“I’ve thought about that a million times since. If I had been suckered into telling Andy Grove what he should think about the microprocessor business, I’d have been killed. But instead of telling him what to think, I taught him how to think—and then he reached what I felt was the correct decision on his own.
That experience had a profound influence on me. When people ask what I think they should do, I rarely answer their question directly. Instead, I run the question aloud through one of my models. I’ll describe how the process in the model worked its way through an industry quite different from their own. And then, more often than not, they’ll say, “OK, I get it.” And they’ll answer their own question more insightfully than I could have.”
Governance: “good governance is about making everybody smarter about IT. “When setting up governance, most companies start with IT investments when they should start with implementation reviews,” says Ross. “Companies with the best governance are constantly assessing whether projects are realizing their business case.””
Purpose: Ross. “Quarterly financial goals are destroying us. IT is about the long-term strength and agility of the business. Let somebody else worry about quarterly goals; the CIO should focus on making the company great forever.”
That doesn’t mean IT can ignore all quarterly pressure, but CIOs should discourage investment that is driven by short-term thinking. “This is UPS’s genius,” Ross says. “They understand that they need low package-delivery cost and high reliability. They use those metrics to set goals, and they build systems to operationalize their business.” CIOs must push back, she says. “If we measure IT the way we measure the last advertising campaign, we’re in trouble.”
I owe a follow-up on James’ excellent article. In short, I believe we need to embrace the mindset of Product Managers, who continually evolve a solution, rather than try for all-at-once perfection.
“In businesses that are themselves complex, there are tremendous efficiencies to be gained by the smart application of IT. That element of the enterprise architect’s role doesn’t go away.
What does change are the skills needed to evaluate how business applications, data sets and services are going to interact-and survive-in a complex, adaptive systems environment. If developers are the DNA of software in the cloud, the enterprise architect becomes the immune system, encouraging the growth of systems that help the business thrive, and killing those that would cost the business.
In this sense, my friend Brenda Michelson, a consultant specializing in enterprise architecture, put it best: the role is no longer one of enterprise architect, but rather one of the enterprise product manager…”
“Big Data needs its unit of human computational threshold so it appeals to the billions that can benefit from it. Me? I’m waiting for Big Data to become Tiny Insights. Tangible bites of intelligence that help me make better decisions and improve outcomes. Make no mistake: Tiny Insights doesn’t mean tiny value. Tiny insights inform massive decisions for business or important decisions for individuals.” — Sameer Patel
“Here are just a few ways to get started in achieving minimum complexity:
Think end to end. Simplicity relates to the entire customer experience, from how you handle pricing to customer support.
Say no. Kill features and services that don’t get used, and optimize the ones that do.
Specialize. Focus on your core competency, and outsource the rest–simplicity comes more reliably when you have less on your plate.
Focus on details. Simple is hard because it’s so easy to compromise; hire the best designers you can find, and always reduce clicks, messages, prompts, and alerts.
Audit constantly. Constantly ask yourself, can this be done any simpler? Audit your technology and application frequently.
The next thing to understand is that simplicity is a relative, moving target. The accelerating speed of innovation ensures that you’re never the simplest solution for long.”
“You can actually become more creative by changing your mind-set. Anyone can innovate, if they choose to. Disruptive innovators do it by choice, not chance. Their everyday actions swap out an “I’m not creative” mind-set for an “I am creative” one. And then magical (not mystical) things unfold.
The magic materializes as people engage unique innovation skills (what we call their innovator’s DNA) on an everyday basis. For example, by asking provocative questions, observing like anthropologists, networking with people who see the world in 180-degree opposites, and experimenting with intensity, innovators obliterate the “I’m not creative” brain barrier and, more often than not, break out from the pack.”