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Work Futures Daily - Weill and Woerner on Ecosystem Economics

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More on the McKinsey Skill Shift report, Uber’s Economics team, Bosses and algorithms, Why teams shou
 

Work Futures

October 15 · Issue #1011 · View online
The ecology of work, and the anthropology of the future.

More on the McKinsey Skill Shift report, Uber’s Economics team, Bosses and algorithms, Why teams should argue, Bobby Harris on Trust, and posts from the archive

Beacon NY - 2018-10-15 — I’m revising the format of the Daily in a way. The title will be taken from the most important story, and the subtitle will now be a listing of the other stories. This may make it easier to find stories after publication.
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Long Takes
Thriving in an Increasingly Digital Ecosystem | Peter Weill and Stephanie L. Woerner posed the following question with senior executives across 13 large corporations:
Describe a breakthrough organizational change enabled by digitization where your company has significantly changed the way you operate with early indications of good results.
And they analyzed 77 initiatives, leading to a framework with four business models: supplier, omnichannel, ecosystem driver and modular producer.
This model shows the strong dimensional advantage of moving to the upper right quadrant, ecosystem driver and the relative weakness of the other three quadrants.
I need to study the report at leangth, and plan to write a research note on that this week. More to follow.
One takeaway from the introduction [emphasis mine]:
We had an important insight in the course of our research: that in this period of digital disruption, businesses focused narrowly on value chains were at a disadvantage; they needed to think more broadly about their business ecosystems. Indeed, we found that companies that had 50% or more of their revenues from digital ecosystems and understood their end customers better than their average competitor had 32% higher revenue growth and 27% higher profit margins than their industry averages.
[h/t Tanvi Mody *tmody]
Automation and the Changing Demand for Workforce Skills | Irving Wladawsky-Berger reviews the McKinsey Global Institute report that I wrote about over the weekend. He does a good job summarizing, and focuses on new collar jobs:
Jobs will keep changing through the automation of some of their constituent activities. This will lead to the creation of new kinds of jobs that previously required highly skilled, hard-to-find talent but which can now be done by mid-skill workers with the help of advanced tools. Noteworthy among these changes is the creation of so-called new collar jobs, a new kind of mid-skill occupations, neither traditional blue or white collar, that many industries are looking for but remain largely unfilled.
Like McKinsey, Wladawsky-Berger says that retraining the workforce will be critical, but cites no evidence that a/ companies are actually investing enough, or b/ that such retraining can be accomplished.
Short Takes
Uber’s economics team is its secret weapon | Alison Griswold writes about Uber’s Research and Economics group, and the economists that make it a source of competitive advantage.
When Your Boss Is an Algorithm | Alex Rosenblat conflates business models with algorithms. For example, he notes that Uber has changed pricing models without informing drivers, which was a policy decision made by senior managers. This isn’t really about algorithmic bosses, it’s about bosses applying algorithms.
Why Teams Should Argue | Adam Kahane on the power of diversity, difference, and shared decision making as a way to find common cause and making progress.
From the Archives
I’ve been (slowly) moving over old Dailies from Substack. Here’s a few from this weekend, all from early in the year.
Work Futures Daily - Making Some Headway – James Bridle’s New Dark Age, Smartsheet IPO, Robotic Process Automation, On The Trolley Problem
Work Futures Daily - Work Insecurity Index – Work Insecurity Index, Why CEOs want to sit near the Research team, Lean Out, Stop saying breast milk is free
Will the flex week evolve into the four-day work? - When there’s less time to work, you waste less time | Jason Fried
The Trouble with Nowhere | No one wants to move to the future today. We are avoiding it. | Kevin Kelly
Quote of the Day
Trust is the secret sauce. The biggest thing you can do is trust people.
Bobby Harris, via Minda Zetlin
Beacon NY - 2018-10-15 — I’m revising the format of the Daily in a way. The title will be taken from the most important story, and the subtitle will now be a listing of the other stories. This may make it easier to find stories after publication.
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