From Conventional Wisdom to Unconventional Ideas
Conventional wisdom primarily honored the institution as a construct of creating value. And the information age (inclusive of Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 phases) primarily honored the value that data could provide to institutional value creation. It allowed for greater efficiency to do the same things that were done in the industrial era. The 21st Century honors the value creation starting with the single unit of a connected human. In this framework, powerful organizations look less like conventional wisdom and more like fast, fluid, flexible networks of connected individuals — like, say, unconventional wisdom.
Companies cannot survive (let alone prosper) without recognizing that The Digital Era as a phenomenon can allow us to redefine our organizations to be inherently more fast fluid and flexible by its very design. Not by doing a little bit more, or slimming down a bit here or there, or by doing a few things a little bit faster. No. We will not tweak our way into the future. We have to pursue innovation which means pursuing the unconventional ways of doing things.
Strategic thinking is changing to be more inclusive rather than exclusive. To think more in real-time dynamics rather than 2,3 or five year frames of reference. Recent work by Andrew McAfee, Race Against The Machine, Nilofer Merchant, 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era, C. Otto Scharmer, Leading From The Emerging Future, Gary Hamel, What Matters Now, Seth Godin, The ICarus Deception, Umair Hague, Betterness: Economics for Humans and Mary Adams, Intangible Capital collectively document and synthesize a growing body of evidence that clearly shows unconventional wisdom of the markets and market leaders that are creating massive disruption across all market segments globally.
Conventional wisdom would pursue tangible measures to define ways to improve strategically. As Andrew McAfee says “The intangible organizational assets are typically much harder to change and difficult to measure, but they are also much more important to the success of the organization.”
It is unconventional to think about building a strategy around the intangibles because it doesn’t fit with conventional wisdom. Yet all evidence shows that it is the intangibles that is driving the markets value today…80% of the S&P 500 market value assigned to the intangibles…..go figure.