In any book written by Thomas Friedman…readers are treated to thoughtful and experienced insights, observations, and perspectives about central issues of the day. Friedman’s The World Is Flat, is no exception, even though it was published 10+ years ago. Still, through these lens, this (Friedman) book represents one more confirmation that not only is the world flat, it’s getting flatter every day, in no small part, through the convergence of…
1. forward – looking-thinking leadership and investors bestowed upon – embedded in companies producing strong entrepreneurial tenants unwilling to wait for past practices, conventions, and/or traditions to sufficiently evolve to reflect today’s business realities…
2. technologies and the influx of capital that allow businesses to seamlessly collaborate at keystroke speed to form relevant and lucrative alliances to accommodate the growing, global universality of the dominance of businesses intangible assets
Friedman’s first hand, been there, done that approach…to writing, interspersed with relevant interviews with current players and thought leaders make for responsibile prognostications about the ‘flat world’, e.g., ‘globalization is going to be increasingly driven by individuals and companies that…
1. genuinely understand how to operate effectively and lucratively in today’s, and the future’s, flattening world.
2. are genuinely willing and able to adapt quickly to its processes and technologies that now largely comprise a flatter business world (p.183) and,
3. do not shy away from seeking new players (who) are stepping on the global business playing fields, in many instances as ‘legacy free players’ (p.176-178)!
Friedman’s notion of (global) legacy free players…warrants our attention. As business transactions are overwhelmingly (consistently) influenced and driven by intangibles, especially, various constructs of intellectual, structural, and relationship capital, we are obliged to recognize the reality that a substantial percentage of the world’s inhabitants are unfamiliar with the legal tenants (concept) of personal-private property, let alone, intellectual properties.
Ultimately, Friedman’s notion of an ever flattening world has contributed, among many other things, to…
1. creating business operation environments in which intangible (non-physical) assets are consistently and irreversibly outpacing tangible (physical) assets as the dominant sources of company’s (a.) value, (b.) revenue, and (c.) future wealth creation, (d.) competitiveness, and (e.) sustainability.
2. business alliances, transactions, and R&D that is consistently being shaped and driven by a constant influx of new ways to apply intellectual and structural capital.
3. conventional proprietary information – intellectual property enforcements becoming increasingly reactive and symbolic, and less irrelevant insofar as safeguarding, preserving, and monitoring the value of intangible assets, i.e., intellectual properties.
In a flat world, risks to a company’s intangibles (assets) are consistent and asymmetric…that is, they vary, can change rapidly, and can adversely affect assets from all sides simultaneously!
Through these lens, this makes it essential, in a flat world…for companies to fully integrate relevant and rapidly maneuverable safeguards and metrics for…
1.measuring risks to their intangibles for each way (initiative, transaction) they are being utilized and monetized.
2.developing business operating cultures with elevated levels of awareness, alertness, and accountability for practicing effective stewardship, oversight, and management of their embedded intangibles!
Readers are invited to examine other relevant resources I have produced at https://kpstrat.com/books/ i.e., books, blog posts, and professional papers.