17–19 October 2016: Conference & Tutorials
19–20 October 2016: Training
London, UK

Playing chess with companies

Simon Wardley (Leading Edge Forum)
9:30–17:30 Wednesday, 19/10/2016
Location: Hilton Meeting Room 13/16

What you'll learn

  • Explore the concept of business mapping, the main patterns of economic change, and how they can be used to your advantage


Note: Breaks and lunch will be the same time and locations as tutorials.

Simon Wardley uses mapping to demonstrate how open source can be effectively used as a competitive weapon, how ecosystems can be built and exploited, how organizations evolve, and how changes such as big data, the cloud, and 3D printing were all highly predictable.

Drawing on examples from billion-dollar heavy engineering projects to governments to software companies such as Canonical, Simon explains how mapping can be used to rapidly change the fortunes of a project, reduce costs, and outplay competitors with startling results.

Topics include:

  • Why most companies have little or no actual strategy
  • The problem and causes of misalignment within a company
  • Why we tend to one-size-fits-all solutions from insourcing rather than outsourcing, Agile rather than Sigma, and push rather than pull
  • Why we tend to rely on truisms that lack data (for example, culture eats strategy for breakfast)
  • Why companies get disrupted by highly predictable change
  • How the core problem of the above is poor situational awareness
  • The concept of business mapping, the main patterns of economic change, and how they can be used to your advantage

Questions for the speaker? Use the “Leave a Comment or Question” section at the bottom to address them.

Note: This tutorial is included in the Pavilion Plus pass.
Photo of Simon Wardley

Simon Wardley

Leading Edge Forum

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 fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), retail, and IT industries—from Canon’s early leadership in the cloud computing space to Ubuntu’s recent dominance as the top 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’s 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 lifecycle 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.