Communication Nation: The connected company

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The average life expectancy of a human being in the 21st century is about 67 years. Do you know what the average life expectancy for a company is?

Surprisingly short, it turns out. In a recent talk, John Hagel pointed out that the average life expectancy of a company in the S&P 500 has dropped precipitously, from 75 years (in 1937) to 15 years in a more recent study. Why is the life expectancy of a company so low? And why is it dropping?

To be continued at


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Recommended video watch: Video Book Club: The Power of Pull

Found atNext Level Blog.

Video Book Club: The Power of Pull

Happy end of summer everyone. Probably like a lot of you, I spent some time in August catching up on my reading. So, I’m back with the Video Book Club series and this week’s installment features The Power of Pull by John Hagel III, John Seely Brown and Lang Davison.

If you’ve been trying to figure out what it takes to lead and thrive in the information economy, you need to take a look at this book. Backed by a lot of research and some interesting case studies, the authors offer a wealth of provocative ideas on how to operate in the age of the internet. They also have a real gift for simplifying complex concepts with short, memorable phrases.

I talk about three of those phrases that landed with me in the video.

To be continued at Next Level Blog.

Photocredit: Batikart

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Reading A Leadership Blog: How Many Surface Areas Do You Have?

Photo credit by Chainthug

I frequently blog about the profound insights of John Hagel III.  Having read (and being impressed by his latest) my primary appreciation dealt with the perfect implications for any person and professional. This recent post stresses one major relevant facet. Thinking and acting in an integral way.

Have fun connecting and integrally acting.

Found at Leading Blog: A Leadership Blog: How Many Surface Areas Do You Have?.

Power of Pull

How many points of contact do you have with the world around you?

If we limit ourselves to one area or experience, then we limit our exposure and growth.

If we depend too much on one facet of our lives, we isolate ourselves from the world around us and we end up missing what is really going on.

In The Power of Pull the authors share their conversation with entrepreneur Jack Hidary. He explains that people overlook obvious situations because they “paint themselves into a corner such that their entire interaction with the outside world is mediated through this one facet. Then they’re unable to critically analyze where they are. That’s how they end up going down with the ship.”

To be continued at

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Highly, highly recommended book review Of Push and Pull @ confused of calcutta

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My thanks to Bob Davidson (oybay on flickr) for letting me use the wonderful shot above.

Those of you who know me well will also know that I have had a soft spot for the writings of John Seely Brown and John Hagel for some time now. [I've found 15 mentions of the word "Seely" alone in the past five years].  The Social Life of Information is one of the most important books I’ve read in the past 20 years. Similarly, ever since I saw the two Johns present the findings that formed the material for The Only Sustainable Edge, I’ve been tracking what they’ve been doing with keen interest.

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Recommended Are All Employees Knowledge Workers? John Hagel III, John Seely Brown, and Lang Davison @ Harvard Business Review

Richard Florida, The Creative Class
Image by AlphachimpStudio via Flickr

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We live in a world of haves and have nots. No, not the kind you might imagine. These people reside within our companies. We increasingly group the people in our firms into two classes: those who have knowledge and talent and, by implication, those who do not. This segmentation is misleading and damaging to firms in the long run.

Ask executives to identify the talent within their firm and many will focus on the top tiers of management. Often, they will include in this august group the “high potentials” being groomed for leadership roles. Sometimes, they will extend the boundaries to include “creative talent” or “knowledge workers“. But then there is the rest of the workforce.

When talking about talent, many executives focus on what Richard Florida calls the “creative class”: engineers, scientists, architects, educators, researchers, coders, artists and, more broadly, knowledge workers.

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