Paul Fielding, Ph.D.
The Systems Premise
When Artificially Intelligent computers appear to make
smart decisions it is because of the data, methods, and
processes they use, which are run on a capable
infrastructure; the totality of their systems function
together to exhibit behavior that in specialized domains
can be seen as smart. By contrast, intelligent people
can often come together to make a decision, and the
result can often be something far less than smart.
Frequently, what may happen in those cases is that the
supporting data, methods, and processes the team of
smart people used to make their decision fail them; they
failed to function as an intelligent organization. When a
good person has to work in a bad system, the bad
system usually wins.
Additionally, it is not sufficient to have defined
processes. The infrastructure must also be established
to support those processes. That is to say, the
processes must be reasonably useable by the people
of the organization. The lack of a supporting
infrastructure not only can make good processes moot,
but also can encourage the development of "shadow
processes," "work-arounds," and all sorts of odd
behaviors that may be less than good for the
Bottom line: Many organizational / business problems
are grown from poor processes and poor supporting
infrastructures. Demanding people work harder is not
the solution. Fix the processes and fix the supporting
infrastructure, and results can be amazing!
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