Listening to the Future: Why It's Everybody's Business (Microsoft Executive Leadership Series)

Overview

Praise for Listening to the Future

"Turbulent times present businesses with the opportunity to rethink their value, their processes, and how they differentiate themselves in the market. Businesses need context to do this successfully. Rasmus and Salkowitz create a context for the challenges and opportunities ahead, and a lens for examination that can help businesses redefine themselves even in uncertain times. Listening to the Future provides practical advice on how to apply technology, not to solve specific ...

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Overview

Praise for Listening to the Future

"Turbulent times present businesses with the opportunity to rethink their value, their processes, and how they differentiate themselves in the market. Businesses need context to do this successfully. Rasmus and Salkowitz create a context for the challenges and opportunities ahead, and a lens for examination that can help businesses redefine themselves even in uncertain times. Listening to the Future provides practical advice on how to apply technology, not to solve specific problems, but to facilitate agility. Further, the authors don't just write about their thinking, they reveal the framework behind the findings, providing strong insight on the value of scenario planning in anticipating and navigating change.

—Stephen Elop, President, Microsoft® Business Division

"As Arie de Geus suggested in his award-winning The Living Company, 'the only sustainable competitive advantage in times like these is the ability to learn faster than your competition.' Listening to the Future is an indispensable guide to that learning, a manual for managers faced—as all of us are—with the uncertain challenges of the future.

—Lawrence Wilkinson, Chairman, Heminge & Condell (H&C); cofounder, Global Business Network (GBN)

"As we stand on the brink of a dramatic transformation in global culture and global business, we need good ways to think through the implications for ourselves and the world around us. Listening to the Future offers a panoramic view of the terrain, balancing vision with practical observations and useful strategies for organizational leaders. Rasmus and Salkowitz present a number of thought-provoking ideas that range from blended workforces to the rising complexity of business brought about by new relationships, new sources of data, and the failure of industrial age measurement.

—Ray Kurzweil, founder, Kurzweil Technologies

"Dan Rasmus and Rob Salkowitz lay out how Microsoft®, the most powerful software company in the world, creates its internal crystal ball and takes advantage of accurately anticipating the future. Dan is one of those that constantly lives in the coming future and with Rob's help lays out a methodology that can help all of us do a better job of preparing for and taking advantage of the opportunities our future will bring.

—Rob Enderle, Emerging Technology Analyst

"We get into scenario work as a vehicle for thinking more effectively about uncertain futures (and our decisions today); but we lack enough good role models of organizations that have adapted scenarios into their perspectives. Here's an example that can be followed in depth; the scenario leader at Microsoft® shows in depth how the practice illuminated the shift of mind among their customers and employees going forward, and how they must rethink their product line accordingly.

—Art Kleiner, Editor in Chief, strategy+business; author, The Age of Heretics

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"…have produced a timely book about positoning business to deal with the uncertain challenges of the future." (B-eye-network.com, March 5th, 2009)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470413449
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/3/2008
  • Series: Microsoft Executive Leadership Series , #11
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel W. Rasmus is Director of Business Insights for Microsoft® Business Division, where he manages the development of long-range scenarios to inform how software will be used in tomorrow's work environment based on different social, economic, and political settings that may occur in the future. Prior to joining Microsoft® Daniel was an analyst with Forrester Research and wrote extensively about collaboration and knowledge management. His forthcoming book Management by Design will be published by Wiley in 2009. Dan lives in Sammamish, Washington, with his wife Janet and daughters Rachel and Alyssa.

Rob Salkowitz is a writer and consultant specializing in the social implications of new technology in the workplace, and author of Generation Blend: Managing Across the Technology Age Gap, published by Wiley in 2008. He works with Microsoft® and other clients to articulate business strategy, and writes and speaks on issues related to the changing workforce. Rob lives in Seattle, Washington, with his wife Eunice Verstegen.

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Table of Contents

Foreword.

Preface.

Acknowledgments.

Chapter 1. Listening to the Future.

Embracing Uncertainty.

The Shape of Things to Come.

Technology and the Changing World.

People Make the Future.

Note.

Chapter 2. Managing a Dynamic Business.

Driving Forces.

Strategic Technology Capabilities.

Tenets for Success.

Dynamic Business: Forces to Watch, Uncertainties to Consider.

Notes.

Chapter 3. Prospering in a Blended World.

Driving Forces.

Strategic Workplace Technologies.

Blending Beyond the Workplace.

Tenets for Success.

Blend Trends.

Notes.

Chapter 4. Insights from Complexity.

Driving Forces.

Strategic Technologies to Drive Insights.

Tenets for Success.

Sources of Insight.

Notes.

Chapter 5. Building Strategic Advantage Through IT.

The Challenge of Measuring Return on Knowledge.

Why IT Matters.

Why Applications Matter.

Why Platforms Matter.

Why Infrastructure Matters.

Creating a Dialog Between Business and IT.

Tenets for Success.

Why IT Still Matters.

Eight Ways to Achieve More Strategic IT.

Key Infrastructure Investments for Competitive Advantage.

Notes.

Chapter 6. From the New World of Business to the New World of Work.

One World of Business.

Always On, Always Connected.

Transparent Organizations.

Workforce Evolution.

Notes.

Chapter 7. Managing Knowledge and Talent in the New World of Business.

Managing Knowledge in One World of Business.

Knowledge Anywhere, Anytime.

Knowledge in the Transparent Organization.

Managing Knowledge for a Changing Workforce.

From “Knowledge Management” to Managing Talent and Knowledge.

Complexity and Specialization.

Simplifying the Knowledge Work Environment.

Toward a Dynamic Knowledge Environment.

Navigating the Dynamic Knowledge Environment.

Embracing Organizational Learning.

10 Starting Points for Dynamics Knowledge Enterprises.

Notes.

Chapter 8. The Future of Industries.

Manufacturing.

Retail.

Government/Public Sector.

Retail Banking and Insurance.

Healthcare.

Education.

Professional Services.

Chapter 9. Hearing the Future.

Strategy and Uncertainties.

Exposing the Dynamic Uncertainty Loop.

Conclusions.

Notes.

Afterword.

Index.

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