7 Questions about your ecosystem

Hal Burlingame of AT&T teaches the power of asking “what are we moving from, and what do we want to change the world to?” Here are seven “from/to” questions for consideration about your ecosystem:

7 Questions about your ecosystem
1. To what future of the world do we want our new ecosystem to contribute?
2. What will our ecosystem initially produce and for whom?
3. How will its inputs and outputs relate to other ecosystems?
4. What continuing innovation trajectories will we become known for over the long run?
5. In our combination of ecosystems what centers of innovation will develop, and what jobs will they do?
6. Given the ecosystems on the landscape now, is our vision plausible as an all-in combined future state?
7. Is there anywhere in the world where a new ecosystem like ours is more likely to be appreciated?

Design and technology

In a campaign to change the world the tools need to be intuitive, and the only way to assure this is to invest in real design.  This means studying users, the “jobs” they want to do, the pathways they take to you and from you, the pathways they would like to travel.  And then making some to0ls that can be of help, that are straightforward to master, and that are truly powerful.

Which leads to the next issue, which is the power to do the real job.  An Apple iPhone is effective because it integrates seamlessly the world’s most advanced available technology.  It is not just simple and elegant, it has advanced technology, applied science, under the surface.  When all other phones have a 32 bit ARM processor, it offers the world’s first mass market ARM 64 bit processor.

Loving and learning

Ecosystems are relational businesses, relational campaigns.  They are held together by love.  Does this sound a little unusual to say?  Yes, at least in conventional business settings.  This may be in part terminology, with camaraderie and team spirit and even give and take perfectly acceptable.  But let’s get over our shyness.  Love does make the world go round.

Learning is the deep key to continued improvement, to expansion and to improving the quality of our lives and our habitats, our ecosystems and our futures.  And learning requires learning from others, when means listening and being trusted.

Open and capitalized

To establish an ecosystem is to lead a campaign.  A campaign is built upon feelings, on imaged and desired futures, on aspirations. It involves going face to face to discover those of like mind and complementary talents and resources.  It requires establishing platforms for communication and to facilitate access and contribution to shared common resources.  All this is not a small undertaking, and it will succeed in large measure because it is sustained better than alternatives.   Campaigns must generate excitement and interest, be open and inviting to newcomers, have ways of welcoming and “on boarding” newcomers, and they must introduce members to each other’s and provide a place and encouragement to join shared explorations, adventures, projects.

Enduring ecosystems cannot be accomplished without serious capitalization of some core functions.  These need to be identified, and either “grafted onto” from existing institutions, or designed, funded, program managed and integrated into the ecosystem.

Big and nano

Opportunities to reorganize situations tend to elude our grasp when they are big and contextual–that is, when they involve perceiving trends and taking action to shake up our own or other’s ecosystems.

And opportunities to improve our powers, our capabilities, tend to escape recognition because they involve manipulating processes and experimenting with causal possibilities that compose what we do, and that are normally considered too small to understand and exploit.  Richard Feynman’s exhortation that “There’s always room down below” gave birth to the exploration of nanotechnology.