Anatomy of an Intelligent Organization: A Construct By Design

By Rajeev Sharma


“Augmented Intelligence” is an all-pervasive phrase these days. This is both, in the context of enhanced capabilities of an organization and also while underscoring the supportive role of artificial intelligence (AI) as a capable assistant to us humans (rather than a usurper of human jobs). Despite the very nascent stage of AI that we are in, numerous analyst reports have opined that in the near future, all digital products will be powered by some level of built-in intelligence. This paper rests on the hypothesis that intelligence-infused organizations are a result of a well-thought through leadership vision and strategy and that they possess a distinct technology, business process and a cultural footprint. These intelligent organizations aim at dominating the markets through the benefits that accrue from the emergent properties of Human-Machine combine. From a structural decomposition standpoint, we typically see a triad of dominant networks at play in intelligent organizations with a heightened mix of human-machine interactions. These are:

  • a) Culture and Capability Hub
  • b) Data Hub
  • c) Infrastructure Hub

The elegance of all the three dominant networks comes alive as they blend together in a manner that makes it extremely hard to separate their impact. It is indeed an integrated narrative that is executed within the crucible of strong business and engineering culture and the emergent business outcomes exceed the sum of their individual outputs of each of these hubs by a large measure. This paper tries to uncover the normative elements in the structure of “Intelligent Organizations” that give them the ability to learn, adapt and respond faster than a pure human based system enabled by digital platforms. The term “Intelligent Organizations” in this paper does not necessarily allude only to an organization like Google with its “AI First” strategy but to all contemporary firms that are competing in the markets in an era of confluence between humans, digital systems and intelligent machines.

The eclectic web of nodes (humans and machines) and edges (read connections) created by mashing up machine and humans unleashes a very responsive organizational pattern that is capable of uncovering and executing novel business processes hitherto fore untapped by the competition.

Rajeev Sharma

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