Publications

 Blog


My blog is called Edge Perspectives – where I post shorter items and where you can contribute reactions to my postings.

Deloitte: Center for the Edge


The paradox of flows: Can hope flow from fear? [2016 Shift Index]
John HagelJohn Seely BrownMaggie WoollAndrew de Maar


Patterns of Disruption (Series)
Disruptive innovation doesn’t just happen at random. History shows that it’s possible to identify specific patterns of disruption—disruptive strategies that, when combined with certain marketplace trends, can topple industry incumbents. Explore our Patterns of Disruption case studies>>


Patterns of Disruption in Wholesale Banking
John Hagel, Jim Eckenrode, Val Srinivas
Wholesale banking is increasingly vulnerable to a set of fundamental macroeconomic trends that are reshaping the global business landscape–what we call The Big Shift. While this shift catalyzes disruptions in all industries, Deloitte’s Center for the Edge and Center for Financial Services have identified those impacting wholesale banking. By learning these patterns of disruption, we hope leaders anticipate them. By anticipating them, we hope leaders act. By acting, we believe leaders can create value in an increasingly challenging world.


Navigating a shifting landscape: Capturing value in the evolving mobility ecosystem
John Hagel
Who will guide tomorrow’s road warriors? Looking ahead to the future of mobility, one key to capturing value could be to help individuals get more value out of mobility by serving as trusted advisers—on matters ranging from where to go to how to get there and even whom to take along.


The retail transformation: Cultivating choice, experience, and trust
John Hagel, John Seely Brown, Tamara Samoylova, Kasey M. Lobaugh, Neha Goel
New technologies and new ways to connect with consumers are transforming the retail sector. To compete effectively, traditional retailers should reimagine how they create and capture value, thinking past omnichannel positioning to find the best uses for their assets.


The Power of Platforms
John Hagel
Properly designed business platforms can help create and capture new economic value and scale the potential for learning across entire ecosystems.
SEE ALSO: Business Ecosystems come of Age


Minimum Viable Transformation
John Hagel
Leaders are taking lessons from the startup playbook on “minimum viable products” to launch minimum viable transformations—lightweight and readily adaptable versions of potential new business models.


The Future of Manufacturing: Making things in a changing world
John Hagel, John Seely Brown, Duleesha Kulasooriya, Craig A. Giffi, Mengmeng Chen
The changing economics of production and distribution, along with shifts in consumer demand and the emergence of “smart” products, are pushing manufacturers to explore radically new ways of creating and capturing value.


A consumer driven culture of health
John HagelJohn Seely Brown
The Affordable Care Act has disrupted the US health care market’s current fee-for-service economic model. Out of this disruption may emerge an open, consumer-driven health care ecosystem focused on transparency, actionable insights, collaboration, and engagement.


The Lifetime Learner: A journey through the future of postsecondary education
John Hagel, John Seely Brown, Maggie Wooll, Roy Mathew, Wendy Tsu
The increasingly disparate needs and expectations of individual learners are fueling the growth of a rich ecosystem of semi-structured, unorthodox learning providers at the “edges” of the traditional higher educational system.


Passion at Work: Cultivating Worker Passion as a Cornerstone for Talent Development
John Hagel, John Seely Brown, Alok Ranjan, Daniel Byler
By cultivating the traits of worker passion in their workforce, organizations can make sustained performance gains and develop the resilience they need to withstand continuous market challenges and disruptions.


Metrics that Matter: Social software for business performance
John Hagel, John Seely Brown, Duleesha Kulasooriya, Aliza Marks
Social software presents a set of unique capabilities to address operating challenges and improve operating metrics. Companies that embrace this opportunity will have a distinct advantage over their competitors, with the experiences of two early adopters suggesting a strategy for deriving tangible performance improvements and achieving short-term impact with a modest investment in social software tools.


The Future of Business Landscape
The forces of the Big Shift are driving both fragmentation and concentration across the economy and fundamentally changing the nature of interactions and relationships among businesses and individuals. Discover the implications of this dynamic landscape >>


The Maker Movement
What makes “making”—the next generation of inventing and do-it-yourself—worth paying attention to? The platforms for learning, sharing and selling employed by the Maker Movement are amplifying that impact and leading to new possibilities for innovation in products, materials and business models.

Edge Series Pocket Guides
Shift Happens: How the world is changing and what you need to do about it
Institutional Innovation: How to help your organization learn faster and thrive
Scaling Edges: How to radically transform your organization
Purchase the Edge Series Bundle: Shift Happens, Institutional Innovation, and Scaling Edges on Amazon.com


Lessons from the Edge: What companies can learn from a tribe in the Amazon
John Hagel, John Seely Brown, Tamara Samoylova
The Surui, an Amazonian tribe, fought back from the brink of obsolescence by embracing learning through a variety of technologies and partners, illustrating useful lessons for enterprises trying to learn and adapt to the Big Shift.


Coherency in contradiction
John Hagel, John Seely Brown, Tamara Samoylova, Chris Arkenberg
Embracing the contradictions and apparent incoherency of our present condition may induce institutional change that better enables learning, innovation, and sustained performance improvement.


2013 Shift Index Metrics: The burdens of the past 
John Hagel, John Seely Brown, Tamara Samoylova, Matt Frost
While individuals are eagerly embracing new knowledge-sharing technologies, our research suggests that outdated institutional structures continue to inhibit organizational knowledge flows.


Success or struggle: ROA as a true measure of business performance 
John Hagel, John Seely Brown, Tamara Samoylova, Michael Lui
Declining return on assets (ROA) doesn’t fit with the stories commonly reported about firm performance and the business environment.


From exponential technologies to exponential innovation 
John Hagel, John Seely Brown, Tamara Samoylova, Michael Lui
Exponentially advancing digital technologies have led to exponentially accelerating innovation, making the environment increasingly difficult to navigate—but also opening the door to opportunity.


Unlocking the Passion of the Explorer 
John Hagel, John Seely Brown, Tamara Samoylova
By adopting new ways of working focused on eliciting and amplifying the passion of certain workers, organizations will benefit from the sustained performance improvement that these individuals create.


Work environment redesign: Accelerating talent development and performance improvement
John Hagel, John Seely Brown, Tamara Samoylova
The way the workplace is constructed—physically, virtually, and managerially—can have a critical impact on employee productivity, passion, and innovation.
SEE ALSO: Work environment redesign: Case study library


Institutional Innovation
John Hagel, John Seely Brown
Institutional innovation allows organizations to rearchitect themselves to scale learning and generate richer innovations at other levels, including products, business models, and management systems.


Pragmatic pathways: New approaches to organizational change
John Hagel, John Seely Brown, Christopher Gong, Stacey Wang, Travis Lehman
Resistance to change can doom organizational transformation. One way to make success more likely is through a series of small moves, smartly made—following Pragmatic Pathways to long-term change.


Performance Ecosystems: A decision framework to take performance to the next level 
Amit Sahasrabudhe, Holly J. Kellar, Vijay Sharma, Bill Wiltschko
Companies operate within ecosystems to deliver value to their markets — no company is an island. Yet, for many, these ecosystems have evolved without much attention or planning. Few companies have systematically assessed the different options available in terms of types of ecosystems. Learn how to take a more thoughtful and planned approach to this increasingly important issue.

Scaling Edges
John Hagel, John Seely Brown, Duleesha Kulasooriya
To thrive in the Big Shift, companies must move from innovating at a product or service level to innovating across their entire institutions. Unfortunately, traditional large-scale change efforts that challenge the core of the business often fail. Change management is not rational—it is intensely political. The Scaling Edges methodology helps businesses focus on low investment, high-growth-potential opportunities—“edges”—with fundamentally different business practices that can ultimately transform the core of the organization.


The 2010 Shift Index: Measuring the forces of long-term change 
John Hagel, John Seely Brown, Duleesha Kulasooriya, Dan Elbert

Service Grids: The Missing Link in Web Services
John Hagel, John Seely Brown

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Spring 2017
What’s a board to do in the age of exponential change?

Winter 2017
Make this your best year and the paradox of flows: Can hope flow from fear?

Fall 2016
The Big Shift in business models: Where’s the money?

Summer 2016
Half-empty or half-full? The most important thing is filling the glass.

Spring 2016
The big shift in business models and harnessing the full potential of platforms.

Winter 2016
Navigating a shifting landscape through the future of mobility and the impacts of disruption on business strategies.

Fall 2015
Disruption is a hot topic today, some might say too hot. But in a turbulent world of constant change, disruption cannot be ignored.

Summer 2015
Business ecosystems are crucial for innovation, analysis, and strategic planning.

Spring 2015
To survive and thrive in a world of mounting performance pressure, businesses will need to evolve into movements—defining their success by their ability to mobilze, inspire, and support an ever-expanding array of participants extending far beyond their own four walls.

Winter 2014
Navigating the changing demands of the future business landscape.

Fall 2014
How the internet of things and the maker movement signal the new economic landscape.

April/May 2014
From an Amazonian tribe to the Maker Movement, learn how the Big Shift is manifesting in unexpected edges and how the principles of work environment redesign can help all types of organizations build accelerated learning capabilities.

January/February 2014
Our Centers go global! The fundamental shifts we see in the business environment aren’t limited to the US—the underlying trends and their impacts are global, albeit with differences in the rate of change, the degree of impact, and what disruption looks like.

October/November 2013
We all know that the world we live and work in is changing. At Center for the Edge, we track the long-term trends driven by changes in public policy and the exponential rate of change in the digital infrastructure and compile them in our annual Shift Index.

May/June 2013
Talent development is one of the hottest and most important topics for executives today. However, it is often seen as more of an art than a science. Learn more about the work environment and discover design principles for organizations to follow to create environments that can accelerate talent development and performance improvement.

February/March 2013
Social data thought leaders from business, academia, and the intelligence community convened at Deloitte University to discuss the strategic opportunities and challenges surrounding social data. Hear about what they discussed. In addition, lean about how Institutional Innovation can create smarter organizations to scale learning.

December 2012/January 2013
How can your company maximize upside potential, minimize investment, and compress lead times? Pragmatic Pathways is our framework for executives seeking to embark on this difficult, but necessary transformation. Learn more.

October/November 2012
Increased globalization and rapid advancements in digital technology, collectively referred to as The Big Shift, are profoundly altering our economy and the business landscape as we know it. While some firms have benefitted handsomely by understanding and anticipating these fundamental forces of change, this Big Shift has heaped performance pressures on others. Learn more.

Viewpoints

Earlier postings on my website

From Push to Pull (October 16, 2005)
Restoring the Power of Brands (July 12, 2005)
Productive Friction A Key to Accelerating Business Innovation (March 22, 2005)
Innovation Blowback (Jan 19, 2005)
Capturing the Real Value from Offshoring (April 4, 2004)
The Agile Dance of Architectures  (Feb 4, 2004)
Capital vs. Talent? Strategies for Maximizing the Value of Talent (October 22, 2003)
The Pitfalls of Early Web Services Adoption (July 16, 2003)
FAST Strategy (May 20, 2003)
IT Does Matter (May 15, 2003)
Shifting Architectures – IT, Business and Iraq (April 3, 2003)
Two Laws for Creating Wealth (Feb 3, 2003)
When Will Tech Spending Revive? (Dec 26, 2002)
Coping With Margin Squeeze (Nov 6, 2002)
Loosely Coupled: A Term Worth Understanding  (Oct.9, 2002)
Restructuring the Enterprise  (August 20, 2002)
Where Will Web Services Be Deployed? – Part 2  (July 20, 2002)
Where Will Web Services Be Deployed? – Part 1  (June 25, 2002)
Lessons Learned: Martha Stewart vs. AOL!  (June 1, 2002)

Books

The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion  John Hagel III and John Seely Brown, Basic Books; First Trade Paper Edition edition; December, 2012

The Power of Pull is essential reading for entrepreneurs, managers, and anybody interested in understanding and harnessing the shifting forces of our networked world.

In a radical break with the past, information now flows like water, and we must learn how to tap into its stream. Individuals and companies can no longer rely on the stocks of knowledge that they’ve carefully built up and stored away. Information now flows like water, and we must learn how to tap into the stream. But many of us remain stuck in old practices—practices that could undermine us as we search for success and meaning.

In this revolutionary book, three doyens of the Internet age, whose path-breaking work has made headlines around the world, reveal the adjustments we must make if we take these changes seriously. In a world of increasing risk and opportunity, we must understand the importance of pull. Understood and used properly, the power of pull can draw out the best in people and institutions by connecting them in ways that increase understanding and effectiveness. Pull can turn uncertainty into opportunity, and enable small moves to achieve outsized impact.

Drawing on pioneering research, The Power of Pull shows how to apply its principles to unlock the hidden potential of individuals and organizations, and how to use it as a force for social change and the development of creative talent. The authors explore how to use the power of pull to:

– Access new sources of information
– Attract likeminded individuals from around the world
– Shape serendipity to increase the likelihood of positive chance encounters
– Form creation spaces to drive you and your colleagues to new heights
– Transform your organization to adapt to the flow of knowledge

The Only Sustainable Edge: Why Business Strategy Depends On Productive Friction And Dynamic Specialization  John Hagel III and John Seely Brown, Harvard Business School Press; May, 2005

The Only Sustainable Edge makes the case that executives need to fundamentally re-think business strategy at three levels: sources of strategic advantage, management techniques required to build this advantage and approaches to developing business strategy. Starting with a perspective on offshoring and related outsourcing trends, the book shows how these trends will force companies around the world to reassess specialization, connectivity and learning in order to get better faster. While the world is flattening, it is paradoxically also creating new opportunities to build much more powerful forms of strategic advantage – but only for those who understand how to compete in a flatter world. Information technology is playing a key supporting role and the book discusses how new generations of IT will support new business strategies. In a Prologue and Epilogue, we also explore the public policy implications of the forces reshaping the global business landscape.
For more information and ongoing research, visit www.edgeperspectives.com

Out of the Box: Strategies for Achieving Profits Today and Growth Tomorrow through Web Services John Hagel III, Harvard Business School Press; October 28, 2002

Available from Harvard Business School Press. Like my other books, it can be read on many levels. It is the first book designed to help executives understand the business implications of Web services technology. It demonstrates that this technology will have a profound impact on traditional enterprises, driven by compelling economics. But that is just the starting point. It focuses more broadly on the changes in business practices that will be required to continue to create value in markets shaped by intensifying competition. Even more fundamentally, it highlights a profound shift in mindset that must occur for businesses to succeed in the decades ahead.

Net Worth: Shaping Markets When Customers Make the Rules John Hagel III and Marc Singer, Harvard Business School Press; January 14, 1999

This book popularized the term “infomediary”. A business book best-seller that has been translated into ten languages, Net Worth also can be read on many levels. It develops a detailed view of the infomediary business opportunity – to serve as an agent on behalf of customers, helping them to capture information about themselves and to use this information to make them even more effective in extracting more value from vendors. More broadly, it highlights the important role that customer information – and the related controversies around privacy – will play in shaping relationships and value creation opportunities on electronic networks. Expanding further, it traces the power of economic webs, using economic incentives to mobilize the resources of third parties to advance your own business strategy. At another level, it helps executives to understand the changes that will be required to adapt to markets where customers gain more power, including a very different form of marketing – collaboration marketing. Underneath all that, it makes the case that electronic networks have significant power to reshape business relationships and that companies should understand and exploit the distinctive capabilities of these networks.

Net Gain: Expanding Markets through Virtual Communities John Hagel III and Arthur G. Armstrong, Harvard Business School Press; March 1, 1997

Described as “subversive” by Esther Dyson, Net Gain makes the case for virtual communities as a new kind of business model. Another business book best-seller that has been translated into ten languages, Net Gain argues that community and commerce are not at odds with each other. If properly understood, they have the potential to significantly reinforce each other. Pointing out that customers are coming together in independent forums to talk about vendors, the book indicates that companies do not have a choice about this – their only choice will be what role to play in these conversations. Rather than thinking about marketing as a one-to-one relationship with one vendor communicating with one customer at a time, marketing must be reconceived as a more complex orchestration of relationships, helping customers to connect with each other as well as with other vendors. The key theme of the book is that electronic networks offer distinctive capabilities and companies need to develop innovative new business approaches to effectively exploit these capabilities.

Articles

Edited Collections
“Integrating Human Capital Strategies into the Overall Business Strategy,” contribution to Leaders Talk Leadership: Top Executives Speak Their Minds Meredith D. Ashby and Stephen A. Miles (eds.) (Oxford University Press, 2002). Discusses the implications of the ability of talent to capture increasing value in business environments. Suggests companies will need to develop more creative and leveraged human capital strategies to continue to attract world-class talent and generate additional economic value for shareholders.

Harvard Business Review – print edition
“Feed R&D – Or Farm It Out?” (HBR Case Study with Commentary co-authored with John Seely Brown), July 2005 – Addresses a specific company’s dilemma regarding offshoring and outsourcing by applying the concept of productive friction. Discusses the specific requirements to make productive friction work.

“The Big Shift: Measuring the Forces of Change” (co-authored with John Seely Brown and Lang Davison) July-August 2009 – Provides an overview of the long-term forces re-shaping the global business landscape and the impact that these forces are having on consumers and businesses.

“Shaping Strategy in a World of Constant Disruption” (co-authored with John Seely Brown and Lang Davison” October 2008 – Discusses a powerful approach to strategy designed to restructure major markets and industries to the advantage of the shaper but mobilizing a large number of third parties to invest in the strategy – achieving significant competitive advantage with a leveraged approach that reduces the investment required by the shaper.

“Productive Friction: How Difficult Business Partnerships Can Accelerate Innovation” (co-authored with John Seely Brown), February 2005 – Explores the importance of productive friction as a management technique to promote innovation and learning across company boundaries. Drawing on examples of companies around the world, it suggests that most companies are missing significant opportunities to get better faster by working with others.

“Does IT Matter?” (letter to editor co-authored with John Seely Brown in response to Nick Carr article “Does IT Matter?) June 2003 – Provides an extensive rebuttal to the perspective offered by Nick Carr, making the case that strategic advantage can still be enabled by information technology, but that companies need to learn from the experiences of the past decade in order to harness the full potential of the technology.

“Leveraged Growth: Expanding Sales Without Sacrificing Profits” October 2002 – Discusses an innovative new approach to growth that involves accessing and mobilizing the resources of other companies to add more value to one’s own customers. Profiles a number of companies including Li & Fung who are pursuing innovative leveraged growth strategies. Bottom line: an opportunity to meet growing pressures for profitability and growth.

“Your Next IT Strategy” (co-authored with John Seely Brown), October 2001 – Analyzes the experience of companies with the early adoption of Web services technology and highlights the pragmatic approach that can quickly generate tangible business value.

“Unbundling the Corporation” (co-authored with Marc Singer), March-April 1999 – Suggests that most companies today represent an unnatural bundle of three very different businesses and urges executives to ask the most fundamental question of all: “What business are we really in?”

“The Coming Battle for Customer Information” (co-authored with Jeffrey Rayport), January-February 1997 – Developed the concept of “infomediary” – a business working as an agent on behalf of customers, helping them to maximize the value of their information profiles. Suggests that electronic networks will increase the power of consumers, allowing them to assert ownership over information about themselves and to demand value in exchange for access to this information

“The Real Value of On-Line Communities” (co-authored with Arthur Armstrong), May-June 1996 – Explores the opportunity to use electronic networks to help people to interact with each other, taking a well-known social phenomenon – the spontaneous emergence of virtual communities – and developing the commercial potential. Suggests that companies creating on-line communities will command significant customer loyalty and generate strong economic returns.

Harvard Business Review – digital articles
“We Need to Expand Our Definition of Entrepreneurship Innovation & Entrepreneurship” September 28, 2016

“Technology Should Be About More than Efficiency Leadership & Managing People” September 25, 2015

“Finding the Money in the Internet of Things” November 11, 2014

“Turn the Pressures of Technology into Potential” October 08, 2014

“How Drucker Thought About Complexity Managing uncertainty” June 25, 2013

“How to Make Your Big Idea Really Happen” May 09, 2012

“Five Tips to Break Through Your Filter(s)” October 10, 2011

“Five Ways to Hold the Right Kind of Attention” April 05, 2011

“Five Tips for Smarter Social Networking” January 31, 2011

“Designing for Propensity” December 09, 2010

“Do You Have a Growth Mindset?” November 23, 2010

“Pulling for the Long Term” November 12, 2010

“The Increasing Importance of Physical Location” October 27, 2010

“The Power of the Social Cloud” October 15, 2010

“The Enterprise Value of Social Software” September 30, 2010

“Cloud Computing’s Stormy Future” September 14, 2010

“Shape Serendipity, Understand Stress, Reignite Passion” August 30, 2010

“Six Fundamental Shifts in the Way We Work” August 17, 2010

“A Brief History of the Power of Pull” April 09, 2010

“Are All Employees Knowledge Workers?” April 05, 2010

“Three Ways to Distinguish an Edge from a Fringe” March 22, 2010

“The Best Way to Measure Company Performance” March 04, 2010

“From Do It Yourself to Do It Together” February 18, 2010

“Open Innovation’s Next Challenge: Itself” February 04, 2010

“A Better Way to Manage Knowledge” January 19, 2010

“Networking Reconsidered” January 04, 2010

“Are Your Sources of Strategic Advantage Eroding?” December 11, 2009

“Why We Need Big Organizations” August 11, 2009

“Measuring The Big Shift” June 19, 2009

“What Does Your Facebook Profile Say About You?” May 13, 2009

“Defining Common Collaboration Tensions” May 07, 2009

“Four Ways to Spur Innovation at Your Company” April 29, 2009

“Four Ways to Use “Pull” to Increase Your Success” April 22, 2009

“Three Elements You Need for Successful Creation Spaces” April 16, 2009

“Introducing the Collaboration Curve” April 08, 2009

“Does the Experience Curve Matter Today?” April 02, 2009

“The Strategic Advantage of Global Process and Practice Networks” March 25, 2009

“Tomorrow’s Talent Networks” March 18, 2009

“The New Organization Model: Learning at Scale” March 11, 2009

“The Case for Institutional Innovation” March 04, 2009

“Why Do Companies Exist?” February 25, 2009

“Managing Resources in an Uncertain World” February 18, 2009

“How to Bring the Core to the Edge” February 06, 2009

“Abandon Stocks, Embrace Flows” January 27, 2009

“The New Reality: Constant Disruption” January 17, 2009

“Reshaping the Competitive Landscape” September 30, 2008

McKinsey Quarterly
“Creation nets: Getting the most from open innovation” (co-authored with John Seely Brown), May 2006 – Explores a specific form of ecosystems that helps to accelerate the learning and performance improvement of its participants. The basic unit of organization is a small cell of participants that can form deep, trust based relationships with each other and then these small cells are connected into a broader network that can scale indefinitely.

“From Push to Pull: The Next Frontier of Innovation” (co-authored with John Seely Brown), 2005, No. 3 – Discusses a fundamental shift in how institutions mobilize resources, moving from push models to pull models. While this shift is driven by the desire for greater flexibility, institutions are finding that pull models are very powerful in supporting innovation. This shift is occurring a wide range of arenas in response to fundamental forces re-shaping our business landscape. The shift will be difficult for many institutions, but they will be increasingly vulnerable to new pull-based players if they fail to master the techniques of pull.

“Innovation Blowback: Disruptive Management Practices from Asia” (co-authored with John Seely Brown), 2005, No. 1 – Suggests that most executives are thinking much too narrowly about the strategic role of emerging economies like China and India. These economies are certainly important as growth engines for many companies. However, they are even more important as significant catalysts in business innovation as companies strive to serve demanding customers in these markets. Makes the case that these economies will be a seedbed for disruptive innovations that will ultimately support attacker strategies targeting entrenched players in more developed economies.

“Offshoring Goes on the Offensive” 2004 N0. 2 –
Observes that most companies fail to capture the real value of offshoring because they continue view it solely as a way to save money. Sophisticated companies are beginning to realize that offshoring provides an opportunity to access distinctive capabilities through new forms of high performing organizations. A few companies are beginning to use these capabilities for offensive purposes to drive growth and to restructure entire industries, rather than simply focusing on defensive efforts to reduce costs.

“Flexible IT, Better Strategy” (co-authored with John Seely Brown) 2003 N0. 4 – Compares flexible service-oriented architectures to the more rigid IT architectures that preceded them, concentrating on communicating the business value of these new architectures. Urges executives to focus on IT architecture issues because, in the past, IT architectures have been a significant constraint on building strategic advantage and now they provide a foundation for building strategic advantage.

“Spider versus Spider” 1996, No. 1 – Analyzes economic webs – a powerful new approach to mobilize the resources of other companies to support your own business strategy. Proposes that the use of economic incentives and more informal relationships provides far more reach and economic power than traditional alliances or joint ventures. This concept was explored further in Net Worth.

“Edging Into Web Services” 2002, No. 4 – Observes that Web services are being adopted in production deployments first at the edge of the enterprise, helping to automate connections in business processes that extend across multiple enterprises, because this is where the technology has its most distinctive advantage. Predicts that adoption over time will extend back into operations within the enterprise.

“Loosening Up: How Process Networks Unlock the Power of Specialization” (co-authored with John Seely Brown and Scott Durchslag) 2002, No. 2 – Makes the case for a modular and loosely coupled approach to managing business processes as a way to encourage increasing specialization and spur innovation. Discusses the emergence of process networks as management implements a new approach to process orchestration.

“Unbundling the Corporation” (co-authored with Marc Singer) 2000, No. 3 – Reprint of Harvard Business Review article suggesting that most companies today represent an unnatural bundle of three very different businesses and urging executives to ask the most fundamental question of all: “What business are we really in?”

“Private Lives” (co-authored with Marc Singer) 1999, No. 1 – Excerpt from Net Worth discussing the growing economic power of consumers and the infomediary business opportunity, helping customers to capture information about themselves and to use this information to become even more helpful to customers.

“The New Infomediaries” 1997, No. 4 – Discusses different types of infomediary businesses likely to emerge in online environments and evaluates the capabilities of various categories of existing businesses to exploit the infomediary business opportunity.

“Retail Banking: Caught in a Web?” (Co-authored with Todd Hewlin and Todd Hutchings) 1997, No. 2 – Explores the opportunity for retail banks to exploit economic web strategies to focus on distinctive capabilities and create more economic value.

“Net Gain: Expanding Markets through Virtual Communities” (co-authored with Arthur Armstrong) 1997, No. 2 – Explores the impact of virtual community business opportunities on a variety of business functions including marketing and human resources. Adapted from a chapter of Net Gain.

“Who Will Benefit from Virtual Information?” (co-authored with A.M. Sacconaghi) 1996, No. 3 – Analyzes four different scenarios regarding the possible evolution of information capture in online environments and discusses the implications for economic value creation. This is the first article to suggest that customers may have an opportunity to capture information about themselves and use it to bargain more effectively with vendors.

“Real Profits from Virtual Communities” (co-authored with Arthur Armstrong) 1995, No. 3 – This is the first article to suggest that the social phenomenon of virtual communities on electronic networks might be leveraged to create new kinds of business opportunities.

“Fallacies in Organizing for Performance” 1994, No. 2 – Identifies common mistakes made by management as they seek to build higher performance organizations. Maintains that the best way to proceed is in rapid incremental waves driven by clear performance metrics and frequent milestones

“The CEO as Chief Performance Officer” 1993, No. 4 – Insists that one of the primary tasks of the CEO is to make the invisible visible – to establish explicit links between the strategy of the firm, the key operational performance metrics implied by the strategy and the core operating processes required to deliver this performance to the marketplace

Business Week
“How to Distinguish an Edge from a Fringe” March 23, 2010

“The Best Way to Measure Company Performance” March 5, 2010

“The Next Wave of Open Innovation” April 8, 2009

“Does the Experience Curve Matter Today?” April 3, 2009

“Peer to Patent:  A System for Increasing Transparency” March 18, 2009

“How World of Warcraft Promotes Innovation” January 14, 2009

“Harrah’s New Twist on Prediction Markets” December 22, 2008

“Innovation for Hard Times” November 21, 2008

“Learning from Tata’s Nano” February 27, 2008

“Catching the Innovation Wave” January 30, 2008

“Phoning from the Edge” January 9, 2008

“Embrace the Edge or Perish” November 28, 2007

Business 2.0
“Shift into Reverse” (co-authored with Marc Singer) March 1999 – Excerpt from Net Worth discusses how marketing will need to evolve to respond to the growing power of customers

CFO Journal
“Manufacturers Reassess Role in Value Chain” December 10, 2015

“Patterns of Disruption, Part 1: Weekend Reading” December 7, 2015

“Businesses as movements” April 13, 2015

“Internet of Things—Unlocking the Business Value of Connected Devices: Weekend Reading” September 2, 2014

“Take the Shift Index Organizational Self-Assessment: Weekend Reading” July 23, 2014

“Federal CFO: Using the Cloud to Address Talent Challenges” April 11, 2014

“How CFOs can make social software work for their companies” March 11, 2014

“A Movement in the Making: Weekend Reading” February 21, 2014

“Four Paradoxes That Could Change a Company’s Performance Outlook:Weekend Reading” December 13, 2013

“Unlocking the Passion of Workers: Weekend Reading” September 27, 2013

“A simple strategy for winning the talent war” April 12, 2013

CIO Journal
“Computerized cars and the mobility ecosystem” August 3, 2016

“The power of platforms to create new value” May 27, 2015

“How CIOs can influence corporate performance” April 14, 2014

“How Redesigning the Work Environment Can Improve Corporate Performance” November 13, 2013

“Unlocking the Passion of Your Workers” October 23, 2013

“5 Ways Social Software Can Help Manage Chaos” June 5, 2013

“The CIO’s Role in Business Transformation” April 10, 2013

“John Hagel: What CIOs, CEOs Can Learn from the MIT Media Lab” November 9, 2012

CIO Magazine
The Joy of Flex” (co-authored with John Seely Brown), September 1, 2005 – Discusses the role of loose coupling delivering both flexibility and the potential for accelerated innovation, not just at the technology level but also the business level. Makes the case that CIO’s can become significant players in the next wave of business innovation by working closely with non-technology business executives to understand the power of loose coupling.

“Go Slowly with Web Services” (co-authored with John Seely Brown and Dennis Layton-Rodin), February 15, 2002 – Urges senior management to adopt Web services technology using a pragmatic incremental approach focused on generating tangible economic value and enhancing learning opportunities

Corporate Dealmaker
“Reformulating the Firm” (co-authored with John Seely Brown), September-October 2005 – Suggests that changes in the global economy will force companies to choose among three different business types as a focus for specialization. More fundamentally, makes the case that the rationale for the firm itself is shifting from economizing on transaction costs to accelerating knowledge building and capability building.

Economist
“Business and change – Do most businesses adapt too slowly to change?” February 26, 2013

“Business lessons from extreme sports” March 7, 201

“Economist debates: Business and change – Do most businesses adapt too slowly to change?” February 26, 2012

“Pragmatic pathways to faster learning at work” October 4, 2011

“Innovation models, This house believes Japanese ‘incremental innovation’ is superior to the west’s ‘disruptive innovation’ March 15, 2011

“The three stages of talent-spike development” February 2, 2011

“The open company: The evolution of management” January 11, 2011

“The Dilbert paradox – reframing the talent imperative” December 1, 2010

Financial Times
“What do you know? Creating environments that fosters learning and improvement” December 2, 2013

“Creation spaces: Redesigning the future office” August 11, 2011

“Design thinking: The new office” July 7, 2011

“The aha moment: Designing ecosystems for talent development” June 23, 2011

“The multiplier effect: How to build a collaboration platform” May 25, 2011

“The Benefits of a Long Distance Relationship” (co-authored with John Seely Brown), August 9, 2005 – Suggests that most companies are underperforming in terms of harnessing the real potential of offshoring. The article distinguishes three different motivations for offshoring – wage arbitrage, skill arbitrage and skill building arbitrage. It suggests that executives need to focus much more on the opportunity for skill-building arbitrage.

“Don’t Resist Offshoring, Exploit It” (co-authored with John Seely Brown), August 13, 2004 – Recommends that companies make the difficult institutional changes required to create value through offshoring and outsourcing. The article suggests that companies will need to develop a much sharper focus within their own business and master new techniques for connecting with other highly specialized companies in ways that help all participants get better faster.

“Even As a Commodity, IT Still Matters” (co-authored with John Seely Brown) January 18, 2004 – Suggests that IT can still help to build significant strategic advantage even if the underlying IT components are rapidly commoditizing. Focuses on the convergence of two architectural trends – grid computing and service oriented architectures – offering the promise of delivering greater flexibility in organizing business activities. Indicates that strategic advantage will not come from specific innovations, but instead it will come from the organizational capability to harness IT to generate continuous waves of innovation.

Forbes
“The job training conundrum: An interview with John Hagel”  November 14, 2012

“Do CEOs matter (anymore?)” August 15, 2012

“A new organizational learning goal: The accrual of awareness” May 1, 2012

“The Empowered Employee is Coming; Is The World Ready?” February 9, 2012

“How we can rebuild the American job factory” September 8, 2011

“Social power and the coming corporate revolution” September 8, 2011

“John Hagel: How to reinvent management” September 7, 2011

HRO Today
“Birds of a feather” December 15, 2014

Information Management
“How IT can ignite worker passion and drive results” March 7, 2013

InformationWeek
“Take Social Collaboration To Next Level” July 2, 2013

“Social analytics isn’t just for social networks” November 15, 2012

“Prove the benefits of social software: Expert advice” August 16, 2011

Journal of Interactive Marketing
“Net Gain: Expanding Markets through Virtual Communities” Winter 1999 – Examines the implications of a new virtual community business model. Adapted from keynote speech to Direct Marketing Association conference.

The Marketing Journal
“Tests for consumer focused companies” February 27, 2017

“The Big Shift in Platform Business Models” January 23, 2017

“The demise of advertising business models” September 4, 2016

“Robots can restore our humanity” August 16, 2016

“Harnessing the full potential of platforms” April 1, 2016

“The power of company narratives” February 24, 2016

 “Scaling Trust: Marketing in a New Key” – An Interview with John Hagel III January 15, 2016

MIT Sloan Management Review
“The dark side of the digital revolution” January 29, 2016

“Four Ways Social Data Can Generate Business Value” October 9, 2013

Optimize Magazine
“The Shifting Industrial Landscape” (co-authored with John Seely Brown), April 1, 2005 – Indicates that the sources of sustainable competitive advantage are shifting and in the future will come from a capacity to work closely with other highly specialized companies around the globe to get better faster. Discusses the management techniques and new generations of information technologies that can help to build this form of strategic advantage.

“The Innovation/Productivity Quotient” (co-authored with John Seely Brown) February 2004 – Focuses on business innovation as the missing link required to generate productivity improvements from IT investment. Proposes that a combination of high tech, soft touch and loose coupling will be required to drive the next wave of business innovation. High tech refers to the emergence of new IT architectures providing more flexibility. Soft touch refers to the use of social software to help mobilize knowledge within and across enterprises. Loose coupling refers to a more modular way of organizing IT and human resources to enhance innovation capability.

“Step Into Action: Challenges and Benefits of Adopting Real Time Systems” March 2003 – Provides senior management with a balanced view of the real time enterprise concept, arguing that it is both too broad and too narrow. Makes the case for a focused approach to delivering business value through IT investments designed to deliver real time performance where it counts.

“Cut Loose from Old Business Processes” (co-authored with John Seely Brown) December 2001 – Suggests that a fundamentally new approach to management of business processes will be required to exploit the capabilities of new generations of information technology. Explores the role of an orchestrator in coordinating activities within business processes that span multiple enterprises.

Release 1.0
“Service Grids: The Missing Layer in Web Services” (co-authored with John Seely Brown) December 2002 – Focuses on the critical need for the emergence of service grids to expand and accelerate the adoption of Web services technology. Highlights some of the early companies offering service grid functionality in the market today.

Software Development
“From Tightly Bound to Loosely Coupled” (co-authored with John Seely Brown) September 2003 – Makes the case that more loosely coupled technology architectures enabled by Web services will require a fundamental re-thinking of business processes.  Business managers have an opportunity to develop loosely coupled business processes to provide much more flexibility.  Discusses the implications for the changing roles of IT managers as well.

Strategic News Service (SNS) Newsletter
“Flow and the big shift in business models” August 31, 2016

“Increased fragmentation and concentration caused by massive increases in data” and “The economic activity and institutional effects of massive increases in data” October 21, 2013

“Capability Leverage: A New Toolset and Mindset for Tomorrow” October 8, 2012

Wall Street Journal
“A Web that Supports Rather than Traps” March 3, 1996 – Proposes that economic webs represent a powerful new way to leverage the resources of others by creating appropriate economic incentives.

Wall Street Journal (CFO Journal)
“Manufacturers Reassess Role in Value Chain” December 10, 2015

“Patterns of Disruption, Part 1: Weekend Reading” December 7, 2015

“Businesses as movements” April 13, 2015

“Internet of Things—Unlocking the Business Value of Connected Devices: Weekend Reading” September 2, 2014

“Take the Shift Index Organizational Self-Assessment: Weekend Reading” July 23, 2014

“Federal CFO: Using the Cloud to Address Talent Challenges” April 11, 2014

“How CFOs can make social software work for their companies” March 11, 2014

“A Movement in the Making: Weekend Reading” February 21, 2014

“Four Paradoxes That Could Change a Company’s Performance Outlook:Weekend Reading” December 13, 2013

“Unlocking the Passion of Workers: Weekend Reading” September 27, 2013

“A simple strategy for winning the talent war” April 12, 2013

Wall Street Journal (CIO Journal)
“Computerized cars and the mobility ecosystem” August 3, 2016

“The power of platforms to create new value” May 27, 2015

“How CIOs can influence corporate performance” April 14, 2014

“How Redesigning the Work Environment Can Improve Corporate Performance” November 13, 2013

“Unlocking the Passion of Your Workers” October 23, 2013

“5 Ways Social Software Can Help Manage Chaos” June 5, 2013

“The CIO’s Role in Business Transformation” April 10, 2013

“John Hagel: What CIOs, CEOs Can Learn from the MIT Media Lab” November 9, 2012

Wall Street Journal (CMO Journal)
“Trends in the mobility ecosystem” February 28, 2017

Wall Street Journal (Risk and Compliance Journal)
“The board’s agenda: The role of the board in an age of exponential change” March 22, 2017

“Patterns of Disruption, Part 1: Weekend Reading” December 7, 2015

“ Turning Disruptive trends into opportunity” October 5, 2015

“Business as movements” April 13, 2015

“Passion vs Ambition: Weekend Reading” December 7, 2014

“Internet of Things—Unlocking the Business Value of Connected Devices: Weekend Reading” September 2, 2014

Wired
“Interoperability in the Disconnected World of Connected Things” February 25, 2015

“Here’s How to Keep the Robots From Stealing Our Jobs” December 9, 2013

Working Papers [from the Archives]

These papers are now slightly dated, but at the time they were the result of my collaboration with John Seely Brown and others to research the evolving interplay between new generations of information technology (especially Web services and distributed service architectures) and new approaches to business strategy, operations and organization. Some of our work has been published (see above), but the published material is only the tip of the iceberg. It also requires relatively long lead-times to reach the audience. For this reason, we are providing access to key working papers that provide more background regarding our thinking.

From Push to Pull – Emerging Models for Mobilizing Resources (PDF) By John Hagel and John Seely Brown
Makes the case that institutions confront a profound shift in how they mobilize resources. In more stable times, push approaches have worked well to produce increasing efficiency – anticipate where and when resources will be required and organize to make sure that these resources are available at the appropriate place and time. These approaches are now challenged by a fundamentally different approach – pull platforms designed to help distributed participants access resources where and when they need them. Lean manufacturing was an early, partial step in this direction, but much more fully developed models are emerging in arenas as diverse as global process networks for apparel, motorcycles and electronics equipment as well as media, software and education. Pull platforms not only provide greater flexibility, they are also becoming essential for innovation, learning and capability building on a global scale. This working paper offers a preview of some of the research for our next book.

Capturing the Real Value of Offshoring in Asia (PDF) By John Hagel
Warns that most companies are missing the real value of offshoring. Focused primarily on cost savings through wage arbitrage, these companies don’t realize that offshoring provides access to distinctive capabilities. By mastering new approaches to building high performing organizations, aggressive companies can harness offshoring capabilities and rapidly expand their performance impact across a broader range of business activities. This is an extraordinarily dynamic arena. Substantial value can be created, but considerable economic value can be destroyed as well. Offshoring is a strategic, as well as an operational, issue. In the quest for near-term cost reduction, we have barely begun to grapple with the strategic issues.

The Agile Dance of Architectures – Reframing IT Enabled Business Opportunity (PDF) By John Hagel and John Seely Brown
In contrast to the prevailing conventional wisdom that IT provides diminishing strategic advantage, we assert that quite the opposite is true: IT offers the potential of increasing strategic advantage. New strategic architectures and IT architectures are emerging and intersecting in ways that create significant business opportunity.  Senior managers must actively manage both of these architectures in order to overcome organizational inertia and create the institutional capability required to create strategic advantage.

Overview of Working Paper Series (PDF) By John Hagel and John Seely Brown
This is probably the best place for a new reader to start before diving into individual Working Papers below. It places each of the Working Papers into a broader context and will help readers to navigate to find the Working Papers most appropriate for their needs.

Break On Through to the Other Side: A Missing Link in Redefining the Enterprise (PDF) By John Hagel and John Seely Brown
Web services technology will have a subversive impact. Businesses will rapidly adopt the technology because of a very pragmatic near-term value proposition: with modest investment and relatively short lead-times it can generate tangible operating cost and asset savings. The emergence and evolution of a robust service grid will be key to accelerating adoption of the technology in mission critical business processes. Once adopted, the technology creates the potential for a powerful new growth platform that will ultimately redefine the enterprise and generate significant economic value for those who harness these growth platforms.

The Secret to Creating Value from Web Services Today: Start Simply (PDF) By John Hagel, John Seely Brown and Dennis Layton-Rodin
How should businesses proceed to get the most economic value from Web services technology? The key is to start simply, proceed incrementally and learn from earlier initiatives.

Service Grids: The Missing Link in Web Services (PDF) By John Hagel and John Seely Brown
This working paper focuses attention on a key missing link in Web services – the need for robust service grids consisting of diverse enabling services required to deliver mission critical functionality for application services. It makes the case that the emergence of service grids will be a key catalyst for broader adoption of Web services. The paper also speculates on possible trajectories for the emergence and evolution of service grids as well as implications for business value creation.

Some Security Considerations for Service Grids (PDF) By Martin Milani and John Seely Brown
Executives appropriately express significant concerns about security as they proceed with the adoption of Web services. The technology will need to adopt much more robust security functionality to meet the needs of mission critical business processes. The good news is that Web services technology provides a foundation for a much more flexible and robust approach to security than previous generations of technology.

Control versus Trust: Mastering a Different Management Approach (PDF) By John Hagel and John Seely Brown
Business management tends to focus on control to ensure results. Process manuals specify in detail the activities required. Management monitors activities at a granular level to anticipate potential problems. As companies find they must coordinate activities across multiple enterprises and provide more flexibility, these control approaches prove less helpful. Increasingly, management will need to master a different, trust-based approach. They will need to accelerate the building of trust and in particular become much more adept at the use of incentives to motivate appropriate action.

Orchestrating Business Processes – Harnessing the Value of Web Services Technology (PDF) By John Hagel and John Seely Brown
Web services technology enables a much more flexible, loosely coupled technology architecture. To effectively create economic value from this technology, companies will need to develop very different management approaches. Today, we rely on hard-wired management approaches because that was all our technology allowed. Now, we have an opportunity to adopt a much more flexible, loosely coupled approach to business process management. Those who master this new approach will generate significant wealth.

Orchestrating Loosely Coupled Business Processes: The Secret to Successful Collaboration (PDF) By John Hagel, John Seely Brown and Scott Durchslag
Business collaboration remains abstract and irrelevant unless it is firmly anchored in specific business processes. Coordination of business processes across multiple enterprises requires a different approach to business process management. Loosely coupled business processes require new orchestration skills.

Creation Nets:  Harnessing the Potential of Open Innovation (PDF) By John Hagel and John Seely Brown

Connecting Globalization & Innovation:  Some Contrarian Perspectives (Davos) (PDF) By John Hagel and John Seely Brown

Does IT Matter? (PDF) By John Hagel, John Seely Brown and Thomas A. Stewart


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