Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Some thoughts on a book that I am working (ok. thinking about working on)

Unless an organization is able to effectively understand and manage intelligence, it flirts with the condition of predictive extinction, i.e., the deliberate inattention to conditions of vital importance which invariably destroys, in part or whole, the form and function of an organization. The concept of acting intelligently is not an isolated interest for logical organizations only. Physical organisms such as humans and animals must also act intelligently if they would like to thrive in their environments. Failure to represent even the most basic intelligent behavior will result in feelings of discomfort and stress. For example, if an animal does not act intelligently to capture its prey, it will have to experience the discomfort of hunger, and similarly, if a stock broker does not know how to act intelligently and conduct effective trades he will experience consequences associated with loss of income. In the context of organizations, the challenge of managing intelligence becomes more complicated than when dealing with individuals, as we are now concerned with “organizational intelligence”. Organizational intelligence, is not the sum of individual intelligence capacities, rather it emerges from the integration and assimilation of individual know-how, organizational memories, and routines in the organization. We argue that no organization can act without lack of intelligence. However, there are some organizations that exhibit greater intelligence behavior than their peers. Some organizations exhibit greater intelligence on an on-going basis, while some others have “intelligent flashes”. We can also have sectors within an organization that exhibit high levels of intelligent behavior only to be averaged out other sectors who act foolishly and with less care.

Constructing the intelligent organization is the focus of this book. Unless an organization is able to exhibit high degrees of intelligent behavior it will become extinct and face harsh consequences from its environments. By example, the Securities and Exchange Commission along with several other financial regulatory bodies failed to exhibit intelligent behavior in the case of the Enron debacle. As a result, these organizations including the culprit (Enron) were subject to harsh criticism from lawmakers and also from the public-at-large who had lost their faith in their value offered by these regulatory bodies. The United States failed, in almost every aspect to defend its homeland resulting in the successful execution of the 9/11 assault. The reason is simple yet salient dimwitted behavior on part of domestic intelligence agencies. In this book, we will show unequivocally how to construct an intelligent organization that is cognizant of its environment and can act with agility.

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