“We shape our tools and thereafter, the tools shape us.” - John Culkin, a pioneer in advocating media literacy, said in 1967.
by Dr. Werner Leodolter
That visionary observation from 50 years ago is even more meaning today. Most of the world is focused on how “we shape our tools” in order to improve all facets of life, may it be business, government, society, etc. Meanwhile, our behaviors, our attitudes, our organizations, our society and culture are unconsciously shaped by the tools and the technologies we use.
Let us look at the organizations we are working and living in.
Das Unterbewusstsein von Organisationen Neue Technologien – Organisationen neu denken and The Digital Transformation Shaping the Subconscious Minds of Organizations – Innovative Organizations and Hybrid Intelligences by Werner Leodolter, author, experienced CIO in different industries, CEO of a 17,000 healthcare providers, a professor and lecturer.
We are at the beginning of an even faster rate of hyper-change. AI, robotics, self-driving cars, gene editing, genetically “improved” humans, bio enhancements, the end of work… and a long list of other new tools are about to re-shape and disrupt almost everything… exponentially – at essentially the same time. So, organizations are hard-pressed to find answers.
How to build innovative organizations and hybrid intelligences merging human intelligence with artificial intelligence by shaping the subconscious mind of an organization, consciously, and deliberately, and not let it just happen?
First, we have to draw upon the psychological aspects of decision-making, from perception to analysis, conclusions and on to decision and action. The most impressive book in this respect is Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow. Facing new technologies and the effects of incorporating new technologies like sensors, visual analytics, decision support, artificial intelligence and robotics on these cognitive processes of the individual, the organizational unit and the organization, as a whole, have to be explored for the respective organization. We have to gain a comprehensive view on management and organizational behavior, both as it is now and the expectations for the future. The new tools change learning-processes, knowledge-management, products and business itself – the digital transformation is on its way.
The subconscious mind as a powerful metaphor offers a new perspective on organizations and their interconnectedness, helping to improve their structure, their processes and their organizational behavior. New technologies and ICT infrastructures are a part of the subconscious mind of the organizations, which is derived, composed and formed from different self-similar perspectives: Board, CEO, CFO, Chief Physician, technical expert, etc.
Thus, the conditions for groups and organizations on different levels of responsibility have to be redesigned following a consistent set of guiding principles suitable for the specific organization, enabling it to deal with uncertainty and upheaval. Some aspects to be considered: Well-arranged ICT infrastructure-platforms enable collaboration and innovation following the concept of the subconscious and its interaction with the conscious. The structure of the organizations will have to be adopted – most will have to be flattened in order to enable agile processes and innovation. An adopted integrated management system will be necessary. Mission, visions and culture of the organization will be affected and will need a roundup.
Leodolter’s books Das Unterbewusstsein von Organisationen Neue Technologien – Organisationen neu denken and The Digital Transformation Shaping the Subconscious Minds of Organizations – Innovative Organizations and Hybrid Intelligences offer a new framework for conceptualizing and managing organizations when using new information and communication technologies, for example decision support and artificial intelligence. The books support managers to actively guide the digital transformation of an organization through its strong metaphor of the subconscious mind of organizations.
Thus “intelligent organizations” develop, where many activities perform in the “subconscious mind” – from the respective organizational point of view (CEO, technical expert etc.). This subconscious mind should be deliberately designed and automatism should not “creep in”. They have to be deliberately arranged, new tools like AI have to be incorporated carefully and evaluated regularly. Thus, future organizations can evolve as successful and sustainable “hybrid intelligences” with a significant share of Artificial-Intelligence but the clear primacy of the human.
Let us stay in the driver’s seat and not have “the tools shaping us” passively. Let us shape our organizations actively.
This book provides a conceptual model which is easy to follow, use, and memorize – supported by lucid stories and will have wide appeal: information managers, strategists, organizational developers, management consultants and management students will find valuable support in this book which enables them to master the digital transformation. The thought-provoking set of principles and the ideas explored have something to offer to all those interested in the future of organizations, economics, and society.
Dr. Werner Leodolter will be attending 600Minutes Executive IT in Austria on the 10th of May 2017 . Event discussions include:
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