Tuesday, January 02, 2007

How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything

The Globe and Mail has been running a series of articles by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams, co-authors of Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, a book being published this week.

Here are the parts in the series:
  • Peer Pioneers - A new world: Get your mass collaboration road map set (December 26, 2006): "So pervasive and enduring has the hierarchical mode of organization been that most people assume that there are no viable alternatives. That is, until a new generation of user-friendly collaboration tools unleashed a new force on the world. It's like someone uncorked the bottle of human ingenuity. Empowered by the growing accessibility of information technologies, millions of people already join forces in self-organized collaborations that produce dynamic new goods and services that rival those of the world's largest and best-financed enterprises. Though it is unlikely that hierarchies will disappear in the foreseeable future, it's clear that the traditional business enterprise is no longer the sole engine of wealth creation in the economy."
  • Ideagoras - Web's greatest asset: A new marketplace for ideas (December 27, 2006): "The late-19th century chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur famously said that chance favours the prepared mind. The same could be said of innovation. Companies face tough dilemmas every day for which there is a uniquely prepared mind somewhere in the world that possesses the right combination of expertise and experience to solve that problem. Conventional wisdom says firms should seek to hire such people and retain them within their boundaries. After all, such uniquely prepared minds outside your company can be illusive. But today, thanks to the Web, a new marketplace for ideas, innovations, and uniquely qualified minds is changing everything."
  • Prosumers - 'Second Life' is a signpost for the future: Fabricated online environment an exciting, long-term engine of change, innovation (December 28, 2006): "In 1999, Philip Rosedale invented a business that most of us would only dream of. The peculiar part is that in Rosedale's business, customers do 99 per cent of the work. His 'product' is a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG, for short) called Second Life, a fascinating world where more than 400,000 participants socialize, entertain and transact in a virtual environment fabricated almost entirely by its users... Some analysts have written about Second Life -- but all have missed the most important point. Players like Anshe Chung and indeed all players in Second Life, are not just consumers of game content; they are at once developers, community members and entrepreneurs. This means Second Life is no typical 'product,' and it's not even a typical video game. It's created almost entirely by its customers -- you could say the consumers are also the producers, or the 'prosumers'. "
  • The New Alexandrians - Lessons learned from the ancient Greeks (December 29, 2006): "The Alexandrian Greeks were inspired by a simple, but powerful idea: Collect all of the books, all of the histories, all of the great literature, all of the plays, all of the mathematical and scientific treatises of the age and store them in one building. In other words, take the sum of mankind's knowledge and share it for the betterment of science, the arts, wealth, and the economy. The Alexandrians came very, very close to achieving that goal. At the collection's crowning glory, estimates suggest they had accumulated more than half a million volumes."
  • Platforms for Innovation - Smart companies lay their cards on the table (December 30, 2006): "Conventional wisdom says that 'being open' is rather like inviting your competitor into your home only to have them steal your lunch. But in an economy where innovation is fast, fluid, and distributed, conventional wisdom is being challenged. A growing number of smart companies are learning that openness is a force for growth and competitiveness. As long as you're smart about how and when, you can blow open the windows and unlock the doors to build vast business ecosystems on top of what we call 'platforms for innovation'."
  • The Global Plant Floor - China's motorbike industry's decentralized model holds lessons for all manufacturers (January 1, 2007): "The characteristics that make the Chinese motorcycle industry competitive also make for a particularly fascinating tale of how mass collaboration has the potential to reshape even the most stodgy manufacturing firms. Unlike traditional manufacturing industries, where tightly regimented production hierarchies spit out end products under the command of a single leader, the Chinese motorcycle industry consists of hundreds of different companies that collaborate on motorcycle design and manufacturing. "
  • 'Us' power (January 2, 2007): "But if an army marching in lockstep to tightly arranged military music is a metaphor for yesterday's workplace, the workplace of the future will be more like a jazz ensemble, where musicians improvise creatively around an agreed key, melody, and tempo. Mass collaboration is already transforming the way goods and services are created throughout the economy, and it is now becoming a growing force in today's workplace, including a few of the world's largest companies. Much of this is due to a younger generation of workers that embraces new Web-based tools in a way that often confounds older generations but promises real advantages for companies that adapt their style of working."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:54 pm


Blogger Connie Crosby said...

Thanks for this, Michel-Adrien. My brain has still been on holiday and I missed seeing the series. I am particularly intrigued by the comments about Second Life, since I'm definitely one of the people who has been looking at it but haven't "gotten it" yet. I'm going to have a look for the book, also.

My feeling is that business as we know it is about to change. Big time.


11:20 pm  

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