In a five year multistage study the authors learned how leaders can get the most out of . The secret to making this work, they found, is the business model itself, where machines and humans are integrated to complement each other.

Copyright by

Too many business leaders still believe that is just another ‘plug and play’ incremental technological investment. In reality, gaining a competitive advantage through requires organizational transformation of the kind exemplified by companies leading in this era: Google, Haier, Apple, Zappos, and Siemens. These companies don’t just have better technology — they have transformed the way they do business so that human resources can be augmented with machine powers.

How do they do it? To find out, we conducted a multistage study over five years, beginning with a survey of senior managers and executives, followed by interviews and surveys across a wide range of industries to identify technology implementation strategies and barriers, and in-depth studies of five leading organizations. Our key takeaway is counterintuitive. Competing in the age of is not about being technology-driven per se — it’s a question of new organizational structures that use technology to bring out the best in people. The secret to making this work, we learned, is the business model itself, where machines and humans are integrated to complement each other. Machines do repetitive and automated tasks and will always be more precise and faster. However, those uniquely human skills of creativity, care, intuition, adaptability, and innovation are increasingly imperative to success. These human skills cannot be “botsourced,” a term we use to characterize when a business process traditionally carried out by humans is delegated to an automated process like a or an algorithm.

How do leaders get the most out of ?

From our research we have developed a four-layer framework that shows organizational leaders how they can create a human-centric organization with super-human intelligence. The four layers are not “steps,” which would imply a sequential progression. The four layers of intentionality, integration, implementation, and indication (the Four I model) must be stacked all together, or else the use of will fail to deliver a sustainable competitive advantage. Here’s how it works.

The first layer of the Four I model is intentionality of purpose, beyond the mere pursuit of profits. An intentional…

Continue reading: