The Intelligence Age

Introduction

This is the intelligence age. The human race has made dramatic advances in the past 2 decades that has fundamentally changed the pace and manner of living and working. Contrary to popular belief, whilst this has brought about a myriad of tangible benefits like improved cycle times, agility, convenience and lower costs, in the end we as a human race have to shift gears such that we can operate on a rapid pace, higher information load whilst simultaneously applying a higher level of intelligence. Think about it what’s been happening in the workplace. Systems are being implemented from all angles in order to make certain tedious tasks more efficient for workers (like raw data collection and reporting), lest costly (outsourcing/streamlining), more communication and transparency (email, websites). Ironically the result is that we all have more stress arising from information-bombardment: it’s more than we can typically handle, and then we tend to over-optimise, and even when we’re done we still worry if we have considered the many alternatives possible… So imagine your working life 5 years from now. Imagine that you had just one super device that did it all – computer, videophone, media centre, GPS and Internet gateway. You would be connected wirelessly almost anywhere, be able to charge it universally, and best of all you could dock it at home, the office and your car. Imagine that almost everyone around you had the same or similar device, and that information could be downloaded and/or transferred among you seamlessly, efficiently and effortlessly. Imagine that most services and transactions could be conducted over the Internet or in person by a mere wireless business card-signature swipe. 5% of you are probably not impressed by such a device. Because you know already that these technologies are already available, but probably not in widespread use already. 20% of you suspect that it will come in due course and that at some point you will get around to getting one, once there’s wider spread adoption in the market. 75% of you are thinking that this will be either a passing phase, or yet another means to add confusion to your normal working life. Now imagine if you had that device right now, in your current job function, or if you are in a management position, that all your subordinates and stakeholders were so equipped. What could you be doing with it? Or to turn the table, how could you still be adding value? Think about these questions carefully – how much of your time and effort is presently spent capturing, filtering, processing and packaging information? What if all your stakeholders had unlimited capacity for and effortless access to the same information? How much of your value added would be taken away?