Looking at companies as a technology for getting things done, it is possible to see the outlines of a new wave of transformational innovation taking shape.

If you’re a leader struggling to understand what the future holds for business, you’re not alone. According to Devin Fidler, “Today, many people are warning that companies are entering a period of extreme transition… But beyond massive change and the idea that ‘robots will take our jobs,’ it is difficult to get a handle on exactly what we should expect.”

Devin Fidler is a futurist. His company investigates “forces shaping future companies;” and he still doesn’t “exactly” know what to expect. If somebody like Fidler is uncertain, how can we, who spend most of our time working on other things, figure it out? We probably can’t.

We can comprehend the impact big things – the internet, social media, artificial intelligence (AI), machine/human collaboration, robotics – have on our businesses and our global society. We can try to follow advances in science, education, etc. We can study, and we can learn, but the question still remains, “What else don’t we know that we need to know to prepare for the future?”

With no claim to certainty, Fidler’s article offers a “quick overview of three Organizational Technology innovations…Together, they are poised to help shape future companies that may not look like anything we have seen before.”

  1. Human Task Routing – Matching people with things they are looking for. (Think today’s online dating services)
  • People can be connected to the best available work and skill training options. With the addition of machine learning, systems can better find and source just the right person for each open position.
  • Moving forward: “Human task routing is a critical step toward making larger workflows ‘programmable.’”
  1. Software-Defined Organization – Orchestrating people’s work efforts. (Think today’s Lyft, Kickstarter , or Airbnb)
  • Full projects, entire positions, critical management functions “can be broken down into a series of smaller tasks (usually completed by a combination of humans and digital programs) that are snapped together in a drag-and-drop workflow interface.”
  • Moving forward, “Today’s businesses may soon see competition from niche ‘robo-companies.’”
  1. Collective Cognition – Improving and orchestrating collective human ideas, insights and decisions. (Think today’s algorithms, Robert’s Rules of Order)
  • Best-practice discussion and decision frameworks can be encoded to help make collective choices, systematize governance practices, or build rational debate. (“Individual participants build arguments into a larger framework and rank the power of the points that others make, methodically separating strong evidence from weak.”)
  • Moving forward: “We are likely to see steps toward the construction of literal ‘machines to produce wisdom,’ designed to bring together both AI and collective human insight, and to systematically build toward ideas that are particularly creative, or clever, or humane, or likely to succeed.”

Futurists can guide us toward reasonable, foreseeable concepts about the organization and operation of business in the future. Wise leaders listen, ponder, and then cross their fingers and take their chances.

Contact us and we can help you use today’s technology coupled with proven behavioral and organizational concepts to improve the workplace for you and your employees.  

 Read the full article at: medium.com