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Shift: A Leader's Guide to the Platform Economy Paperback – January 12, 2015
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"Shift tells us everything we wanted to know about the emerging digital economy but were afraid to ask. It gives a uniquely comprehensive and deep explanation of emerging leadership and management practices. Among many other important contributions to our understanding of economic change, it shows how the practice of strategic options building can help position companies in a time of uncertainty and provides insights into the new tools of managing complexity."
- Stephen Denning, author, The Leader's Guide to Radical Management
"Shift shines a light through all of the hype around driving and surviving disruptive change in business today. It is an engaging and thought-provoking read.."
- Amar Hanspal, senior vice president, IPG Product Group, Autodesk
"To transform anything, start by changing your lens. Shift by Haydn Shaughnessy is a must-read lens-changer for innovation junkies everywhere."
- Saul Kaplan, founder and chief catalyst, Business Innovation Factory
"Shift is mandatory reading for anybody who wants to move beyond the tactics of enterprise innovation. Haydn has done a tremendous job in contextualizing innovation by elastic and fluid enterprises that have the capabilities to move at rocket speed in today's fast moving disruption environment. The chapters on innovation capabilities, platform thinking and externalisation represent some of the most refreshing reflections and insights of the last decade. With Shift, Haydn has positioned himself in the same league as Clayton Christensen."
- Peter Vander Auwera, co-founder, Innotribe
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Top customer reviews
Shift is easy to read and has many examples. The author explains, demystifies and creates a vision of a radically new future happening right now. So it's better to talk about a radically new present! Part of this present/future is scary for many people and Haydn, to his credit - offers no simplistic lists of "things to do to achieve success" - but rather lots of thought-provoking commentary that brings understanding and a sense that we can choose to be part of this present/future or not.
I'd like to quote from the author's Afterword to illustrate my point:
"There are two views of the state of the Western economy. On one side there is angst over the way large firms behave— their reluctance to invest, bloated CEO salaries, and the ever-present risk of being eclipsed, either by start-ups or through misreading changes in technology and the competitive landscape. On the other side, there is some optimism that a new commons-based economy, or collaborative economy (or sharing economy) is rewriting the rules of wealth creation and distribution. Both sides might bemoan the concentration of wealth in fewer hands but neither has a way to deal with the extent of inequality in society.
In Shift, I have put the underlying changes in a different context. An important part of the shift is a rebalancing of power across the economy, as investment capital loses its historical role at the center of economic development. There is a much higher degree of dependency between large and small firms, and between both and the common pool of resources. There is, also, growing consumer power but the full extent of spontaneously organized consumers has yet to have the impact it might. It is easy to envisage consumer groups owning their own data and becoming serious bargaining partners that force large enterprises to create products in new ways."
This sounds very macro, but the author brings it down to meaningful chunks, making Shift the kind of book you can read slowly, at different points in time, having new insights as you move through it. One important concept is that of "Key capability indicators" defined as "a measure of value, but the value is attributed to capability rather than to outputs like patents or new products."
The detailed Endnotes are a good starting point for those who want to dig deeper into the subject. I rated Shift at 5 stars because it brought value to me in my professional capacity — advisor, analyst on the digital workplace, as well as personally — in my understanding of the world around me.
At the center of his exploration is the elastic organization - described as new systems or platforms that are characterized by self-organization and self-determination- the next frontiers of democratization. He suggests that the elastic organizations most defining characteristic is its ability to fuel growth (scale) at an unprecedented rate, because the organization is not dependent upon its own boundaries or owning and managing infrastructure. It's the logical transformation of management and the beginning of a whole new way of inter-relationship and inter-connection. Hayden not only tells, but he shows through great stories, the emergence of these phenomena in real companies, in the present.
Shift is an important read for any one interested in the future of the world - whether in business, in the evolution of work and the experience of workers, or in general systems and economic theory.