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Corporate Re-connect

Dan Gillmor has a short remark about Corporate Heads In the Sand based on Tom Friedman's story in the NYT, "C.E.O's MIA, " today's flatter world, many key U.S. companies now make most of their profits abroad and can increasingly recruit the best talent in the world today without ever hiring another American."

Read the comment on Dan's post from Alex3157, ""I think the people who should care about health care, fiscal recklessness, and other big issues are the people who will be affected by them."

Mr. Friedman continues, "So  business with its head in the clouds, labor with its head in the sand, the administration focused on terrorism and Congress catering to people who think "intelligent design" is something done by God and not by Intel, it's not surprising that "we don't have a strategy for making America competitive in the 21st century - a century of three billion new capitalists," as Clyde Prestowitz put it. He is the author of a smart new book about the rise of China and India, called, appropriately, "Three Billion New Capitalists."

I am affected by all of this, so are my three kids, and all of my friends, casual acquaintences, net buddies, et al. The funny thing is that it is not only the US CEO's with their heads in the sand, but most of US citizens have them there as well. I think Seth sums up our pathetic situation pretty well, "People are selfish, lazy, uninformed, and impatient." Here is where Di makes her case for corporations use of Ideascape.

Need more how-to ideas?

Leaning Toward Utopia by Art Kleiner, strategy + business. James Womack and Daniel Jones believe their ideas can transform the world. You do not have to be Dr. Womack or Mr. Jones to change the world. The two longtime partners are best known for popularizing the concept of - lean production and - lean thinking in a series of highly regarded books during the past 15 years. They point out blocks, glitches, and redundancies that inhibit the flow of work, but that have become enshrined in corporate practice through years of inattention.

Right now, today, we are working with businesses on implementing Ideascape, which gives every employee a chance to be heard, to contribute, and to participate.

"This year, that work is coming to fruition in their third commercially published book, called Lean Solutions: How Producers and Customers Achieve Mutual Value and Create Wealth (forthcoming in September from Simon & Schuster). The new book argues that even the most brilliantly conceived and efficiently executed products and services on the market can be rife with muda*. For example, as an offshoot of their products' increasing integration †music stored on personal computers is played through audio equipment; toys and accessories are sold as ensembles; cars become a series of interconnected electronic systems †the makers of automobiles, computers, electronic goods, tools, toys, and housewares have, in effect, downloaded their process problems onto their customers. Instead of increasing value, they have added complexity. As a result, more often than not, say Dr. Womack and Mr. Jones, attempts at integration fail to achieve their goal of providing customers a better product.

Services are frequently just as flawed, the authors claim: When you phone a help desk, bring an auto in repeatedly for a seemingly unfixable repair, or spend an hour waiting in a hospital room for a routine medical test, you are dealing with a costly artifact of an outmoded industrial model. Whether in services or products, this model adds costs, decreases quality, promotes remote and therefore dangerously unresponsive off-shore outsourcing, and imperils brand loyalty."

* Translated from Japanese, muda means - waste, but in the Toyota-Womack-Jones lexicon, it represents any excess interruption, misalignment, unnecessary work, or ingrained redundancies that add no value for customers.

Collective Intelligence: the invisible revolution - The texts that follow (wiki versioin of the book) will be assembled into a book on the arising of a planetary Collective Intelligence and a new economy that will be called "Collective intelligence: the invisible revolution". The final English version should be ready by Q1 2005.