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An organisation, whether a business or a government, is a living thing. It comprises a network of people, a mass of different activities, and reserves of capital. It consumes, it produces, it grows and in some cases it dies. Like all organisms, it exists within a number of ecosystems in which it competes and co-operates with others; it’s shaped by and shapes its environment, and hence needs to constantly adapt merely to survive. Also, people come and go, activities change and hence all organisations are in a constant state of flux.
This constant change creates a paradox of innovation, where the two extremes of survival (today and tomorrow) have diametrically opposite concerns, techniques, tactics and methods. The effects of this paradox can be seen in the constant yo-yoing of popular management theories between opposites in a scramble to maintain order. A more effective balance should be found through embracing both goals simultaneously.
This tutorial explores these concepts paying particular attention to:
Simon Wardley is a Researcher for CSC’s Leading Edge Forum, a global research and thought leadership community dedicated to helping large organizations become more successful by identifying and adopting Next Practices at the growing intersection between business and information technology. Simon’s focus is on the intersection of IT strategy and new technologies, and he currently leads our research entitled The Clash of the Titans.
Simon’s most recent published research (December 2014) is entitled Of Wonders and Disruption where he attempts to predict the nature of technological and business change over the next 20 years. His previous research covers topics including The Future is More Predictable Than You Think: A Workbook for Value Chain Mapping. Simon has also covered topics including Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts: Strategies for an Increasingly Open Economy, Learning from Web 2.0 and A Lifecycle Approach to Cloud Computing.
Simon has spent the last 15 years defining future IT strategies for companies in the FMCG, Retail and IT industries. From Canon’s early leadership in the cloud computing space in 2005, to Ubuntu’s recent dominance as the No 1 Cloud operating system.
As a geneticist with a love of mathematics and a fascination in economics, Simon has always found himself dealing with complex systems, whether it’s in behavioural patterns, environmental risks of chemical pollution, developing novel computer systems or managing companies. He is a passionate advocate and researcher in the fields of open source, commoditization, innovation, organizational structure and cybernetics.
Simon is a regular presenter at conferences worldwide, and was voted as one of the UK’s top 50 most influential people in IT in ComputerWeekly’s 2012 and 2011 polls.
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