Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 43, 2021

Weekly Pulse is a content curation and highlights from readings, books, videos, podcasts, insights, ramblings and other interesting things I discovered and digested during the last week.

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So, let's go with some discoveries from last week!

#1 - Ladies Who Launch 
#2 - The Collective Intelligence of Remote Teams 
#3 - No boss? No, thanks 
#4 - How to Make Sure Agile Teams Can Work Together 
#5 - What Happened After Zappos Got Rid of Workplace Hierarchy 
#6 - Apple, the iPhone, and the Innovator’s Dilemma 
#7 - Facebook is now called Meta: what does this change in your life?

Ladies Who Launch 

Source: Fortune Magazine

While the billionaires of space tourism get all the headlines from the media, women are powering some of the most exciting innovations designed for the final frontier.

I was reading this article at Fortune Magazine by Michal Lev-Ram that talk how these companies are reshaping the way the world thinks about the future of space. But the adventures of the founders also cloud the reality of what’s happening in the industry, emphasizing space tourism, which represents just a fraction of the innovation happening in the sector - the tourism market accounts for $1.7 billion of the $366 billion space economy - and this article shows how women like Candace Johnson, Lynette Tan, Hélène Huby, Vanessa Clark, Simonetta Di Pippo, Barbara BELVISI and many others are taking the lead in this sector. 

The Collective Intelligence of Remote Teams

Source: MIT Sloan

A MIT Sloan Management Review study suggest that remote work can be at least as effective as in-person work. Better processes and new online tools make remote work effective. So, it’s not where we work that matters the most, it’s how the work is done and who is doing it. 

No boss? No, thanks 

Source: Aeon

 One of today’s biggest fads is the ‘bossless company’. Transactions between firms or between workers can be handled seamlessly through electronic interfaces and managed by the blockchain. Advanced technologies promise real-time access to coworkers anywhere and to all information relevant to the task at hand. Coordination can be handled by employees through lateral consultation with coworkers, and firms can cooperate through electronic means. Why, then, do we need managers?

The Holacracy model has mainly been adopted by small and medium-sized companies, but a few larger ones, such as Zappos and the digital bank Tochka in Russia, experiment with it. In other words, the new narrative on firm organization is not irrelevant academic discussion or fluffy consultant talk with no serious implications for business. On the contrary, these are ideas that truly matter – and they are already reshaping business.

But this article shows that this is not helping the companies at all. The research show that someone needs to be held accountable for the firm’s actions – the buck has to stop somewhere. ‘Democratic’ decision making is inefficient when each decision affects another. The shift from management as direction to management as making and enforcing the rules is slowly entering the management literature and the business-school curriculum. That’s a paradigm shift worth embracing.

How to Make Sure Agile Teams Can Work Together 

Source: Harvard Business Review

As growing uncertainty creates an increasingly volatile business environment, agile collaboration has become more important than ever. But while these practices may sound great in theory, many companies struggle to effectively incorporate them into their operations.

To make agile implementation a reality, the authors suggest four key strategies for managers: First, identify and manage the centers of your collaboration networks. Second, be sure to engage with the players on the fringes of those networks. Third, build bridges between silos within the organization. Finally, build systems into your organization to more effectively integrate and communicate between various internal and external stakeholders.

What Happened After Zappos Got Rid of Workplace Hierarchy

Source: The Atlantic

In 2013, Tony Hsieh, Zappos’s CEO, started promoting a new management structure called holacracy. It’s a setup that’s supposed to encourage collaboration by eliminating workplace hierarchy—meaning no more titles and no more bosses.

The system instead asks workers to track all strategy decisions and their outcomes in a web-based app called Glass Frog. Roger Hodge, writing in The New Republic, called it “a radical experiment … to end the office workplace as we know it.” But after the company's turnover rate be around 30 percent, it seems for Zappos that absolutely no hierarchy at the workplace is doomed to fail.

Apple, the iPhone, and the Innovator’s Dilemma 

Source: Wired

The Innovator’s Dilemma, of course, is about the trap that successful companies fall into time and time again. They’re well managed, they’re responsive to their customers, and they’re market leaders. And yet, despite doing everything right, they fail to see the next wave of innovation coming, they get disrupted, and they ultimately fail.

In the case of Apple, the company is trapped by its success, and that success is spelled “iPhone.”

The Innovator’s Dilemma does say an entrenched company can sometimes pull out of the quicksand by setting up a small, autonomous spinoff that has the power to move fast, pursue markets that are too small to move the needle for a company making $84 billion a quarter, and innovate before someone else gets there first.

Facebook is now called Meta: what does this change in your life? 

The article of the week in this blog!

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced at his company’s Connect event that its new name will be Meta. “We are a company that builds technology to connect,” Zuckerberg said. “Together, we can finally put people at the center of our technology. And together, we can unlock a massively bigger creator economy.”

“To reflect who we are and what we hope to build,” he added. He said the name Facebook doesn’t fully encompass everything the company does now, and is still closely linked to one product. “But over time, I hope we are seen as a metaverse company.”

The metaverse is a term coined in the dystopian novel "Snow Crash" three decades ago and now attracting buzz in Silicon Valley. It refers broadly to the idea of a shared virtual realm which can be accessed by people using different devices. 

The metaverse is the next evolution of social connection. It's a collective project that will be created by people all over the world, and open to everyone. You’ll be able to socialize, learn, collaborate and play in ways that go beyond what’s possible today.


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