Three perspectives on disruption, and strategies for surviving it | Delaney Turner, IBM Software Blog
Is disruption the new normal? It seems like it lately, as my social feeds serve up the ongoing speculation about Apple’s future
, the devastation wrought by tropical storm Irene and the continuing gloomy outlook for the world economy. Luckily,  though, my feeds have also served up three great reads about how to  manage through disruption as well. I’ve summarized them and explained  why I think they’re important. Whitney Johnson: “No idea what will come next”The first is Whitney Johnson’s post in the Harvard Business Review blog, entitled “Disrupt Yourself.”  A former investment banker, Johnson describes the risks and fear  involved in walking away from a seven-figure salary to become an  entrepreneur and shares the lessons she’s learned in the six years  since. Briefly, they are as follows:If it feels scary and lonely, you’re probably on the right track
Be assured that you have no idea what will come next 
Throw out the performance metrics you’ve always relied on
Your odds of success will improve when you pursue a disruptive course
Marc Andreessen: “Even books are software”The second read is Marc Andreessen’s Wall Street Journal piece, “Why Software is Eating the World." Andreessen’s is a voice for optimism in a stream of gloomy economic news.  Shunning the speculation of another “internet bubble,” he sees  companies like Facebook, Zynga and Foursquare building high-growth,  high-margin and highly defensible businesses. He explains: My  own theory is that we are in the middle of a dramatic and broad  technological and economic shift in which software companies are poised  to take over large swathes of the economy/ […] More and more major  businesses and industries are being run on software and delivered as  online services—from movies to agriculture to national defense. Many of  the winners are Silicon Valley-style entrepreneurial technology  companies that are invading and overturning established industry  structures. Over the next 10 years, I expect many more industries to be  disrupted by  software, with new world-beating Silicon Valley companies doing the  disruption in more cases than not […] Today, the world’s largest  bookseller,  Amazon, is a software company—its core capability is its amazing  software engine for selling virtually everything online, no retail  stores necessary. On top of that, while Borders was thrashing in the  throes of impending bankruptcy, Amazon rearranged its web site to  promote its Kindle digital books over physical books for the first time.  Now even the books themselves are software.

Three perspectives on disruption, and strategies for surviving it | Delaney Turner, IBM Software Blog

Is disruption the new normal? It seems like it lately, as my social feeds serve up the ongoing speculation about Apple’s future

, the devastation wrought by tropical storm Irene and the continuing gloomy outlook for the world economy.

Luckily, though, my feeds have also served up three great reads about how to manage through disruption as well. I’ve summarized them and explained why I think they’re important.

Whitney Johnson: “No idea what will come next”

The first is Whitney Johnson’s post in the Harvard Business Review blog, entitled “Disrupt Yourself.” A former investment banker, Johnson describes the risks and fear involved in walking away from a seven-figure salary to become an entrepreneur and shares the lessons she’s learned in the six years since. Briefly, they are as follows:

  • If it feels scary and lonely, you’re probably on the right track
  • Be assured that you have no idea what will come next
  • Throw out the performance metrics you’ve always relied on
  • Your odds of success will improve when you pursue a disruptive course

Marc Andreessen: “Even books are software”

The second read is Marc Andreessen’s Wall Street Journal piece, “Why Software is Eating the World." Andreessen’s is a voice for optimism in a stream of gloomy economic news. Shunning the speculation of another “internet bubble,” he sees companies like Facebook, Zynga and Foursquare building high-growth, high-margin and highly defensible businesses. He explains:
 
My own theory is that we are in the middle of a dramatic and broad technological and economic shift in which software companies are poised to take over large swathes of the economy/ […] More and more major businesses and industries are being run on software and delivered as online services—from movies to agriculture to national defense. Many of the winners are Silicon Valley-style entrepreneurial technology companies that are invading and overturning established industry structures. Over the next 10 years, I expect many more industries to be disrupted by software, with new world-beating Silicon Valley companies doing the disruption in more cases than not […] Today, the world’s largest bookseller, Amazon, is a software company—its core capability is its amazing software engine for selling virtually everything online, no retail stores necessary. On top of that, while Borders was thrashing in the throes of impending bankruptcy, Amazon rearranged its web site to promote its Kindle digital books over physical books for the first time. Now even the books themselves are software.
The Grass Ceiling: Limits to grassroots initiatives and what to do about them | johnstepper
Social media platforms are great for enabling grassroots efforts. But within the enterprise, grassroots efforts tend to be all sound and fury with limited results.
Here are 3 ways to remedy that, and transform opinionated crowds into effective enterprise movements.
The grass is greener
People within large firms are eager for change. They’re eager to do things differently and eliminate the waste and bureaucracy they see around them. And they see social business as an alternative to the dystopian present.
But, too often, social business is cast as a revolution of sorts. And the term “grassroots” is invoked as it often is in political change campaigns.

“The term implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it are natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures.”

Such movements are indeed excellent ways to find out what people really think. And for like-minded people to connect.
The problem comes when they try to effect change.

The Grass Ceiling: Limits to grassroots initiatives and what to do about them | johnstepper

Social media platforms are great for enabling grassroots efforts. But within the enterprise, grassroots efforts tend to be all sound and fury with limited results.

Here are 3 ways to remedy that, and transform opinionated crowds into effective enterprise movements.

The grass is greener

People within large firms are eager for change. They’re eager to do things differently and eliminate the waste and bureaucracy they see around them. And they see social business as an alternative to the dystopian present.

But, too often, social business is cast as a revolution of sorts. And the term “grassroots” is invoked as it often is in political change campaigns.

“The term implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it are natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures.”

Such movements are indeed excellent ways to find out what people really think. And for like-minded people to connect.

The problem comes when they try to effect change.

Social Media and Revolution: Clay Shirky on Brian Lehrer Show

Clay Shirky, internet guru, professor at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU and author ofCognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age, discusses the how social media tools are affecting political power structures, especially in the case of the turmoil in Tunisia.

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