Review: Banishing Bureaucracy–The Five Strategies For Reinventing Government

5 Star, Best Practices in Management, Change & Innovation, Complexity & Resilience, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform)

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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Thoughts That Did Not Take Root in USG,

April 8, 2000
David Osborne
Well, the Vice President loved it and the President bought into it, but it did not make a difference. The National Performance Review identified a number of substantive objectives for intelligence reform, and the intelligence bureaucracy was successful in ignoring the White House. I suspect it has something to do with one of the fundamentals: “Unleash-but Harness-the Pioneers.” The U.S. Intelligence Community can’t stand pioneers unless they are spending billions of dollars on something really, really secret that has a high probability of failure. Reinvention boils down to uncoupling or deconstructing a whole bunch of stuff, and then allowing the pieces to compete. It requires managers that can “let go” and employees that can “take hold.” Above all, it requires openness and accountability….
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Review: End of Bureaucracy and the Rise of the Intelligent Organization

5 Star, Best Practices in Management, Change & Innovation, Complexity & Resilience, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform)

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5.0 out of 5 stars Manifesto for Good People Trapped in Bad Organizations,

April 8, 2000
Gifford Pinchot

The seven essentials of organizational intelligence include widespread truth and rights; freedom of enterprise, liberated teams, equality and diversity, voluntary learning networks, democratic self-rule, and limited corporate government. It was this book, and the very strong applause that the author received from all those attending OSS ’96, that caused me to realize that the U.S. Intelligence Community is just chock full of very good people that want to change, but are not being allowed to change by the organizational circumstances within which they are trapped-frozen in time and budget.

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Review: Business @ the Speed of Thought –Using a Digital Nervous System

4 Star, Best Practices in Management, Change & Innovation, Economics, Information Society, Information Technology

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4.0 out of 5 stars 900 Pound Gorilla Speaks–Worth Listening,

April 8, 2000
Bill Gates
No doubt largely written by staff assistants, this book can be considered a watered-down version of Microsoft’s game plan for taking over the world, i.e. being the operating system for everything. Each chapter has a useful figure that sums up business lessons and methods for diagnosing one of the aspect’s of one’s digital nervous system. This is a great airplane book.
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Review: Net Gain–Expanding Markets Through Virtual Communities

5 Star, Best Practices in Management, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Change & Innovation, Civil Society, Information Society, Information Technology

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5.0 out of 5 stars Community Building in Cyberspace–Cuts to Core Values,

April 8, 2000
John Hagel III

This is a very serious handbook for how to create communities of interest, provide value that keeps the members there, and establish a foundation for growing exponentially from day one.

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Review: The New New Thing –A Silicon Valley Story

4 Star, Change & Innovation, Culture, Research, Information Society, Information Technology

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4.0 out of 5 stars Documents Power Shifts from Wall Street to VCs to Ideas,

April 8, 2000
Michael Lewis

Great airplane book. The story of Jim Clarke, the only man to have created three billion-dollar ventures-Netscape, Silicon Graphics, and Healtheon. Documents the shifting of power from Wall Street to Silicon Valley, and offers some wonderful insights into the culture. Does not, by virtue of focusing on the one really big success story out of the Valley, begin to address the human waste and carnage from all the failed start-ups.

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Review: Real Time–Preparing for the Age of the Never Satisfied Customer

5 Star, Best Practices in Management, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Change & Innovation, Information Operations, Information Society, Information Technology

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5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond 5 Stars–This is a Very Deep Pool,

April 8, 2000
Regis McKenna

This may be one of the top three books I’ve read in the last couple of years. It is simply packed with insights that are applicable to both the classified intelligence community as well as the larger national information community. The following is a tiny taste from this very deep pool: “Instead of fruitlessly trying to predict the future course of a competitive or market trend, customer behavior or demand, managers should be trying to find and deploy all the tools that will enable them, in some sense, to be ever-present, ever-vigilant, and ever-ready in the brave new marketplace in gestation, where information and knowledge are ceaselessly exchanged.”

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Review: The exemplar–The exemplary performer in the age of productivity

6 Star Top 10%, Best Practices in Management, Change & Innovation, Complexity & Resilience, Consciousness & Social IQ, Culture, Research, Democracy, Economics, Environment (Solutions), Information Society, Intelligence (Public), Leadership

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5.0 out of 5 stars Productivity Primer–One of Five Basic Books for InfoAge,

April 8, 2000
Robert R Carkhuff

This book had a profound influence on me, helping me to understand that the functions fulfilled by an employee dealing with “things” are completely distinct from the functions fulfilled by an employee dealing with “ideas”, and that completely different educational, training, management, and compensation models are needed for the new “Gold Collar” worker. From this book I realized that virtually everything we are doing in U.S. education and U.S. personnel management and training today is way off the mark and at least a decade if not two or three decades behind where we could be in human productivity management.

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Review: Hackers–Heroes of the Computer Revolution

5 Star, Asymmetric, Cyber, Hacking, Odd War, Change & Innovation, Culture, Research, Information Society, Information Technology

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5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Thing–Definitive Early Study,

April 7, 2000
Steven Levy
This is the definitive book on the early hackers, true hackers, and should be required reading for all those people, generally with good intentions, that ignorantly refer to electronic criminals and vandals as “hackers”. Steven starts his book with a “who’s who” in hacking that includes Lee Felsenstein from Interval, Bill Gates, Steven Jobs, and Woz Woniak, among others, and then goes on in three parts to examine the original night hackers at MIT and other nodes of excellence, then the hardware hackers, and finally the game hackers. Hackers are a national resource, and it is only the ignorant who do not understand this.
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Review: The Second Self–Computers and the Human Spirit

5 Star, Asymmetric, Cyber, Hacking, Odd War, Best Practices in Management, Change & Innovation, Complexity & Resilience, Consciousness & Social IQ, Culture, Research, Information Operations, Information Society, Information Technology

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5.0 out of 5 stars Priceless Early Look at Hackers with “The Right Stuff”,

April 7, 2000
Sherry Turkle
This is “the” book that described the true origin of “hacking” as in “pushing the edge of the envelope” by writing a complex program in six lines of code instead of ten. This is a really superior piece of work about computer cultures and the people that belong to them. It is a wonderfully readable book with magnificent insights into the psychology of the young people at the bleeding edge of the computer frontier.

Update of 31 May 08 to add links:
THE HACKER CRACKDOWN: LAW AND DISORDER ON THE ELECTRONIC FRONTIER
Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution
Information Payoff: The Transformation of Work in the Electronic Age
Collective Intelligence: Mankind’s Emerging World in Cyberspace (Helix Books)
The Unfinished Revolution: Human-Centered Computers and What They Can Do For Us
The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom
Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace

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Review: Blown to Bits–How the New Economics of Information Transforms Strategy

5 Star, Best Practices in Management, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Change & Innovation, Economics, Information Society

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5.0 out of 5 stars Navigation, Not Content, Will Rule,

April 7, 2000
Philip Evans
Navigation, not content, will rule. Navigators will compete based on reach, affiliation, and richness. Privacy will be a mandated aspect of every offering. Traditional organizations and bureaucracies are unlikely to survive because there is no one there willing and able to “deconstruct” them down to core functionalities and then rebuild them back up with a focus on customer service as the driving force rather than assembly of whatever it was they used to understand as the primary organizing principle.
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Review: Silicon Snake Oil–Second Thoughts on the Information Highway

5 Star, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Change & Innovation, Information Society, Information Technology, Misinformation & Propaganda

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5.0 out of 5 stars When High Priests Recant, Worshippers Beware,

April 7, 2000
Clifford Stoll
“Our networks are awash in data. A little of it’s information. A smidgen of this shows up as knowledge….The Internet, that great digital dumpster, confers not power, not prosperity, not perspicacity…Our networks can be frustrating, expensive, unreliable connections that get in the way of useful work. It is an overpromoted hollow world, devoid of warmth and human kindness. The heavily promoted information infrastructure addresses few social needs or business concerns. At the same time, it directly threatens precious parts of our society, including schools, libraries, and social institutions.”
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Review: Consilience–the Unity of Knowledge

5 Star, Change & Innovation, Civil Society, Complexity & Resilience, Consciousness & Social IQ, Decision-Making & Decision-Support, Education (General), Environment (Solutions), Information Operations, Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Science & Politics of Science, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Creating World Brain and the Virtual Intelligence Community
April 7, 2000
E. O. Wilson
EDITED 9 July 2007 to add comment and links to other books.

Comment: This is still one of the best books for someone who wants to think deeply about knowledge. Below are links to some others I recommend.

Our answer to Levy, but an order of magnitude more practical and steeped in some of the best endnotes I’ve ever enjoyed. Consilience is the “jumping together” of knowledge across boundaries, and the greatest enterprise of the mind. He begins with an example, showing how biology, ethics, social science, and environmental policy must all come together to properly resolve a global environmental issue, but actually do not-the learned individuals are fragmented into four separate communities, and within those communities further fragmented into nationalities and cliques and jobs, and it is our greater loss for we cannot arrive at the best policy without being able to integrate the knowledge across all these boundaries. He emphasizes that the public must be educated and have access to this unified knowledge, not just the policymakers. He poses, and then answers across the book, this question: “What is the relation between science and the humanities, and how is it important to human welfare?” In my own mind, Edward O. Wilson has defined both national and global intelligence writ large, and done so in way that suggests the “virtual intelligence community” is a very practical and achievable vision.

The Future of Life
The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom
The Wealth of Knowledge: Intellectual Capital and the Twenty-first Century Organization
Revolutionary Wealth: How it will be created and how it will change our lives
Powershift: Knowledge, Wealth, and Power at the Edge of the 21st Century
Infinite Wealth: A New World of Collaboration and Abundance in the Knowledge Era
The Age of Missing Information
Forbidden Knowledge: From Prometheus to Pornography
Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution
Information Productivity: Assessing Information Management Costs of U. S. Corporations

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Review: Information Payoff–The Transformation of Work in the Electronic Age

5 Star, Best Practices in Management, Change & Innovation, Complexity & Resilience, Information Operations, Information Society, Information Technology

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5.0 out of 5 stars One of Five “Must Read” Books on Information Age,

April 7, 2000
Paul A. Strassmann
Paul, former Chief Information Officer for Xerox and later Director of Defense Information, used this book to address the basic issues of employee productivity in relation to information technology. This is one of a very few books, including those by Carkhuff, Cleveland, Kelly, and Toffler, that I regard as fundamental-required reading for anyone with any authority over anything.
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Review: The Knowledge Executive–Leadership in an Information Society

5 Star, Change & Innovation, Information Society, Leadership

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5.0 out of 5 stars

The Dean of Real Intelligence and Real Education,

April 7, 2000
Harlan Cleveland
This book was a catalyst in changing my own focus from that of reforming the classified intelligence community, to that of creating a “virtual intelligence community” that served as an on-going educational program for government and business leaders. “If there was ever a moment in history when a comprehensive strategic view was needed, not just by a few leaders in high (which is to say visible) office but by a large number of executives and other generalists in and out of government, this is certainly it. Meeting that need is what should be higher about higher education.”
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