The revolution will not be digitised
How decentralisation is the key to future productivity
The increasing focus on automation, self-driving cars and AI, conflicted by trends around populist autonomy is a formula that leads to one logical conclusion: decentralisation.
Before we begin to look at decentralisation, we must first understand the recent history of productivity growth within organisations. Matthias Kipping identified three waves of consulting, the first known as Taylorism or scientific management. Through this branch of consulting, organisations were able to increase productivity by improving the working environments of their individuals, introducing breaks and raising wages to promote competitive labour markets.
From the mid-20th century onwards we saw an increasing take up of strategy, led by the multi-divisional form; the transfer of power from a central organisation or parent company to semi-autonomous business units and a range of smaller companies.
The introduction of technology in 1970’s and 1980’s provided the platform for the third wave organisations who could identify significant productivity gains through computing technology. But whilst computers will continue to play an important role in an organisations productivity, it is important for organisations to realise people; internal workforce and external customers and business partners remain their greatest asset.
The rising capabilities of technology means we are now able to realise opportunities through new concepts such as the gig economy and gamification, both ideas which offer a greater ability to increase productivity by transferring power and responsibilities to the individual. Rather than fight to retain control over their employees, the organisations of the future will serve their people rather than seek to replace them through technology.
How to prepare for decentralisation
To take the next step forward, organisations need to reinvent themselves in the image of a decentralised organisation, harmonising strategy, organisational structure and technology together to empower stakeholders.
Over the next few months we will be covering decentralisation in more detail:
- Coming up with a decentralised strategy
- Centralised versus decentralised organisation structures
- Decentralised enabling technologies
As technology continues to evolve we will find out how the future continues to be shaped around decentralisation, providing greater autonomy for individuals, families and communities. In order for organisations to succeed and increase productivity they would do well to recognise that the next level of productivity will not come about by enhancements to existing technologies, but instead newer systems that offer greater controls to the individuals, incentivising and rewarding that in turn drives greater productivity in the process.
The revolution will be decentralisation.