” the best way to solving human problems at scale is to focus on what we CAN do, and make sure we are intentionally working to get there”
Kate and I delve into the future world of tech, exploring trends and different technology and human enabled ways of meeting business objectives in today’s world. When it comes to alignment, it is difficult to bring business, human and digital strands together, in particular in terms of big data and AI, and many organisations do not understand the strands well enough yet.
We touch on responsible tech, bigger societal issues and the need to be clear and intentional about purpose and ethics in a world that is becoming more complex by the minute as technology connects us to everything in every way ! We must invest in building trust and repairing division, interacting with people in person, hearing and listening to others. Emerging tech brings with it enormous capacity and scale, but what do we want to scale? How do leaders and organisations answer this question with purpose and optimism, to bridge the digital/human gap intelligently ?
Kate shares her research, insights and experience from her books and from working with leaders all over the globe.
The main insights you’ll get from this episode are :
– We have an ancient fear of tech taking over our lives/humanity, but it is really a means to meet business objectives; business leaders must align their objectives with human objectives and outcomes and use the alignment to build tech around them.
– When it comes to alignment, it is difficult to bring business, human and digital strands together, in particular in terms of big data and AI, and many organisations do not understand the strands well enough, e.g. C-suite human dynamics.
– Many leaders do not know how to act appropriately in the face of AI – when any deployment could be out of date within months – but it is far less about tech and far more about aligning the organisation, which will outlast any tech deployment.
– Transformation is not led by tech but by strategy based around alignment; it is about serving people well during transformation by having a strategy that begins with organisational purpose – this is a useful north star for organisations and ultimately a very human concept.
– What we do in business is driven by what we want to accomplish and what matters; innovation is what is going to matter and shows us what we need to do to get to a future we want – experimenting with new tech is good, but it should not lead anything.
– Tech for good and responsible tech are on the rise and have seen many different efforts, e.g. hackathons to create tools and systems to serve people, civic tech to help people; tech ethics looks at how businesses deploy tech in support of their products/services in a responsible way to avoid unintended consequences and harm to downstream communities.
– It is vital not to abandon ethical concerns as AI is on the rise and to align business objectives with responsible action. The UN’s sustainable development goals (SDG) can be used as a roadmap for a better, brighter future and to improve life for everyone on the planet.
– Responsible tech needs to become as important as DE&I but it is currently often just a talking point rather than an action plan, but it is at least the start of discourse. It is a challenging time for making big decisions in a changing technology landscape and we must consider the future for bankable foresights.
– Within organisations, there must be individual personal agency, speaking truth to power with compassion, and mirroring inwards what’s being mirrored outwards – a ‘future so bright’ involves addressing the biggest challenges ahead, such as climate resilience, and adapting tech-centric projects for how we live today.
– The biggest influence of tech on jobs and the future of work will be in relation to employee/ employer contracts and the future of jobs – career paths and the future of education – as well as the future of money and value (e.g. data ownership, new economies, basic income).
– Strategic optimism takes an intellectually rigorous approach to building a brighter future by embracing uncomfortable truths, being positive and having a positive impact – the biggest transformative opportunity ahead is alignment with the UN’s SDGs.
– We must invest in building trust and repairing division, interacting with people in person, hearing and listening to others (to prevent ‘the filter bubble’ effect as described by Eli Pariser) – leaders must be able to receive and accept ideas and provide psychological safety.
– Emerging tech brings with it enormous capacity and scale, but what do we want to scale? Profound discussions are required to answer this question and the clearer organisations are about it, the more likely responsible decision-making becomes.
Find out more about Kate and her work here :