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Links 1 through 10 of 1183 Ric Hayman's Bookmarks

For those that might have missed it, two of the Cluetrain Manifesto authors have, fifteen years later, released a new manifesto that serves to remind us that we have wasted much of the web's promise in that time. Hopefully we're learning …

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Jonathon Murray seems to come to this point from a technology view (I'm happy to be corrected), but sensibly so as he describes what has always seemed to me to be the natural extension of service design AND service-oriented architecture - a business organisation that is composed and structured based on the services it provides to itself and others; and made, unmade and remade as they change … in hardware we called it plug-and-play; in wetware we call it a service-based business. There's not a lot of examples in the wild (Amazon being the current poster child, and gov.uk is working towards it) but we are starting to hear aspirations from some of our clients to head in this direction. I suspect that most don't yet understand the extent of the change they want to make, but this is another opportunity for business architecture to provide the required scope and thinking to make it happen.

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“When we think about personal or organizational performance, we tend to see it as a linear scale – bad, good, better, best – or something similar. This is an appropriate way to look at productivity, which is the primary way we measure both organizations and people, but high performance organizations do not just produce more, they produce “different”.” Jeff Scott works the theme of efficiency vs. effectiveness in a series of posts that try to define what a “high performance” organisation might look like (and suggests they might even be inefficient). This is an area where business architecture can help you figure out which organisational capabilities should be efficient/boring/in-market, and those where effectiveness (even to the point of inefficiency) is more important to pursue.

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We've had artificial intelligence, search algorithms, wearables … watch out now for anticipatory computing and augmented intelligence. Phil Libin, not surprisingly, has a product that is moving in this direction so has an interest in our being interested - but cynicism aside, the idea of being (or at least appearing to be) a smarter YOU has an appeal, and seems to be a less condescending or intrusive way to provide us with the information that we're about to want. As Libin describes it, you should “feel like you're Superman. You're doing everything yourself and you're just really good at it …”

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This is a little more parochial than usual … “One of the worst things Australian cities do today is look at successful cities elsewhere and try to mimic what they’ve done. We see this a lot with Jan Gehl’s work. He does some great things, but no matter how much places like Wollongong or Adelaide alter their public domain, they’ll never be a European city with almost a thousand years of history, a high population density and 45 minute flight to the world’s largest economic centres.” While Ianto's post is about Darwin, much of what he writes suits Adelaide as well. I've often said that Adelaide shouldn't try to be Portland, or Edinburgh or any other (usually great) place, but should be a better Adelaide … different to, not the same as, any other city. Ianto goes way back into history to suggest the most likely resource to provide that differentiation: the citizenry.

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As a follow up to the Cluetrain Manifesto's authors' New Clues, Doc Searls has found an apt example of how marketers still kid themselves that we are no more than an aggregation of data points, and that the digital breadcrumbs we scatter as we trawl the Web somehow add up to a realistic picture of who we are, what we want and when we want it. At their best, they only get close enough to be creepy. At their worst they are almost comical in their attempts to reduce us to sausages in the consumption factory.

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A riff on the “everything is connected” idea, that creativity is “combinatorial” and we all stand “on the shoulders of giants”. Indirectly it points to the value of networks over hierarchies, since networks are multi-directional, and weak ties in networks expose us to more things we can combine in creating.

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“But when growth rises and living standards fall? That begins to hint that there is something wrong—very wrong, perhaps terribly wrong—with the way things are.  It suggest that what is happening to this society is not merely a simple, passing, self-healing ailment; but a chronic, possibly permanent, definitely debilitating condition. Not a flu—but a cancer.” As always, Haque's language is quite forceful, but it doesn't invalidate the points he makes … that this may not be part of a familiar economic cycle that will ultimately right itself, but be a permanent change to our economy.

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“The high-value work today is in facing complexity, not in addressing problems that have already been solved and for which a formulaic or standardized response has been developed. One challenge for organizations is getting people to realize that what they already know has increasingly diminishing value.” … the ability to learn new things (where networks are very useful) is, for a lot of work, of much greater value than existing knowledge. Knowledge is power no more.

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This is one reason that disinvestment in research & development by the Australian government is a bad thing. Contrary to popular belief, most innovation comes off the public dollar rather than the widely-lauded tech entrepreneurs we hear so much about. Now, commercialising innovation is an extremely useful and necessary step … but we should recognise where the ideas come from, so we don't kill the golden goose by mistake.

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