Review – When the Monkeys Run the Zoo
Review / February 19, 2019

Review – When the Monkeys Run the Zoo Early industrial companies were characterized by a strict hierarchy of power and decision-making competency. Giving employees a say in the company’s strategy would be like having the monkeys run the zoo, an indiscretion voiced by Frank Borman, CEO of Eastern Airlines, from which the book derives its title. The modern company is lean, flat, agile, disruptive, kind, regenerative and decentralized. This creates problems. To be specific, author Thomas Kühn identifies three main dilemmas: The three dilemmas of modern organizations The identity dilemma refers to organizational subunits gaining increased autarky. But as companies dissolve into independent departments, profit centers and teams, it becomes unclear, what is within and without of the organization. This way, synergy effects of centralization are lost. Breaking the strict hierarchy of old timey organizations in favor of flat structures clearly improved the quality of life for workers. But it also removed clarity and gave rise to informal communication and decision-making structures. Without a person indisputably in charge, each decision requires involvement of topic experts, division leaders and influencers, and the outcome may depend on individual moods and favoritism. When the Monkeys Run the Zoo calls this the dilemma of…

Review – Digital Darwinism
Review / May 6, 2018

Review: Maybe you have heard about digitalisation? Apparently, it’s something big. But what is it, what does it do, and how will it affect our lives? And why should you read Digital Darwinism instead of all the other books on the topic? Digital Darwinism avoids the usual pitfall of either praising or damning new technologies. In fact, author Tom Goodwin makes a point how this is completely irrelevant. Digitalisation is not about better WiFi chips, or better data storage. It’s about people. People that find new ways to interact with technology.   Benefits, not features Digital Darwinism is a rather provocative book, revealing most ideas we have about digitalisation as misconceptions. Most companies define it as taking their old products and try to internet ‘em up somehow. They would be better off trying to find new and creative ways to fulfill customers’ needs. The emergence of Chief Digital Officers in executive boards actually is a sign that companies don’t fully embrace digitalisation yet. Instead of a transformative force that penetrates all functions and business segments, digitalisation is treated as an attachment, bolted on to the old stuff. An interesting question Digital Darwinism raises is “How would your business look like,…