The End of Big, by Nicco Mele

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It’s obvious that things are changing, and changing rapidly. It’s clear that the changes are profound, and that new threats and opportunities are impacting business at something other than a trendy or superficial level. In his book, The End of Big, Nicco Mele captures the essence of the change we’re experiencing and gives it a name – radical connectivity. This new way of being changes our interactions, opens up seemingly limitless opportunities, and also presents some concerning potential outcomes. One thing that is clear, Mele argues, is that our largest institutions (the “big”) are going to change dramatically as power shifts away from them and toward individuals and small groups.

Many people are excited about the glorious wonders of technology, celebrating and evangelizing the possibilities. Others will decry the shiny new objects surrounding us and resist any sort of meaningful change. I found Mele’s book to be an intelligent and well-balanced examination of both the upsides and downsides of what this new era could bring. This makes it a very valuable piece of work for those in leadership positions, or for anyone whose responsibility includes strategic planning, innovation, or technology development.

The End of Big examines the changes being brought about across a variety of sectors: news and journalism, political parties, entertainment, government, military, education, and business. Each of these areas is undergoing serious change and has an unclear future. The book is a great review of what’s happened in this last amazing decade and a half of revolutionary change in the way people live, work, and connect, while also inviting a thought-provoking consideration of the future, both in the near- and long-term. It’s also very well-written, a fast and engaging read.

Deadlines

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Ready or not, when the deadline comes, we deliver. The deadline, after all, is the final opportunity. There is no more time to tinker, to adjust, to fuss. There is no more time to reflect, to ponder, to make decisions. Working on deadline helps us to get things done, to focus our attention and energy. Deadlines […]

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The abstract and the practical

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Each is essential and together they are powerful, yet neither is very valuable on its own. Practical is where work gets done. Tasks are defined, schedules created, items purchased, emails typed, boxes checked off a list. Out of context, these can build to a path that goes astray from larger objectives, conflicts with certain goals, […]

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Give and Take, by Adam Grant

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There are givers and there are takers. There are winners and there are losers. There are the selfish and there are the selfless. We have stereotypes for all of these, and we’ve all encountered someone who has personified each. But things aren’t quite that simple. In Give and Take, Adam Grant walks us through a […]

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How Blogging Has Made Me A Better CIO

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Inspired by Phil Komarny’s post, How Being Social Made Me A Better CIO, I thought I’d share how blogging has made me a better CIO. Ironically, I’ve often spoken about this in talks and presentations, but I’ve never blogged about it until now. Here are four things I’d credit to my blogging experience, after nearly […]

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