Situation Normal, Everything Must Change — The Tutorial

IT Leaders Summit
Location: F 150
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 6 ratings)

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:

  • Evolution
    • The evolution of business and technology.
    • Why innovation and commoditisation are a virtuous circle.
    • Why you need to continuously change in order to just stand still relative to your competitors.
    • Examining the impacts of cloud computing
  • Management
    • Why one size approaches to management rarely works.
    • Why what works for you won’t necessarily work for me.
    • Common mistakes in management.
    • The importance of ecosystems.
  • Organisation
    • The history of organisation
    • The path from innovative start-up to dinosaur and why success today can be fatal tomorrow.
    • The importance of destroying your business before others do.
    • How can we solve the innovation paradox and simultaneously encourage efficiency and innovation.
  • Gaming
    • The tactical uses of open source.
    • How organisations can game these connections to their own advantage.
    • How to organise around continual change.
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.

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Picture of Rick Clark
Rick Clark
07/27/2011 2:07am PDT

Though I have heard Simon speak on this subject before, the extended length of this presentation really helped me apply his points to my business