IdeasLab with INSEAD: Leading in a Hyper-connected World
Wednesday 26th January 2011 - 10:45am - 12:00pm
Wednesday 26 January, 10.45 - 12.00
Expert presentations and in-depth group discussions will explore the impact of hyper-connectivity on:
Idea 1: Societal change
Idea 2: Business success
Idea 3: Communities and teams
Idea 4: Knowledge and applications
- New technologies are enabling people to become more engaged in conversations with each other in a rapidly changing environment.
- Responding more effectively by understanding the customer will decide the future.
- There is a shift from top down to bottom up with regard to providing solutions.
- Hyper-connectivity alone is not enough. New ideas must be based on cultural diversity, exchange of talent and experience.
The world is far more connected today through new and constantly improving technologies. Much, too, is changing across different sectors, such as the impact of Tunisia’s riots on Egypt. This is enabling people, many of whom share a broader set of common values, to be more engaged in conversations with each other. Such interactions are influencing decision-making by allowing people to monitor situations, but also to react in a more informed manner. This can critically improve relations with customers by responding more effectively to their personal needs. Understanding constituencies better will decide the future.
Facebook has become a powerful zoom lens for transparency, while WikiLeaks might be putting databases at risk. The question is whether such new technologies are helping people become better human beings. The massive amount of knowledge available may often appear as information overload, so it is crucial to connect the dots in order to penetrate beyond existing horizons. With the Facebook Generation, ideas will no longer come from senior executives but rather from the public, a significant shift from top down to bottom up. Audiences with divergent views can help come up with solutions, but such creative energy needs to be harnessed. With word of mouth the most effective means of communication, the challenge is to find the structures needed to deal with such processes.
Much information still operates in data silos, producing a highly polarized world when confronting the same issue, such as current divergences between Democrats and Republicans in the United States. The fashion industry, however, is one example of a successful hyper-connected community. There is a high turnover in the import and export of talent, much of it young or with experience. This enables the industry to constantly renew itself. For this to happen, the exchange of talent needs to be diverse and capable of bridging cultural differences. Yet, hyper-connectivity alone may not be enough. People are far more productive as groups, but this may mean giving up individual freedoms.
Knowledge is not always reaching the people who need it. There are clusters of people not connecting with others, such as farmers in Africa. The challenge is how to make information “impactful”. One way of bridging this gap is to make knowledge more widely available. At present, the bulk of the world’s information is only accessible in 600 languages, much of it in English. The challenge is to open it up to 6,000 languages. This can be done through increasingly efficient “automotive” methods that eliminate the need for human beings to process non-political information, such as the weather. This will enable even fast-changing information to be made available via radio or Internet in languages that have almost no written content.
Such broadening of information networks could produce dramatic improvements for dealing with agricultural output or diseases such as malaria. Many researchers simply do not have time to read outside their areas of expertise. Most applications are formulaic. For example, 70% of CNN’s content is not original. The same goes for most blogs. Enhanced formulaic applications could significantly reduce the cost of disseminating information. One does not even have to be literate to absorb it.
Finally, clearer “rules of engagement” have to be elaborated. The problem is how to come up with such rules. In the end, numerous groups have developed their own shared values so a more clearly defined shared purpose might help resolve this.
J. Frank Brown, Dean, INSEAD, France; Global Agenda Council on Skills & Talent Mobility
Soumitra Dutta, The Roland Berger Chaired Professor in Business and Technology, INSEAD, France; Global Agenda Council on Benchmarking Progress
Herminia Ibarra, The Cora Chaired Professor of Leadership and Learning and Professor of Organizational Behaviour, INSEAD, France; Global Agenda Council on Women's Empowerment
Dipak C. Jain, Dean Designate, INSEAD, France
Philip Parker, Professor of Management Science, INSEAD, France
Richard T. Pascale, Associate Fellow, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
This summary was prepared by Edward Girardet. The views expressed are those of certain participants in the discussion and do not necessarily reflect the views of all participants or of the World Economic Forum.
Copyright 2011 World Economic Forum
No part of this material may be copied, photocopied or duplicated in any form by any means or redistributed without the prior written consent of the World Economic Forum.
Keywords: Information, media, communications, Tunisia, Egypt, technology, hyper-connectivity
J. Frank Brown
Managing Director, General Atlantic, USA
BSBA, Bucknell University; Advanced Management Programme, Wharton Business School. Formerly, Global ...
Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean and Professor of Management, Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University, USA
BTech in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi; MSc...
The Cora Chaired Professor of Leadership and Learning and Professor of Organizational Behaviour, INSEAD, France
MA and PhD, Yale University. Thirteen years' experience with Harvard Business School. Currently The ...
Dipak C. Jain
Dean, INSEAD, France
1976, BSc in Mathematics and Statistics and 1978, MSc in Mathematical Statistics, Gauhati University...
Professor of Management Science, INSEAD, France
Degrees in Finance, and Economics; PhD. Formerly, taught at Harvard, MIT, Stanford and UCLA. Chair o...
Richard T. Pascale
Associate Fellow, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Twenty years as faculty member, Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Consultant and Advi...