Saturday, April 24, 2021

The New Digital Era

 “We can’t only hire superstars. We also have to create them and enable them. It’s a huge leadership task and I see it as the number one priority.”................Wolf-Henning Scheider is the CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen

The Fortune 500 List; Since its inception in 1955 only 53 companies remain, that’s just below 11%. All of the others have either gone bankrupt, merged, or have just dropped off the list

We will succeed in the digital era only if we engage with enthusiasm and welcome the ideas and opportunities that digital tools, data analysis, and the concept of legitimacy bring. Technology and AI will free up our time and resources and allow us to focus on the people inside of organizations 

Take the case of Accenture; which automated over 17,000 jobs yet didn’t replace a single employee. Instead, these employees were upskilled and retrained to be more like strategic advisors to assist clients understand the numbers generated by AI.

Take Cryptocurrency; it is powerful because it lets us summon up large pools of capital by collective economic will, and these pools of capital are, at the beginning, not controlled by any person. Rather, these pools of capital are controlled directly by concepts of legitimacy.

The Concept of legitimacy:

In general, legitimacy arises because anything that gains legitimacy is psychologically appealing to most people. 

  • Legitimacy by brute force: someone convinces everyone that they are powerful enough to impose their will and resisting them will be very hard. 
  • Legitimacy by continuity: if something was legitimate at time T, it is by default legitimate at time T+1.
  • Legitimacy by fairness: something can become legitimate because it satisfies an intuitive notion of fairness. 
  • Legitimacy by process: if a process is legitimate, the outputs of that process gain legitimacy (eg. laws passed by democracies are sometimes described in this way).
  • Legitimacy by performance: if the outputs of a process lead to results that satisfy people, then that process can gain legitimacy (eg. successful dictatorships are sometimes described in this way).Legitimacy by participation: if people participate in choosing an outcome, they are more likely to consider it legitimate. 

Note that legitimacy is a descriptive concept; something can be legitimate even if you personally think that it is horrible. 

Defining legitimacy:

Legitimacy is a pattern of higher-order acceptance. An outcome in some social context is legitimate if the people in that social context broadly accept and play their part in enacting that outcome, and each individual person does so because they expect everyone else to do the same.

With the successful debut of Coinbase the guardians of the financial sector are poised to greatly intensify their efforts to regulate the booming borderless cryptocurrency sector.

We must challenge the irresponsible use of technology undermining our societies and democracies.

As we move into a new digital industrial age, we have an opportunity to change course and usher in a more transparent, democratic era of technology. Global technology governance will not be achieved by political actors alone

 – it also requires a grassroots movement in the tech community.

 See You at the Top