On the one day I came across two snippets of insights from totally different perspectives that surprised me when I realised that they are connected. And speaking of "connected" that's what they were both about.
In The 5 New Rules That Will Change The Way You Run Your Business Greg Satell explains how technology now shapes our enterprises in contrast to just enabling business processes within. His theory is that building and defending assets is no longer a sustainable strategy and will be a liability. An indeed that although we are mostly still learning what Drucker's 1966 prediction of the "knowledge economy" means Satell says that we're already moving from the Knowledge Economy to the Information Economy.
How does that work - information is a subset of knowledge, right? So that feels like we are moving backwards.
Here is Satell's explanation which contains the big insights. They are big because behind them is the unstated expectation that you know about the unprecendented disruptive power of the technologies of cloud, social, mobile & big data (predictive analysis). These technologies provide the connectivity and the capabilty to provide "instant" actionable insights (knowledge) from information, without having to own and invest in the knowledge assets.
Today we moving from a scale economy to a semantic economy, where the knowledge you own is not nearly as important as that which you can access. We’re also in the midst of a new industrial revolution in which an enterprising entrepreneur can leverage manufacturing, finance, marketing and even supercomputing resources from the cloud.
So it is no longer clear that scale advantages outweigh the strategic rigidity that comes with large enterprises. Big firms are learning that they need to network their organizations in order to stay competitive with an onslaught of nimble startups.
Key insights are these:
- Access to information (connectivity) more important than ownership of knowledge;
- Massive range of capabilities available as a service e.g. IBM's Watson Supercomputer as a Service - incredible! (More on this but Watson as a Ecosystem is one of the most astounding announcements in the history of computing if you ask me, and I started my first full time job as a Programmer in 1967 so I've been watching for a while!)
- Categorising and hoarding knowledge in corporate cupboards is a liability.
What's the connection to Recruiting? Greg Savage recruiting savant extraordinaire gave a wrap-up of the 2012 Recruiting and Services Association Conference where he noted in his highlights these points from Mike Walsh:
- The new generation seldom make decisions in advance because they make decisions in real-time. And they will make work and job search decisions in same way.
- The next generation will have a radically different approach to work, shaped by a childhood of disruptive technologies. ‘Knowing things’ is not important anymore.
- Having a network that gives you answers is more important.
Those points jumped off the page to me, as I recalled Satell's predictions. And also, as Greg Savage has said many times - one key characteristics of the recruiters that survive in the future will be that they have access to a very large network of potential talent (only possible through social). Meaning that it is not knowledge of the candidates but knowledge of where to find the candidates, at scale. That's the connection with Satell's observation.
By the way these trends are also connected to the Internet of Things which recently became the new catch-cry of Marc Benioff, and to M2M (machine to machine data) as they speak to the mass of new information. The challenge then becomes how to collect this as needed and turn it into knowledge on the fly. Doing this the "old way" with in-house IT isn't going to fly. It's going to be cloud services - interacting service platforms and ecosystems bought at marginal cost - the in-house edge will be from Predictive Analysis as it is hard to "platform" this as a service as it is still more of an art.
I can see the reality of this, and how it will change how companies are organised and how people will work, and how today's knowledge assets and structures will become liabilities. Now having a "prepared mind" I'm certain to spot elements of this trend on a daily basis from now on. That's exciting.