From time to time Cutter Senior Consultant Jens Coldewey talks with middle managers who started their Agile journey some years ago and are unhappy with the results. Here’s his advice: If you start changing an organization toward an Agile mindset, there’s no real end. Agile is about creating an organization of continuous learning and the transformation is done when there is nothing new to learn, which will probably be never. This puts an enormous challenge on middle management. In most organizations, lower management is responsible for actual delivery, upper management is responsible for keeping the organization prepared for the future, and middle management is responsible for stabilizing the organization. Now continuous learning means that Read more
Tips on being a better leader and creating great leaders within the organization.
Cutter Consortium has been conducting a survey to gain insight into how organizations are adopting — or planning to adopt — blockchain technology. We are also looking to identify important issues organizations are encountering (or foresee encountering) in their blockchain efforts. In addition to analyzing the data, Cutter Senior Consultant Curt Hall has been conducting phone interviews with leaders and practitioners from different organizations who are implementing or working to implement blockchain applications. Their opinions and recommendations on using the technology add depth and richness to Curt’s analysis. Curt will be presenting his findings in a series of Executive Updates over the next couple of months. Hall’s first Executive Update, published last week, examined the initial survey Read more
According to Dr. Stephen J. Andriole, Cutter Fellow and Professor of Business Technology at Villanova University, most professionals think digital leverages emerging technologies. However, Steve Andriole’s experience tells a different story: “The truth is that most transformational leverage comes from operational and strategic technology rather than emerging technology. This is because many business models and processes are antiquated, as evidenced by the relative ease with which, for example, Uber and Airbnb cut directly into the taxi and hotel markets. Of course, there are countless ways emerging technology can improve — and even disrupt — processes and even whole industries, but the real leverage lies with operational and strategic technology, especially when they are leveraged together. “Does this mean that Read more
“Musicians play their instruments. I play the orchestra.” Steve Jobs attributed this quote to a famous conductor in the film Steve Jobs. It’s hard to come up with a more vivid illustration of leadership. It acknowledges that conductors may be less adept at playing instruments than any of the players in front of them — and other instruments not at all — yet they elicit brilliant performances. I have been told by a San Francisco Symphony musician that guest conductors can in a few rehearsals have the orchestra sounding like the orchestras where they are based. Leadership, per Webster, means “the quality of a leader; capacity to lead”. In recent years, the word has become Read more
Cutter Fellow Bob Charette’s 2013 assertion that The STEM Crisis is a Myth inspired quite a bit of discussion in education and industry, which has apparently not subsided! In STEM Literacy and Jobs, wsj.com blogger Irving Wladawsky-Berger taps Charette for his thoughts on the STEM jobs “crisis.” When it comes to STEM, the discussions have mostly focused on STEM jobs rather than STEM literacy, and in particular, on whether we have a STEM crisis or a STEM surplus–a debate I recently wrote about. A number of articles have pointed out that, as is often the case with such complex questions, both sides are right. It all depends. STEM includes a variety of disciplines, degree Read more
Life complexifies. Perhaps it is a fundamental law of information that the complexity of information increases. In the world of biology, over time organisms become more complex, with new genetic permutations appearing alongside of old genetic pieces. In the hyperastronomical space in the animal genome, nature constantly produces new combinations. In human knowledge and scientific discovery, the same is true. New insights are built on top of old ones. Breakthroughs in insight usually have higher levels of complexity and hence require higher levels of abstraction and difficult codification to accommodate the widening domain covered. We all know E=MC2 but how many of us really know what it means? In the world of medicine, treatments are Read more
Cutter Fellow Rob Austin and Senior Consultant Shannon Hessel received a Danish Society for Education and Business Prize for their “Leadership in the 21st Century Organizations” course at Copenhagen Business School. Cutter Fellow Dick Nolan was also honored for the lectures he contributed to the course. One of the three DSEB Education Prizes went to Assistant Professor Shannon Hessel and Professor Rob Austin from the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, especially due to their work in the course: “Leadership in the 21st Century Organizations”, in which they combine technology with good old-fashioned storytelling. – via CBS Observer Congratulations, Rob, Shannon, and Dick!