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Theory 2I - Understanding Orgtelligence

orgtelligence Theory 2I of Orgtelligence

Intelligence is complex to grasp. Orgamatics holds that there are two types of intelligence. The first is implied intelligence (Ii). This is an algorithm - a set of rules that drives activity, which delivers a predictable output. For humans, breathing is a good example. For Org, the flow of work is one. The second type of intelligence is tacit intellect (It). This is abstract thought - ideas and plans that do not have an obvious result. Abstract thought is not bound by a current reality. Vision, strategy, creativity, and spirituality are good examples.

What is Orgamatics?

Orgamatics is the arm of orgtology that studies workplace systems. It is a theoretical model that consists of four theories, which I briefly describe here. Through these theories we can cluster the generic functions of Org within systems. A system is a container for processes that have similar purpose. In orgamatics, operations are the repetit...

It was in 1971 when the psychologist, Cattell, suggested two forms of intelligence. Today, the idea of fluid and crystallised intelligence is widely held. Fluid intelligence is an ability to solve new problems and to predict a future. This is tacit intellect. Its dual partner is crystallized intelligence. Like implied intelligence, it drives our repetitive processes.

Theory 2I helps us to understand orgtelligence. The "2I" means two types of intelligence. Jointly, the abstract thinking and systems intelligence within Org creates its orgtelligence. Implied intelligence drives our efficiency, whilst tacit intellect ensures our relevance. Orgtelligence is the sum of the implied and tacit intelligence within an organisation.

(1) Implied Intelligence (Ii) 

Implied Intelligence (Ii) is the intelligence within a process. It is the DNA of a system. Any process owns its own intelligence. I often tell executives; "if it is not implied, it does not belong to Org". Without Ii, a process will not cycle. I once saw a documentary on snakes. It showed how a black mamba laid eggs, and then left with no intent to return. When the snakes hatched, they all knew exactly what to do, eat, and avoid. They knew this instantly. There was no snake school involved. That is the power if implied intelligence.

Often, a team of people collectively hold such intelligence. E.g., a team of physicians, who do a caesarean delivery. Yet, people are not always the keepers of implied intelligence. Mother nature runs on processes, which works perfectly well without people. The DNA of any known specie hold the intelligence that it needs to survive. It is the same with Org. It owns the intelligence within its process construct. The intellect of people will come and go as their owners do.

(2)  Tacit Intellect (It)

Then there is the abstract, unpredictable, and irrational thinking of humans. This is something people mostly fight against. Ironically, it is the only thing that systems cannot replicate. In that, a perfect mind will make you a robot. Think about that for a while. To create vision or be creative is abnormal. There is no other species that can act beyond its implied purpose. It seems that our imperfection might be our greatest asset. It is what any system will lust for – if only it could be lustful. In the post "The Consciousness of Org" I describe two forms of consciousness. I relate consciousness of purpose with implied intelligence. In so, consciousness of intent relates to tacit intellect.

The Consciousness of Org

Consciousness is the level at which an entity is aware. Such an awareness is only meaningful if it enables performance and secures relevance. All entities are aware at some level. A tree for instance, will develop a root structure that can accesses water and nutrients with ease. Yet, a tree does not know that it is a tree. This lack of self-awarene...

Unlike implied intelligence (Ii), tacit intellect is unique to a person. It is the experience and knowledge that only you have. We often call someone who has developed his or her tacit intellect (It), a guru. We also call tacit intellect, wisdom.

(3) The problem of Explicit Intelligence (Ie)

It is in the interest of Org to make tacit intelligence implied. It is the only way to own it. In other words, we must take what is in the head of a person and internalise it into a process. Otherwise the intelligence stays with the person. This is much easier said than done. Before we can imply tacit intellect within a process, we must make it explicit. This means that we must explain it, record it, and then transfer it. In this process, we must define the knowledge and experience of a person in such a way that others can grasp it. Then we must code it into the flow of a process. Explicit intelligence is something we can explain.

The snag in this, is that most experts are unable to explain how they do things. E.g. a world golf champion would mostly not be able to explicitly define how he hits a hole in one. An Oscar winning actor would, for the most part, be unable to explain how she does what she does in front of a camera. Can a Nobel price mathematician explain how to get the creative idea behind the math? Renowned professor of psychology, Csikszentmihalyi, spent his life on understanding experts. His research shows that when experts perform, they enter a state of flow. During his research, he interviewed many distinguished experts. He found that very few could explain the specifics of what they do. If you had to ask Tiger Woods how he hits a hole in one, he would say "I give 110%", "I completely focus", etc. He would not be able to give the speed at which he hits the ball or the precise angle in degrees. Neither would he be able to explain the fluctuation of his eye movement form impact to target, etc. Explaining what you know is not easy. However, his research shows that experts all have similar characteristics. Their work completely absorbs them. When engaged, most of them disregard things such as hunger, thirst, or sleep, etc.

The flow of orgtelligence

When we make knowledge and experience (It) explicit (Ie), we can automate and replicate it (Ii). An Orgtologist should have this awareness throughout any consulting gig.

(4) Creating feedback loops

Implied intelligence (Ii) will drive performance and efficiency. Tacit intellect (It) will keep Org relevant and effective. Tacit intellect (It) does not play a key role in process efficiency. But you will need it, where you must manage a crisis or act outside the normal process flow.

A common thing with strong organisations, is superior orgtelligence. We should not confuse this with having smart employees. It is not enough to recruit and train competent people. In 2500BC, Org manifested in agriculture. At that time, systems controlled less than 1% of orgtelligence. During the first industrial revolution, systems controlled about 40% of orgtelligence. This was due to steam power, conveyer belts, etc. These numbers are based on an average across industries. Currently, in the fourth industrial revolution, systems control about 60% of orgtelligence. To evolve from a 1% to a 40% contribution took 4300-years. To move from 40% to 60% took about 220 years. Systems intelligence is evolving at high velocity. In terms of intelligence, we might overestimate the human role. In so, we might underestimate the intelligence of systems.

Superior orgtelligence happens when humans and systems collaborate to the advantage of Org. To do so, we must create feedback loops. This is like a plant that adapts to its environment. It finds underground, which it cannot find above. Constant feedback has made plants the most likely lifeform to survive a catastrophe. In Org we must create feedback loops to help us perform and stay relevant.

The flow chart above shows a basic orgtelligence system. It begins in activity. This could be humans doing things, systems calculating things, decisions being made, etc. When we organise activity within time and space, we create outputs that has an effect. That is the essence of organisation. To grasp the effect of our outputs we use EOP (exposure, opportunities, and process). This means that we test activity against risk, opportunities, efficiency, and dynamics. I explain this in the post: "EOP Analysis". An EOP analysis should show whether we must work with an internal or external issue. Systems intelligence will fix internal issues, whilst human intellect must sort external issues.

The EOP Analysis – redefining how we understand organisations

EOP is an acronym for Exposure, Opportunities, and Process. It replaces the old SWOT analysis. SWOT means Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. As with SWOT, the EOP aims to help us understand a current reality. Although SWOT is a helpful way to prepare for strategy, it has limitations. I discuss the detail in my post:

Where there is an internal problem or opportunity we must create, fix, or end a process within Org. The aim here is always to increase efficiency. This will ensure performance. Where there is an external problem or opportunity, we must transform or mitigate risk. The aim here is always effectiveness. This will secure relevance.

In org, recruitment, procurement, cost management, PM, CRM, etc., are process issues. They must efficiently ensure that Org operationally performs. How the environment of Org influences these items is a discussion on its own. Were Org faces risks, it must mitigate them. Where there are opportunities, Org must exploit them through strategy. To stay relevant Org must stay clear of a "worst case" scenario and get close to a "best case" scenario. To be ready for an "outside" world, the "inside" world must run with mechanical precision. That is the crux of orgtelligence.

(5) Their duality

The duality of orgtelligence is hard to explain, since on face value, one can exist without the other. Mother nature is a good example. She does not need tacit intellect to function. But mother nature is not an organisation; she is a system. No organisation can run on systems intelligence only. This is because organisations compete through innovation and perception. There is no system that can be irrational, unpredictable, and abstract. Those are the elements that one needs for vision, creativity, strategy, and spirituality. On the flipside, tacit intellect is not enough to run Org. This is because consistent performance will need an algorithm. So, one needs the other.

Hypothesis 2x on Inverse Duality

Hypothesis 2x opens the study of orgtology. It creates eight core theories; four for orgamatics and four for organamics. Its indirect claim is that an organisation can only exist through relations and relationships. To relate, entities must interact, which implies a cycle of projecting and receiving. This means that there must be an exchange betwee...

In Hypothesis 2x we pose an inverse duality within Org. On face value, an increase of tacit intellect will not decrease implied intelligence, and vice versa. Yet, it is quite clear that as systems intelligence evolve, we need fewer human minds. It is also common knowledge that humans who can think in the abstract, earn much more than those who do routine work. For humans, their ability to keep Org relevant will pay more than their ability to perform. An entity that repeats yesterday is replaceable.

The human body has evolved to be one of the most advanced biological life forms. We do not use our arms and hands to move, which avails them for exploration. We can eat anything edible, which makes refuelling simple. Our bodies can adapt to a variety of temperatures. Most significantly are our senses. All five are geared to experience an outside world. No person can experience their internal mechanics through using their senses. You cannot see, hear, taste, smell, or touch your heart or lungs. It might be possible to do so with the aid of external systems, which shows that you have not evolved to do so. All five human senses have evolved to experience and respond to an external world. Org should learn from this. Its processes should run with automated precision. This will free its human minds to solve problems, create vision, and devise strategy. In so, the role of humans in Org is to keep it relevant within a constant changing environment.

Derek Hendrikz Consulting


© 2019-09-25: CFT Hendrikz

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