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In an age of machines human organisations matter – an ode to joy

There is an explosion of automation, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning with many fearing job losses. In the attention economy we have proliferation of social media, questionable content, digital addiction, etc. Freedom of expression knows no bounds yet sensitivities are tested like never before. There are many benefits to adopting these tools and approaches and there are those that countervail – some stand out, either as out of touch dinosaurs or innovators. In all this there are many reasons to be joyful.

Machines and the Human Touch

As much of a proponent as I am of automating processes and being naturally introverted, I am still a human that needs other humans. That craves for and often delights in gratifying and warming human encounters. The person on the other end of the line that listens with sympathy and responds with kindness.

Please give me the instant gratification of getting something that I want with a few clicks of a button but when needed, to solve an urgent problem or just because I want human connection, please be there to provide the sweet succour I need.

The backlash has begun and the path forward is clear: The human touch at the center of customer-experience excellence.

Productivity and Creativity

Its harder to get shit done than ever before. Monumental skills are required to focus on doing the things that matter. And the things that matter are increasingly ones being done either by machines, or by humans that are inspired, creative.

So either be a master of the machines (programmers, developers) or master your creative skills.

Creativity alone is not enough though. You need to ship things. Ideally these things have an impact on people, they make a difference in peoples lives.

Manage your time meaningfully, on thinking the right things and doing the right things, you’ll have many joyful moments. Treasure organisations that enable this.

Empathy and Awareness

Being deaf to the sentiments of those around you will no longer be tolerated. Take UK boss of KPMG who will step aside while the accountancy giant investigates offensive comments he allegedly made at a meeting about moaning employees.

Contrast this with Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft (disclosure) who has spearheaded a renaissance with first, a shifting of the organisations purpose to be more human centred:

To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Microsoft Mission

Then supporting the launch of a new product category focused on the employee – I wrote about this here: Employee Experience Platform – the birth of a category.

An integral approach

Ken Wilbur created integral theory and incorporated and evolved Spiral Dynamics Integral as an offshoot of earlier thinking by luminaries such as Richard Dawkins and Don Edward Beck and based on the research of Clare Graves. It also incorporates Maslow’s thinking on Hierarchy of Needs. Normally applied at an individual level, I have applied it to the organisation here: The Modern Organisation’s Hierarchy of Needs

Integral theory is portrayed as a “theory of everything”, trying “to draw together an already existing number of separate paradigms into an interrelated network of approaches that are mutually enriching.” Spiral Dynamics is a model of the evolutionary development of individuals, organisations, and societies.

As such, these theories and the thinking behind them are extremely timely as they show how everything is interconnected and how we need to evolve our thinking if we are to become fully realised human beings, organisations and societies.

Its a pity to see individuals behaving at the lower levels of evolution, who see themselves as apart from the whole. I prefer to focus on the joyful, wondrous advancements being exhibited every single day.

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