Wearable technology. Deployable drones. Internet of Things or Cyber Physical Systems. Mountains of data, information flowing into our devices. Sensors everywhere. Track it. Find it. Control it. It is everywhere and nowhere. It is the future. It is the Things connected to the Internet. We don’t even realize how many there are. What I find curious today and have found curious for a while now is the reality of the data we are producing.
Cars that warn you that you are too close to another car and stop automatically. Or don’t allow you to move into a lane already occupied by another vehicle. Devices that offer you a safer more secure driving experience. Producing massive amounts of data about how you drive, where you drive, what you do (listening) while driving. The data pattern of commuting becomes an interesting one. How can I as a marketing organization target commuters? Easy, I take all the data collected and I analyze it to find the common pattern. Then I build marketing information focused on the pattern.
Information is the key. Information is also the problem. We create, generate and evaluate information on a daily basis. But the value of any one piece of information is hard to capture. The reality of the information is that it is there if we use it, and there if we don’t. The old line “that would have been good to know, about 4 minutes ago.” Applies as much now as it ever has.
That flow of information is both limiting and freeing. If we have the capability to tap into the information it is critical. If we don’t then it can be crippling. Getting information to the right person at the right time becomes the concept, process and ultimately the failing point of a system. I have talked, probably too much, about continuation where you have or start a process on device and it automatically switches to another. I have talked (again probably far too much) about the concept of the SCRaaS, where you can consume screens to present information you are gathering. Both of these concepts are part of the information collection, management, evaluation and analysis processes we all undergo. Do you want to reroute based on traffic information?
So why care? Well because we are generating IoT/CPS data at an enormous rate. But we are letting intelligence leave the workforce even faster. If you don’t remember history, you are doomed to repeat it. While there is a reality of information, there is also a reality of who has the information and what they do with that information. The concept of knowledge capital is one I have chased for years. The reality of knowledge capital is depending upon where you stand you may or may not care. Thomas Edison tried 450 iterations of light bulbs before he found the most stable version. He captured the experiments and remembered the failure point for each. As we let the older generation of workers slide out of the workforce we are forgetting 450 ways not to build lightbulbs.
The reality is, we ignore the younger generation and their ideas far too much. This allows the younger generation to dismiss those who were there before easily. We need to build a system that accepts new ideas. Compares new ideas against old ideas. Pairs a young innovator with someone that innovated before. Not to tell that person stop this is stupid, but to guide them, help them succeed in their mission. The path from here to there is never a straight line. However, if you engage the person that laid out the goals of the original path, the person who built the path and the young innovator with a better way for that path into a unit that communicates you open a door.
Listen to the smart people of all ages. Find those who built what is there, combine them with those who are seeing new ways of doing things. Make it easier for both. The reality of inter-generational knowledge capital capture is we save ourselves reinventing the wheel. We create a framework where there is value both in those that built the existing system and those that seek to change it for the better. Why is age such a barrier? Gray hair is experience. Experience tells us where failures will occur, but based on John Boyd’s OODA Loops, experience changes the orientation and therefore the observation. Capturing both the new orientation and the old orientation allows us to get to better decisions faster. The smartest person in any room, is the combined orientation of both youth, experience and leadership. That combination, that inter-generational information capital sharing is ultimately the path to a brighter future.