John Hagel of The Power of Pull - Video Joint Creation





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Published on Apr 12, 2010

http://www.ideasproject.com/ John Hagel III has nearly 30 years experience as a management consultant, author, speaker and entrepreneur, and has helped companies improve their performance by effectively applying information technology to reshape business strategies. Deloitte Center for the Edge, the organization he co-founded with John Seely Brown and Lang Davison, conducts original research and develops substantive points of view for new corporate growth. From 1984 to 2000, he was a principal at McKinsey & Co., where he was a leader of the Strategy Practice. John has also served as senior vice president of strategic planning at Atari, Inc., and earlier in his career, worked at Boston Consulting Group. He is the author of the best-selling business books Net Gain, Net Worth, Out of the Box, and The Only Sustainable Edge, as well as the recently-published The Power of Pull. He has won two awards for best articles from Harvard Business Review and has been recognized as an industry thought leader by a variety of publications and professional service firms.

Big Idea - Social Networks Are a Platform for Joint Creation

I think what we're seeing today is a rapid adoption of social networks, initially in our personal lives, but increasingly in enterprise environments. I think what - the next wave of that development has to do with using social networks, not just to connect people around conversations, but to connect people in terms of joint creation activities, and we're already starting to see some early indications of that kind of activity, those kinds of environments, and at the end of the day they have a potential to turn the famous BCG Experience Curve, which is a diminishing returns curve, in terms of performance improvement, into an increasing returns curve, where you actually have more rapid performance improvement in learning the more people that join into these environments.

Talent Development is a New Priority for Companies

You ask any CEO what their top priority is, and almost inevitably, at least within the top three priorities, you'll hear the word talent. Talent is a key asset, key requirement for success, and yet I pose what I call the "Dilbert Paradox," which is given that that is the top priority, and these executives are quite sincere when they say that; they're not just engaging in rhetoric. They really believe it. So how do you explain the success of these mass cultural items like Dilbert in the office, which do such a great job of representing the stultifying effect of our work environments, on talent?

I think one way of resolving the paradox is to ask the next question; if talent's so important, what are you doing about it? What are you focusing on? And the executive will inevitably say "We're focusing on acquiring talent, and retaining talent." And to my mind, that's missing the key priority in terms of talent, which is talent development. If we focus on creating work environments where our talent is going to develop as rapidly as possible, it means we're going to attract as much talent as we can possibly handle, people will be flocking to come to our place, and secondly, we'll retain the talent because why would we leave? We're getting developed as rapidly as we possibly could.

China Offers Great Examples of Internal Learning Capability

There are relatively few organizations, in fact many of the organizations that we've looked at - we've spent 6 months actually in China because our view is that some of the greatest innovation in terms of these institutional arrangements for learning and talent development is actually in China, in companies in industries as diverse as apparel, motorcycles, consumer electronics. So we spent a lot of time looking at those kinds of companies to understand what are the management practices that lead to scalable peer learning and that is, I think, a key requirement for all executives.

I'd say one example more local in the United States, in Silicon Valley, is actually a German company, SAP, which has moved in a very interesting direction around their software developer network. Over a million participants in that software developer network, it started, early on, as very much the traditional open innovation model of pose a problem, get an answer, help the software developers to be more productive. It has evolved, over time, into creating an environment where you see these teams coming together and engaging on a sustained basis around very interesting performance challenges that they're wrestling with. So, that would be an early example of the kind of environment that we see forming around many companies.


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