Let's think about it....

Right now. That’s when things happen. Every second, every minute, every hour of the day. For those of us who are blessed with thought-perspective, we can set time aside and dive into thoughtful dialogue, experiment with different ideas, and explore. There are no tasks in exploration, only creative ideation followed by intense research. There’s truth in knowledge and chasing down the truth is a virtuous endeavor. It happens slowly at first, then all at once.

This has been an extraordinary week in technology.

It started off with Microsoft’s freshest launch of Places followed by their announcement of Copilot+PC. But it didn’t stop there. Yesterday, in conjunction with Khan Academy, they launched Khanmigo - a full-service tool focused on students and teachers. Oh, and it’s completely free for teachers in public schools in the US.

More evidence of human-centered design and workplace experience.


By putting technology at the center of the work, and making accessibility the number one priority, we change the paradigm of ‘tech’ as we know it. Until now, technology was perceived as something we bought to solve a particular problem. ‘There’s an app for that’ was the common response. This leads to overconsumption and ultimately, the collapse of structured data.


Tech stacks become top-heavy. Interoperability and persistence are compromised by stitching together API’s. The user experience becomes more and more complicated because we have to navigate pages and apps, sign in to multiple accounts, and manage settings throughout the ecosystem.

Some organizations will keep doing this. This is perilous, yet commonplace, but it’s current-state.


IT’s complicated as I wrote back in March. Seems the problem is rooted in IT - but it’s not their fault. IT’s historical charge was break/fix. They had layers of help depending on the severity or complexity of the issue. This leads to specialization, which if you read my work regularly, should be left to insects. By nature, these departments became solely focused on fixing the problem, closing out the ticket, and getting it done. So much so that automated help desks began tracking and scoring efficiency. Performance reviews were based on how many problems were solved without consideration of how many new problems were created. KPI’s weren’t calibrated to OKR’s.

As if this isn’t challenging enough, new technology solutions became a procurement function. This complicated simple transactions that were seemingly beneficial to efficiency and problem solving. “It doesn’t work with our system” and “we can’t let that behind our firewall” were short-form answers for far more complicated reasons. That complication has grown and the language barrier has become more and more obtuse. At this point, we’re just saying no, because I said so.

It’s time to say yes, and..

The best minds of tech are polymaths because they have the deepest breadth of complex systems thinking. The new team profile looks very different from the ‘old’ team profile and hiring practices haven’t caught up. It’s like having a starting 5 without a center - and the coach is being told by ownership it’ll be next year before they can address it. That team won’t compete well.

They may function. They may perform. But they won’t win.

Human-centered design and workplace experience start with each of us. We all have productivity tools we need to use. We all ingest information and respire data. That data trail is where the value is for the enterprise and we’re currently allowing third-parties to collect and distribute it. The way we work needs to be employee-centric. The productivity tools we give our employees need to be centralized tools that collect, index, and catalog the datastream. This is basic architecture and it’s essential to the future of work.

The closer user data can be in relation to each other, the better. Proximity counts. Vector relationships mean the difference between millions, maybe even tens of millions of dollars. Running queries and inferences will be like using electricity. The revenue model is based on utility and metering. Disorganized, disparate tech stacks will cost millions more to run - and even more to secure.

Eventually, executive leadership will want to use AI to solve problems - those problems live in the data we expel. That data needs to be stored in the most accessible, most autonomous, most organized database - a centralized system of record. This is the brain as it relates to the external environment through the central nervous system. These systems are akin to living, breathing systems - complete with executive functioning and maybe, reasoning. (we aren’t there yet) Here’s a good review of the basic function of the central nervous system and the brain.

Garbage in, garbage out

This is where we make the parallel between data and food. Not all data is created equal and not all food is healthy. Simple solutions like nutrition labels have helped us understand the benefits of viscous fiber and the warnings of complex carbohydrates and unhealthy sugars. Ingestion is a choice - digestion is a system function. If future leadership requires AI systems to ‘help’ they must be the expert nutritionists, the coaches in the game. They have to lead by example through knowledge and motivate through encouragement -- no Monday morning quarterbacks or armchair experts. Modern leadership is about creating a series of accountability partnerships and working together towards a common goal. It’s about creating team awareness for complex systems and placing the well-equipped and fully aware individual in the best position to succeed.

You can’t buy a win.

…but you can build a team that wins.

This is about building - so let’s stop buying.

Music pairing this week is Larry Groce - Junk Food Junkie 1979.

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