All posts tagged: technology

Book Review: Permanent Record by Edward Snowden

Definitely not a traditional management book, of the types I would typically review on this Blog. I found some aspects of this reading relevant, and have decided to add this review. Also, have to admit I read this book in the Italian version (with the title Errore di Sistema). The book is a memoir of the life of Snowden, and of the events that led to his massive whistleblowing, that led to the scandal of the mass-surveillance project led by the NSA. I don’t want to take a stand here on the various judgement of what Snowden did, with the extremes being of being agile spy, or a liberty hero. Also considering there are still open cases, also related to this specific book.  I’m more interested in a subtle reading that comes through the book: a lot of the actions of Snowden have been made possible by an organisation that had yet not adapted to the way Digital Technologies influence ways of working. How many very young System Analysts exist in our organisations, with almost unlimited access …

Book Review: The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil

After having read some articles and a book on the concept of Transhumanesim, but also with all the discussions that is currently rising around. the role of Artificial Intelligence, I decided to go to what is considered one of the key sources of this topic(s), the 2005 book by Ray Kurzweil The Singularity is Near. The book is definitely a complex reading. It gives a variegated view of advancements from all domains of science and technology. Though earlier users of the term “technological Singularity” used it to refer to the arrival of machine superintelligence (an event beyond which our ability to predict the future breaks down), Kurzweil’s Singularity is more vaguely defined: What, then, is the Singularity? It’s a future period during which the pace of technological change will be so rapid, its impact so deep, that human life will be irreversibly transformed. The author based most of his assumption on the perception that most people expect progression to be linear, whereas instead is exponential. Which is also the part of the book that is …

What should HR be?

One of the most interesting concepts that I’ve been able to capture at UNLEASH18 in Amsterdam this week, relates to the constant discussion about the role of HR. In a presentation held by Bersin by Deloitte, a new concept has been presented that I can relate a lot to. The idea of Ambient HR. Imagine that HR is the electrical wiring in the walls. It’s essential, and the product of thoughtful design & craft. But when we need light to do work, we don’t waste time wondering about the wiring in the walls. Definitely an interesting concept. That puts into question the current assumption of HR as “Business Partner”, challenging the idea that it should have “a special seat” at the table, one of the long-time discussions that marked HR practitioners calls for the last few years. The idea is that HR is vital (like electricity in our modern era), but it should not be treated as a “special” guest or as an addition to normal business processes. Way to often the tendency is to …

Building Digital Transformation: a Role for HR

In a very interesting article just appeared on the McKinsey Quarterly, Tanguy Catlin and his collaborators address four “key fights” that organisations need to address to be able to achieve a real Digital transformation. If there’s one thing a digital strategy can’t be, it’s incremental. The mismatch between most incumbents’ business models and digital futures is too great—and the environment is changing too quickly—for anything but bold, inventive strategic plans to work. And yet seems too many organisations are just focused on short-term incremental approaches. Digital is seems invariably as just “one portion” or “one addition” to elements we already do, not a strategic choice that need to permeate the entire organisation. Which result in Digital being seen just as a “channel“, or as a new “form of communication”, or as a “new ways of servicing”, or just as a way to do product innovation. Often this recalls me a metaphor that my first mentor, Franco D’Egidio, used to recall the attitude of many organisations to just pursue incremental change, often landing on the opposite …

Channels Are For Televisions, Not For Customer Experiences

The title of this post is a direct reference to a few reports from Forrester on the Omnichannel Playbook for 2018 written by Brendan Witcher. Since when I read this the first time, I thought that this provocative sentence really summarises in the best possible way one of the biggest organisational mistakes many companies are still doing: organise themselves by channels. Reality is that this truly “inside-out” perspective misses the real value driver in the new experience economy: customers. While prior economic offerings—commodities, goods, and services—are external to the buyer, experiences are inherently personal, existing only in the mind of an individual who has been engaged on an emotional, physical, intellectual, or even spiritual level. They don’t understand the different business models that companies put together. As a customer, I want to be able to buy a product in one point of sale and return it online. I want to be able to have assistance wherever there is a signage of that brand. I want to be able to exchange and be reimbursed if there …