The Future Arrived Yesterday: The Rise of the Protean Corporation and What It Means for You

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Crown Publishing Group, May 5, 2009 - Business & Economics - 220 pages
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A bold vision about the ways companies will adapt and be reborn in a revolutionary world where business models implode and the search is on for what will work. . . .

The fate of newspapers and the music industry is a harbinger of what awaits every company: an aging business model in its death throes as people finally wake up to the grim fact that their products and the way they deliver them are completely out of sync not only with what customers want but how they want it. But Michael Malone–the author who, when the Internet was still the domain of technical experts, enabled his readers to see clearly the opportunities of the then-emerging digital age–is back and once again making sense of a future just around the corner.

Business considerations such as the wireless World Wide Web, billions of new consumers, and an entrepreneurial ethos are all converging. How a corporation is organized and how people will be managed and employed will change more quickly than anyone realizes. With technology poised to connect a billion new consumers from the most remote parts of the globe, corporations will enter a volatile economic era marked by unprecedented threats and opportunities. Survival will require companies to be “protean”–nimble shape-shifters able to change direction and identity in response to a rapidly evolving international marketplace. They must, in other words, act like perpetual entrepreneurial start-ups.

In our Web 2.0 world “the future arrived yesterday,” since the tools for success already exist and are the means for companies becoming protean. Malone provides remarkable insights into how this emerging corporate form will work and why it’s the key to competitiveness. Find out:

• Why the traditional CEO as master of the universe will be extinct. The CEO will be a chameleon, adapting management style and attitude to each company’s constituency.
• How to identify a core group of employees who will provide stability through their knowledge of the company's history, values, and culture.
• How to effectively recruit, manage, and retain the best talent in an increasingly nontraditional, entrepreneurial, and peripatetic workforce.
• Who stakeholders are, why they matter, and how they will extend beyond any comparable business organization to this point.
• Why the rigid boundaries between for-profit and nonprofit ventures are likely to dissolve through alternate forms of value creation, resulting in hybrid enterprises.

By embracing impermanence and becoming true shape-shifters, protean businesses will not only endure, they’ll come to dominate large segments of the global economy. Provocative and pragmatic, The Future Arrived Yesterday is a dynamic blueprint for a tumultuous economic age.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

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Contents

i A New Business Model for a New World
3
Part II
42
The Technology Era
73
Part III
109
The Cloud
157
Part IV
198
Part V
247
Core Size 269
268
Notes
281
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About the author (2009)

MICHAEL S. MALONE is one of Silicon Valley’s most influential commentators on the nexus of technology and business. Currently a columnist for ABCNews.com, he is the author of Bill & Dave, the coauthor of The Virtual Corporation, and a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal editorial page.


From the Hardcover edition.

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