Use Radical Transparency to your Advantage

In a recent blog post by Peter Diamandis, he speaks about the fact that an abundance of data is leading to “Radical Transparency”. This is a transparency that is essentially forced onto people due to the large number of sensors and internet connected devices that will be constantly monitoring everything. When one reads a blog like this there are a number of thoughts and differing thought streams that go through your head.

First there is the issue of privacy, Peter suggests that potentially privacy may become a thing of the past. Next there is the fact that with all this data it is possible to program what is shown around us and the question of brainwashing comes up. Interestingly due to the primitive parts of our brain we do tend to think about the negative consequences of these technology advancements. But what about the positive ones where we are for example able to reduce traffic accidents to zero, crime drops dramatically due to the fact that AI enabled drone cops will see what you are doing, fatalities from natural disasters is dramatically reduced due to early warning systems and potentially stopped altogether.

Technology is advancing rapidly and whilst we cannot be naive to the fact that there is potential for these technologies to be used negatively, the positive effects will outstrip the negative. Radical Transparency can in fact be used very successfully in your favour. If you are a manufacturing company that wants to ensure that your customers trust you then use technology to show them how you produce your products. A simple live stream of your factory floor is a simple way to do this. An online dashboard of safety or cleanliness metrics can imbue trust.

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Do not wait for radical transparency to be used as a tool against you it is time for you to be ahead of the curve and to show that your company can be trusted by being open to radical transparency. I have written previously about idea meritocracy and the need for radical transparency here. I also suggest watching Ray Dalio’s TED talk 

If you are unsure how to go about taking advantage of these exponential technologies and business models and culture then I highly recommend that you do a deep dive into the available online resources of books, podcasts, videos, courses and advisory services. I am being radically transparent now to say that together with ExO Works I can help you and your business to navigate this terrain in order to future proof your business.

It is important to realise that technology can be a great enabler for your business and your life. Whatever you do I ask that you embrace this and start learning!

Exponential Attributes: Algorithms

Algorithms is the third Attribute in the SCALE acronym. In Chapter 3 of Exponential Organizations you can read more about this and I suggest taking a look at the open source tool developed by the ExO Ecosystem.

The Wikipedia Article on Algorithms describes the following: An algorithm is an unambiguous specification of how to solve a class of problems. Algorithms can perform calculation, data processing and automated reasoning tasks. Essentially Algorithms are a way for an organisation to take data and turn it into valuable information. This process is now being augmented even further with machine learning and deep learning which is essentially giving algorithms the power to improve themselves.

programming-942487_1920.jpgThe wonderful thing about algorithms is that they take the data and make interpretations without any of the human bias and therefore have a great deal of power in improving efficiencies. remember that when starting out your algorithm may be in the form of a spreadsheet, but for maximum efficiency you want to automate as much as possible to avoid bias and error.

If you want to implement algorithms in your organisation you need to follow the following four steps:

  1. Gather Data: This can be from data sets, sensors, etc.
  2. Organise Data into a usable form. Often referred to as Extract, Transform and Load
  3. Apply the algorithm. There are online and open source tools to do this. Hadoop, Pivotal, DeepMind, Vicarious, SkyMind, etc.
  4. Expose the data: This is giving your data to potential partners to increase its usefulness.

If you want to run a truly exponential and scalable business then algorithms are another attribute that are pretty much a requirement to leverage sensors and devices, lower errors and provide an easy to upgrade system. Take some time to look at your organisation and the data that is produced or is available and how this data could be turned into valuable information and then make that happen.

What is Equality? Being an Ally!

I love being an ally for equality. As I was saying to someone the other day, equality for me is when everyone has the opportunity to be who they are without any concern that they will be disadvantaged in any way. It is not about all being the same but celebrating our diversity. Society seems to find this difficult as it is always simpler to stick with what you know. But let us focus on solutions.You are an ally.pngAs a White African Male, I feel it is important for me to speak out and say that we need to have a society where our diversity can be celebrated. Society is still skewed in the favour of elites, whether that be white males in South Africa, politically connected people in the USA or social elite in place-country-name-here. We need people to be honest and acknowledge what is going on. It may mean really awkward conversations but who doesn’t love a bit of  awkwardness 😝

The world that we live in is plagued with a history of awful events, beliefs and societies that have shaped the way that we all see the world, interact with each other and well…. exist. We cannot go back in time in order to change what has happened, we can only use the past as a tool to learn from and not fall into the same trap.

We do seem to be falling into an equality trap though that may not be the best way to redress the evils of the past. A drive for being equal is the wrong way to go in my opinion. None of us are equal, we are all individuals. Not a single person on this planet has the same DNA, brainwave pattern (jury is potentially still out on this one), gait (the way we walk) or gut microbiome (there is some super interesting research into how this affects us but that is a story for another day). We should therefore focus on ensuring that people on the planet have the freedom to be who they are. 

Is the answer not that people learn more about themselves? If people understand what drives them, how they can be their best self and they give others the ability to know the same will this not result in a more just society? A society that allows people to shine the light that is within them. The 21st century gives us the ability to use data to make much better decisions and it is about time that we do this with ourselves and our society as a whole.

Making decisions based on putting people into large boxes of race, sex, gender, etc. is not the way to create a society that thrives. What is likely to happen in this situation is to actually create more divides as people feel that their group is being overlooked. We have all heard people saying a number of different versions of “they only got that job/contract/etc. because of X” or “I did not get it because I am Y”.  This is a hard problem to solve because our society is setup to keep the status quo going so I completely understand equality programs and as I said in the opening I am a supporter because I have seen first hand people being discriminated against due to societal norms and that is bullshit!

Perhaps we need to be highlighting more success stories, where diverse teams are more successful. We need to start portraying this diversity more in popular culture whether that be movies, TV, Social Media. I do believe that it needs to start with complete honesty and a greater willingness by people to understand people that are different to them!

What are your thoughts? How do we achieve SDG 5 and 10?

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Exponential Attributes: Community and Crowd

Community and Crowd

Community and Crowd (C&C) is the second Attribute in the SCALE acronym. In Chapter 3 of Exponential Organizations you can read more about this and I suggest taking a look at the open source tool developed by the ExO Ecosystem.

Side Note: You may be wondering why the ExO Ecosystem is making so much of the tools open source and available and this is because we all want to share this knowledge in line with out MTP’s which all revolve around making a massive impact on the planet and this will only be possible in an open and collaborative manner.

 

I believe that Community and Crowd is a fundamental attribute and do not believe that you can actually be an ExO if you do not leverage this attribute as part of your organisation.  As the diagram above shows, the community is everyone in the inner circles of core team, users, fans, partners, etc. and then the crowd is everyone else. You have to engage both and move people from crowd to community.  C&C is important as it increases loyalty; drives exponential growth; validates new ideas and learning; allows for agility and rapid implementation and amplifies ideation.

 

With regards to a community to can initially join a community and then grow out your own or start with your own. When joining another community it is vital that you are adding value to that community. In Exponential Organizations they outline three steps to building a community:

  1. Use your MTP to attract and engage early members
  2. Nurture the community
  3. Create a platform to automate peer-to-peer engagement

I would add a fourth step which is to make data driven decisions from what the community is sharing. The community needs to benefit all and make a difference, so being able to take the ideas and discussions from the community and implement action in a data driven way is essential.

 

The crowd is consists of people outside of the core and is much larger than the community. The crowd can be used in creativity and innovation, validation as well as for funding.

How do you believe you can use the power of the Crowd?

Inspiration | Siki’s Story

I have just visited Siki’s Koffee Kafe in Khayelitsha. I came across him and his story on Thundafund when I was looking at current crowdfunding campaigns that were taking place. Siki’s story is such an inspiring one and I knew that I had to meet him.

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Check out Siki’s Crowdfunding campaign

Sikelela Dibela has always wanted to make a difference in the community that he grew up in, Khayelitsha. Even though he never matriculated from school Siki had amazing drive which resulted in him moving up from a Vida Cafe dishwasher to store manager, whilst he was completing college. His drive and tenacity saw him being chosen to work in London for two years training new staff.

Siki explained that going to London was a major eye opener and part of his inspiration to come back home and really make a difference. Meeting Siki was a reminder for me that perseverance and hard work pays off and I believe that Siki is on an amazing journey to not only be a personal success but to take his community along the journey.

I am making a plea to everyone to check out Siki’s crowdfunding campaign and to contribute to his story.  He is looking for a dream goal of R90 000 in order to get a mobile coffee machine and a vehicle in order to increase his reach. His tipping point is R30 000 and he is currently at R15 560. So halfway to the tipping point with 23 days to go!

To Learn more google him or better yet go and visit Siki’s Koffee Kafe.

EDIT 15 August 2018

Siki’s Campaign is up to R17 710. Here is Siki’s Facebook page and a video of me making some bad coffee at the Kafe.