The (Validated) Knowledge Economy

Peter Drucker coined the term Knowledge Economy some time ago. For one of the main business thinkers of the XXth century knowledge, work, productivity and innovation are tightly related : “Knowledge is the main source of wealth. Applied to the tasks we know it becomes productivity. Applies to new tasks, it becomes innovation.”

That was in 1969 (in his book The Age of Discontinuity according to Wikipedia). There are two ways to put this definition in perspective. The first one is to say : “What a visionary” – I know : I haven’t stop since I’ve started this blog. The second one is to ask : “Well, there has been a couple of changes in the business world for the last 10 years, let alone the last 45, is that definition still relevant ? Is that link between knowledge and value creation still solid?”.

The latter is the aim of this blog post. The answer is “not quite” and here’s why.

Continue reading “The (Validated) Knowledge Economy”

Sunday Quote – Cowen, McAfee and Brynjolfsson

We are having more fun, in part because of the internet. We also are having more cheap fun. But we are coming up on short on the revenue side so it is harder to pay our debts, whether individuals, business or governments” (Tyler Cowen). Twenty first century Information and Communication Technology, in short, is failing the prime test of being economically significant. 

This meta quote, quote about McAfee and Brynjolfsson quoting economist Tyler Cowen, is taken from the Second Machine Age. In the section of the book the quote is taken from, the authors wonder whether ICT are General Purpose Technology such as steam engine or electricity, i.e pervasive technologies that change the way we live, work and do business. They are adamant they are, yet they question the economic return of these technologies.

A strongly recommended read to understand the profound transformation our times are going through.


Freitag : how agility helps in designing and manufacturing cult products

We have to find more designers who share our approach, who might have read the same books and have compost heaps behind their houses. People who don’t just say to us : Yes we have to make something so that the world will be a better place. (Marcus Freitag)

Continue reading “Freitag : how agility helps in designing and manufacturing cult products”

Géants du Web : principes et défis de la mise en oeuvre hexagonale


Octo Technology a organisé le 20 Novembre un petit déjeuner très chic (quasiment un mini-USI) autour du sujet des Géants du Web.

Sujet que les Octos ont traité à de nombreuses reprises sur leur blog et auquel ils ont consacré un remarquable ouvrage collectif, disponible sur Amazon ou en téléchargement gratuit (avec inscription). Dans la grande tradition Octo, un ouvrage avec lequel chaque participant à ce petit déjeuner est reparti.

En synthèse, les acteurs majeurs du web d’aujourd’hui (Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Google etc …) ont su se libérer des dogmes du passé et aborder des sujets avec fraîcheur pour apporter des solutions nouvelles, radicales, efficaces à de vieux problèmes de l’informatique pour citer l’introduction de leur ouvrage.

(NDLR : ils ont aussi su trouver des solutions nouvelles pour prendre quelques libertés avec la fiscalité mais ce n’est pas le sujet ici).

Une présentation du sujet puis une table ronde qui a fait intervenir des responsables d’entreprises hexagonales. Fabien Chazot (Meetic), Jean-Marc Potdevin (qui signe la préface du livre, de Viadeo), Ismaël Héry ( et Stéphane Priolet (CDiscount) ont ainsi répondu aux questions du modérateur Eric Biernat pour nous donner leur retour d’expérience sur ces pratiques. Une matinée particulièrement enrichissante synthétisée à un clic d’ici …

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Nouveaux Horizons RH – Entretien avec Alexandre Pachulski

Alexandre Pachulski est un un acteur majeur du monde des RH 2.0 en France. Son blog est un passage incontournable pour tous ceux que le sujet intéresse. Il propose avec son nouveau livre Les Nouveaux Horizons RH un panorama complet des enjeux que rencontre cette profession au 21ème siècle et propose un éclairage pertinent et salutaire sur de nombreux sujets essentiels : gestion des talents, engagement des employés, collaboration, hiérarchie plate, réseaux sociaux d’entreprise, évolution du rôle des managers etc …

On pourra regretter une vision peut-être un peu trop franco-française, un manque de perspective interculturelle chère à Hypertextual. Demeure un texte important, à mettre entre les mains de toutes les DRH (je viens de l’offrir au mien !). Alexandre a accepté d’en discuter avec #hypertextual (de son livre, hein, pas de mon DRH) …

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Interview with Steve Bell

Steve Bell will be speaking at the Lean IT Summit Conference in Paris on 22/23 November. This is a great opportunity to see and hear a genuine thought leader in the field of Lean IT. He actually was the first to explore the Lean IT concept and he even wrote a book on the topic with Mike Orzen.

I was quite impressed with his talk during the 1st edition of this conference last year and how he integrated all these new technologies (Mobile, Social, Cloud, …) into the Lean philosophy.

Steve is a very respected figure in the community but what really fascinates me with his perspective and thoughts is that there are the ones of someone bridging communities… Continue reading “Interview with Steve Bell”

Leading Change Despite Inconvenient Truths

This is the second post dedicated to change management, after the review of William Bridges Managing Transition.

Rather than doing yet another review of this classic book (there are hundreds around, there even is the Kotter’s HBR original article online), this post aims to confront both the ideas of the book and a very interesting paper by McKinsey The Inconvenient Truth About Change Management by Carolyn Aiken and Scott Keller.

John Kotter used to be professor of Leadership in Harvard Business School. He is now Chief Innovation Officer at Kotter International. He has been studying change initiatives in corporations for decades and he has summarized his observations in this acclaimed classic of Change Management. Leading Changes proposes a 8 stage process to successful change management (described below). In addition, the content is enriched with two great essays on 21st century Leadership. Needless to say : an excellent read.

The Inconvenient Truth About Change Management is a paper by McKinsey which brings some (inconvenient) perspective in a post Leading Change world, 10 years or so down the line, where change initiatives remain at the same success level than the one carried out in a pre Leading Change world. This allows to enrich Kotter framework with some reality checks lessons (warning : 2000+ words) … Continue reading “Leading Change Despite Inconvenient Truths”