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An organisation, whether a business or a government, is a living thing. It comprises a network of people, a mass of different activities, and reserves of capital. It consumes, it produces, it grows and in some cases it dies. Like all organisms, it exists within a number of ecosystems in which it competes and co-operates with others; it’s shaped by and shapes its environment, and hence needs to constantly adapt merely to survive. Also, people come and go, activities change and hence all organisations are in a constant state of flux.
This constant change creates a paradox of innovation, where the two extremes of survival (today and tomorrow) have diametrically opposite concerns, techniques, tactics and methods. The effects of this paradox can be seen in the constant yo-yoing of popular management theories between opposites in a scramble to maintain order. A more effective balance should be found through embracing both goals simultaneously.
This tutorial explores these concepts paying particular attention to:
Simon Wardley is a researcher for the Leading Edge Forum focused on the intersection of IT strategy and new technologies. Simon is a seasoned executive who has spent the last 15 years defining future IT strategies for companies in the FMCG, retail, and IT industries—from Canon’s early leadership in the cloud-computing space in 2005 to Ubuntu’s recent dominance as the #1 cloud operating system. As a geneticist with a love of mathematics and a fascination for economics, Simon has always found himself dealing with complex systems, whether in behavioral patterns, the environmental risks of chemical pollution, developing novel computer systems, or managing companies. He is a passionate advocate and researcher in the fields of open source, commoditization, innovation, organizational structure, and cybernetics.
Simon’s most recent published research, “Clash of the Titans: Can China Dethrone Silicon Valley?,” assesses the high-tech challenge from China and what this means to the future of global technology industry competition. His previous research covers topics including the nature of technological and business change over the next 20 years, value chain mapping, strategies for an increasingly open economy, Web 2.0, and a life-cycle approach to cloud computing. Simon is a regular presenter at conferences worldwide and has been voted one of the UK’s Top 50 Most Influential People in IT in Computer Weekly’s 2011 and 2012 polls.
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