On December 31, 2016 I wrote a post entitled Emergence of the Human Age, and that it is only beginning to emerge. It was a brief post about what I saw as a new age where people will thrive enabled by the 2nd Machine Age. That humans will be liberated to be human again, freed from the shackles of the Industrial Age, tapping into uniquely human creative potential atop the digital platform.
That digital technologies are eliminating work and routinized decisions heretofore the domain of humans, it is inevitable. And this is good. It is freeing humans to be human again.
The Execution Engines of value creation systems are being digitally integrated and automated augmented with embedded artificial intelligence, diminishing the need for humans to do this work. And this is good, it is freeing humans to do what we uniquely can do that machines cannot, and that is to create, to innovate.
This means that competitive advantage lies not in the Execution Engine, but in the Innovation Engine, fueled by the human mind. The digital platform is enabling exponential growth in human productivity.
This is a complete shift from Industrial Age thinking where the status quo was dominant, the Execution Engine was king, where innovation threatened smooth running of the machine. Innovation was highly controlled, compliance with process and procedure ruled the day.
Recently I had another epiphany, that we are evolving into an age of continuous transformation, where flexibility in the Execution system across the value creation system is king, fully automated, digitally integrated and controlled. Enterprise capabilities are being unbundled and dispersed as nodes spanning highly configurable value creation networks.
Continuous (incremental) change is giving way to continuous transformation of business systems atop digital platforms spanning value creation ecosystems. And it takes humans to create and leverage platform capabilities resulting in an explosion of new products and services.
Where collaboration among Actors across the value creation system is paramount fueling innovation and execution across the expanse of the system with Trust as the accelerating factor. Where win-win relationships dominate, both internal and external to the enterprise.
Human work is shifting to continuous innovation fueling continuous transformation. No longer are capital assets the king of balance sheets, nay, intellectual assets, namely human capital (People) will be, fueling innovative new products and services leveraging the digitized ecosystem.
How do you unlock this creative human potential? Create an environment where it is safe to challenge and change the status quo, where People are not threatened in any way. Where People are not negatively affected by change, but assured of continuous engagement in the Innovation Engine, where they can continually grow.
Innovative thought and collective collaboration need to be prized, not squelched. Where innovative thought is not just the domain of a chosen few, but the domain of all, channeled and energized with a clear sense of purpose and meaning.
This is what I see. It’s time to embrace it.
What do you see?