Book Review: How Can Teal Leaders Amplify their Organisations in the Age of Deep Tech?

By Simon Robinson for Enlivening Edge Magazine

Seven years have now passed since Frederic Laloux published his seminal Reinventing Organizations in 2014. The book is now required reading for any forward-thinking leader seeking to transform their organisations, with its three central breakthroughs of self-organisation, wholeness and evolutionary purpose being embraced and implemented across the globe.

If we look at how the world is today compared to seven years ago, one of the most significant changes has been the emergence of Deep Tech, which is creating a revolution which has implications for every aspect of an organisation, resulting in new opportunities to thrive in the most technologically important era since the industrial revolution.

Advances in quantum computing and computer chip processing capacity, for example, mean that artificial intelligence now has the ability to model and find solutions to real-world complex problems. And Web3 technologies are enabling a new generation of digital solutions such as DAOs (decentralised autonomous organisations) based on the principles of self-organisation and decentralisation.

At the same time, scandals such as those revealed by Facebook whistleblowers mean that people are now losing trust in big tech due to their concerns over questions of their concentration of power, political interference, the potential use of unauthorised surveillance, and the harvesting of personal data.

Given the immense impact that Deep Tech is starting to have on the very fabric of society, both for its advancement and to its detriment, we wanted to complement Reinventing Organizations with a transdisciplinary book that would help leaders and changemakers develop core confidence and competencies for digital change agency.

So in Deep Tech and the Amplified Organisation we present our amplified organisation blueprint, allowing leaders to understand Deep Tech from the systemic perspective of our New 4Ps framework of platforms, purpose, people, and planet.

Amplified Organisation Blueprint ©Simon Robinson, Igor Couto and Maria Moraes Robinson, 2021

We define ‘amplified organisations’ as intentional regenerative businesses which are purposeful, engaged, and hyperconnected. They achieve meaningful impact through a continual process of the elevation of their value propositions, scaling through platforms, and amplification of their strategies, guided by their north star of the New 4Ps.

Underlying every word and action are the universal human values of peace, truth, love, righteousness, and non-violence, which are expressed in the quality of relationships within the organisation and across the enterprise ecosystem, economy, society, and environment.

One of the most difficult obstacles changemakers face in implementing organisational transformational initiatives is that these are often not integrated into digital transformation programmes. To help overcome this barrier, we focus on helping leaders develop platform vision—the understanding of the underlying logic, architecture, and business models of digital platforms.

We therefore explain the often hidden or little-understood qualities of platform architectures, bringing together architectural principles, application design, service interactions, digital operation models and strategy maps, and showing how they relate to the platform lifecycle, design conventions, and data analytics necessary for organisations to reach scale and achieve their purpose.

We also provide a deep dive into our Deep Tech Discovery design methodology. This was created to help senior executive teams integrate deep technologies and practices into their organization’s strategy, digital operating model, and digital systems, and look at how they provide value to customers in new ways.

It starts with the process of value proposition elevation, which expands the concept of the Voice of the Customer to include the voice of all stakeholders, in order to explore all systemic impacts of any proposed business model and innovation, and identify any negative impacts of any proposed technologies at the earliest stage of development.

Our process of value proposition elevation integrates universal human values with an organisation’s corporate values, strategy, and platform architecture. It works by analysing and then elevating an existing value proposition through the lenses of i) planetary challenges, ii) the organisation’s values and iii) its future-fit vision.

By transparently demonstrating how the organisation is generating net-positive economic, social, and environmental value through benchmarks such as the Future-Fit Benchmark, big tech can help people understand the often hidden links between an organisation’s values, culture, strategy, and operations.

The left-hand side of our blueprint expresses the why of the amplified organisation—its purpose, its elevated value proposition, and its vision of the future—articulated in its strategy. These can be achieved only through movement—the elevation, scaling, and amplification of the organisation’s platforms, computational sensemaking capabilities, and digital operating model on the right hand side.

These should not be seen as bounded and discrete systems, but as capabilities which enhance and co-ordinate the technical and cognitive complexity of an amplified organisation’s operational capabilities.

Achieving organisation-wide agility can appear simple, but it is in fact hard. For this reason, our Augmented Agility process contains a number of feedback loops detailed in the blueprint which highlight the key areas for organisational learning.

An amplified organisation is one that has mastered deep sensemaking—the integration of human sensemaking with networked intelligence and computational ontologies—in order to elevate the quality of organisational analysis and decision making.

Laloux concludes Reinventing Organizations with the observation that “We have, perhaps for the first time, a good grasp of the structures, practices, and cultures that are needed to create purposeful and energising ways to come together in organisations”.

So as we now enter the new era of Deep Tech, our invitation to leaders, changemakers and designers who have a Teal worldview is to explore how our amplified organisation blueprint can open up new conversations, dialogues, and questions about impact of deep technologies in the digital economy.

By founding our conception of Deep Tech on universal human values, our hope is to help organisations become open to the ways in which they can contribute to prosperous and flourishing economic systems and amplify their positive impact across business ecosystems, society, and our planet.

Simon Robinson is CEO (worldwide) of Holonomics and co-author of Deep Tech and the Amplified Organisation: How to elevate, scale and amplify your business through the New 4Ps of platforms, purpose, people and planet.