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Listening to the Future: Why It's Everybody's Business

ISBN: 978-0-470-41344-9
256 pages
December 2008
Listening to the Future: Why It


Listening to the Future: Why It's Everybody's Business explores the challenges and opportunities facing organizations, the transformations that will ripple through the political, economic, and social environments, and the implications for different industries in the 21st century workplace. Written by Microsoft forecasters Daniel W. Rasmus and Rob Salkowitz, this important book equips your business to get out in front of new technology innovations in the consumer world with the knowledge, practices, and tools to differentiate your business in our competitive, fast-moving global economy.
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Table of Contents




Chapter 1. Listening to the Future.

Embracing Uncertainty.

The Shape of Things to Come.

Technology and the Changing World.

People Make the Future.


Chapter 2. Managing a Dynamic Business.

Driving Forces.

Strategic Technology Capabilities.

Tenets for Success.

Dynamic Business: Forces to Watch, Uncertainties to Consider.


Chapter 3. Prospering in a Blended World.

Driving Forces.

Strategic Workplace Technologies.

Blending Beyond the Workplace.

Tenets for Success.

Blend Trends.


Chapter 4. Insights from Complexity.

Driving Forces.

Strategic Technologies to Drive Insights.

Tenets for Success.

Sources of Insight.


Chapter 5. Building Strategic Advantage Through IT.

The Challenge of Measuring Return on Knowledge.

Why IT Matters.

Why Applications Matter.

Why Platforms Matter.

Why Infrastructure Matters.

Creating a Dialog Between Business and IT.

Tenets for Success.

Why IT Still Matters.

Eight Ways to Achieve More Strategic IT.

Key Infrastructure Investments for Competitive Advantage.


Chapter 6. From the New World of Business to the New World of Work.

One World of Business.

Always On, Always Connected.

Transparent Organizations.

Workforce Evolution.


Chapter 7. Managing Knowledge and Talent in the New World of Business.

Managing Knowledge in One World of Business.

Knowledge Anywhere, Anytime.

Knowledge in the Transparent Organization.

Managing Knowledge for a Changing Workforce.

From “Knowledge Management” to Managing Talent and Knowledge.

Complexity and Specialization.

Simplifying the Knowledge Work Environment.

Toward a Dynamic Knowledge Environment.

Navigating the Dynamic Knowledge Environment.

Embracing Organizational Learning.

10 Starting Points for Dynamics Knowledge Enterprises.


Chapter 8. The Future of Industries.



Government/Public Sector.

Retail Banking and Insurance.



Professional Services.

Chapter 9. Hearing the Future.

Strategy and Uncertainties.

Exposing the Dynamic Uncertainty Loop.





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Author Information

Daniel W. Rasmus is Director of Business Insights for Microsoft® Business Division, where he manages the development of long-range scenarios to inform how software will be used in tomorrow's work environment based on different social, economic, and political settings that may occur in the future. Prior to joining Microsoft® Daniel was an analyst with Forrester Research and wrote extensively about collaboration and knowledge management. His forthcoming book Management by Design will be published by Wiley in 2009. Dan lives in Sammamish, Washington, with his wife Janet and daughters Rachel and Alyssa.

Rob Salkowitz is a writer and consultant specializing in the social implications of new technology in the workplace, and author of Generation Blend: Managing Across the Technology Age Gap, published by Wiley in 2008. He works with Microsoft® and other clients to articulate business strategy, and writes and speaks on issues related to the changing workforce. Rob lives in Seattle, Washington, with his wife Eunice Verstegen.

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"…have produced a timely book about positoning business to deal with the uncertain challenges of the future." (B-eye-network.com, March 5th, 2009)
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