Workflow Institute

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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The World Is (Indeed) Flat!

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Thomas Friedman (From Beirut to Jerusalem, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Longitudes and Attitudes) published his fourth nonfiction work last week, "The World Is Flat." The impetus for the title is this: In 1492 Columbus set sail on a westerly route to find India. As we know, he missed...but returned with the conviction that the world is round. In 2004 Tom Friedman set out for India (Bangalore, to be precise) and arrived safely via an airline. He returned with the conviction that the world is once again flat. (Aside - I loved the first chapter where Friedman describes Bangalore and the Infosys campus in Electronic City on the outskirts. I spent five years off-and-0n in Bangalore, visited Infosys and saw many of the things that Friedman so accurately describes. But I digress...)

Why is the world flat? In part, because of our connectedness via technology and how it is applied, in particular to business. (By this time it should be clear why Friedman leads off with Bangalore, the so-called Silicon Valley of India.) He delineates "The Ten Forces That Flattened The World." Number 3 is "Work Flow Software." His notion is rather broad but clearly includes what we have been touting as Workflow Learning. So if a journalist stands up and takes notice of the workflow concept as driving force and world equalizer ("flattener"), we are indeed compelled to carry the notion forward. Or at least to Bangalore.

Namaste -Gary


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