In Salim Ismaels book “Exponential Organizations” it is described, how we as human beings used to understand and organize ourselves in a reality, where things develop and expand in a linear way. Now a days, we might experience a very short time-frame from an idea taking form to it being implemented in reality. A product – only envisioned at first and 29 days later you can buy it in WalMart. Or an idea “worth spreading” being a GLOBAL media brand in less than 5 years. Something that earlier took a decade, now a days can be done in a week. All because of technology (and great minds, of course).
How do we as human beings react to this new reality? As Salim Ismael puts it in one (or several) of his brilliant talks, we very often scream with anxiety. He shows a video of a person driving in one of Googles driver less cars. It is scary – it looks scary – when the car takes off and leaves you to “enjoy the trip”. The person in the car sounds like he would rather be in control and drive it himself, than leaving it to this highly advanced and very secure car to handle things on its own…. He screams – and as Ismael puts it: “This is the visceral scream of humanity meeting advanced technology (or the taxi drivers screaming at uber…)”.
It´s like our brain just can´t seem to grasp what is going on. And starting to question, whether it can be right, when it feels so wrong and scary. Can it?
Well, sometimes it can and sometimes it cannot – that is the tricky part. Sometimes we feel scared because what is going on is so new and weird and un-imaginable at first. And our natural reaction to this is fear – and resistance. But it might not necessarily mean, that what is going on is wrong. This “new thing” might in fact be something great, and once we´ve gotten used to it, it will help humanity.
But sometimes our visceral reaction does point us in a direction, where there really is something to be afraid of, and where what is going on is NOT ok. For instance, a group of scentists from South Korea have cloned a cat with a flourescent genom. Now, they have a cat glowing in the dark. Pretty cool – but to whom? Not to the cat at least. Is it ethical to clone a cat like this? Well, if it is done in order to help cure some disease, maybe then is it ok?
The human inventive and curious brain getting access to more and more advanced technology raises a very important issue of bio-ethics and ethics in general – how important it is for us to keep a high morale and ethically consider, what it is we are trying to impact and do with our Exponential Organizations and technology. The big WHY has become even more important in this new era. And our ability to be mindful of what is going on inside us and around us.
That is not to say, that we should not accept this new reality. First of all, we have to – it´s already here. Secondly, the positive impact we can have, if we apply technology in a mindful way, is amazing. How to apply and scale it, that is exactly, what Salim Ismael and his co-authors also touch on in their book. The book gives concrete advice on how to generate IDEAS and SCALE the organization – in this new reality.
I think, that hand in hand, Mindfulness and the Exponential Organization might just be the mixture we need in our endeavor to make the world a better place.