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The shift from push to pull- business strategy

February 28, 2006

Yesterday, Influx was fortunate enough to attend a workshop hosted by the Institute for the Future , on the topic of abundance and scarcity.

John Hagel took us through his thinking on the shift from push to pull as a business model, using the example of the Chinese motorcycle industry to prove his point.

John showed us how China, in a 10-year period, has emerged as a global leader in motorbikes by creating a unique business structure. Instead of creating a single-entity, there are hundreds of specialist companies are linked into a loose network that evolves and learns together.

Hagel believes that this model is relevant to Western companies, because it allows for great efficiencies and more innovation. Importantly, it is flexible enough to work in industries where forecasting is no longer an accurate tool for predicting demand.

For those with an interest in future business models, this is a unique but relevant perspective, you can learn more about the “Push to Pull” theory and creative networks in John’s book, The Only Sustainable Edge . that he co-wrote with John Seely Brown.

After much discussion, Lillian Rubin , a sociologist and psychiatrist, brought us back down to earth. Lilian talked about the human implications of this new model. For her, it was fear that was the biggest barrier to its implementation by Western corporations. Lillian thought the Chinese had a significant advantage because they were creating something from scratch.

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