Throughout human history, progress has almost never been made by individuals acting alone, but rather by the power of groups. Thomas Malone calls these groups “superminds” – entities like hierarchies, communities, markets, and democracies that can accomplish far more by drawing upon their collective abilities to create, learn, and make decisions together. In this talk based on his recent book, Superminds, Malone uses striking examples and case studies to show how computers can help create much more intelligent superminds, not just with artificial intelligence, but perhaps even more importantly with hyper-connectivity: connecting people to one another at massive scales and in rich, new ways.
It’s easy to think that digital business success depends on becoming more mobile, social, and analytical. But that barely hints at how digital technologies are changing business. SMACIT (social, mobile, analytics, cloud, internet of things)—and more recent technology arrivals like artificial intelligence, robotics, and biometrics—are ridiculously affordable, easy to use, and powerful. Anyone can acquire and use these technologies—your customers, your employees, your partners, your competitors (and your future competitors). Consequently, you will never generate a competitive edge by simply adopting some digital technology. How will companies create competitive advantage digitally? Speed and integration—the antithesis of what most established companies are designed for. Thus to become more agile and integrated, companies must not only use digital technologies effectively, they must fundamentally redesign themselves. Drawing on examples such as Philips, LEGO, Schneider Electric, and BNY Mellon, we describe how big, old companies are designing themselves for digital success.