Over the past decade Toyota has grown to catch up and then overtake General Motors as the world’s leading automotive manufacturer.

This short video explains how this remarkable gain can be understood in terms of the self-reinforcing competitive advantage that is generated by the Escher Cycle.

The second largest automotive manufacturer is now the Volkswagen group, and this company runs a similar cycle:

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The rise in network thinking

Social_Network_Analysis_VisualizationA nice article here in the Scientific American, on ‘How Networks Are Revolutionizing Scientific (and Maybe Human) Thought’.

“Modern research in sociology, psychology, neuroscience, and anthropology is showing that… what we are like as individuals critically depends on how we are linked socially and emotionally with others, in relational networks reaching far and wide.”

For example, we have historically tended to think of people as being part of races, nationalities, ethnic groups, societies, or cultures. But then network thinking shows us that we are connected to anyone else in the world by only six degrees of separation.

This way of thinking collapses the world immeasurably, and creates many more possibilities than the old worldview.

For example, it influences the way ideas spread. The networks we are part of are partly driven by ethnicity, sexual orientation, and so on, but everybody is linked to everybody else within six degrees of freedom.

This makes complete sense using The Escher Cycle. Continue Reading >

I am not a thing, a noun, I am a verb, a process

On googleplus today I found this rather nice quote from Buckminster Fuller:

“I live on Earth at present, and I don’t know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing – a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process – an integral function of the universe.”
~ R. Buckminster Fuller ~

It was accompanied by this rather charming graphic, illustrating the evolution of life on Earth (so far):


The Escher Cycle tells us that “there are no such things as things or resources — only processes. What we call a resource is actually the output of one process, waiting to become the input to another.”

A business is a process. A customer’s experience is a process. A country is a collection of processes.

And you and I are also processes, as are fish, lizards, and monkeys. We are all processes as we live our lives and grow older together. Continue Reading >

The Teflon Effect: Your most difficult customers are your greatest opportunity


Good to see that Bill Gates agrees with the Teflon Effect of Chapter 8 of the Escher Cycle: that your most difficult and demanding customers are your greatest opportunity — “to find new ways to bring them value, and improve the return on that investment by re-using those innovations in services for less-differentiated customers.”