Another Way to Frame the Culture Change of Digital Transformation: Machine, Platform, Crowd



Transformation is a phenomenon, and digital transformation is a big thing these days – but it’s hard to put your finger on just how to explain it.  It’s not just a matter of digitizing business processes – in best cases it’s about building a digital-first business model.  What does that mean? And what do people mean when they say it’s not just about technology – it’s also about cultural change? That’s often the biggest obstacle, in fact, to successful digital transformation: leadership stuck in old cultural ways.

Here’s what I think could be a good way to explain the change going on in the economy and world.

“In the dynamic between mind and machine, product and platform, core and crowd – the latter of each has grown so much stronger that the relationship between each of these pairs must be re-examined…The business world is always changing but in transitions as profound as this one, things are even more unsettled than usual.”

That’s from the book Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future, by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson.  It’s a good book.

I think this also offers a good model for self-examination.  How much are you relying on your own mind – and how much are you leveraging the power of the machines you have access to?  I know I think of a lot of ideas, but observing the output of technologies offers a whole new level of insight into what I’m working on.   I get pretty excited about the (Read more...)