BohoBusiness

Winning in the Age of Bohonomics

Archive for the tag “winning”

Robots and Bohemians: Unholy Alliance for Better Futures?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Jari Kaivo-oja (Research Director, Finland Futures Research Centre, Turku School of Economics, University of Turku)

“Science, says Kevin Kelly, is the process of changing how we know things.  It is the foundation our culture and society.  While civilizations come and go, science grows steadily onward.  It does this by watching itself.” – https://edge.org/conversation/speculations-on-the-future-of-science Rise of the Robots is a landmark book which continues the provocative analyses of Lights in the Tunnel of Martin Ford (2009).

Silicon Valley entrepreneur Martin Ford gives us new and updated arguments to the discussion of technological revolution we are facing today everywhere, in the US, in the Euro zone and in the BRICS countries. Not only developed post-industrial countries rely on advanced robotics – but also developing countries are adopting new AI and robotics solutions. Only few eminent thinkers think about the futures of corportions and nations after rise of robots. Fortunatelly – we have eminent scholar and engineer Martin Ford to think forward. Technological foresight analyses tell that next 15-20 years are meaning enormous and disruptive changes in our economies and business networks. The threat of jobless future and massive technological unemployment are real and evidence-based. Only the very fool conventional neoclassical economist doubts it.

System modeler Martin Ford provides a lot of empirical evidence from US, which indicate not marginal changes but massive technological disruptions in the US economy. Martin Ford continues the tradition of John Maynard Keynes in his discussion about technological unemployment. He also continues the tradition of Joseph Schumpeter in his discussion of disruptive technological changes (McKinsey Global Institute 2013) . Martin Ford has now updated these classical analyses to meet the grand challenges of today and tomorrow. We must give full respect to him.

AI and robotics are making “good jobs” obsolete and vanishing. Smart software, robots and AI-based solutions replace many white-collar jobs. Paralegals, journalists, office workers, teachers, health care professionals and even computer programmers are poised to be replaced by disruptive technological innovations. Autonomous robotics and swarm robotics change many service architectures and service designs. Key change – identified by Martin Ford is that a tight relationship between wages and productivity does not hold any more in the US economy. This is a dangerous phenomenon for the future welfare of people. Robotics is not a novel issue in the economic history. In industries and agriculture there have been a lot of robots and automation solutions. All we know the Luddites discussion and Race Against Machine analyses of Brynjolfsson and McAfee (2011) (http://www.amazon.com/Race-Against-The-Machine-Accelerating-ebook/dp/B005WTR4Z ).

Now newest thing is the emergence of service robotics. We can see many service robotics innovations in health care, hotel and recreation industries, retailing, and libraries – and in many other service sectors. Personally, I think that Mr Martin Ford is absolutely right when he notes that we are moving towards a new economic paradigm of smart machines. He is not in bad company, because there are such research fellows like Ray Kurzweill and Michio Kaku, who think in similar way. Personally, I respect these eminent research fellows. It is also good to remember that Gardner Inc notes that “CIOs must start considering how to develop ethical programming for smart machines”. Realizing the potential of smart machines and AI — and ensuring successful outcomes for the businesses and societies that rely on them — will hinge on how trusted smart machines are and how well they maintain that trust. The trust matters. Central to establishing this trust will be ethical values that people recognize and are comfortable with. Transparency of rise of the robots will be needed.

There will be need to develop policies and social innovations which recognize disruptive innovations and their impacts on industries and services. As Martin Ford says we need transformation of higher education, new thinking in the health care sector, new industrial Industry 4.0 strategies (as Germans say it), national robotics strategies (like From Internet to Robotics, 2013) and new kind of consumer politics. We need also new social innovations for the super-intelligence solutions and for the singularity. Radical innovations cannot be managed by incremental innovations. More fundamental new ideas and inventions will be needed. These ideas must go beyond crazy year of  1848 (see De Maesschalck 2005 and  http://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/888/). We are busy now to respond to these “old challenges of capitalism”. New capitalism needs BohoBusiness (2015) thinking if we want to be honest to ourselves.

It is interesting to compare our recent book BohoBusiness – Winning in the Age of Bohonomics with Martin Ford´s outstanding book Rise of the Robots. Our book shares many similar themes with Martin Ford´s book.  In our book key theme is a question: What human beings should do in the conditions of disruptive changes?  Our approach to question is linked to the analyses of learning, bohemian attitude, flexible radical organization culture, role of human creativity and social innovations. These issues are vital in the conditions of radical and disruptive changes. We are also discussion much about global trends and associated changes. In this context the ownership and distribution of wealth are not marginal issues. For example, creating a learning and creative hybrid economy in the conditions of robotics will be a very challenging social and cultural issue. Our book provides some new fresh insights to this broad old challenging issue.

Probably a biggest issue in robotics debate will be the question: “How are we organizing society when too many people are coming into the labor market and too many machines are throwing people out?”.  Our sincere answer is focused on self-organization of individuals, organizations and institutions of capitalism, because we rely on the learning capacity of capitalism. First pre-condition for this kind of self-organization is, of course, future awareness. Both Martin Ford´s book (2015) and our book (2015) have already now improved future awareness of many people and decision-makers. We need more political and economic decision-makers who understand complex social problems like robotics and AI driven society. However, a new economic paradigm is not automatically developed. We know quite well this societal challenge. One can just study the current storyline of post-modern Greece and its economy to understand this.

I just was an expert in the EU OSHA Bilbao conference in Bilbao, Spain in May 2015, where the official delegate member of Greece explained to me in EU OSHA workshop session what robotics means for Greece. I was informed that it means cosmetics robotics in isolated islands for them and they were very happy with this strategic economic growth approach.  In the session, the German delegate explained to me much more comprehensive program of the robotics strategy in German economy. To conclude …. pre-conditions on robotics matter – whether it is in the U.S. or China – just to mention it for curiosity. Of course, I know that US strategy “From Internet to Robotics” (2013) is a smart strategy and Ford focuses on it. Smart action from him, indeed. To sum up … the real character of corporations and organizations still matters. Organizations´ culture can make or break their existence and business. We still need visionaries and change makers. In many cases they are radical and bohemian game changers. In BohoBusiness we propose an unholy partnership: bohemian individuals and organizations combined with smart machines.

This combination is motivated with Win + (Win*Win) logic: A manager is saying: “I” = Win. A leader is saying: “Me = Win * Win”. A social innovator is saying: “We all” = Win + (Win*Win). Our message is: Grand robotics and AI strategy should follow “We all” –logic.

BohoBusiness book tells how this strategy will be implemented in real life contexts. Mercenary futures (not fragmented and alienated) futures wait for us, if we understand this BohoBusiness -equation.

Buy BohoBusiness

References

A Roadmap for U.S. Robotics From Internet to Robotics, 2013 Edition. Web: https://robotics-vo.us/sites/default/files/2013%20Robotics%20Roadmap-rs.pdf

Andersson, Cristina & Kaivo-oja, Jari (2015) BohoBusiness. Winning in the Age Bohonomics. Talentum. Helsinki.

Brynjolfsson, Erik & McAfee, Andrew (2011) Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy. Digital Frentier Press. Lexinton, Massachusetts.

Cunliffe, John and Guido Erreygers (2001) “The Enigmatic Legacy of Fourier: Joseph Charlier and Basic Income”, History of Political Economy 33(3), pp. 459–484. De Maesschalck, Edward (2005) Marx in Brussel. Davidsfonds. Louvain.

Ford, Martin (2009). Lights in the Tunnel. Automation Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future. Acculant Publishing. USA.

Ford, Martin (2015) Rise of the Robots. Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future. Basic Books. New York.

McKinsey Global Institute (2013) Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy. May 2013. Report by James Manyika, Michael Chui, Jacques Bughin, Richard Dobbs, Peter Bisson, and Alex Marrs. http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/business_technology/disruptive_technologies

The Boho Bottom Line

Inarguably are we entering a new era where all kind of measuring based on the means of the industrial age are passé, and not only that. They can be pernicious as well. An old saying claims that you get what you measure and that is quite true – we have been measuring beans and coins and that is what we’ve got, lot’s of money somewhere marked with a minus and somewhere else with a plus. Funny thing is that actually the beans and coins game has ended up as a minus sum game as the global debt shambles is out of control.

Companies CSR efforts have not resulted in radical betterings partly perhaps because they are used merely as tools for PR.

In 1994 John Elkington suggested Triple Bottom Line approach where the companies bottom line should be expressed three dimensionally: people, planet & profit. The idea faded away with cost cutting being the main priority for businesses.

An interesting discussion about Shared Value is going on and leading us once again to discuss capitalism and it’s benefits and flaws. Prof Michael Porter presents a positive view while John Elkington is a bit dubious.

Why is the discussion of the bottom line and capitalism so important for the modern Bohemians and BohoBusinesses? We do not believe that money is going away as a tool for exchange. As Prof. Tom G. Palmer says: money is an tool for dignified exchange of products and services. As a creative worker I more than agree with Tom’s statement, bartering can be satisfactory for some time but in the long run it brings about dissonance between people. Well, and does not contribute to the society in form of taxes neither.

When thinking about the new solutions for businesses to contribute to the common global good we  cannot and should not forget the people’s and companies pursuit to win and by so means create profits that can be invested in new endeavors for development and better lives.

Therefore we see that the Bohemian way to look at sustainable business, BohoBusiness, is the win*win(+win). In this equation the partie’s create multiple wins and also cause beneficial impacts to third parties. In other words we are not denying the creation of wealth, profitable business and the thriving of individuals, teams and organizations but we suggest they along with their strategies and actions strive to find ways to contribute to the society and the planet as well, not only as individual companies but as a part of partnerships as well.

In the win*win(+win) way we believe that the Bohobusinesses can take CSR, Shared Value and TBL into their strategies, tactics, operations and daily actions. The win*win(+win) provides also the artistic and innovative Bohemians an ethical scheme to look at their work also from the point of view of profits and on the other hand for the economics and material oriented a way to take the +win as a part of their paradigm.

Actually the +win is the key to great victories and profits in the more and more robotizing world. The deals between partners are often times such that they do not require broad and creative intelligence. Seeing the future, the planet and the needs of humanity on the other hand require such abilities to conceive that the robots are hardly getting there yet in some decades.

Besides, we are here to have fun, enjoy our lives, our families, to work with passion, to connect and cooperate with others. We all have unique talents and skills. It is our birthright to live up to our best selves. This is to win and with win*win(+win) we can multiply the joy and make life and business a co-thriving journey.

All set up for a win*win(+win) session at The Helsinki Music House.

On The Way To Performance Centered Organizations?

Today many entrepreneurs, managers and business leaders think what are the secrets to business success? And where shall we find these secrets? The typical answers are: new technologies, new young smart people, new management techniques, and the active use of social media.

Another way to answer to this question is to ask: What destroys business efficiency, productivity, competitiveness, product quality and profitability?

An obvious answer is average performance which is based on average management techniques and average workers. Going beyond average is not easy because we love to be average persons with a normal and standard behavior. “I am only working here – do not expect too much” is so typical attitude in many workplaces.

We like to meet the expectations of an average behavior. Actually being something beyond the average is often punished by managers. There are also many trendy fashions in the management literature of organizations. That is why some answers about business success are short-lived.

Building up the performance-centered organization has been an obvious answer to business success. The key to avoiding the performance gap and the “average dilemma” is to become a performance-centered organization.

To build a performance-centered company or a team is not easy. Even more difficult it is to create a performance-centetered network. Unfortunatelly we cannot “photoshop” our organizations, teams or networks to be “performance-centred”. We must seek other more realistic management solutions.

Of course, we remember some business gurus told us some years ago that we must learn the habits of ancient Samurai sword fighting and Attila the Hun leadership secrets in an effort to be more competitive. They said we must look at our mirror and make changes.

Some gurus told us to rely on knowledge and knowledge management. They said that knowledge will be the new capital of the twenty-first century. Information technology, then, must be the big answer, right? Yes of course, because the world now is too complex, too competitive for companies and agencies to be successful without powerful and integrated knowledge management systems. However, knowledge is not enough to guarantee business success. We need real social and intellectual capital There are many companies, who certainly have a lot of expertise, information and knowledge, but something is still missing. What is this small something?

One missing element can be the way we work in organizations, how we perform our jobs in workplaces. Are we working like average persons or are we trying to reach something special? Are we dreaming about something out of box?

The natural tendency in many organizations is to seek high-level, single-focus solutions, business process re-engineering, strategic planning, new technology and system architectures and designs.

These tendencies are important – no doubt – but often we must also think our values, attitudes and real actions. We may need more bohemian attitudes and actions in workplaces. We need more bohemian spirit. We may need also more every day’s creativity and more ambient ideas and inventions. Then we may be on a way to a performance-centered workplace.

The real performance of working people will make up the organizations. Moments of value creation are important for the business success.

When someone really presents new ideas, novelties, decides, invents, acts or thinks in a radical way, they are probably moving towards a performance-centered organization.

The Bohemian X Factor is probably a very good answer to a better business success. We must believe in bohemian diversity as a key resource of business success. Too formal and homogenous corporate culture may not be very smart approach to a performance-centered workplace. As the Richard Florida proposed tolerance is a key explanatory variable in the success of cities. Flocks of bohemian types, or bohos, are important to the future of any city. This tolerance argument is also relevant in the context of organizations and companies. Other T:s of Richard Florida were technology and talents.

INDEX
1. Samurai sword fighting
Web: http://www.ehow.com/list_6669264_samurai-sword-fighting-styles.html

2. Attila the Hun
Web: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atila_the_hun
3. Richard Florida
Web: http://www.creativeclass.com/richard_florida
4. Bohos
Wellman, L. (2002) Freaks, geeks, bohos — hey, it’s the Bay Area. Turday, June 6, 2002. Web: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi- bin/article/comments/view?f=/c/a/2002/06/06/MN161689.DTL

The BohoCompany Takes (W)initiative

The future winners are those who take the initiave. Those who create winning opportunities and change the game to favor their own strengths and capacities. These are people and companies we call The Bohos. The Bohos are builders for a better world, better functioning communities and more effective systems.

From AdHoc to WinHoc

Amidst changes, new ways and means of work people and companies often find themselves acting adhoc. In other words they invest on forming teams to solve problems. Mending systems. Filling gaps. Dousing fires. They examine the past and make decisions based on history, not the future. Not the scenario and vision they said they so much believe in.

It is always as staggering to realize the chasm between the powerpoints and real life decisions. The fancy terms on a white board doesn’t seem to have much to do when the reason of the now resurrect the deeds of the past, the terms of yesterday and the good old strategies that used to help when the pecking order was more important than knowledge.

The ice cold truth thus is: best practice wont help you. Next practice can be out of date when you learn it. You need to create your own, authentic, inimitable winning practice.

“The ice cold truth is: best practice cannot help you. Next practice can be out of date when you learn it. You need to create your own, authentic, inimitable winning practice.”

There is no way you can trust the traditional strategic competence. Your strategy train may not visit the station where the opportunities are showing up and things are happening. The old idea about tactics might be out of date – unethical. You cannot justify your actions with company policy nor argue that the good purpose will hallow the means.

Forget about agility. Agility means lean and lean means production and production means industries which will be taken over by automats and robots. They are agile – if you program them to be. Core competencies? No way! The effectiveness of the industrial age is not for the humans of today. And definitely not for the Bohos creating the future. Learning, enthusiasm and the ability to find right people to the right places beat the core competents with flying colours.

The Bohos take winning initiatives, they build winning oppotunities and situations. They plant seeds for new victories. They act WinHoc and their guiding principal is win*win(+win). They take care that winning results are achieved for both parties and also for a third party – for those who need to be considered be it the environment, the poor, the weak, the less fortunate.

From Initiative To Victory

The WinHoc is a dynamic version of AdHoc. When the AdHoc emerges as a reaction to a perceived need, the WinHoc starts up voluntarily and on one’s own initiative. In a WinHoc you take a powerful initiative. An initiative where you see a great potential to win. A person or a company acting WinHoc builds situations that are beneficial for their strengths and capacities and the strive to thrive in those situations.

WinHoc is inventorship with courage to bring up something totally new into discussions, markets and to the development – without having an order to do so *). The valuebase  win*win(+win) guarantees that WinHoc is ethical. Win*win aims to multiple wins and profits between partners and (+) challenges to create winning effects there where those effects are needed. Win*win(+win) can turn every action, plan and communication into a world bettering project, if you just conceive the philosophy in a right way and turn it into an every day practice.

“Win*win(+win) can turn every action, plan and communication into a world bettering project.”

To wrap this post up: The Bohos act WinHoc. WinHoc is a strategic/tactical way of action based on:

  1. Powerful initiative
  2. Dynamic creation of opportunities and situations where the potential to win is ample
  3. Winning the situations with the values and principles of win*win(+win)

WinHoc is more than being proactive. WinHoc is about dynamic creation and co-creation. Bohos acting WinHoc constantly ask: “what do we want to create?” and “what is next?”.

Competition Is A Happy Place

Many think competition is a bad and an exhausting place. This should not be true. Competition is not bad nor good. It is what you make it. Competition should be a place to come together and measure skills in order to find ideas for learning and improvement. Competition is  a way to find the right people to the right places and to create winning results. Authentic winning results emanate good. Competition comprehended in a right way does not exhaust but invests on greatness, character and challenge. Exhaustion is born from the constant constraint of peak performance. In a winning BohoCompany it is accepted that  a peak performance is not always needed but for the most of the times a winning performance where you align the energy with task at hand is sufficient.

What could prevent WinHoc from succeeding? A wrong attitude. It is impossible to act WinHoc if you do not accept that creative capacities, skills, sharp opinions, powerful insights go before status and strongholds. You need a lot of courage if you want to be a Boho and co-create with other Bohos who refuse to lie doggo in the comfybox of the status quo but are true to their highest values and authentic selves.

It takes a lot of  courage to act WinHoc but if you want to create a beautiful future, it is necessary.

To act WinHoc is to plant a rose where the other’s cannot see the opportunity for beauty and growth.

_________

(*)”Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.”  Albert Einstein

Post Navigation