The old saying that ‘charity begins at home’ could be usefully extended to ‘charity begins in your circle of friends and family’. Helping your friends and family is simply paying forward the benefits and advantages you have received in your own life. It doesn’t have to have a religious context, or be shouted about from the rooftops.
If there are only ‘six degrees of separation’ to another person on the Planet, perhaps the best pathway to help the World, may well be the ‘rippling outwards’ from the circles of all of our F&F. To elaborate, caring is stronger when the personal connection is stronger. This isn’t about replacing charities and philanthropy, But about widening the definition of such things. After all, charitable activity can be effective, even when the entity concerned isn’t listed on the Charity Commission website. Altruistic acts also occur, because they define us as a higher order species.
Altruism and welfare improvement can sit comfortably outside a commercial relationship. Or outside a charitable organisation with the trappings of a commercial organisation; complete with its KPIs, budgets, organisational hierarchies, stakeholder relationship management and endless committees… Perhaps in a nation where too many people expect the State to solve their own problems, the family connections are real relationships to work on.
I just read a really interesting article on the McKinsey’s website ‘Artificial Intelligence meets the C-suite’, where some leading business academics discuss the implications of rapidly advancing artificial intelligence on conventional organisational structures run by senior executives. http://www.mckinsey.com/Insights/Strategy/Artificial_intelligence_meets_the_C-suite?cid=mckq50-eml-alt-mkq-mck-oth-1409
Rather than review the article, instead, here are some follow-on points to consider.
- In a future World influenced, if not dominated by AI and hyper-competition, will the strategic goal of capturing ‘sustainable competitive advantage’ instead become ‘maintain competitive advantage’, with advantage mostly gained by using data and cutting-edge analytical techniques?
- Will most future companies become more like MI5/MI6 – gathering and analysing data comprising most of the work and then acting in very specific ways, once insight is gained?
- With the rise of AI, will a growth job for human managers be to spend increasingly more time making judgements about whether to develop & deploy staff, versus commission AI to create/deliver products & services?
- Will next-generation, business process reengineering (BPR) instead become AI BPR?
- With the rise of AI, will ‘efficiency in limited-scope environments’ dominate over ‘inefficiency in wide-scope environments’, causing entrepreneurs to move their business models into that space? Some examples:
- to base their business model on data expertise (and rapidly go where the data takes them), not (staff) domain expertise,
- to simplify (value chain) negotiations,
- to simplify the challenge of motivating & leading staff,
- to simplify the need to gain political consensus,
- to balance internal data analysis (on costs, internal resources & activities) with external data analysis (on markets).
The evolution of jobs through history:
- In service, pieceworker or indentured serf,
- Salaried job for life,
- Series of ‘permanent’ roles,
- Portfolio of concurrent contracts for own clients,
- Portfolio of digital money machines,
The new consumer entertainment business model – houses are information deltas that data streams flow into.
Today’s career advice – work for minimum wage, until you can devise and start up a sustainable money machine of your own.
Today’s complex supply chain is tomorrow’s drone journey – drone deliveries of 3D printer raw materials e.g. from the oil fields to the biodegradable/recyclable plates & utensils that you print out for your dining table…
Old World Innovation chain
Researchers spend their life finding new insights.
Valuers (funders, financiers, analysts & appraisers) spend their life pricing the things that researchers uncover, so that Traders can exchange value.
Sometimes traders can also be researchers, but innovation impact (on society) is secondary to the direct value of the exchange.
New World Innovation chain?
Valuer’s set the innovation priorities based on innovation impact.
Researchers get to work and traders then exchange the outputs.