Month: September 2014

Another example of Market-based Management: Kanban As an Economic Bargaining System for Portfolio Management


“1. Introduce a common unit of currency – must be scarce”
“2. Provide a marketplace for buyers to bid on units of supply using common unit of currency”
“3. Provide just-in-time information to promote market liquidity”

Industrialised Adhocracy and The Future of Work

Excellent overview on Industrialised Adhocracy and The Future of Work:


Rats participating the markets

Okay, so this has the scientific due diligence of an art installation rather than an actual proof of utility.  But it shows why market-based management is so important.  

One project is Michael Marcovici’s Rat Trader. The book describes the training of laboratory rats to trade in foreign exchange and commodity futures markets. Marcovici says the rats “outperformed some of the world’s leading human fund managers.” The rats were trained to press a red or green button to give buy or sell signals, after listening to ticker tape movements represented as sounds. If they called the market right they were fed, if they called it wrong they got a small electric shock. Male and female rats performed equally well. The second generation of rattraders, cross-bred from the best performers in the first generation, appeared to have even better performance, although this is a preliminary result, according to the text. Marcovici’s plan, he writes, is to breed enough of them to set up a hedge fund.


If the above scenario actually works it means a dramatic change in the way we think about the “decision-making” part of the management process.

If the stream of data (think “big data”) can be processed by an arbitrary meat-based neural network – and proven to be effective – what is the point of performance management on the rats?

Market Stereotypes

Once you start looking for market stereotypes you can see them everywhere:
Market Stereotype Description  Examples
Competitive game Gaming performance where team’s are made of individuals with similar goals Sales team leaderboards 
Cooperative game Gaming performance where only team performance matters but individual team members contribute in different ways  Collaborative
Discovery & scoring Add discovery of information by scoring of information and collective curation elancer 
Redundant production Make more than you need to find quality RFIs, competitive development
Unwanted feedback Ensuring feedback isn’t filtered Business Intelligence 
Interface versus interpretability Designing for unintended uses Open data
App store analogy
Using the model of an “app store” in a different context 
Defence app store initiative
Separate management from measurement Separate the management process from the measurement process Business intelligence + separate performance management function
KPI exchange Making a high-level metric tradable rather than using derived metrics Allowing employees to trade their “utilisation” performance metric
Lean business case  Making a market for project portfolio ideas; ensuring ideas are tested quickly while capturing intelligence  Idea factories
Agile development Dealing with uncertainty through iteration, continuous feedback, and no-fixed-plan Everywhere in IT

The Post-Productive Economy

The Post-Productive Economy

Choosing the Internet over running water when resourses are constrained.

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