How Technology Is Changing The Way Organizations Learn
People used to be valued for knowing a trade. Then came the industrial revolution and those skills became devalued. Machines took over physical labor and most people either did simple, repetitive tasks or managed those who did.
Notes that by the end of the 1900's, a knowledge economy began taking over the labor economy. The value of workers shifted from physical power to mental prowess, with successful organizations focusing on learning.
As we move on in the 21st Century, a new industrial revolution has begun, where machines are invading the territory of cognition. As with the industrial revolution of the late 19th Century the role of humans and machines are shifting rapidly, and companies must innovate quickly to redefine the the hierarchical nature of the organizations.
In what is called the algorithmic age, rather than the industrial age, managers becoming teachers and workers becoming students, social agents, and networkers. Organizations will have to change the way that they learn, the managers’ primary task becoming organization of curricula: information and knowledge.
The organizations of the past have been driven purely by human expertise and knowledge. However, as computers become more advanced, they are to the point where they are learning from mistakes, evolving, and getting better at tasks. The computer advances will increase exponentially, and computers are now already able to comprehend knowledge and generate ideas that workers cannot.
The new age of industry is algorithmic and will bring new efficiency and societal changes, and some shifts are becoming apparent:
- Computers operate Bayesian strategy: in the past, industry was led by visionary managers. Strategy is now becoming less dependent on visionary leaders, and more on Bayesian strategies, meaning that technology follows evolutionary processes of "simulation and feedback." Technology learns, grows, and adapts. The computer networks will evolve and improve, and human strategists will become "hackers rather than planners." The system will have power and influence that humans will tinker with rather than control.
- Brands are open APIs rather than assets: brands are becoming less tangible, not as tightly controlled, and seen less as an asset and more as a platform. This means that brands are less closely guarded and more open as platforms for collaboration, with outside developers using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and Software Development Kits (SDKs) to integrate with multiple brands. The economy is becoming more centered on meaning and knowledge than on brand identity.
- The human essentials: While this may sound as if the rise of computers will crush the need for humans in organizations, the reverse is true. Human cognitive skills will remain important, but even more so, their social skills will become the essence of corporations. The social will be an essential part of the new economy, and many professions that rely on this are already growing rapidly. Computers will increasingly take over what we have traditionally conceived of as human work, but the empathic and social roles of humans will be what holds organizations and networks together.
In the past industrial age, the role of management was to govern work. In the new algorithmic age, the responsibilities of people will be to focus ambition, intent, goals, and motivate others.
The new managers, rather than organizing skill building, will perceive patterns and take new action, design the curricula for the organization, and manage the overall direction computers will take. People will always determine what purpose computer actions serve and play an active role in governing the system.
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Source is Forbes.com
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