Machine, Platform, Crowd

Some important lessons I learned by watching “Business Success in the Second Machine Age” by Andrew McAfee.

  • Drivers of the technology surge we are seeing today
    • A little new science – most advances have been built on top of theories or techniques that have been around for years
    • Rapid advance in computing power
    • Explosion of data volume and availability
    • A democratization of knowledge, digital power (cloud), innovation, etc.
  • Key characteristics of the organizations who become the disruptors of this second machine age:
    • Evidence-driven
    • Outward-looking
    • Platform operators, with
    • Geeky leadership
  • On decision-making, many organizations today still rely on the HiPPOs (Highest Paid Person Opinion). In the second machine age, the geeks are gaining ground, and the HiPPOs are in disadvantage.
  • The disruptors are outward-looking by seeking out help from the crowd to augment their core.
  • The disruptors build platforms (or digital environments) that allow others to connect and to collaborate.
  • The “geeky-leadership” are bold, rational, iterative, transparent, and experimental.
  • Can you turn the HiPPOs into a more evidence-driven species? Tell compelling stories, back them up with data, apply the human treatment and bring people along.
  • How do you change the culture in an organization, via quick-win or broader shift? The approach will likely require both quick-wins and larger movements. Most importantly, the cultural transformation must come from the senior leadership of the organization.
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