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Radically Human: How New Technology Is Transforming Business and Shaping Our Future – is the title of the recently published book, whose authors, Paul Daugherty and H. James Wilson spoke at an HBR event last week.

According to them, the trend is that AI is becoming less artificial but more human. We spent billions on developing machines and technology and wanted people to adopt them. We seem to be reaching a pivotal point, when we, humans are getting into the primary role. The following aspects are critically important for the successful CEO of the future:

  1. Total enterprise reinvention, which practically means digital transformation. It is needless to say that it is not about technology only but it incorporates the transformation of the enterprise, including its business model, that is how an organization makes money.
  2. Talent, i.e., the access to talent amidst the cross-border competition brought about by the technical developments and the behavioral changes induced on all of us by the COVID pandemic.
  3. Sustainability, especially the environmental sustainability of the multiple elements of sustainability. We seem to have one chance only to deal with the CO2 emission, global warming, waste management water treatment, etc. And this chance is now.
  4. Metaverse. It will reshape the enterprise. It is believed to have its impact on the retail industry first, however, as the Metaverse develops, you’ll find new opportunities for its application. Or, if you look at the Metaverse from another angle, its development will create use cases unimaginable today.
  5. Ongoing tech revolution. It is unstoppable.  Think about the developments in edge computing, (a distributed computing paradigm) AI, cloud computing, and the cloud-first approach – just to name a few are going to be critically important.

Humans in the driver’s seat

Albeit the unstoppable tech revolution and the development of AI, organizations will continue to be led by humans. As the authors put it, it is not the algorithms but people, who will lead the change. Their decisions will shape the organizations. It is the role of humans to get inspired by technological advancement and make decisions for the best use thereof. Having recognized this, the leading and startup AI developers seem to be making a shift towards an emotionally enabled digital world.

However, the speed of change requires managers to act immediately. Can they act now?

I believe that those who have a proactive mindset can take action. Irrespective of the size of their business, they can, too, utilize AI. We are witnessing the democratization of the cloud and AI.

Contrary to the trends in the past when the data hunger put AI out of reach of smaller organizations, machines these days and in the future tend to operate using fewer data. Data-efficient approaches enable machines to learn like humans. This enables them to support us as fellow humans would do.

Accessing cloud-based solutions was relatively expensive. It is expected that in the future, with the inherently lower overall costs of AI, AI-supported intelligence and insights will become available and accessible for SMEs too.

Novel Strategies

Leaders need to realize that THE BUSINESSES OF TOMORROW WILL ALL BE TECH COMPANIES. Therefore novel strategies are required to make them successful. The authors highlight the following 3 in their book:

  1. Forever Beta: allow your customers to see the value and utility of their purchase grow over time rather than fade (An example is Tesla, which offers digitally updateable cars through the cloud)
  2. Minimum Viable Idea: target weak links in a traditional industry, provide a superior customer experience, and bring products and services to the market immediately.
  3. Co-lab strategies produce superior results in the sciences or other knowledge-intensive environments through human-guided, machine-driven discovery.

In summary, to me it seems apparent that with the democratization of technologies, as the title of the new book suggests, a “Radically Human” era is approaching: one that is rooted in human capabilities using revolutionary technologies. Technology is a change enabler. The key differentiators of the corporates will be the new soft elements: talent, trust, experiences, and sustainability.

How will your corporate grab the emerging opportunities and apply novel strategies? How will you build a more human-centered, trust-based, and sustainable enterprise?

There is no “one fits all” recipe. It is up to the individual CEOs to make their choice.


Learn about how ADG Management Consulting can assess your Digital Maturity Index using the proprietary method developed by Digitopia Global Consulting and suggest strategies to transform your business to meet the digital challenges of tomorrow. Read about DMI here and contact us for a free consultation.