03 April 2016

Fifth Discipline: The Evolution of Digital Intelligence...

"Learning organizations themselves may be a form of leverage on the complex system of human endeavors.  Building learning organizations involves developing people who learn to see as systems thinkers see, who develop their own personal mastery, and who learn how to surface and restructure mental models, collaboratively.  Given the influence of organizations in today's world, this may be one of the most powerful steps towards helping us "rewrite the code," altering not just what we think but our predominant ways of thinking.  In this sense, learning organizations may be a tool not just for evolution of organizations, but for the evolution of intelligence."  --Peter M. Senge -The Fifth Discipline - 1990

Many senior executives and a cadre of experienced Ops Risk professionals who are waking up across the globe today, keep this text book within arms reach.  Why?  All 413 pages of wisdom and knowledge transfer, is applicable this moment, even though it was written and practiced several years before the commercial Internet was born.  Our respective cadre of "Intelligence Analysts" spans the organization continuously seeking the truth, analyzing the growing mosaic, applying new context and taking relevant actions.

In an environment now vastly more virtual, far beyond the paper pages of Senge's book, lies the contemporary intelligence of "IBM's Watson."  At the finger tips of the FireEye operators or the Palantir Forward Deployed Engineer, we have new insights almost in real-time.  The "Learning Organizations" are no longer in a traditional hierarchy.  They are flat, agile and capable of tremendous autonomy at light speed.

So what is the opportunity now?  How can we potentially move towards more collaborative systems thinking and "rewrite the code" even in the 2nd decade of the 21st century?  It starts with rewriting the new digital code.  It continues as we reengineer our "Learning Organizations" for a digital environment that operates 24 x 7 and is ever more so fragile where trust is so inherent.  We can still create and deploy systems thinkers to question the truth and learn from the speed and capabilities of our new intelligent machines.

Peter Senge outlines five learning disciplines in his book on three levels:
  • Practices:  What you do
  • Principles:  Guiding ideas and insights
  • Essences:  The state of being of those with high levels of mastery in the discipline
The five disciplines are:
  • Systems Thinking
  • Personal Mastery
  • Mental Models
  • Building Shared Vision
  • Team Learning
The enterprise architecture for our modern day learning organization is in it's infancy.  You see, the technologies and the software has outpaced our human ability to apply it effectively, with the five disciplines.  One of our continued vulnerabilities is the ignorance of information governance as it pertains to the truth of data provenance and how as humans, we apply the disciplines of learning in our digital organizations.
The international hacker who allegedly accessed personal emails and photographs belonging to the family of former president George W. Bush and whose cyber-mischief revealed that Hillary Clinton was using a private email address appeared in a U.S. court for the first time Friday.

Marcel Lehel Lazar — better known by the moniker “Guccifer” that he is said to have affixed to the materials he stole — is charged with cyber-stalking, aggravated identity theft and unauthorized access of a protected computer in a nine-count indictment filed in 2014 in federal district court in Alexandria, Va. He was extradited to the United States recently from Romania, his home country, where he had been serving a sentence for hacking.
 Our organizations are a "plume of digital exhaust" that is invisible to many and crystal clear to some.  As you begin to capture and document the digital footprint of today's knowledge worker, the trail is long and deep.  Even for those shadow planners, logistics experts and operators, they can not escape the digital encounters they have each day.  However, the apparent threat is that they will continuously become more aware and more disciplined.

The art and practice of gaining and preserving "Digital Trust" is at stake for all of us.  The vast and consistent application of understanding "trust decisions" in our digital lives, will forever provide us new found challenges and new discoveries.  How we consistently apply our digital disciplines going forward, will make all of the difference in our prosperity or our future peril.  How we reengineer our learning organizations for 2025 and beyond, is now at our doorstep.
Today, privacy, information security, cyber defenses—all revolve around the same target: achieving trust to sustain electronic commerce and create new wealth. Digital trust is not only required; achieving digital trust will prove to be the competitive differential for the winners of the next generation.  --Jeffrey Ritter
Think about your digital footprints as you interact, communicate, travel and read the news today.  Activity-based Intelligence (ABI) is a business and you are the product.  The question is, how can you and your learning organization move from the "Fifth Discipline" to the next one?  What cognitive strategies and new disciplines will you and your organization deploy this year to attain new levels of prosperity and insight?

The journey will be long and the opportunities will be explored.  It's time that more learning organizations start the reengineering with the right tools and talent.  Yes, this is the next evolution of intelligence.

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