Reports from the Knowledge Labs about our recent findings, research topics, and interviews with lifestyle leaders who are creating their own futures.

How to stimulate your own powers of foresight. Consider the following thought provokers. Ask yourself, in these categories what are the brand new trends and forces? Which are the ones growing in importance? Which current forces are loosing their steam? Which have peaked or are reversing themselves? Which are the "wildcards" about to disrupt us in the future? POLITICAL AND TECHNICAL thought for food: Electronics, Materials, Energy, Fossil, Nuclear, Alternative, Other, Manufacturing (techniques), Agriculture, Machinery and Equipment, Distribution, Transportation (Urban, Mass, Personal, Surface, Sea, Subsurface, Space), Communication (Printed, Spoken, Interactive, Media), Computers (Information, Knowledge, Storage & Retrieval, Design, Network Resources), Post-Cold War, Third World, Conflict (Local, Regional, Global), Arms Limitation, Undeclared Wars, Terrorism, Nuclear Proliferation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Governments (More/Less Power and Larger or Smaller Scale), Taxes, Isms: Nationalism, Regionalism, Protectionism, Populism, Cartels, Multinational Corporations, Balance of Trade, Third Party Payments, Regulations (OSHA, etc.) Environmental Impact, U.S. Prestige Abroad. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC Food for thought: Labor Movements, Unemployment / Employment Cycles, Recession, Employment Patterns, Work Hours / Schedules, Fringe Benefits, Management Approaches, Accounting Policies, Productivity, Energy Costs, Balance of Payments, Inflation, Taxes, Rates of Real Growth, Distribution of Wealth, Capital Availability and Costs, Reliability of Forecasts, Raw Materials, Availability and Costs, Global versus National Economy, Market versus Planned Economies, Generations: Y, X, Boomers, Elderly, Urban vs. Rural Lifestyles, Affluent vs. Poor, Neighborhoods and Communities, Planned or Organic Growth. Got Knowledge?

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The Journal of 2020 Foresight
Thursday, August 10, 2006  

Marketing Athletes, Resilient Teams, Core Groups and Operationally Excellents

Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories

By Steve Howard, CKO
The Knowledge Labs

Table of Contents
Chapter One: Basecamp
Chapter Two: The Ridge
Chapter Three: The Outpost
Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories

“So we were king of depressed. I came by the next day and everybody’s standing around and I didn’t have a song. I usually write songs on the way over; but this time I didn’t’ have one, even though I stopped at all the right places in the car and opened the door and took out my piece of paper and pen. I couldn’t write, nothing happened…”

Neil Young & Crazy Horse “Greendale”

DOUBLE NICKLE RANCH. Not everyone enjoys fiercely independent work and self-sufficient lifestyles – so central to the Rustic Eagle or the Rural Country extremes. Introducing the Trapped and Permanently Temporary project team freelancers and interim middle managers hoping to make the “Athletic” teams.

Journal of 2020 Foresight: Many trapped and permanently temporaries long for face-to-face project-based work as a way of affiliating with other people on a more regular basis and as a way to demonstrate their value in a new organization, right?

Explorer: That’s right. They miss the teamwork. And they seek out ”Athletic” organizations to counterbalance the isolation and extreme independence they are forced to endure now that they are on their own – no matter if they are “Interim Middle Managers”, “Cutters”, “Urban Trapped” or just now “Starting Over.”

J2020F: How does temporary project work help them, if they can’t become permanent members of an organization?

Explorer: The trick is for “Interim Middle Managers,” for instance, to apply their program management, project management, product management or general management skills to “Resilient Project Teams,” “Core Business Groups,” “Operationally Excellents,” or “Marketing Athletes.”

J2020F: So, a project helps pay the bills?

Explorer: Because assignments generating new and emerging knowledge areas will be valued when “Athletes” grow into larger organizations.

J2020F: So they lend their management expertise in exchange for less obsolete and more marketable experiences?

Explorer: They hope to fit in either on a current or a future assignment in the lower right, tan box – “Core Business Group.”

J2020F: Next to the “Associate” box?

Explorer: Sure. A “Core Business Group” is where they will feel the most affiliation as the enterprise builds a team-of-teams culture.

J2020F: What if they “enter” this scenario box from the top left hand corner – from the “Agent” scenario?

Explorer: You’re talking about the small red box – the “Marketing Athletes”?

J2020F: They provide a service, I’m assuming to the inventors and innovators in the Agent scenario, right?

Explorer: Yes. Usually the idea people – especially the “Thought Leaders” and “Breakpoint Inventors” don’t excel at execution. So on “this side of the border,” they may provide the missing marketing infrastructure to complement the “Commercial Innovators.”

J2020F: In what way?

Explorer: An incubator -- the physical space, technology support, feasibility assessments or opening up sales and distribution channels for the “R& D Laboratory Agents.”

J2020F: What if the innovation passes the first gate and drops further down into the “green-on-green” box or the true and extreme Athlete?

Explorer: “Resilient Project Teams” provide the discipline necessary to accelerate new business formation, rapidly introduce new products into a market niche, capture emerging knowledge, and introduce processes and business formulas.

J2020F: And if the product succeeds and the business gets off the ground?

Explorer: They’ll need to form a more permanent “Core Business Group” with a mix of independent contractors to extend product offerings into multiple specialty niche products.

J2020F: And, over time if they may specialize in high growth?

Explorer: Then they may hire some of those “Trapped and Permanently Temporary” contractors we mentioned for high volume ramp-ups that can be studied by the rest of the organization – by beginning a rapid-response after-action-review process -- that matures into the new world class set of best practices.

J2020F: And if they mix in some “Academics?”

Explorer: Then, the blue “Operationally Excellent” athletes take the emerging core competency further by developing operationally excellent processes -- streamlined, efficient and incrementally improved -- while deciding which of the non-essentials are outsourced.

J2020F: Who manages people, technologies, processes, and organizational structures to sustain the innovation already mastered?

Got Knowledge?
Copyright ©2002 - 2006 Aarnaes Howard Associates. All rights reserved worldwide.

8:11 AM

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