Enterprise 2.0 and Innovation

I discovered this slideshare presentation by the folks at Acando via a tweet by WeaRo. Its a good one …

The Wizard of Oz is a Carny: the Macworld or Jobs question?

I think there is something seriously wrong.

I sincerely hope that Steve Jobs is not losing a battle with cancer.  I have lost too many people to that disease and have far too much respect for the talent that is Steve Jobs to wish this kind of crisis on anyone.

If that is not the issue, then what could it be?

It’s About Time” says TechCrunch?  I think there is something wrong with the analysis offered in this post.  Maybe there is some sort of relationship at play here and TechCrunch is doing its bit to soften the anticipated blow to Apple’s stock price over this?  I ask this question to peak your interest in social capital, not to suggest some sort of explicit conspiracy.

I can agree with Apple’s strategic decision if they see the need to change the emphasis of the Macworld opportunity or to own the event.  Although … in house management who would need to outsource production would be a misuse of Apple’s core talent, so even if IDG does cost them $10-million, that might hold up in a thorough cost benefit analysis.  Let’s not forget they are sitting on $15-billion in cash.

Managing product expectations or expenses, as suggested by John Gruber in 2002 & resurfaced yesterday by Techcrunch, are weak reasons, IMHO.

The reasons Apple gives in this announcement suggest to me that they are leaving a vacuum in the place of Jobs’ address and completely undervalue the role that Macworld plays for them.

Maybe the problem is that the analysis is being done from a product centric (this includes brand management) perspective, with not enough regard to the real reasons why Apple is the powerhouse that it has become.

Here is the take in the Social Capital Value Add ChangeThis manifesto & ebook (its’s free):

Which asset has more long term residual value? Is it the implicit carnival at MacWorld or the
explicit Steve Jobs address? While the “don’t walk by, give it a try” brand spectacle is the overwhelming subject of envious management deliberation, SCVA is the reminder that the carrier wave for the Carny’s call, the more elaborately produced midway (including the folks on the midway), indicates far more about a company’s ability to create and preserve value. (p. 25 of the ebook released, September 10, 2008).

Apple survived long enough to eat it’s children, i.e. switch from being primarily a computer company to become a consumer electronics giant, because it has a core group of very loyal users (particularly in education).  Vendors who have made iPod a whole product solution depend on Macworld in many ways.  I suspect Steve Jobs knows this, fosters this and is part of the reason for this but maybe not?

I mean, c’mon!  Macworld IS like Christmas to Apple loyalists (hat tip to Chris Thomson for that smile). It is irresistible to most tech enthusiasts. Christmas … now that is a pretty successful strategy for building bonding social capital.  The pilgrimage of physically getting the most loyal together for a communal celebration seems to me to have importance beyond the commercially focused get together at your local Apple store.

This move is very likely a “viral” news story, spinning out perhaps more digital footprint than typical Macworlds, but the quality of that asset is suffering.

Either Steve Jobs is very sick and the first evidence that Apple is sliding into badly motivated reactionary management have started to appear or the analysis is focused on product and brand that does not include a full cost benefit analysis that recognizes scaled up forms of social capital as the company’s most important asset.

Switching the emphasis from product and the Steve Jobs brand spectacle is good strategy if you are replacing that with an emphasis on investing in Apple loyalists.  Why not announce a $1-million contest that highlights the pilgrimage to Macworld in place of their trade show floor space?  Or maybe there is an Apple Day at their stores globally where Apple loyalists are invited to meet up with local peers and connect globally via an interactive Tweet up or web event?

Something is seriously wrong, what do you think?

Note: This post is part of the SoCap&Brand series started by Tim Kitchin.  You are invited to add your own post.

Following Robin Teigland … Leveraging Social Networks for Results

I just started following Dr. Robin Teigland on Twitter.  Get ready to be blown away … check out her slide share presentations.

She is an Associate Professor at the Center for Strategy and Competitiveness at the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) in Sweden.  For more than ten years, she has researched and lectured on social networks and their relationship with strategy and performance.

You MUST take your time and view this presentation.

I just posted her presentation of Fad or Future: Second Life & Virtual Worlds over at www.memeticbrand.com.  It is spot on.

Innovation: You Need to Eat Your Children

Another great guest post by John Maloney … thank you!

My old boss at HP, Lew Platt, like to say, concerning innovation, you need to eat-your-children. HP is famous for consistently having 80% of profits originate from products two years old or less. That requires the courage to kill (eat) products (your children) to allow innovation to flourish. As in nature, this optimizes the ecosystems. It drives profitability, growth and well-being.

Incredibly, in almost 2009, enterprise KM people are still talking about the obsolete notions of sharing, best practices and continuous improvement. (?) Ridiculous. Shameful.

Continuous improvement was important in the 80s as a temporal artifact of the quality revolution. It originated the notion of ‘best practices.’ Both are now 100% obsolete.

BTW, know who is a recognized master of both best practices and continuous improvement? Yep, General Motors, GM.  Today, right now, turn on the news and watch the GM CEO grovel and plead for tax money to fix the mess of US auto manufacturing caused specifically by excellence in sharing, best practice and continuous improvement. It’d be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic. If you hear these terms in your organization, run, don’t walk, for the exits to escape (and to save your life/career).

Today organizations must achieve perpetual innovation (PI). The new Big Three, Toyota, Nissan and Honda get it (and 54% of the US auto market to boot).

Perpetual innovation inhabits value networks. To achieve mastery, do not focus on information distribution (?) and incremental improvements like KM & quality circa 1990. That is a waste of time and resources. You MUST focus knowledge efforts on value network structures and patterns: roles, links, exchanges and OUTCOMES. Information, practices and improvements take care of themselves in well-configured value networks. See:


Also, please forget about sharing. It too is 100% obsolete. There is NO time to share anymore. Rather, focus on collective intelligence. Accept and lead knowledge-based organizations as markets; as the complex adaptive systems all organizations are. Embrace collective intelligence networks and markets to achieve perpetual innovation. See:


Sadly, KM people and orgs are nostalgic. They struggle badly to let go and to focus on the future. They are on the same slippery slope as corporate IT – preserve the past at all cost. (Fully 80% of today’s IT budget goes to supporting legacy apps. Disgraceful.)

KM, IT and organizations fight hard to keep the past and sabotage innovation. Newsflash: They are very good at it! However, sooner-or-later they always lose, to be subsumed by the natural order of value networks and collective intelligence. (It is happening in Detroit as you read this post…)

To move forward, KM and their kissing-cousin, corporate IT, need to heed Lew’s advice, and kill their sacred children of sharing, best practices and continuous improvement.

Post Script from Michael:

In an era where inputs (including financial capital), technology, IP and brand become commodities in very short cycles, I think the problem must be addressed in very practical terms and it is concerning far beyond GM.

In this context, human resources become the source of competitive advantage more than ever.  So is it a race to the bottom or the top?  Ultimately comparative advantage from cheaper labour is a no win, so we can probably agree that innovation is the key.  John is bang on.

Is there anyone reading this that does not recognize that the new consideration is that broadband connectivity is scaling up and making visible the value networks in corporations that Verna Allee & Valdis Krebs have been drawing attention to for years?

Here are a couple of blog posts with additional thoughts:

SCVA, unlike brand valuation, is not linked to particular lines of revenue.  This is a model that attributes value to the sources of innovation and growth in a corporation rather than, for example, a commodity like tobacco or cars.

I think a model like this give the corporation the incentive to “eat its children” or switch revenue lines.

It is a happy economic coincidence that optimizing social networks requires hope & empowerment over fear & ignorance because in a hopeful environment informed individuals take risks. Publishing distinguishes emitters.  When they discover better ways, their peers emulate across the network. If fear & ignorance reins, productivity suffers.

Where is the Value? Google Friend Connect

I think that this is another sign that the technologies involved are quickly becoming a commodity.  The real value is in the network.

The Economist has a little piece about Facebook’s play along these same lines.

Rafe Needleham at CNET thinks Facebook will win out over Google Connect because it is a marketing channel.

Social Networks in Plain English by Commoncraft

I had previously visited Simon Small’s blog entitled “Who is in control of your brand?”, but I popped over there again after he made a comment on the IAM or “Social Media Man” post below.

He had this quick introduction to social networks & the utility of social network applications by the folks at Common Craft up.

I hope that both Simon and Sachi & Lee LeFever consider contributing to the SoCap&Brand meme that Tim Kitchin started off.

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