[MUSIC] The second part of the argument is that, you look at the people working in big companies in that era. And those people of course were working hard, but they were being squeezed. You know this almost takes us into the territory if you like of, of Marxism. You know, the idea of Karl Marx originally was workers became alienated from the workplace. They, they became sort of separated from the fruits of their labors. Now, I, I'm not a Marxist, and I never will be. I don't believe in Marxist conclusions. But his initial insights, that employees were squeezed is actually a very valuable one. Because of what it turns out that the smart companies did. Was they, they moved away from saying, labor is the scarce resource. But, to saying, actually, people are not just labor. They're not just a pair of hands. They are actually a, a human being and a brain as well. If can we tap into people's abilities to think, we will actually succeed far more than a company that simply squeezes people. So that whole, whole kind of scientific management era. Taylorism is sometimes called, was about squeezing people. Trying to get them to do every last job as efficiently as possible, had the unintended side effect of actually demotivating people, dehumanizing work. And in the tradition to the knowledge era the companies like, again, Toyota, but many, many others besides, figured out that by tapping into the problem solving skills of people by actually tapping into people's latent abilities. They could actually do much better than the companies that continue to treat people as if they were just a resource to be squeezed. So that in summary is an explanation for the transition from the Industrial Era to the Knowledge Era. So that's kind of the end of the first part of the story. Now what we're going to is to kind of move into the future and say to ourselves, can we use that same logic to predict what the business world of the future looks like? Because the previous chart I showed you two eras, the industrial era and then the knowledge era. Now let's imagine a chart which has got three eras, the industrial era, the knowledge era and we'll call it the post-knowledge era, simply because we don't really have a good name for it yet. What is that transition period from the knowledge era to the post-knowledge era going to look like? Are we in it at the moment? I don't know for sure, but I would like to argue that we are, roughly speaking, in a period where we can say that the returns to information and knowledge have plateaued. They are starting to diminish. And we need to start saying to ourself, what will become the next source of competitive advantage after that? So the questions that I'd like you to think about, and we're going to have an opportunity in the discussion forum to actually discuss this and kick it around a little bit. The questions I would ask you to think about are. What would a world with too much information look like? What would a world where information was a commodity look like? What would a world in which knowledge, the knowledge on which we base our decisions, was actually to some degree, mature or commoditized or shared in such a way that we couldn't get advantage out of it anymore. What would that world look like? Because if we have a point of view on that. We can actually develop a point of view on what comes next. I'm going to give you my answer to that question now but it's by no means the last word in this. I really would appreciate you to think about this and to figure out if you've got any better answers as well. My answer to the question is the following. In a world where information is no longer scarce, what happens? Well, I think we can all kind of experience this on a day to day basis. We look at the size of our inbox. We look at how easy it is to gather information. Undoubtedly when information is plentiful, the scarce resource becomes our own capacity. To attend our own capacity to focus and actually figure out which information we need to use to get our work done. In any sort of process for making a decision, there's a period of collecting data, and then there's a period of interpreting that data and making decisions. If it becomes very easy and almost just fun to collect data, there's a risk that we spend all our time collecting data and not actually doing anything with it. This notion of paralysis by analysis is one that we've all heard of. The notion that we become sort of trapped because we're always trying to collect more information. So in a world where information is scarce we place plentiful the scarce resource is human attention. Our capacity to attend to that information and take action on the basis of that information. Actually becomes a decisive factor in our competitors. Let me take the second strand of that argument, which is this notion that we might even be in a world now where knowledge is, is so plentiful and so much shared amongst people that it no longer becomes the source of advantage. Now that is a much tougher argument. I'm not going to say that it completely works but let, I think it works in the following sense. Which is that knowledge has many, many forms. But in business today we become a little bit obsessed with what you might call formal or rational or scientific knowledge. The knowledge that is based on kind of deep science the knowledge which is quantified. And there is a real risk that if we obsess about that sort of knowledge. That actually what we do is we miss out on the shall we say, the emotional side of the story. In other words, if we become obsessed by what you might call kind of left brained thinking, we miss out on right brain thinking. Any good decision that an organization makes requires a combination of hard scientific knowledge, but it also requires intuition and gut, and judgment, which is the much more emotional, and less scientific side of the brain. And so my argument is that, if we obsess too much about scientific knowledge, there is a risk that we drive out our capacity to actually make smart decisions, because we are actually surrendering the more emotional side of our brain. So, for me, the future requires organizations to actually develop what I'm going to call emotional conviction. This notion that, not only do we have to bring the right knowledge to bear in a scientific way. But we've also got to be able to tap into our intuition, our gut, our feelings about something and say this is useful information. It helps us come to smarter decisions. So my view of the, the post knowledge era in terms of what other kinds of sources of competitiveness. I focus it down on two things, decisive action, and emotional conviction. Think, for example, of earlier in 2014 Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook chief executive, he bet $19 billion of shareholders' money on buying a company called WhatsApp. Now history will show whether that was the smartest acquisition he ever made or the stupidest acquisition he may have made. It's just too soon to say. But one thing is for sure, was that, that was a decision based on decisiveness, in other words, he acted incredibly quickly. The whole process took less than three months from start to finish. And it was based on deep emotional conviction. No amount of spreadsheets or analysis could have allowed him to come to the figure of $19 billion. He did that on the basis of what he believed. So that is an example of applying a rather different way of thinking to important business decisions. So those two factors are important. I'm not going to say for a second that information knowledge are unimportant, neither are labor and capital unimportant. But what you can see with these three waves and we can see the progressive use of additional sources of value. We can see that that gives us a point of view about how the business world is going to evolve in the future. This argument is going to come back at a couple of points in the course. I'm going to deliberately build in some thoughts about how this post knowledge era and this decisive action and emotional conviction argument fits into our understanding of how organizations work. And indeed how you as individuals do your job.