Monday, March 17, 2008

Are you a Funky Business?

I just received a new book on the recommendation of a co-worker called "Funky Business Forever" by Jonas Ridderstrale and Kjell Nordstrom. It is actually a follow up to their first book "Funky Business", which I have not read. In "Funky Business Forever", Ridderstrale and Nordtrom discuss capitalism, the economy, politics, technology, the environment and talent. One topic they discuss that I enjoyed was "Technology: The Endless Riff" and 4 reasons why Information Technolgy creates digital dreams (I have paraphrased and shortened the descriptions):
  1. IT Decreases Time and Space: there is no longer a workplace. It has become a workspace and a lifespace, which are being blended together over time.

  2. IT Enables Total Transparency: people with access to information are beginning to challenge any type of authority. The periphery is becoming the center.

  3. IT Perfects Markets: markets are becoming more efficient thanks to information technology. These efficiencies are breaking down the traditional hierarchies that exist inside of an organization that were originally established to create efficiencies.

  4. IT Affects Us All and Affects Everything: Competitors are never more than a click away. All organizations are now information based, no matter the type of business.

Ridderstrale and Nordtrom conclude the idea behind digital dreams with the term "infostructure", the electronic nervous system of the company, which will be more important than infrastructure. Companies with lousy "infostructures" will look like 65-year-olds competing in the Olympic marathon wearing high heels and evening gowns.

Beyond the entertainment of the final visual, the points are well taken. I agree that information technology is changing the game for most organizations. What I find most interesting is that the concepts of "digital dreams" are still not a reality inside mosts business. In the way that information is at our finger tips when using tools like Google, Wikipedia and YouTube, the same cannot be said for understanding business performance. The internal systems, including data, information and knowledge, very much look like the marathoner that Ridderstrale and Nordstrom desribe! So how can we change the game? Can we apply the concepts of Web 2.0 inside the enterprise?


R. Todd said...

Let me be real clear on this book. I read about 20-25 books a year and have been over the past 10 years. All in the business area; this one is number two on my all-time list of favorites. The writing is excellent and the authors provide many examples. This book will make you rethink how you approach the world of business.

Peter Graham said...

Funny story about the book. I ordered it back in December from an online site, let's just call it It took like 3 months to get a copy!

So what is your #1?