Move over Geoffrey Moore. John Hagel and his colleagues have a powerful new book out “The Power of Pull”.
HBR in its review of the book says “In a ferociously dynamic world, what happens if we can’t plan but can only adapt? We must move, say the authors, from push to pull. At the center of the pull strategy is an individual (not a corporation) who has access to knowledge flows, takes advantage of porous boundaries and serendipitous interactions, and occupies new creative spaces to achieve a novel order of performance.”
John’s research is not new – as he says, the book is based on trends they have been watching now for a decade. (correction – the research is new, the trend is not – see comment from John. )My question is how long will enterprises say all kinds of nice things about how right John and co are, while continuing to resist the pull.
Three exhibits in technology:
- John has been citing Li and Fung for a while now – how it leverages a vast, scalable network of suppliers with deep specialization. In contrast in IT, in analysis for my upcoming book, The New Polymath, I found we spend over 50% of our budgets with the top 25 infotech and telecom vendors. The imbalance between buyer and vendor concentration is acute – top 25 buyers in contrast barely make up 5% of that same spend – and yet we persist with vendor consolidation and lock-in. Time to exploit more “exotic” and “arsonist” vendors I cite in my book in spades. Let them pull you to a better world
- John cites SAP as an example of benefiting from “pull” by leveraging its social networks and communities. No question, in its outreach to bloggers and “mentors” and SDN and other communities SAP has been a pioneer. I have complimented them several times for that. I would suggest, though, that SAP has primarily used these assets for marketing advantage – old school push thinking…