 5-year plan, no... Read The Rest →

Markets are conversations… so what? Part II

Following my last post a few folk asked me to expand on how to enable two-way comms. To cut a long story short, if you’re a big company with loads of people wanting to talk, the only way to get scale is to empower your staff to talk to customers. Companies who’ve been around for a long time often can’t see a way to make this happen – or it’s already happening in pockets under the radar and they don’t know how to control it. The important point to remember... Read The Rest →

Your agile self

The word ‘agility’ is being bandied about a lot lately. Agile development processes are the norm in tech companies now – favoured over the old school linear (waterfall) method, for obvious reasons, like more rapid development and alignment with customer need. It stands to reason we can no longer risk the time and money wrapped up in locking ourselves in a room, devising and developing, then unleashing on the world in the hope they like what we’ve group-thunk. Instead we iterate, evolve, collaborate, release little and often and pursue a... Read The Rest →

No straight lines of possibility?

Alan Moore’s recent post is worth a read: In his article for The Observer – Tony Judt writes, Something is profoundly wrong with the way we live today. For 30 years we have made a virtue out of the pursuit of material self-interest: indeed, this very pursuit now constitutes whatever remains of our sense of collective purpose. We know what things cost but have no idea what they are worth. The materialistic and selfish quality of contemporary life is not inherent in the human condition. Much of what appears “natural”... Read The Rest →

Brookside, postboxes & SaaS development

Loads of illuminating analogies have emerged in conversations with Andrew Missingham, but today there’s one in particular that popped up… You may remember when the soap Brookside launched on Channel 4. The storylines were based around folk living in a close of houses. They had some trouble at the outset however, in that script writers realised they hadn’t created enough ‘stock devices’ – places where people could meet that would fuel the dramatic unfolding of events. Their answer was to put a postbox on the street, so residents would accidentally... Read The Rest →

Humanity 2.0 on slideshare homepage

Nice one slideshare! “Hey ResonanceBlog! Your presentation Complexity & Humanity 2.0 has been selected amongst the ‘Top Presentations of the Day’ on the SlideShare homepage. Our editorial team would like to thank you for this awesome presentation, that has been chosen from amongst the thousands that are uploaded to SlideShare everday. Congratulations! Have a Great Day! - The SlideShare team p.s. Why not blog/twitter this and let the world know about the masterpiece you have created?”

Collaboration and democracy

The shift towards long-distance collaboration in the design and production of goods and services is helping shape the future of democracy. Some corporations recognise that old hierarchies aren’t working. Sometimes they even mandate that their subordinate units break with old practices. The irony! “I demand that you all start disregarding hierarchy immediately!!” The trouble is, any structure in which most individuals are inaccessible to others is going to be inefficient in turbulent times. As Charles Handy said 5 years ago, ‘Hierarchy, generally, is losing its legitimacy while partnership is in... Read The Rest →

Disappearing up your digital ass

Thanks to my fab friend Steve Moore, I sneaked into the Reboot Britain conference last week. To cut a long story short, the premise was along the lines of ‘we’re all screwed up – economically, politically etc – what we gonna do about it’, focusing on digital means of mending our broken society. MPs, journos, activists, corporate folk, entrepreneurs and all sorts were there. There was a sniff of revolution in the air… BUT… what’s with the incessant harping on about ‘Digital’? Digital revolution. Digital age. Digital solutions. Come on... Read The Rest →

Dirty meaning factories

People live, then they die. Get over it. We all die and life is short. This is the fundamental fact of life that causes us to seek meaning… to crave it (so as not to feel pointless – hence religion… and brands). Marketers sussed this out. Roll on the brand campaigns that attach meaning to things they want us to buy… mass marketing and broadcasting (human standardisation). So we buy stuff. It differs according to our environment (e.g. I’m a London business dude so I really can’t possibly be a... Read The Rest →

Big lumpy clumpy balls of crap

Leading on from the previous post about the coolness of chaos…   Have you ever had to deal with a big lumpy piece of complex old software that was written years ago, then updated countless times, new bits added on, a new guy adding another bit, bolt-ons, sticking plasters and fixes… until it’s a big slow cumbersome piece of crap nobody can change or work with?   That’s pretty much industry as it stands – and other big systems for that matter (e.g. government, education). Since the industrial revolution, we’ve... Read The Rest →

Scrmblr

I haven’t blogged in any great depth about Scrmblr (‘scrambler’), so thought it was about time. Scrmblr is a global network of content producers (Scrmblrs) who create anti-ads (Scrmbls). Marketing used to be about advertising, but advertising is often expensive, fake and dumb. What remains important is the act of telling stories about the things we trade – stories that sell and stories that spread. Scrmblr gives power to the people – the talented people of the world, enabling creators of great content to reap fair rewards, while enabling organisations... Read The Rest →

Companies Vs. Tribes

Let’s compare for a moment. You can compare in terms of pretty much anything: efficiency, effectiveness, happiness… Some brief examples: Communications C: Spread from the top down T: Spread from anywhere to everywhere, via the centre Growth C: Recruit from the top, hiring below T: Recruit from anywhere, hiring everywhere Innovation C: Creation from the bottom, managed from the top T: Creation from everywhere, no management needed Bliss C: Everyone spends their time inside the company’s expensive box, developing ideas with others from the same company T: Everyone works from... Read The Rest →

Management is so last century

As David Weinberger said in The Cluetrain Manifesto, ‘Management is a powerful force, part of a larger life-scheme that promises us health, prosperity, calm and no surprises in every aspect of our lives, from health to wealth to good weather and moderately heated coffee from McDonald’s. We are all victims of this assault on voice, the attempt to get us to shut up and listen to the narrowest range of ideas imaginable.’ Here here. It’s bizarre, when you think about it, that we seek health, prosperity and calm in a... Read The Rest →

It’s happening (scrmblr style)…

Seth Godin’s recent post here hit the nail on the head. He says ‘TV advertisers are finally discovering that YouTube + viral imagination = free media… The biggest shift is going to be that organizations that could never have afforded a national campaign will suddenly have one. The same way that there’s very little correlation between popular websites and big companies, we’ll see that the most popular commercials get done by little shops that have nothing to lose.’ Funny he should say that. It’s exactly what we Scrmblrs (‘scramblers’) are... Read The Rest →

The most effective form of distribution

It was a sad day when the Pirate Bay guys – Frederik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Carl Lundstrom and Peter Sunde – were been banged up and ordered to pay $4.5m damages. “There has been a perception that piracy is OK and that the music industry should just have to accept it. This verdict will change that,” said International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) chairman John Kennedy. Unbelievable. And it gets worse: “The trial of the operators of The Pirate Bay was about defending the rights of creators, confirming... Read The Rest →

Are you a Fraggle or a Doozer?

Unlike Fraggles, Doozers love to work all day long; and they hate playing games. With the help of various Doozer machines and vehicles, they build elaborate constructions all over Fraggle Rock, like towers, buildings, roads and bridges. Their building materials, Doozer Sticks, are made of radish dust. Doozer Sticks are the Fraggles’ favorite snack, and they love to eat the buildings that Doozers build. The Doozers don’t mind their buildings being eaten; if the Fraggles didn’t eat the constructions, the Doozers would run out of building space. Doozers and Fraggles... Read The Rest →

More on Punk Capitalism

Someone asked me yesterday what exactly Punk Capitalism means… Punk was all about a DIY revolution, rejecting authority and hierarchy, working for yourself without taking cues from the mass market, setting up businesses that aren’t fussed about competing and place purpose over profit, advocating that we should produce as much as we consume. Nowadays we’re all working more independently and struggle with crappy managers / bosses, we want richer experiences and creativity is our most valuable currency. We’re coming to the end of the Industrial Revolution cycle… the final nails... Read The Rest →

Skipping the curve

Most people at some point question what they’re doing… where their life is going… whether they’ve achieved enough or made the correct choices. Whether they should be playing this game or jacking it all in for a beach shack. This post is for all you guys. I, for one, sometimes get sick of the sound of my own voice, repeating the stuff of ‘those who get it’ – as if it’s still brand new. As long as there are ‘those who don’t get it’, perhaps we still feel good about... Read The Rest →

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