The organizational structure that characterizes most modern government agencies and many commercial environments was built as an early 20th Century Industrial Era paradigm. Hierarchical, efficient and mechanized; this structure was designed less for creative problem solving and innovation, and more for rapid mass production. The historical context in which this model emerged demanded quantity, standardization and price minimization. Low cost, mass-produced goods propelled the consumer economy. Major global events like WWII required the rapid, consistent, and widespread mobilization of funds, people, natural resources, and military equipment.
Posted by Eric Chase
Nov 8, 2017 9:15:00 AM
Since the 2016 election, the news cycle offers up surprises on almost a daily basis. In situations like Brexit, Catalonia, and Kurdistan we see significant re-writes of long-held geography, politics, and history. Forces like North Korea and Iran continue to challenge long-held notions of global dominance and threat. ‘Fake news’ is created, spread, and adopted at nearly uncontrolled speeds because it’s often compelling and resonates with the potential of truth.
Posted by Gregory Weber
Aug 30, 2017 11:00:00 AM
In his 1954 publication, The Functions of the Executive, retired telephone executive Chester Barnard introduced the action-oriented term “decision making” into the lexicon of the business world. The specificity behind the word “decision” prompted managers and leaders to rethink the discipline of achieving better outcomes as one that engaged approaches ranging from philosophy, mathematics, sociology, psychology, economics, and political science.
Posted by Eric Chase
Jun 28, 2017 10:30:00 AM
In 1950, Alan Turing published an article in MIND entitled Computing Machinery and Intelligence. It posits, confidently, that computers would advance to a point at which they could be programmed to learn and perform with skills rivaling human intelligence. At the time, the proposition was revolutionary, though it actually reflected ‘computability and the universal machine’ work he had been pursuing since 1936. The paper laid out the concept of the discrete state machine model, clarified the prospect of what he termed 'intelligent machinery' and provided real suggestions about how Artificial Intelligence could happen.
Telephones came into existence in the late 19th Century. Along with the innovation came the establishment of new businesses, each focused on providing this new communication capability to the marketplace. And along with those emergent organizations came hundreds of thousands of new jobs for switchboard operators who would connect incoming calls to a final destination. The overwhelming rise in market saturation of telephones and resulting call activity outpaced the capacity of human workers to connect the calls well into the 20th Century. Automatic switching equipment emerged as a solution - and ultimately replaced the workforce entirely.
In almost every industry and sector, AI is opening up new possibilities and forcing us to think outside of long-held paradigms. As these burgeoning resources reshape how we approach business, two related points emerge as vital. First, while the ‘wow’ factor of AI and machine learning is high, it would be dangerous to overestimate the value of cognitive technologies. Second, organizational leaders must be involved in the decisions to invest in and adopt technologies based on how the resources will enhance workforce performance.