Jul 1, 2007

Some questions

John Hagel who's joined Deloitte & Touche USA LLP with a mandate to establish a major new research center in Silicon Valley, reflects on some questions that are, to put it mildly, thought-provoking.

This is my favorite item:

Can the firm survive as the action flows to the edges?

The early view of the Internet was that it would be a catalyst for the fragmentation and marginalization of firms. Tom Malone at MIT wrote an interesting book forecasting the rise of the E-Lance economy.

An alternative view suggests that firms will unbundle and rebundle in ways that lead to even greater concentration and consolidation (although paradoxically at the same time facilitating more decentralization and power at the edges). In the process, the rationale for the firm will fundamentally shift – from Ronald Coase’s classic view of the firm as an institution designed to economize on transaction and coordination costs we are likely to shift to a rationale focused on accelerating talent development.

Read the rest yourself!