In a nutshell, what am I working on?
Problem: Due to technology acceleration, information overload and network connectedness, our civil systems are becoming more complex at a compounded exponential rate. The human brain was designed by evolution for a far simpler hunting and gathering world. While the animal instinct is to be optimistic (and therefore creative), combined with routinely adapting to change, this sometimes leads to wilful blindness of the cumulative problem. There is growing evidence that many people are suffering mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and compulsive-obsessive disorders because their ability to find certainty is being taxed (future shock). We are living on a quickly ‘dancing landscape’ with little forecast for a slowdown. In this context, entrepreneurs, small and medium sized businesses (and non-profit organizations) face a growing challenge in planning and managing for success. Every system has constraints and every growth pattern that involves super-exponential growth will come to an end (chaos, collapse or consolidation).
Solution: Reduce complexity by understanding the deeper patterns (of similarity and difference) that repeat throughout nature and throughout civilization (complex adaptive systems). This will involve taking the next step in the current paradigm shift from linear to systems thinking and supplementing it with access to 1) a suite of integrated software applications that support decision making in complex adaptive systems; and 2) other like-minded people who are prepared to organize, share and collaborate in various ways for common purposes.
Mission: To establish a service that integrates personal, organizational and artificial intelligence (IT solutions) through live and online participation to help people understand and navigate through their complex civil and natural environments to optimize their performance.
Vision: Users will learn to understand their business organizations and environments using systems thinking, organizational resources and software models appropriately, effectively and efficiently. Users will interact with each other mainly online in a cloud with personal accounts, profiles and dashboards. There will be live local forums as well for discussion of common and shared issues, and training, as well as public debate for governance issues.
The system will take advantage of open source software (SAAS) and build additional capacity through research and development afforded by user fee revenues. Access to a big data warehouse is also provided. This system works best on a large scale, giving users access to software resources and expertise (as needed) that normally only large corporations can afford.
Decision making processes are almost the same whether a user is deciding a marketing strategy or a public policy, so the same system can be used for private business and public policy. This supports those users who want to be good corporate citizens targeting the triple bottom line. Profit planning is total net value-added planning.
As the emphasis is on integrated intelligence services it would be appropriate to use the co-operative business model so that the members are able to participate in company governance — one member-one share-one vote. Investment class non-voting shares may also be included.
Sure it’s grandiose, but it is also doable with a plan and some effort, and worth doing.
Incidentally, as I survey the work of other thinkers, I notice that many want to hold their ideas close to the chest and are extremely careful how they engage others. Yet there is evidence in the literature on innovation that the open collaboration approach actually gets better results.