Monday, November 10, 2014

Seeking Regional and Businessan Orchestrators!

Seeking Regional and Business Orchestrators

If you have
  • an entrepreneurial mindset
  • are a natural leader 
  • have a keen understanding of the challenges businesses and the workforce face in today's rapidly evolving economic environment
  • and you understand that the old business models and organizational systems are not suited to flourish in that environment 
Glia, the Social Business Ecosystem may be the ideal opportunity for you.

If the thought of becoming a key player of a team building a global organization is what inspires you, and you have what it takes to orchestrate value in an ecosystem of businesses and free agent talent, I am looking for those remarkable people who want to fulfill their true potential, and go beyond the ordinary. 

This is what I am looking for in these key, leadership positions:

--understand what business ecosystems are
--basic understanding of the Exponential Organization
--proven ability, or remarkable potential at building on ideas
--well rounded, well read on business and society
--broad understanding of technology, business, environment and social issues
--a creative synthesizer
--good at networking
--excellent social media presence. 
--brings out the best in people
--infectious energy, a curious mind

Creating The Future

Successful candidates will become key players in building the team that continually bring in the talent and businesses into the Glia Ecosystem, along with the necessary resources to make Glia a world leader in Social Business Ecosystems. This starts with seeding a small, select set of cities, creating a networked culture that will grow into a global, networked organization. 
As a team, we're driven by the purpose of providing the leadership the world needs right now, and the ability of a networked organization that can create value in addressing the smallest, and biggest challenges facing business and society today. 
This is a ground floor opportunity to get in at the beginning of leading in creating the future of how we organize people and business. 


Friday, November 7, 2014

The Exponential Organization

Network Effects

Well, isn't this exciting! 
Our design for Glia, a social-business ecosystem, which is inherently networked, takes advantage of network effects, and for exponential growth and value creation. Now we have more evidence as to why this is the organizational model of the future. 

In their new book, The Exponential Organization, Salim Ismail, Michael S Malone, and Yuri van Geest, make one of the best cases yet as to why the industrial era, command and control bounded organizational model will not survive in this century. 
"Any company designed for success in the 20th century is doomed to failure in the 21st.” - David S. Rose
Which has been my mantra for this entire century.
As I made the case in my previous post, the data is irrefutable,  most businesses are flatlined, or have caught a wave not of their making. As more entrepreneurial leaders move to the networked model and its exponential effects, the pressures on the old world business models is going to increase.

This is why we designed Glia as an ecosystem, businesses in the mature phases of their lifespan can become part of the ecosystem, and make a relatively controlled adaptation of a networked architecture best suited for their business. It is appearing more and more this isn't just a way to find new growth, but also a matter of survival.

This post here does a terrific job of pulling together a lot of the themes and charts onto one page.

Before we get too excited, I think it's important to make a distinction between a well designed networked organization and its ecosystems, and that of the collaborative economy, and the businesses that has spawned. In this terrific piece, The Mock Trial of the Collaborative Economy, one of the most insightful writers of this generation, Diana Filippova sets her keen mind on much of what has gone wrong, errors the next generation of models must avoid. Filippova hits it as I do, the necessity of distribution being baked into the model's DNA:
Why? A great number of challenges we are facing today are not economic. There are two of them that I believe are critical: the future of work and the distribution of value created. As I will argue in the second part of this series, collaborative practices and models could not properly solve these challenges all by themselves, at least not in a way that our societies would deem sustainable and fair. For sustainability and fairness are the result of a choice and are based on values. The collaborative economy may be still a convenient term to describe practices and models, but it does not say anything about our values and principles, which should be considered from political, social, cultural and philosophical standpoints.

I remain unwavering in my belief that we can be at the beginning of one of the greatest eras of wealth creation in human history, one that can distribute the wealth as never before. But to achieve that we must take enormous care and thought into the design of these new systems and models, and have the leadership and culture that understands that in these models, your must feed and nourish all the points in the network.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Future is Social Business EcoSystems

The Future is Social-Business EcoSystems

Building the Case for the Glia Design


Breaking from the pack isn't easy. Yet, as this comprehensive study from McKinsey and Company shows, most companies are mired in being just average. 
For example, we saw that the corporate world, like the world beyond it, has a relatively small number of elites and that, just as society grapples with the contemporary challenge of limited social mobility, many companies seem stuck in their strategic “class.” Escaping the gravity of the corporate middle class, indeed, requires businesses to expand or reinvent themselves unusually rapidly, often in the context of an industry whose overall performance is improving.
What are the implications for being in the middle pack?
  • If you’re in the middle, you mostly face a battle of inches. A fortunate few companies will ride a favorable industry trend. But for the most part, it will take substantial strategic or operational shifts to escape the gravity of market forces. The odds are against you, which elevates the importance of looking at strategy with a high degree of rigor.

Another trend to consider here is the lifespan of companies is shrinking.
 Ultimately, the challenge faced by all companies is to grow at or above the pace of their industry without losing control of their operations. The Innosight study shows that very few companies achieve this goal.
Encouraging? Hardly. What's happening? That technology is disrupting business models is hardly news. That "digitization" is impacting strategy is also not news. Awareness, or ignorance, of the depth and nature of economic environment shouldn't be the problem. So what is?


Or, rather, a lack of leadership. Leadership isn't a title on a door. It isn't authority. It isn't management. It isn't being the head of a company or division. These positions are in abundance. Leadership, however, is not. And all the fads around leadership today are more myth than reality.
There is little doubt that many of the problems afflicting modern society are traceable to an extraordinary dearth of leadership.  In politics, business, education and a myriad of other fields, we are continuously reminded of the inadequacies of those in charge.
The challenges don't stop there. The university system that served the industrial era economy reasonably well, does not serve an economic landscape that is much different  from the previous few hundred years. What we have now is an education system training kids for a world than no longer exists.
What about the employee base companies do have to work with? They're mostly not engaged with their work.

For businesses today, leadership is about moving out from the morass of mass mediocrity to a world that gets the most from its talent base, it's people assets, and delights its customers.
This is what is required of leadership today--to guide stakeholders, assets, people and customers from the mountain peak it is currently on, down the slope and through the valley of death, and then create the more prosperous mountain peaks on the other side. Most everything else is mere shuffling of deckchairs on sinking ships.

The Mountain Peaks of Prosperity are Thick with Rainforests

More so than ever before, businesses are the function of ecosystems. Understanding even that is a big step forward. Nurturing the ecosystem upon which the business depends is a bigger step yet. Leading the way towards seeding and growing rainforests is what any responsible leader should be striving towards. Rich, diverse, well conceived and executed social business ecosystems are where the "gold" lies, the future 'engines' of prosperity. 
This isn't a trendy metaphor, but rather a much deeper, richer understanding of how the world is, and how economies function, and their role in a prosperous society. 

+Jennifer Sertl , one of my trusted sources with her finger on the pulse of business today,  returning recently from the Sibos conference, brought these insights from the thought leaders in the finance industry. The financial industry. Not academia. Not flowery optimistic change agents. The financial industry. Let me highlight a few key paragraphs from Jennifer's recent LinkedIn post on the conference:

Swift has an internal innovation lab called Innotribe, which is a group of individuals who travel globally to collect innovative thinkers to bring to Sibos to help bridge the gap between protection and innovation. Two speakers in particular made it very clear that competitive advantage today requires individuals build robust relationships across business sectors. Peter Hinssen asserts,“if you understand networks, you will understand the future.” Things are more relational and less hierarchical. There is too much to know and individuals can no longer be single point sources. Those who will have the best sense of reality are those who live and foster relationships in robust networks. So many people like to be with individuals that are similar in lifestyle and expression. Yet, navigating complexity requires people to be more interested in what they have to learn from one another than what it is that they have in common. Similarly Ann Badillo urges that rather than think of a network as a community, think of it “as a rainforest.” She says,“we need to go beyond building networks to building eco-systems.” This requires a much more robust inclusive design around friends, clients, customers, shareholders.
This may be the best paragraph I've read yet summing up the reasons to move towards a vastly different way of thinking of the business entity and it's place in the socio-economic environment.
Sertl goes on to say:
 Sustainable innovation and entrepreneurial growth come from ecosystems, not mere assets. Ecosystems are environments designed from the bottom-up to foster serendipitous interactions. The ecosystems are nurtured by several key cultural traits: connectivity, diversity of ideas and talents, deep levels of trust, motivations that rise above short-term zero-sum calculation, and cultural norms that encourage dreaming, risk-taking, and paying it forward.
Every single point there is bang on, and can't be separated from the other. This isn't some kind of piecemeal strategy. It's all in, or all out. The losers will be those that could only ever dip their toes in the water, that never dove in and learned how to swim in the new environment. The leaders will be those that inspire all involved to dive in, learn to swim, and learn to synthesize and synchronize.
If you're thinking to yourself that a lot of the culture and culturally rewarded behaviours of today's organization are ill-suited to the new environment, you're absolutely right. Leaders will know how to either sort them out, and rid the organization of the ill-suited, or inspire their charges to embrace the new world, and how to thrive in it. The knowledge needed to thrive in these new environments abound.
In closing, Sertl nicely circles the square with this quote:
 Penny Hembrow, VP of Global Banking at CGI Group, Inc. was an exhibitor at Sibos. When asked about today’s competitive advantage and navigating complexity, she gave a large smile and let out a sigh, “At the end of the day we must never forget that consulting at its best no matter what you do is about problem solving.” One of the biggest challenges we have right now is how to be globally minded yet serve our local communities. We have to toggle all the time between global and local. We might have large global networks, but at the end of the day most transactions are really made in person face to face. Even though it might be difficult, one has to find a way to have one foot planted in the macro and one planted in office in the life of the person you are serving. Hembrow refers to this as “the art of proximity - bringing global relevance at a macro level to the front door of the person you are serving.”
What does this mean? A continued move away from competing on price, and mass production, and towards competing on value and value creation. Which means more and more a world of customization. What does this mean for management? (yes, Virginia, management still matters) That managers are gardeners, who nurture, nourish and feed their ecosystem. Is that being taught at business schools? Probably not. But that is where the followers are, not the leaders.

In my next post I will explore with you what are the necessary design characteristics of a healthy social business ecosystem.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Glia Social Business EcoSystem Map

Seeding the Glia EcoSystem

Lead Guide and Orchestrator

Hello, my name is Gregory D Esau, your lead guide and orchestrator towards value creation in the Glia Social Business EcoSystem. The 'map' you see above, is our coarse grain macro-view of what our ecosystem will roughly look like. Over time, we will continually refine and define this map, your place in it.  How to make it work for you, how we use it to help create value for yourself and our customer network. How we'll track and visualize different value flows that are essential to a healthy thriving eco-system, eventually giving us an entirely new way to "see" and value our socio-economic life and activities.  Redefining how we create and distribute wealth in business and society. 
The world needs an economic revolution, our collective drive, passion and mission is to lead and set the bar as to how economic life functions and flows. Now, and into the future. 

The Seeds for Success

Thinking of a healthy social business ecosystem, such as the Glia design, as a garden is no mere metaphor. This visualization and the mind set that goes with it is critical to the success of the ecosystem.  Even more so, is how we seed, nurture and grow a social business ecosystem, especially one designed to deliver a range of high value products and services to our customer network. 

There are seven keystone 'species' needed that meshed together ensure the best chance for seeds of our success. It's important to note, that the success or failure of an ecosystem like Glia depends on all the species to understand one another, and pull together to grow the system, and find, develop and create the value and wealth inherent in such a system. 


Investors can come from within the ranks of the keystone species, indeed, it's vital those that commit to the system are investor/stakeholders. It cannot be stated enough the design of the Glia system depends on the distributed ownership of the system. 
Investment can also come from outside the system. 
These two basic categories can be thought of as vested investors, and passive investors. 
The vested investors, believe passionately in what we're working to build together, and therefore also invest time and expertise in understanding the system so as to best contribute. 
The passive investors will be those that believe in our economic philosophy, but for reasons unique to each, can't contribute currently as builders and developers. 

Knowledge and Intellectual Capital

In the many years I have been pulling together the knowledge for developing the Glia EcoSystem two things have impressed me. How many different knowledge pieces to this puzzle that exit, and the different ways they can be combined to create unique value. Very much like a brain and mind, the more knowledge nodes in the system, the more expansive it's capabilities. Especially when we combine Social and Business, and within the context of increasing scales of customization.
Like every species in the system, Glia cannot thrive without a healthy network of knowledge nodes in it's brain!
As we further our understanding of the system, we will continually break this down into contextually specific types of knowledge, expertise, etc

Builders and Developers

The design for the Glia EcoSystem as it scales will require a robust platform and network that can serve both the social world and business world. Of critical importance to the system and our mission, we as a whole need to own this platform and network. In the lessons learned from the new social network, Ello, there's a strong market for a network that differentiates itself from those that are ad supported or "free" for the right to user data. There's also a strong reaction as to how it's financed, with a lot of healthy skepticism towards venture capital. 
For Glia, we must have ownership over our data, our platforms, and network. 
Attracting the talent to such a model and system as Glia is critical, as we'll need to find that sweet spot between open source and more closed corporate model. 

Talent Market 

All businesses need talent to function. The old industrial model and concepts of "labour" and "management" break down in the needs of business and society in the 21st Century. One of the biggest shifts Glia will create is changing the perception, relationship and functionality of talent pool and the needs of business and society, In very short, a healthy thriving social business ecosystem needs a healthy, thriving talent market. 

Business--Products and Services

A look at the map gives us some idea of the types of businesses we want to attract into our system. Our long-term goal is to provide everything the value-centric consumer needs from cradle to grave. Our philosophy helps further refine what kind of businesses we want to cultivate--we do not compete on price. Competing on price is a losers game. This commoditization of labour and product, where ruthless cutting of costs towards the "lowest price" is the only way to "win" has been devastating for business and society. This principle is the most fundamental reason for the mass transfer of wealth over the last 30-40 years. This competing on price destroys and corrupts the soul of society, and business. The practice will no doubt persist, but not within the Glia EcoSystem.

Our Consumers

Our reason for being. The social in social-business. In speaking to our consumers, how successful Glia can be in being a thriving ecosystem, how well we can reshape our socio-economic future depends on enough consumers who understand the need for shopping on value, and not on price.  

The Orchestrators

These are the master synthesis masters who can "read" the system, connect the dots among business, talent, technology and talent in unique ways to create unique value between business and consumer. 


Evidence continues to mount that the old business models and old organizational models are too static, too inflexible and too tied to an outdated economic business philosophy to keep up with the needs of society, Such trends as artificial intelligent automation, Bitcoin/blockchain technology, the internet of things, 3D printing, institute stagnation, cloud technologies, distorted wealth creation and distribution, social networked media and even the specter of a 'jobless' future are not indicative that these old industrial models are up to the needs of business and society moving forward. 

Seeing our economies as ecosystems, creating the ways to measure the value flows in our economic systems, values beyond the simplistic measures of profit and productivity, of GDP, so we have the visual maps so as all of us can see the health of the system, and understand what makes a healthy system, a healthy society. Where the needs of society and business are in synch, and one feeds the other. Where we all value all of the keystone species in the system, where we all learn how to be gardeners in the system. 
I also need to mention "innovation" at this point. Innovation isn't a strategy, it isn't a department, it even isn't "cross functional teams" (although that is a step in the right direction!). You can't "plan" innovation. It's often "seeing" what others can't see. It's serendipity. 
Glia as a platform, combined with how we'll use visual social graphics to see the network, is designed to foster the environments where innovation can occur. 

Separately, we can likely continue on the path we're on. But when we have all the tools, all the knowledge, all the technology, and most importantly, the need for revolutionary change, why would we choose to stay on the wrong path? 

Using our media, our social media and networks, we can work to bring together all the necessary "species" to populate and grow the Glia Social Business EcoSystem. Not quite "crowdsourced", but what I call "SmartSwarms". Those of us who have a vested interest in growing the system, and enough of an understanding to find what we need, to qualify what we need, the pioneers we need to grow. And to understand we all win in the process. 

Seeding Cities

Unquestionably, this is a big shift. It's important to connect this to community, and the business communities. To give us the best chance of success, seeding Glia in cities is the best way to make this happen. 
As a resident in beautiful Vancouver B.C. Canada, this is one city we'll seed. Which other cities we'll seed will be dependent on finding the Core Nucleus of Orchestrators for any one particular city. 
This also highlights how we can take knowledge and know how that is globally distributed, and apply it in physical communities. The map we see above can both be a global representation of Glia EcoSystem, and can also be overlayed any one particular city.  

What is Next?

As Lead Guide and Chief Orchestrator, it is my job to attract and connect this to people and businesses that fit into the above species categories. Social media and our social networks will be our main conduit for the macro system. Google Plus and it's Hang On Air broadcasting (in conjunction with YouTube) abilities allows an amazing ability to connect this to people worldwide, and my own back yard.
Likewise, for the training and orientation for how to grow and thrive on the Glia System, this capability will be invaluable to giving the pioneers the best possible odds of success, and also for connecting with our customer base. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Glia Revolution

Do You Have What it Take To Seed and Lead a Revolution? 

Today marks a new beginning. For Glia. For SmartSwarm Management and Consulting. For you, for me, for society, business and our relationship with our planet.

For too long business, society, our workforce, our creative class, our quest for profits and return on investment, and our planet have been at odds.
For too long our old means and methods of organizing have benefited too few, squandered the passion and abilities of too many, concentrated power too tightly, and is holding back the huge potential we've yet to realize as people and society.

No more!

Glia is a social business network for an eco-system platform that brings together the businesses, the leaders in a new wave of management and leadership systems, the entrepreneurs and creative class, the next generation workforce, the change agents of the investment class, high value consumers, and the citizens of this world that want to drive change, and build the future that is bright for all of us.
A network whose purpose is to ensure the well being of all its members.
A network whose purpose is to reimagine, reinvent, rebuild and revolutionize our way of life.
A network that inspires us to constant improvement, to helping others, to grow, to achieve, to give back. To seed, grow, nurture a sustainable ecosystem.
A network dedicated to value co-creation.
A social business network owned and operated by it's members, for its members.

Make no mistake, this is going to take an enormous effort and commitment from a dedicated group of pioneers that will make up this revolutionary organizing system and culture.
To get there we're going to need to harness and orchestrate a wide range of technology, engenuity, spirit, knowledge and collaboration. And to let go of outdated principles and practices.
We'll need the concerted efforts of builders and renovators, change agents and creatives, know how and do how, and the thousands that can do all the little things that form that foundation upon which all this grows.

For the people with the talent, ability, drive and desire that want to be part of seeding and growing this system, it is the opportunity of a life time. And you are the people I need to find as soon as possible.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Almost Everything You Wanted to Know About Glia* *(But Were Afraid To Ask)

Almost Everything You Wanted To Know*
(*But Were Afraid To Ask)
#Glia   #SmartSwarms   #organizationalOS 

 This won't be a definitive guide, but it will (hopefully) give all of us a much better understanding than we previously had.
This is a Beta Version, and not ready for mass downloading.

Glia The Socio-Economic Revolution
This basic need for radical change has been my driving force since the 1980's. When I first came to the interwebs, that was and is my sole and soul purpose for being there (or is that here?)
Our model and system places foundational philosophical emphasis on value creation as a means to creating wealth, and on wealth distribution. A critical difference is the distribution is done through investing in people, and giving people every opportunity to succeed.
In our language, "wealth" is a mosaic of knowledge and know how, do how, emotional intelligence, service leadership, empowerment and engagement, empathy, caring and giving, critical and creative thinking, learning, networking and financial.

Glia:The Social Business Network
One of the purposes here is to have this massively scaled culture that finally does away with the false dichotomy of the needs of society, and the needs of business. This is, and should be a symbiotic relationship. That so called "capitalism" and capitalists have used the slavish and selfish pursuit of profits over people and planet does not mean in order to create wealth, we have to place one over the other. Somehow 250 years of market enterprises have missed the lessons of Adam Smith's "Moral Sentiments".
While the point isn't a "numbers" game, I think we can have 500 million plus "unique" Glia-ites on our platform in five years, give or take. Why? Because there are at least that many of us out there, and we need our own network, our own home, our own unique way to connect. This number is a mix of business and society (to over simplify it)
This is critical to understand. All of our people will have an ownership in our network. There are a lot of reasons for this (not the least of which is just one way we distribute wealth) but the most important, most crucial, most critical is:
We Want To Own Our Own Data

Glia the Organizational Operating System
The simplest way to explain this, is that most organizations run some form of institutionalized form of organizing principles based on 200 year old models. Mechanization was a core philosophy, with command and control taken from the military. Worse, it still assumes economics that are equally outdated. It's been tweaked to somehow limp (well, rent seeking and other strong arm corruption and protectionism practices mostly) into this century, but it is at best a decrepit system.
Glia is base on living systems (nature, life), and the ever growing body of knowledge and know how that have sprung up around that guiding principle. What stops this vastly superior way of organizing is the power vested in the old systems, which is why many will die on the vine, unable to adapt.
Glia is for the 10% of businesses that are courageous enough to make the switch, and who want to be the true leaders of products and services for a sustainable prosperous society. Being harmonious with planet and nature is literally a natural extension of this 21st century business.

The Glia OS is an exotic blend of philosophy, culture, economics, knowledge, expertise, know how and evolving technologies, along with social platforms, apps, data and data visualization, intermixed with business and community. It's difficult to explain, but not impossible. I am not only getting better at it, but with some additional resources will be able to make fun material to make it pretty simple to understand and employ.
Sooner rather than later I hope to have the Social Network Visualization to be able to "see" what the network 'looks' like, and so everyone can also see the creation and flow of wealth.
It will be designed to encourage transparency, inform us how we need to "invest our wealth" to keep the system healthy (this is the ultimate manifestation of "*What is is, is up to us*", and to greatly discourage the hoarding of wealth.
This data visualization tool, which will in time be available to view on any device, with macro and micro zoom features (think Google Earth), will be the coolest, best aspect of this whole system.
If the system gets gamed, it will be no ones fault except for the collective actions of 500,000,000 (plus) people and businesses. I am betting our future that we won't mess it up.

Applying and Growing Glia

Getting started was always the tricky part, and I finally have the whole thing tweaked enough, along with enough key folks who understand the system well enough, and with enough reputation, to seed and grow it in cities first where we can most immediately begin the co-creation of value.
While it is beyond the scope of this post to explain how we do that, Glia is a system to find the right talent, skills and execution to apply to the context of any business's needs, for now, and more importantly, to guide growth through an enormously tumultuous time. In short, to lead and create the future, not follow it.  It is a towering challenge with exponentially growing rewards.
As we will come to be known for: We Are The Curve. I take that seriously, and so should you.

Our Economic Model
Revenues and remuneration
Um, yes. Some day soon I really really want to have the visuals for this, but we're short of that as yet. We're getting pretty good at explaining it, but it takes about a hour or so.
Why? Because it is a very complex system, with economics, distribution, and technology involved, and the philosophy of value creation. It is designed to be fair and transparent, reward creation and effort, creativity and innovation, and many many etceteras, while at the same time making it exceedingly difficult to game and hack.
Plus, it can only be grown organically, via high value social networks, value creation,  and relationships.

Smart Swarm Management and Consulting
The, um, wetware for applying the Glia OS with businesses, people, organizations and society.
More here:

Vancouver, Canada--Our First Pilot City
We'll start here, work some of the start up bugs out, raise operating capital, bring on our stakeholder investors (this will be the best investment you will make. Period), and begin asap to co-create value with clients.
Early on, for a variety of home grown reasons, we will be targeting these sectors:
--Home Construction (it's my field, and man is it rype for radical disruption and innovation!!)
--Restaurants (as someone who has spent tens of thousands of $$$ eating out, I know we can make a big impact here)
--Retail (this has to evolve)
--Entrepreneurialism (for those that truly understand the whole Glia package, this is a no brainer)
--Software, Gaming, Data Visualization, App development (this is rype for co-evolution)
--Advertising, marketing, social media (this will rapidly and spectacularly evolve due to our system, model, and collective purpose)
--small business
--Big Business

Depending on how quickly we can attract top talent and smart co-investment capital, my goal is to then seed 5-12 cities in North America, Australia and Europe in 12 months time.
By year 2020, we want to be "downloaded" by 100 cities worldwide, and by thousands of businesses, creating a dynamic evolving ecosystem of citizens, netizens, conscientious consumers and businesses that provide for the kinds of products and services, and the kinds of PEOPLE that can deliver what will beMass Customization that as holistic self guided system, will be the kind of sustainable socio-economic system the world needs.

This Is Where We Are Going, and I only want to co-create with the dynamic, driven kind of people who want to dedicate themselves to getting us all there.
For the right leaders, right people, the right teams, and the right SmartSwarms of knowledge, know how and do how, this will be the most exhilarating, rewarding, challenging and exciting period of your life.

This all starts: Today

+John Foster , +CJ Dulberger , +Andrew Carpenter , +John Kellden , +Jeff Jockisch , +Jeffrey J Davis , +Jeneva Ray +John Hagel , +John Blossom , +Ray Hiltz

For the growing Glia Core, our purpose is straight forward--use the Glia OS to co-create the future our world needs.
If we don't do it, somebody else will, and they will probably fuck it up. Personally, I like our odds better.

My focus is going to keep seeding the idea in G+ to attract talent and grow interest, more importantly find the right core of people in Vancouver who will be instrumental in taking the social business system to its outmost potential. I refuse to settle for anything less. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Being  An Orchestrator of Value
The Art and Practice of the Glia Operating System

Creating Value With Networks of Practice--The Basics

I may be biased, but I think this is the most exciting position in the Glia OS! The Orchestrator of Value (OoV) can be practised and expressed  in so many ways, and anybody with a burning desire to find and create value can strive to be an OoV. It's an incredible role, as it brings together so many unique talents. More exciting yet, is what we as OoVs can create and grow together. 

Lets look at a few ways you can develop your role in the Glia eco-system. 

Regional Galaxies
This is very well suited to those who are 'super' connectors, or very well connected within their city and region. I love the opportunities available here, as one can connect to the multitude of industry and businesses, big or small, that exist within all city-regions. The potential here is enormous!

Business Clusters 
This is very well suited to those who are well connected within particular industries and businesses. There can be little doubt that all businesses and industries need to transition and transform to remain alive, functional, and growing. The possibilities are nearly endless!

Knowledge Clusters
These are the more specific clusters of knowledge that are critical to understand and enable execution across a staggering array of needs for meeting the necessary transformations of the global and local economic environments. These include cloud computing, mobile, big data, leadership (leading in a networked world), social media, the evolution of HR, the workforce of the future, the future of management, sales, marketing, social technologies, to name some of the knowledge crucial to the survival of business enterprises in the years and decades ahead. 
The role of a OoV in these fields clearly is an important part of any team. 

Capital Clusters
While we do have a range of understanding as to what "capital" is in the 21st century, networked organization, here we refer to financial capital. 
This is an important role, as it entails having a broad over-view of what is happening in the entire Glia Eco-System, a intimate knowledge and sense of what needs to be seeded and nourished, with a reputation and network within external capital resource pools, and an ability to connect the value of Glia to that capital. 

Those are four, and necessary examples of the more macro roles within Glia. Lets look at some of the skills necessary to shine in these roles. 

A Passion for Positive Change
This is the one trait that all OoV within Glia have to possess. A passion for transforming society, transforming business, and a passion for aligning these interests for a healthier, sustainable prosperous future for people and planet. 

Networks of Practice
To truly orchestrate value, the OoV will have had cultivated a resource rich network of practice. This is the network of knowledge, skills, leadership, know-how, can-doers, and collective spirit from an ever evolving range of clusters to focus on the understanding, solving, and value creation for any one particular client, suite of clients, and/or business clusters. It is within these Networks of Practice that we "Smart Swarm" our connective perspectives and knowledge, for the entire process of finding and building clients, opportunities, right on through to the spectacularly satisfied client. 

Leading in Networks
It is more than that Glia itself is a meta-network,  but rather that having and using NoP is going to keep evolving into the key way of getting things done in the highly transitional world of the 21st century. Authority, command and control, and other vestiges of industrial era of leadership will not be the way to lead in a networked world. In this world, you need to be able to  attract resources rather than commandeer them, you need to inspire all those you connect with to aspire to be their best, you have to excel at creating wealth and more importantly, distributing wealth. You must empower those in your network, rather than have power over.
You'll also be a natural connector. More that just knowing lots of people, or having a big network, it is the ability to connect ideas across multiple platforms and disciplines. (See more in this HBR post:
These and other leadership traits will not just ensure your continued ability to thrive in the Glia OS and Eco-System, they also ensure all within the entire Glia Networks thrives and grows. 
I honestly believe there is no greater opportunity than there is to lead as a OoV within the Glia system. 

Creative and Critical Thinking
This is an accumulation of many skills. The ability to truly listen, and see, in order to fully understand those whom we want to create solutions for, likewise those within your NoP and closer team who will design and deliver. Real innovation happens in the space between society needs, business needs, client needs, and a NoP's desire. 
Letting go of ego, also is important to really seeing and rallying your own thoughts, and those you interact with. 
We will look at the value and necessity of having a "smart room" within the Glia system in another post, for now it is suffice to say you always want to surround yourself with the 'smartest' people you can. 

Buy In and Contributing to the Glia Philosophy. 

The basis of philosophy as the great philosopher of our time, Danniel C. Dennett says, is to "stand under", meaning to always fully strive to understand. A continual process of learning and unlearning. Rooting out biases and blindspots. 

Hopefully this is enough to fill you with a better understanding of what it takes for you to be a OoV with Glia, and an increase sense of the amazing opportunity that this can be for you, and for you to have a real impact on the quality of our future!

For some of deeper underlying foundations of this role:

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Glia--The Organizational Operating System for the Social Business.

The World's Great Social Businesses Run on Glia

This statement isn't true yet, however this is our mission. A process of taking businesses or even government agencies from Organization 1.0 Industrial Model, to Organizational 2.0 Digital Connective Model. The age of mechanics, to the age of biology. Mechanical systems, to living systems. From cowboy capitalism to conscious, distributive capitalism. 

Industrial and American style capitalism gave rise to spectacular gains in productivity and standards of living. However, it is also reaching choke points of diminishing returns and stifled innovation. Capitalism is admirable for it's wealth creation, and much to be desired for it's wealth distribution. 

We do not need an exhaustive indictment of the myriad hybrids of capitalism that brought civilization through the past 150 years. It is not so much they failed, it is that we are capable of so much more. Glia, as an operating system, is for those that know that, sense that, that have an underlying passion to explore and develop this vast reserve of untapped potential in humanity. Those of us that can feel the tension between an old system that has run its course, and a new system that is waiting unfurl, grow and proliferate. 

The Nature of Social Business

There are many definitions of 'social business'. Whether it's the latest marketing jargon (too often), or an attempt to label something more meaningful, we need to have an basis of what it is that 'social business' is trying to cure. 
It is uncontroversial to say that the needs of business and the needs of society are all too often at odds. This false dichotomy needlessly costs both society and business billions, if not trillions in waste.  
In the Glia system, social and business interests are aligned, as each needs a healthy other to prosper in the long term. This begins with the acknowledgement of that reality (in biology, it is known as symbiosis) , and bakes this shift in how we view business and society as co-creators right into the Glia DNA. This cultural mindset opens the doors to much broader ranges of innovative opportunities, and the nature of how we create, how we market and sell, and how we distribute resources of all kinds.  It changes the nature of why and how we invest. 

Glia--An Economic Philosophy

There is much to be gained, and much to be discarding regarding the body of economic work to date. Things like risk, moral hazard, the principle-agency problem, incentives, behavioural economics are just a very few examples of bodies of knowledge that need to be woven into any evolving economic system. In the rush to throw the baby out with the bathwater,  too many proposals and concepts ignore (at their peril) the many lessons learned from the study of economic activity to date, much of it is hard earned wisdom. 

In the Glia System, the emphasis is on the capacity to synthesize working knowledge into contextually specific circumstances. We all have our biases, and belief systems, within which lies knowledge and wisdom, yet also lies blindspots, confirmation biases, resting on our embedded expertise (which may not have kept up with the times!) that serve to roadblock creative solutions and necessary innovation. 

Our biological tendency to hoard is also a detriment to our more prosperous future, and this is evident in the outdated organizational pyramids where the hoarding of knowledge as a means to advancement and higher earnings. This may benefit the individual, but it is enormously costly to the organization as a whole. 
A we instead of me philosophy brings a radical change in culture and how we identify, that frees up crucial resources of knowledge and abilities. 
When extended beyond the boundaries of the enterprise, the positive effects are exponential (an excellent example in practice can be found here). 

A shift in how we think of, practice, and measure our economic activities can have profound affects, that greatly benefit business and society as a whole. 
The emphasis on knowledge distribution, resource distribution, wealth distribution with the Glia System is a powerful accelerant and fuel for creating more knowledge, more resources, and more wealth. The incentives remain for the most talented, skilled, and driven among us, to produce their greatest work, while at the same time that energy makes all of those around them better. This is what creates the best teams in sports and in life. 
A bibliography for this philosophy can be put together, for now, these two books capture it more than adequately:
The Origins of Wealth, the best book I have read for advancing a new economic philosophy and reality. 
The New Ecology of Leadership, one of the better books I have read at grounding an ecological understanding of economics with business realities. 

Glia--An Organizational Operating System

A macro reality all businesses face is that it is becoming increasingly rare for an individual firm to create value on it's own. Furthermore, the commoditization of knowledge and systems, means competing on price is a loser's game. In the past, the traditional "economies of scale" of the industrial era made sense, but now the many firms that cling to that model struggle even stay average. (This look at 14 years of data, via McKinsey & Company is most revealing in this regard: The strategic yardstick you can't afford to ignore). 
With the gales of disruption also blowing from all directions, and the lifespan of businesses decreasing by the year, it is past due to adopt an operating system designed to survive, thrive and excel in the 21st Century. 

For the well informed, it has become increasingly clear a new organizational operating system was needed. There has been a tremendous amount of advances over the last 15-20 years, with various levels of adoption. Still, the older models persist. We could quite possibly refer to this what Clay Christensen calls The Innovator's Dilemma. It is what I call the walk through the valley of death, the very real metaphorical journey from one fitness peak, through the valley, and to scale the much more fertile peak on the other side. 

The rewards on the other 'mountain peak' (or fitness landscapes for a broader understanding) will be substantial--for the types of social businesses that can network together and lead the way. Glia is the operating system best suited to get them there. 
Let's take a closer look at how and why we can weave together the networks of practice, with a different model of financial partnerships, incentives and stakeholders, to create such a system.

Visualizing the Glia Organizational System

Visualizing something before it is built is a challenge, especially so with a network of business clusters, Regional Galaxies, free agent nodes,  knowledge clusters, capital nodes and the digital citizen.  
The picture that opens this post perhaps helps. Keeping in mind, organizational systems that thrive in the future will mimic biology. The underlying logic here is pretty straightforward--evolution is all about resource creation and allocation. In other words, economics. We've taken economic thought seriously for about 250 years, evolution has been at it for 3 billion years, give or take. Let's score this one to evolution. 
While not limited to mimicking the brain and mind, our very name suggests we borrow from it heavily. For networks, it is the ultimate model. Key point--no executive leader or control. However, let's not stray too far into that point for now. 
Let's look at a few of the terminologies mentioned. These will evolve, and develop more complex lattices, but for seeding purposes, these will suffice. 
Business Clusters The basic unit of the business organization. Specializes to some degree in a product or services, and/or a suite thereof. Will be some kind of hybrid of command and control, hierarchy, and knowledge, talent, task and knowledge distribution. Can range from the very small to the very big. 
Regional Galaxies Geographically concentrated 'nodes' of strategically meshed Business Clusters, Free Agents, Knowledge Clusters, Capital Nodes and Digital Citizens.  
Knowledge Clusters Tight and loose associations of specialized knowledge, skills, talent, etc. Can range from highly specialized, to more generalized knowledge. Distinguished by reputation. Valued for transitional qualities, and ability to synthesize knowledge into solutions within a wide range of social-business contexts.
Free Agents Individual contractors. This will not be without some controversy and transition, and is probably the most radical transformation of the 'work' force. However, in the old capitalist system this form of structure can be exceedingly difficult and hard to maintain, within the Glia System, this will give the individual much more security, growth opportunity, and sense of value and engagement, for the Business Clusters, this gives them the flexibility they need to continually adapt in a highly disruptive  environment. 
Capital Nodes/Clusters These people will contain many elements of the knowledge clusters, but with expertise in finance and connected to, or with, financial capital. What is also referred to in Glia terminology as "Smart Capital" or "Smart Investors". Similar to the VCs of more traditional forms of capitalization, or other financial institutes, but with philosophical alignment, longterm oriented, and investment of expertise, knowledge, mentoring, nurturing of the projects they're vested in. 
The Digital Citizen Last, but not least, the digital citizen. Not just comfortable in the online world, they shape the online world. One foot in the physical world, one foot in the digital world, and wanting the best of both. More global in perspective, and primed for a revolution in how we organize our world. 

That is all exist is obvious enough. That we formally organize them, create a financial model that creates the incentives to help all others in these nodes grow, and by extension to strategically share resources with the resulting value and wealth creation being shared, with a culture that thrives on how we shape, share, and make use of our knowledge, productivity, and skills to continually make all the better off is quite another matter. 
It should be mentioned that this isn't about where we were, where we are, but where we are going. 

Rather than trying to explain further here how this system will work, in future posts and hangouts will be exploring how we will be applying this to existing businesses, and how we will be growing Regional or City Galaxies to apply the principles and practices of the Glia System to help businesses grow. Practice is so much better than preaching! 
As we proceed with the principles and practices, it will become more obvious of how, what and why we need to map and visualize the 'capital' flows within Glia. Capital in this context of wisdom, knowledge, information, data, execution, productivity, finances, along with ecological considerations. In other words, how we network, and why we network. This is also in keeping with our dedication to radical transparency. 

We will be starting small, but in time, we will be able to bring more and more of the benefits of the large scale organization to that of small business, and the benefits of small business to that of the larger organizations. This continually expanding web of products and services using the Glia OS will come to symbolize trust and value, transparency and mutual respect, and the kind of economic transactions that ensure a sustainable future for people and planet. 

Creating Value, and a Dedication to Excellence

Culture eats strategy for breakfast. I say this, because I think most business want, at some level, to create value, to dedicate themselves to excellence. Their problems lie in the embedded culture, and the old systems that got them there. This is the essence of why 75-80% of all change initiative fail. 

The adoption of the Glia OS, however, allows for a fresh start. For businesses at the earlier stages of the growth cycles, this is the time to institute these values from the beginning. For the businesses at the later stages of growth, the adaptation of the Glia OS by design brings fresh life into old systems. 

This is because adapting the Glia OS is about much more than any one business. It is about being part of a powerful trend of transforming society and the nature of through our actions. 
This necessarily means the new styles of leadership for the socially networked, and social media world. 

The creation of value is something a lot more nuanced than perhaps can be fully appreciated here. It starts, however, with the premise of non-zero sum relationships. Many transactions more closely resemble zero sum transactions, where one party has to lose or give something, for the other party to win or gain something. This is based on the old economic paradigm of scarcity. 
The new paradigm and cultural mindset is that of non zero sum, and the paradigm of abundance. In this transaction, both parties gain, both parties win. 
This is the fundamental basis of healthy relationships, healthy sustainable transactions, and relationship 'marketing'. Trust is build, as both parties function on the ideal that both will gain from the transaction, the relationship, rather than that of one where one is trying to take or gain advantage over the other.  

Dedication to excellence is important in this kind of continual relationship, so each party can trust the other is doing their best to improve their end of the bargain. This trust can quickly break down when one feels the other is "free riding" on the efforts of the other. Dedication to excellence is not about ability. It is about a dedication to growth and self-improvement regardless of ability. This cultural stance, well researched in Tribal Leadership, can do wonders (literally!) to the circulation of knowledge, know how, experience and execution to the world, institutions,  and businesses of all shapes and sizes so desperately need. This leads to a mutual respect that can transcend all manners of soci-economic stratas. 

This dedication to value creation via networks of practice, and dedication to excellence is an enormously empowering combination. We naturally react against entitlement, authority over, and those that don't pull their weight according to their ability. These are cancerous qualities that have rotted out many an organization or social group. 

Networks of Practice

Networks of practice have long existed, how they are organized, recognized, and valued has changed over the years. 
In these opening decades of the 21st century, we have seen the rise of two meta trends. Social networks and media, and social technologies. Both radically change how information and transactions work. The implications are profound. 
Few businesses and societies will go untouched. 
We're in the very early stages here. Networks of practice of highly fluid combinations of high trust exchanges of knowledge and experience, will radically shape how we learn, how we 'see' the world, how we 'build' our world. There is a paradox here. Knowledge has never been more freely available. For that matter, the trend has been, and will be the commodization of knowledge. (This has been controversially understood as the "death of expertise". This essay  from The Federalist misundertands the problem, but any further exploration is for another day/post) 
Successful networks of practice will be those that are able to combine big data, very high trust, high learning environments (individuals come to learn and teach), cultivate leaders, connectors and execution, develop "smart rooms", and learn the art of practice of "smart swarming". This, in conjunction with "socializing" knowledge and reputation throughout the other social networks (Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Twitter [etc], in the digital domains, the private social networks run by most larger businesses, and that of our more traditional local social networks. 
Such networks of practice will be proactive in the kinds of technologies they adapt, or create, to continually improve their functionality. 
It is my learned opinion that these networks of practice will be the key differentiator moving forward. 

Mass Customization

Is the answer to why. The twentieth century was about mass production. The twenty-first century will be about mass customization. Something I have been mildly obsessed with ever since reading Kevin Kelly's Out of Control, back in 1997 or so. (If you want to find the seeds of Glia, they're in that book)
Mass customization will hinge on three things: Data. Trust. Relationships. Data is in ridiculous abundance. 
Trust, relationships, not so much. 
Successful networks of practice will be obsessed with trust, and relationships. 
Mass customization will play out among business to consumer, with a web of business for business (the recently released book B4B is excellent for getting a very full look at this next wave of business relationships). 
Delivering the degrees of customization the digital citizen, and the modern business will come to expect will take an eco-system of networks of practice, and a wide range of industry. It remains to be seen on how open this ecosystem will be, or whether it will be walled gardens, like Apple. 
Trust and customer relationship will be the final arbitrator. 

Glia was conceived of and designed for this world. Which means we will be putting a lot of emphasis on finding and growing with the kinds of people that want this world, will thrive in this world. 

This overview is intended for those with the interest and ability to seed and grow Glia. 
My next post will be focused on how and where we'll start, followed closely on the growing and developing of city based Galaxies. 

Thanks for reading, and we will see you again soon.