There are some telling lessons for today’s larger organisations by looking into the history of the organisation. Big data is not a new phenomenon – it is entirely relative and all too strikingly familiar. Over time individuals and organisations have been constantly challenged by what seemed to be mountains of data containing a prospective valuable nugget of knowledge. In a recent McKinsey Quarterly article, Big Data in the age of the telegraph, Rebecca Rosenthal looks at the example of Daniel McCallum and the New York and Erie Railroad. Identifying the pain that ‘although the telegraph’s speed made more information available, organizing and acting on it became increasingly difficult,’ Rosenthal explores how McCallum sought to deal with both the deluge of information and also the inherent need to have it available where it could acted upon the most timely fashion. Continue reading Big Data in Bygone Times
I happened across this interesting article reporting on a conversation with Cindy Alvarez, Director of User Experience at Yammer. For whatever reason I found it short, pithy and well worth regarding. Anyone that has gone through the start-up experience will probably find it familiar. She refers to Five Types of People I Should Have Fired Sooner, and I wonder whether anyone else might share experience of anyone of these types. One of the interesting things I find in all the types is the sense that organisations are evolving entities (something we all know – but oft need be reminded of). In many cases what was once a good hire has become a bad hire – something that indeed even holds true for founders themselves. How can organisations adapt to identify these traits as they emerge? Is firing always the only alternative? I realise that it makes for a fine title and keep the article straightforward and approachable – but what alternatives exist? Worth a quick read.