Month: January 2016

McKinsey on Digital

The McKinsey Podcast has a great summary of “digital”. It’s basically a summary of good stuff that’s been around for a long time:

  • Optimise assets
  • Use data
  • Optimise decisions-making (both bold, and common)
  • Improve intimacy with customers
  • Agility as responsive but with a stable core
  • Radical cost reduction – including elimination of processes * Two speed IT architecture
  • Bringing in talent from other industries… Works to a point
  • beyond org charts and focusing on coherence

I’ve been reluctant to call what I do “digital” but if might be time to admit I’ve been “doing digital” for some time.

There are of course some universal truths here that have just been rebadged as “digital”.  The idea that you should allocate resources to things that you believe will be required in the future and reduce your allocation of resources to things you don’t believe will be required in the future is important but has very little to do with digital.

I also noticed that the two interviewees seemed to disagree slightly on some points and were holding back from a debate. Maybe that was just me.

Podcast episode here:


Capitalism Epochs and Pendulum Arguments

I have long been interested in pendulum arguments. These are the sort of arguments where the position swings drastically from one position to another. For example, capitalism versus of socialism, centralised versus decentralised, or technology-driven change versus business-driven change.

I think these pendulum arguments ultimately turn out to be false dichotomies or otherwise the result of incomplete models. Like real pendulums, they can be stopped by adding a “third thing”. Imagine the image of a pencil being stabbed into the middle of the pendulum which dramatically stops it swinging.

This “third thing” is usually something that is not typically considered part of the domain of the argument. It changes the model.

I’m finding this talk interesting, with the key slides reproduced below:

The idea of “financial capitalism” versus “production capitalism” is a likely controversial tweak to our idea of capitalism.  The model appears to fit:


I have a bit of an ideological issue with the other that the switch to the “deployment” / “production capitalism” phase “doesn’t happen automatically – i.e. that it requires governance help.  I suspect that this is a causation versus correlation debate.  Possibly Carlota is playing to her audience.

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