A talk from beyond tellerrand // DÜSSELDORF 2014.
Microsoft stock hit all-time highs this week, a reflection of investor confidence in Nadella’s pivot away from flagging consumer services like smartphones and toward business software delivered on the web. A company that for much of the 2000s tried in vain to fashion itself in the model of Apple or Google found a better target in its back yard in Amazon.com.
As intelligent technologies take over more and more of the decision-making territory once occupied by humans, are you taking any action? Are you sufficiently aware of the signs that you should? To help you get the head start you may need, here are the signs that it’s time to fly the nest. All of them are evidence that a knowledge worker’s job is on the path to automation.
Just as traditional media conditioned the audience to be passive consumers — first of commercial messages, then of products — the traditional organization conditioned employees to be obedient executors of bureaucratically disseminated work orders. Both are forms of broadcast: the few dictating the behavior of the many. The broadcast mentality isn't dead by any means. It's just become suicidal.
In contrast, the Internet invites participation. It is genuinely empowering, well beyond the cliché that word has become. And corporate intranets invite participation in the same way. There are strong reciprocal parallels between the open-ended curiosity of the new marketplace and the knowledge requirements of the new organization. The market-oriented Internet and workforce-focused intranet each relies on the other in fundamental and highly complementary ways. Without strong market objectives and connections, there is no viable focus for a company's Internet presence; without a strong intranet, market objectives and connections remain wishful thinking.