Presentation on theme: "The Untouchables (a.k.a. Finding the New Middle) Chapter 6."— Presentation transcript:
The Untouchables (a.k.a. Finding the New Middle) Chapter 6
It’s All About Competition for most of the time after the second world war until the late sixties, America did not have to compete very hard Why? the second world war destroyed most of the industrial production capacity of most of the combatants, surrender agreements limited certain industries in some countries, and sudden & enormous demand for mass produced products kicked in
in Globalization 1.0 countries had to think globally to thrive in Globalization 2.0 companies had to think globally to thrive in Globalization 3.0 individuals have to think globally to thrive
Become “Untouchable” untouchable jobs are those that cannot be outsourced, digitized, or automated describe your job how would those people that consume your work output describe your level of expertise? poor good enough good excellent
Three Broad Categories That Cannot be Outsourced “special” people, i.e. world class at what they do local/anchored, i.e. a job that requires face-to-face participation (think of real estate) middlers is Alan Blinder (“Fear of Offshoring”) correct? Is the key distinction for what can be part of international trade decided by what services can be delivered electronically over great distances with little or no degradation in service? [as opposed to things in the past that could be shipped to the consumer for less than locally produced?]
Can Democratic Societies Remain Stable Without Middlers? Friedman argues “no”, that the bell shaped curve of the middle class is what keeps society growing together as opposed to growing apart an interesting question becomes, is a “middle class” in a flat world something in a nation or in an economy?
in the text Friedman argues that “In the United States new middle jobs are coming into being all the time; that is why we don’t have large scale unemployment, despite the flattening of the world.”
The New Middlers Have you noticed that Friedman likes to use and reiterate themes? Like using the word “great” to describe almost all of the new middlers?
Great Collaborators & Orchestrators if both the customers as well as the producers require an integration of product and services components, the linkages between each becomes a vital connection don’t assume that the outsourcers are not outsourcing (per se) this key skill – this is a very flat skill (this is just one of the contradictions of a flat world) in the flat world the mix of cultures can be sensitive to the quality of collaborators
Great Synthesizers (order out of chaos) disparate disciplines need to work together (sometimes called mash-ups) – a middler needs both specialized skills and a good amount of generalistmash-ups flat world synthesis involves (a) breaking a problem into component pieces, (b) finding ways to solve the components in conventional, novel, cheap, revolutionary, or some other way, (c) then synthesizing a solution to the problem
At the end of this section of the chapter is an interesting observation by Jeff Wacker (who works for Electronic Data Systems Corp.). He predicts that in 15 or 20 years information technology will be so embedded in every aspect of business that organizations will move away from IT per se and towards the integration of business processes. Process that just happen to be enabled and supported by IT.
2 things about synthesizing the componentization of problems leads to different solutions (can happen from one instance of the solution to another) the root expertise changes from creating component solutions to being able to create and enforce standards followed by mixing and matching just look at information system/technology
Great Explainers there are situations where the ability of explaining what, how, why, when, where something is happening is more valuable than actually performing the task – look for complex situations can you give examples? baby aspirin and heart attacks know of an organization that sells products inexpensively but has advice as the staple sales ingredient?
Great Leveragers assumes that slack resources exist slack resources can be created via more efficient processes working cheaper (most often by working smarter) beats hard work and long hours almost every time leveraging (for a firm) frequently requires almost continuous training for employees
in the leverager world, working smarter & faster beats working cheaper and faster BUT you need training to work faster and faster and ever faster
Great Adaptors technology workers must become “versatilists” – simply being not as deep in a subject as an expert does not mean the versatilist is not deeper than most others workers cannot assume that their job consists of the same tasks from year to year or even week to week few organizations are so large or specialized that they can afford 40 hours per week of a narrow specialist adapting can be serendipity
One of the most distressing things you can hear said in an organization is that a person doesn’t need a particular skill because he/she can hire someone with the skill and then manage that person. In a flat world the person with the skill being consumed rapidly grows beyond the need of being managed by a person who has little or no level of that skill.
Green People the flat world has led to more people participating in the world economy and bringing them more wealth than they could have previously experienced as flat world economy participators consume more economic wealth, they also consume more energy what are the consequences (for new participants and old participants)?
Passionate Personalizers (i.e. tailoring) how do you make lemonade? remember that part of “make” is delivery to the consumer I’ve had Chinese food in China and in the U.S. I’ve had Mexican food in Mexico and the U.S. I’ve had Canadian food ………
when every one has the same tools to make the same physical product, the product promotion, selection, billing, delivery, service, etc become the key differentiating features (and these features can be enhanced with IT)
the big takeaway from this chapter is that ALL of the success stories involve learning and adapting to the flattening world and finding ways to be more productive