As much as organisations tell us they want to attract fresh, innovative talent, their culture often just says no. John Hagel thinks that there’s a move coming from social networks toward ‘joint creation’ that’ll address this

It’s all about the end of push and the beginning of pull

Hagel is one of the world’s most respected innovation strategists (he originated the term Infomediary as well as the Dilbert paradox)

Here are details of his latest book (released April 2010):

The power of pull

John Hagel III, John Seely Brown and Lang Davison Analyze The Big Shift Occurring in Today’s World and Explain How to Take Advantage of New Forces to Unlock Individual and Institutional Potential

“A fundamental shift from a world of push to a world of pull has been playing out for decades and will continue to unfold for decades more

We are feeling the impact in our daily lives and businesses are currently experiencing it in declining corporate performance.

In a profound way, this shift enables far more robust and scalable pull techniques to come into play, creating opportunities for individuals and organizations to learn faster, spark sustained innovation and drive performance improvement.”

John Hagel, co-chairman of Deloitte’s Center for the Edge

Pull is in the air. Consumers pull movies and news items on demand. They pull the information they need at light speed on Google. But these activities are merely the surface of something more profound that is reshaping today’s world.

The growing stress felt in people’s professional lives is not just a reflection of the current economic downturn. It is pressure that stems from the realization that the traditional ways of working and living are increasingly broken.

THE POWER OF PULL:  How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion (Basic Books; April 2010 by John Hagel III, John Seely Brown, and Lang Davison) goes beyond the surface events that are often distractions and examines the deep forces reshaping the world.

Drawing on stories and examples from around the world, the authors and Deloitte Center for the Edge leaders show how pull can be more systematically used to shape serendipity.

They show that the public perception about pull is just the tip of the iceberg, obscuring the real power of pull.

Pull can bring people together in new ways to drive more rapid performance improvement (in such diverse arenas as extreme surfing and large scale business networks emerging in China) and provide powerful platforms to more fully achieve individual potential.

The authors also provide pragmatic migration paths to aid readers in getting from where they are today to where they need to be in a world of pull.

The book brings a tight, logical, structure to this transformed world.

Here’s a much more in depth video on Hagel’s ‘Power of Pull‘ ideas at The Berkman Center at Harvard Law School with Web guru David Weinberger

Deloitte’s Center for the Edge leaders identify and explain three waves of change, three levels of pull that are becoming central to success and three elements of the journey people need to make in order to understand and master pull.

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The three waves of change are:

  • Infrastructural Shift – began with the microprocessor revolution that began in the 70’s and continues today with new technological changes seemingly daily.
  • Knowledge Flows – barriers to communicating more richly and scalably were broken down by the technological changes in the first wave, and they continue unabated.
  • Institutional Innovations – this third wave is the world that will be created by the forces driving the evolution of the Big Shift.

The three levels of pull the authors identify are:

  • Access – the ability to find and get to the right people and resources when and where they’re needed.
  • Attract – the ability to shape serendipitous encounters in order to increase the probability and quality of those encounters.
  • When used skillfully, online tools can allow one to attract people, talent, and knowledge from unexpected directions.
  • Achieve – the ability to use the techniques described above to achieve one’s potential in less time and with more impact than has ever been possible.

The three elements that shape the path that individuals and institutions must take in the journey from push to pull are:

  • Trajectory – the path toward a meaningful destination, one that helps shape choices and action in the near term.
  • Defining a destination helps focus effort and initiative.
  • Leverage – the opportunity to connect with others and expand impact through the mechanism of pull.
  • Pace – the speed which helps people to move quickly at a time when everything is changing at an accelerating speed.

Recognizing and grasping these changes, the levels of pull and the elements of the journey are vital to understand what this new world will look and feel like.

For individuals:

Only one out of every five workers in the United States is really passionate about his or her work, according to pioneering research conducted for the book.

But, the authors offer hope for a more passionate future as the new world of pull gives people more opportunities to shape their futures and roles.

For organizations:

Business leaders who embrace the power of pull can find the framework to better understand how to expand their organization’s impact with fewer resources.

Passionate, engaged workers will be a large part of that expanded impact.

These are the employees that turn pressure into opportunity and are more likely to seek out challenging roles that drive them to test their limits.

These workers see new and daunting challenges as opportunities to get better at what they do.

The book explains how to identify and use them to their fullest capacity.

THE POWER OF PULL is a compelling primer to navigate a new landscape at work, at home, and at play.

Its message resonates beyond the business world, as evidenced by the overwhelming support from a broad group of corporate, political and global leaders.

The book has already been endorsed by a diverse cross-section of political and business leaders including former US President Bill Clinton, former speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, Google CEO Eric Schmidt and renowned venture capitalist John Doerr, partner at Kleiner Perkins.

To learn what these and other influencers have to say about THE POWER OF PULL, visit

For more information about THE POWER OF PULL, please visit

About the Authors

The authors bring together an unusual combination of backgrounds and experiences.

John Hagel, co-chairman of Deloitte’s Center for the Edge, is a noted business strategist who has helped companies around the world improve performance and carve out sustainable edges.

John Seely Brown, independent co-chairman of the Center for the Edge, is a prominent technologist from Silicon Valley who has been deeply involved in the technology innovation that has shaped the digital world.

Lang Davison, executive director of the Center for the Edge and the former editor of one of the leading thought leadership publications in the business world, brings deep insight into how to weave together deep insights into compelling narratives.

Over the years, these authors have written a number of best-selling books, including Net Gain, Net Worth and The Social Life of Information.

About the Center for the Edge

The Center for the Edge, part of Deloitte LLP, helps senior executives make sense of and profit from emerging opportunities on the edge of business and technology.

What is created on the edge of the competitive landscape—in terms of technology, geography, demographics, markets—inevitably strikes at the very heart of a business.

Its mission is to identify and explore emerging opportunities related to big shifts that aren’t yet on the senior management agenda, but ought to be.

While its focus is on long-term trends and opportunities, it is equally focused on implications for near-term action, the day-to-day environment of executives.