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
Sunday, August 20, 2006  

No More Head Banging: Tightening Operations Opens the Garage Door

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

"UPS maintains a think tank ... which works on supply-chain algorithms. This "school" of mathematics is called "package flow technology," and it is designed to constantly match the deployment of UPS trucks, ships, airplanes, and sorting capabilities with that day's flow of packages around the world."

Thomas L. Friedman, “The World is Flat”

DOUBLE NICKEL RANCH. Marketing structure, repeatable processes and robust high volume ramp-ups dominate the rapid growth stage. A new set of tribal talent combinations capable of learning from their mistakes and improving their go-to-market processes grabs the baton from the Agents for the next leg of the race.

Journal of 2020 Foresight: Emerging knowledge that Athletes learn by developing "the formula" reduces the amount of the random experimenting required in each real world learning cycle, right?

Explorer: Athletes help tighten up operations by setting up functional operations. They extend, improve, and modify the central formula. At the same time they rapidly discard what doesn't fit.

J2020F: So they bring some order out of chaos necessary to handle higher growth demands?

Explorer: Yes. Breakpoint Inventors and Commercial Innovators, even with the help of Marketing Athletes can still bonk when faced with the Leadership Crisis that results from their organic, creative and collaborative organization structure.

J2020F: By standardizing procedures, policies, product lines and methods of production and distribution, Athletes – “Resilient Project Teams” -- position an organization to efficiently grow larger in its second phase, right?

Explorer: Yes. By following the path of least resistance towards the next phase of growth Athletes, more so than any other of the 12 tribal talent clusters, place a premium on emerging functional team roles.

J2020F: So in a phrase, then, Athletes select and recruit new talent based on team fit, a process focus, and an opportunistic attitude?

Explorer: Sure. Their dominant aspiration is the financial payoff traditionally associated with establishing a big company, but without all the unnecessary bureaucracy.

J2020F: They don’t want to become an Academic organization, right?

Explorer: Right. Academics move too slowly and identify with well-established professions and benchmarked practices studied at mature organizations.

J2020F: And I imagine that the Athletes who focus on tightening the organization’s business model don’t welcome the fees that Academics command and charge for their services?

Explorer: That’s true also. This stage is all about speed. Athletes harness and leverage their newfound momentum from the emerging knowledge their repeatable processes yield.

J2020F: In an earlier discussion, Trailblazer pointed out that Athletes need to guard their organization's core competencies while quickly managing and learning from increasing degrees of complexity. Can you say a little more?

Explorer: Well, Athletic organizations in early to growth stages can't afford to staff up with more bodies. As you pointed out, they have to manage their financial costs. So that means they need to become excellent project and product managers. They constantly have to ask themselves, “How much proprietary know-how should I reveal in order for contractors to complete their assigned tasks?”

J2020F: And, if they don’t yet possess those project management skills their situation might be just the opportunity Interim Managers seek who “Used to Be Somebody” under different circumstances.

Explorer: Or for the “Digitally Mobiles” and “Portfolio Locals”, as well.

J2020F: What's the right mix of talent for functional tightening given the growing complexity?

Got Knowledge?
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