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@Edward Vielmetti

I see your points. I would say that there are situations where there is a definite flow of information. I'm thinking of daily science innovation and current events/news which some organizations are wanting to keep a close eye on and curate into their resource library.


Virtuous cycle...hardly. Material resources need to be obtained to sustain life and competition only exarcerbates this need. Sure we share but its evident that children get fed first.

Major Fun

May your predictions prove more accurate than you hoped.

Lovely to read such unguarded optimism, especially given the current state of things.

Ed Vielmetti

The stock/flow distinction is an arbitrary one, if you look at systems that generate a change log (e.g. wiki "recent changes", most revision control systems log of "diffs", etc).

If you believe that you have a stock of valuable stuff that's well organized and reasonably comprehensive, then the important thing about it is not the production of new knowledge but the continued evolutionary growth of what's there. and thus you look at the first derivative (flow) of the system to see how things are doing.

there's another measure that you have to take as well, the second derivative (rate of change of flow). you have a system, are changes to it accelerating, slowing down, or at a steady pace? is it static, has everything stopped? do changes happen continuously, at scheduled intervals, or in odd bursts? even a third derivative (jitter) could be useful in finding spikes indicative of unusualness.

a system has some inherent capacity for dealing with change before it rattles apart from too frequent change, or dies from being too static.


There seems to be some conflict here with your language. We can't stand people who use the term "extract value" because this is the mindset of Wall Street and was the mindset of Enron (the Enron people would always say "extract value". Literally, they mean suck all of the wealth out of CUSTOMERS and the Market using your resources to your advantage. Thisis worse than zero sum. It's "I'll suck all the wealth from you for myself, even if that means the rest of the country suffers. And I will get richer and more powerful from this."

So I suggest modifying your Big Shift to the include the following:
1. Delivering value to your customers by using your knowledge to obtain a competitive advantage.

2. Helping customers to prosper (and society) by delivering value to them so you can prosper, thereby creating a virtuous cycle.

Please eliminate "extract value" from the business school language. It shows that you haven't worked with customers at delivering value.

Nuff said.

David Phipps

Great article underscoring many emerging trends in academia as well as business. I am confident the same is true for not for profits but don't have any evidence. Our worlds of technology commercialization and knowledge mobilization are moving from push to pull and focusing on trust based relationships.


a nice read. probably the most lucid account of about the future of business that i've read. thank you

roy wiliams

Great article.

You might add Knorr-Cetina's 'micro-global structures (http://ejournals.ebsco.com/Article.asp?ContributionID=7788525) which argues for a fundamental shift from Weberian organisational structures to 'networked' structures, and cites global finance and global terrorism as two key case studies.


Lot's of interest in this research (shift index) in Latin America. Here's an article I wrote on the topic in one of Colombia's most important magazine portals (Dinero.com) http://ow.ly/janQ

Tom Foremski

This is hardly succinct :)

This is the crux:

"If the logic of the Big Shift holds true, we are moving from a relatively stable business environment to one characterized by rapid rates of change with ever more disruptions generating increasing uncertainty and unpredictability. The economic imperatives and the management practices and institutional arrangements required to address those imperatives will lead to more instability rather than less."

Things will continue to be unstable despite the tools, imho.

Dimitri Limberopulos

Excellent article! I've been scanning the web (blogs, news, etc) and this is the first time that I see a clear article about what's happening in our world.

Congratulations John.

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