“Within an incredibly short time and space, the Internet is becoming dramatically mobile, social, video and artificially intelligent – encompassing everyone and everything, becoming ubiquitous as water, air or electricity. In this context, it is crucial to embrace yet to humanise and transcend technology; to hone in on what makes us truly human rather than a ‘better machine’: things such as imagination and intuition, creativity, problem-solving, complex understanding, improvisation, emotions and plasticity. We must therefore let go of the ‘machine-work’ – and most its traditional metrics, KPIs and success measurements – to truly reinvent what our jobs, work and ‘professional services’ can mean in the future.” Gerd Leonhard

Deep technologies are developing fast while our understanding of human potential is not evolving at the same pace as we race towards exponential change.

As blockchain, smart contracts, robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, FinTech, VR/AR, nanotechnology, genetic engineering and the IoT revolutionize our world, we need to revolutionize our human practices to co-evolve with the digital transformation towards a future of sustained vitality.

Legacy human resources, leadership development and organizational development models and practices were created for a mechanistic, silo’d world: centralized, controlled from the top, layered with many (sometimes) conflicting and 20th century philosophies and ideas about human psychology, motivation and potential. In the VUCA world these are frequently expensive and difficult to implement, and often require dependency on a few experts who come with industrial strengths best practice accreditations, making it almost impossible to be agile, scale or change. Scientific evidence and advances in understanding human nature are available that demonstrates the poor return on investment and impact, for example, leadership development.

Merely disrupting people practices using new technology such as cognitive systems and decentralized technologies, will simply extend, accelerate and embed industrial operating systems and obsolete paradigms, such as extractive practices that harm other life forms,  into the future. This will re-create the problems that brought us here. Despite the promise of singularity, this could prevent humans from realizing their potential to co-create a more positive  and hope inspiring future.

We need to rewrite the technologies of human development.

A co-founder of Digital FuturesManie Eagar and I developed a white paper  to kickstart thinking and initiatives for adaptive and digital futures leadership to fuel the distributed future of the digital economy: