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.
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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.


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