Podcast with John Hagel, Co-Chairman of the Deloitte Center for Edge Innovation

In the context of my company, Arvetica, I recently recorded a podcast with one my favorite thinkers, John Hagel, who is Co-Chairman of the Deloitte Center for Edge Innovation, based in Silicon Valley. I am cross-posting the podcast on this blog because it would be a waste to miss John's interesting thoughts.

The podcast is about three distinct topics John has worked on: first, his approach to strategy, second, a concept he developed called "unbundling the corporation", and third, "IT as a tool for strategic differentiation". Enjoy the listening:


Strategy approach: John emphasizes that all organizations should reassess their approach to strategy. He outlines an approach that departs from the traditional view of strategic planning which has a time horizon of 1-5 years. John proposes a strategy approach that operates in parallel on a long term time horizon of 5-10 years and on a short term time horizon of 6-12 months, with continuous iterations between them. He notes that this is the only way to avoid risks in high uncertainty environments.

Unbundling the corporation: This concept highlights that most companies today are an unnatural bundle of three very different types of businesses: infrastructure management businesses, customer relationship businesses, product innovation and commercialization. Each of theses businesses has very different economics, skill-sets and cultures. Hence, companies should unbundle them.

IT as a differentiator: John points out that IT is today becoming even more strategically important as a foundation for rapid incremental business innovation than previously. He explains this through new and flexible architectures which allow companies to continuously achieve IT innovation and keep a constant head start. This contrasts with the past, when companies made heavy punctual investments in IT innovations every few years, but were then copied. Finally, John also refers to the innovation potential of newer technologies that help people come together, collaborate and create value rather than just create savings through automation.

If you are interested in John Hagel's work and thinking, you should imperatively consult his blog where he writes on various topics related to business and technology. You may also want to consult his latest book "The Only Sustainable Edge", which he wrote together with John Seely Brown.