How 2Selfs Theory Can Create Additional Value for The Fourth Industrial Revolution Book by Professor Klaus Schwab
This article presents a standalone example of the value of 2Selfs Theory in a specific application. It also provides a supplement to the book, The 2Selfs Revolution: The Necessary Transformation to Resurrect the Greatness of the West.
If you arrived here after having read (or while reading) the 2Selfs Revolution book and are looking for supplemental information, or if you have read an article at this website and have already seen the introduction to 2Selfs Theory, please go directly to the article.
If you arrived here looking for specific information and possibly to see whether you want to read the 2Selfs Revolution book, please read the following brief contextual introduction to 2Selfs Theory so you can make better sense of this article.
Brief Introduction to 2Selfs Theory
A basic assumption in the 2Selfs Revolution book and this article is that we operate in two distinct modes (a thinking mode and an automatic mode) but that we have only been directly managing one of them. Furthermore, the West has now reached a mega-juncture where we will inevitably continue to atrophy as a great culture if we do not quickly learn to explicitly manage our automatic mode (which 2Selfs Theory models as our auto-self) just as effectively as we have now long explicitly managed our thinking mode (which 2Selfs Theory models as our thinking-self). The 2Selfs Revolution book explains 2Selfs Theory that provides a robust model of the automatic mode of the human mind, which will finally empower us to conquer (understand and manage) our auto-self.
Our Two “Selfs”
Our robot within
One of the advances of 2Selfs Theory is to identify four distinct types of auto-self activities and then to model how each type operates behind the scenes.
Four Types Auto-Self Activities
All four auto-self types contribute to our successes and well-being, but this article and the 2Selfs Revolution book focus on auto-behaviors and auto-contexts because our previous inability to understand and manage them is playing a decisive role in the West’s current demise from greatness. Fortuitously, conquering our auto-behaviors and auto-context also provides the breakthrough we need to restore greatness to so many of our social systems and make crucial improvements to some areas of personal responsibilities – to resurrect the greatness of the West.
Auto-Behaviors: These are automatic behaviors (habits) we compulsively exhibit or actions we uncontrollably fail to take in a timely manner.
Many professions already manage auto-behaviors including psychotherapists and transformation coaches.
Comfort Imperative: A major advance from 2Selfs Theory is in identifying and modeling the Comfort Imperative, which causes us to seek pleasure but more importantly to escape discomfort at any cost to our future successes and well-being.
Unfair Fights: When thinking-self intentions engage in battles with auto-self drives, an unfair fight ensues because the auto-self overwhelms the thinking-self over any extended period.
Evasion Gimmicks: We automatically take actions to escape discomfort, so we all have a suite of evasion gimmicks (see the 2Selfs Revolution book for a list) we use to enable us to ameliorate our discomfort while pretending we are not undermining our successes; the next topic is an example.
Simplistic Solutions: When discomfort exceeds people’s tolerance level, the Comfort Imperative causes them to succumb to seduction traps often in the form of simplistic solutions that satisfy the desire for successes without producing the successes desired.
Auto-Contexts: These are hidden assumptions and beliefs, which serve as contextual frameworks that appear in many forms and control the way we view and understand the world about us and how we go about solving problems.
You likely already have some idea about auto-contexts in the form of “paradigms,” “worldviews,” or “mental models.”
This is the area of the biggest breakthroughs of 2Selfs Theory because it models auto-contexts way beyond anything that has previously existed.
Our failure to understand and manage auto-contexts is the reason for much of our under-performing in business and is a major source of the breakdown of our Western political systems we are currently experiencing.
Auto-contexts are responsible for problem-solving foundations, certainty illusions, innovation deathtraps (culture lock), a second form of constructed “truth,” and the supraevolution process, which are outlined below; among other properties, auto-contests also create the power of political branding and values maintenance, all of which the 2Selfs Revolution book explains.
Problem-Solving Worldview Foundations: Worldviews are a form of auto-contexts that provide the foundation that determines (enables or blocks) our ability to understand whole classes of problems and to solve problems effectively within each class.
Certainty Illusions: These are a side effect of auto-contexts that make us certain we are correct even when we may be dysfunctionally wrong. Sometimes certainty illusions are constructed wrong initially and other times they start out providing helpful certainty but the environment changes making them dysfunctional, and we don’t notice the difference. This is a main mechanism responsible for innovation deathtraps.
Innovation Deathtraps: Culture change creates discomfort and the auto-behavior-based Comfort Imperative causes most people and organizations to abort auto-context reconstructions to escape that discomfort. However, businesses and other organizations normally do not even get to that point because the auto-context-based certainty illusion creates a level of confidence, often based on prior successes, that the current path of a company is certainly correct even long after the changed environment has rendered it dysfunctional.
Constructed “Truths”: When we consider an assertion to be “true,” we intuitively assume that it corresponds to something “out there” (i.e., outside of our mind). This is the correspondence verification form of truth that we verify through thinking-self activities such as science, formal logic, and examining historical documents. However, a second, certainty construction form of “truth” provides an overwhelming experience of “truth” that is independent of any correspondence with the world out there (i.e., outside of our internal mental states) and is often opposed to known facts (which we refer to as certainty delusions).
Supraevolution: “Supra” is a prefix meaning “above,” “over,” or “beyond the limits of, outside of.” Therefore, supraevolution refers to an evolution layer above our biological evolution. It creates the (auto-context-based) worldview foundation for problem solving and values maintenance among many other fundamental properties. The Science/Enlightenment Revolution was the West’s last overarching supraevolutionary ascent. We are now in just the second top-level supraevolutionary descent of the West, which the 2Selfs Revolution book identifies as the Manipulation Devolution. The only visible way to reverse this supraevolutionary descent and resurrect the greatness of the West is to launch a new supraevolutionary ascent – the 2Selfs Revolution.
Auto-contexts automatically emerge through repeated thoughts accompanied by strong feelings.
2Selfs Worldview, which provides the contextual framework (problem-solving foundation) to understand auto-self activities, will automatically emerge through repeated successful use of 2Selfs Theory.
Auto-Skills: We execute these rapid, automatic activities without thinking-self understanding or involvement.
Includes sports, music, language, nonverbal communications, image processing (shapes, locations, motions), and public speaking skills.
Many professions already help people with these including sports coaches and music teachers.
Auto-Expertise: We exhibit this when we see solutions to problems holistically without going through a long analysis process.
Also known as “intuition,” “gut,” “insight,” and “acumen.”
Automatically and imperceptibly emerges after many successful thinking-self-managed solutions to similar problems.
Not contributing to West’s mega-descent. More work can create additional opportunities.
You will learn in the (2Selfs Revolution) book that the 2Selfs Revolution (which will take us to 2Selfs Age) is the alternative to the Manipulation Age into which we are currently descending.
We now transition from a general introduction of 2Selfs Theory to an example of how 2Selfs Theory empowers us to understand and manage a specific auto-self-controlled topic in a more powerful and useful way than was possible before the advent of this robust, general model of the automatic mode of the human mind.
How 2Selfs Theory Adds Value to The Fourth Industrial Revolution Book
The excellent book, The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Professor Klaus Schwab, makes a compelling case that we are in a major, technology-driven transition point in the West. Schwab also identifies many troubling business challenges created by this incipient Fourth Industrial Revolution. This article (which also serves as supplemental material to the book, The 2Selfs Revolution: The Necessary Transformation to Resurrect the Greatness of the West) presents a 2Selfs Theory analysis of challenging business consequences of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This analysis also makes the case that we cannot effectively manage these success-undermining consequences unless we learn to understand explicitly and manage systematically the automatic mode of human activities. Fortuitously, and just in time, the advent of 2Selfs Theory now makes that possible.
Adding Value at the Auto-Self Level
Over 2,500 leaders from business, government, international organizations, the media, and academia participated in the 46th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum on January 20-23, 2016 in Davos, Switzerland. The theme of the meeting was Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution. After that forum, Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chair of the World Economic Forum, published a book, The Fourth Industrial Revolution.
I comment here on some excerpts from that book, which in no way should detract from the excellent insights in the Fourth Industrial Revolution book. Instead, this analysis extends many observations in that book by asserting that we need a parallel and complementary mental revolution in the way we manage the human-activities ramifications of this technology revolution. I only comment on those passages in the Fourth Industrial Revolution book where an explicit understanding of the details of automatic human activities adds value in clarifying what some of the points mean at the auto-self level and shows how 2Selfs Theory can play a decisive role in overcoming many of the obstacles identified by Schwab.
Professor Schwab, as the founder and longtime head of the World Economic Forum, is in an excellent position to forecast megatrends in technology development, and he has done an outstanding job of projecting widespread advances across a broad spectrum of exciting technologies in his Fourth Industrial Revolution book. He identifies a wide array of emerging technology breakthroughs including artificial intelligence, robotics, the internet of things, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, nanotechnology, and biotechnology. Likewise, Fareed Zakaria in his March 15, 2015 CNN GPS program featured Five Moonshots for the 21st Century that included sending astronauts to Mars, 3-D printing a human heart, creating a star on earth, flying from New York to London in an hour, and mapping the human brain.
On the other hand, the insightful book The Rise and Fall of American Growth by Professor Robert Gordon makes a compelling case that the best years of America are behind us, so we should expect stunted productivity growth. As a result, the US (and by extrapolation, most of the West) can anticipate suffering through continuing low gains to standards of living for many hard-working people. This has indirectly led to political chaos in the West and a disastrous rush to the extremes, which if continued, will have negative consequences to Western economies and therefore to business successes.
How can we make sense of these insightful observations that project such divergent futures? Fortunately, we can now rise above the fray to see the bigger-picture megatrends. The trends identified above and many others are occurring within a greater overarching transformation happening within the West. With 2Selfs Theory, we can now recognize that we have entered the terminal phase of a major overarching problem-solving cycle of the West, which the 2Selfs Revolution book explains in considerable detail. The brief summary is that after over a millennium of problem-solving stagnation, during our Mental-Prison Age (a.k.a., the Dark Ages), the West finally came back to life with the Renaissance and then the Science/Enlightenment Revolution that came to full fruition at the end of the 18th century and launched the Modern West. To identify the essence of this major period, the 2Selfs Revolution book refers to as the Thinking-Self Age because it maximized the effectiveness of our latent thinking-self capabilities.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution
The following diagram provides an overview from the World Economic Forum that outlines the four industrial revolutions.
The West’s Four Industrial Revolutions
These are the four physical/business-world revolutions of the West. However, before the first industrial revolution could occur, we needed a mental-world revolution (the Science/Enlightenment Revolution, which emancipated our now-familiar and well managed thinking-self) to empower people to create it. We needed a new overarching worldview that emancipated thinking abilities from the mental straightjacket that had kept it in a thinking stupor for a millennium during the Mental-Prison Age.
To create a winning Fourth Industrial Revolution, we need another mental revolution – the 2Selfs Revolution. This time, we need to emancipate our automatic mode that is the dominate source of so many of our current problems including career derailments, company failures, inadequate competitiveness in the global economy, anemic productivity gains leading to unacceptable standards of living for way too many people, and the corresponding political chaos all of these have indirectly caused in the West. 2Selfs Theory models the auto-self in sufficient detail to empower us to systematically and effectively solve the above problems and many more.
The identification of a Fourth Industrial Revolution lacks a central technology breakthrough that ushered in the first three industrial revolutions. Instead, the defining technology characteristics are an increasingly broad spectrum of technologies (mostly underpinned by enormous advances in digital technology) and the accelerating rate at which they impact, or should positively impact, businesses. As we look back on this era with perspective from sometime in the future, what might we identify as the precipitating breakthrough that signals the emergence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
Because of the rising technology maelstrom, the inability to instill disruptive innovations into organization cultures reliably, systematically, and quickly will accelerate business failures and stifle possible productivity gains. I designed 2Selfs Theory specifically to empower people to understand and manage the automatic mode of the human mind across a broad spectrum of human activities. Among the many benefits of finally conquering the auto-self, organizations can now overcome the naturally occurring innovation deathtrap that will cause increasing company demises as long as we fail to manage our auto-self explicitly. As you progressively learn about and successfully use 2Selfs Theory, the explicit assumption that we have a second, automatic mode will effortlessly and imperceptibly migrate to an auto-context (the identification and management of many properties of auto-contexts is the central advance described in the 2Selfs Revolution book); you will then have acquired 2Selfs Worldview. The 2Selfs Revolution (using 2Selfs Theory operating within 2Selfs Worldview) will emancipate our auto-self (automatic, involuntary mental activities) in the same way that the Science/Enlightenment Revolution emancipated our thinking-self (thinking, intentional mental activities). This will empower individual contributors, leaders, and organizations of all types to flourish in the rising technology tsunami. That is why the Fourth Industrial Revolution will not occur successfully unless we concurrently launch the 2Selfs Revolution. The inherent human limitations that caused increasing numbers of business failures following the Third Industrial Revolution, which we came to expect and accept, will undermine the potential benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution if not addressed explicitly and now.
2Selfs Theory Enhancements to The Fourth Industrial Revolution Book
Following are some excerpts from the Fourth Industrial Revolution book along with my [annotations in brackets] to indicate why we need the 2Selfs Revolution, the features of which are explained in the 2Selfs Revolution book, to allow the Fourth Industrial Revolution to succeed – indeed to tap the full potential of this anticipated industrial revolution. (The number in parentheses following each quote is the Kindle location of it.)
“Of the many diverse and fascinating challenges we face today, the most intense and important is how to understand and shape the new technology revolution, which entails nothing less than a transformation of humankind. [I assume Schwab refers here to the changes that the explosion of technologies will directly impose on us, but a different and tightly intertwined transformation of humankind is about to occur. We are about to (we must!) experience the 2Selfs Revolution, which is now required so that we can manage the changes wrought by the explosion of disruptive technology innovations.] We are at the beginning of a revolution that is fundamentally changing the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope and complexity, what I consider to be the fourth industrial revolution is unlike anything humankind has experienced before. We have yet to grasp fully the speed and breadth of this new revolution.” [A main theme of the 2Selfs Revolution book is that the situation is much worse than not grasping fully this new technology revolution. We must overcome inherent limitations of human nature in order to capitalize on these potential opportunities. We must achieve discontinuously greater abilities to manage disruptive innovations – we need a culture-wide overarching supraevolutionary ascent so we can directly solve problems that require transforming automatic mental (i.e., auto-self) activities.] (44)
Schwab speaks of “the staggering confluence of emerging technology breakthroughs, covering wide-ranging fields including “artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, the internet of things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, and quantum computing.” [We are capable of creating and understanding these technologies, but not naturally capable of instilling them into our organizations’ cultures commensurate with their accelerating rates of occurrences. As a result, we must take extraordinary actions to conquer the automatic mode of human activities before we can enjoy the full potential fruits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.] (49)
“The changes are so profound that, from the perspective of human history, there has never been a time of greater promise or potential peril.” [Disruptive technology advances always create peril for current jobs and existing businesses and promise for new types of jobs and businesses. However, there is an additional momentous form of peril involved now. During the first two industrial revolutions and the nearly century-long industrial eras that followed them, technology-driven changes happened slowly enough that indirect, seat-of-the-pants business transformations could accommodate those changes. The advent of the Third Industrial Revolution changed our world in the West in ways that we had not adequately appreciated until now. Soon after the start of the Third Industrial Revolution, as the Third Industrial Era got underway, changes started occurring that were unlike anything that the West, or indeed humankind, had ever experienced. Computers, communications, software, and services built upon digital technologies exploded based on the underlying semiconductor technology that had the unprecedented property of increasing performance while decreasing costs year after year and decade after decade. These technology advances led to digital-based changes that accelerated over time. Starting about four decades ago, the magnitudes and rates of change increasingly overwhelmed our abilities to accommodate them as quickly as they occurred, so the Third Industrial Era started to self-destruct, and it exposed the fundamental flaw in the problem-solving foundation of the Thinking-Self Age. Although the physical-world prowess we had throughout the Thinking-Self Age continues to be enormously effective, we can now see that the proficiency we have for solving mental-world (particularly auto-self-based) problems is inadequate to match our current and growing needs. Nothing about the technology developments in the Fourth Industrial Revolution helps solve this fundamental problem. In fact, because of the broadening technology and escalating rates of change, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will only exacerbate this problem. The Thinking-Self Age is no longer viable, so we must launch the 2Selfs Revolution not to bring us into the Auto-Self Age but rather into 2Selfs Age because we want to continue our spectacular progress in the physical world, but we must add equivalent capabilities to solve problems in the mental world.] (66)
“My concern, however, is that decision-makers are too often caught in traditional, linear (and non-disruptive) thinking.” [The “thinking” of all of us is continuously empowered and entrapped by our auto-contexts (professional worldviews and company cultures; even our self-image, attitudes, and enduring values). We can now see that the underlying distinction between linear (or continuous or incremental) and disruptive (or discontinuous or revolutionary) thinking is just that linear thinking is a thinking-self activity within an existing worldview or culture (shared auto-context), whereas the “disruption” in disruptive thinking occurs because we must reconstruct the auto-context that provides the foundation for thinking-self problem-solving. To prosper in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, everyone needs to learn how to reconstruct auto-contexts systematically, reliably, and quickly enough to meet our growing needs.] (67)
“The more we think about how to harness the technology revolution, the more we will examine ourselves and the underlying social models that these technologies embody and enable, the more we will have an opportunity to shape the revolution in a manner that improves the state of the world.” [The 2Selfs Revolution book explains how to take control of revolutionary changes within a business and how to conquer many additional technology-driven opportunities by using 2Selfs Theory operating within 2Selfs Worldview to improve “the state of the world.”] (88)
“The fundamental and global nature of this revolution means it will affect and be influenced by all countries, economies, sectors and people.” [And, those entities that adopt 2Selfs Theory, instill 2Selfs Worldview, and thereby launch their segment’s 2Selfs Revolution first will gain an enormous competitive advantage over those that lag.] (91)
“The requisite institutional framework to govern the diffusion of innovation and mitigate the disruption is inadequate at best and, at worst, absent altogether.” [The “institutional framework” does not currently exist. That is why I spent over two decades studying the automatic mode of the human mind and creating and repeatedly testing and improving 2Selfs Theory that provides systematic, reliable processes to instill timely discontinuous innovations into organization cultures, among many other benefits. The new institutional framework must include 2Selfs Worldview. or some worldview that provides the foundation for directly understanding and managing our automatic mental activities, as opposed to indirectly (as with theories addressing “soft” success factors) or not at all (as with the widely embraced “best practices” “sustainable success” books.)] (145)
“The question for all industries and companies, without exception, is no longer ‘Am I going to be disrupted?’ but ‘When is disruption coming, what form will it take, and how will it affect me and my organization?’” [Agreed, and it will affect you in debilitating ways if you don’t learn to transform business cultures reliably, systematically, and quickly by addressing the underlying mental activities of our automatic mode that otherwise naturally block incorporating disruptive innovations systematically.] (215)
“There is evidence that the technologies that underpin the fourth industrial revolution are having a major impact on how businesses are led, organized and resourced. One particular symptom of this phenomenon is that the historical reduction in the average lifespan of a corporation listed on the S&P 500 has dropped from around 60 to approximately 18 [years].” [The Third Industrial Era is inexorably self-destructing due to an inherent flaw in its overarching problem-solving (worldview) foundation, which has created a business environment (mostly due to spectacular advances in semiconductor technologies) that we increasingly cannot manage effectively within the overarching worldviews of the Thinking-Self Age. Once you understand 2Selfs Theory, you will realize that in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, that structural flaw will cause the decay to worsen and the mean-time-to-failure of companies will continue to shrink unless we simultaneously launch the 2Selfs Revolution. We must now decisively change the way “businesses are led” by explicitly managing the auto-self that controls most of what we call “leadership” (as opposed to “management,” which our thinking-self handles) and the other “soft” success factors]. (705)
“This also reinforces an underlying theme in my conversations with global CEOs and senior business executives; namely, that the deluge of information available today, the velocity of disruption and the acceleration of innovation are hard to comprehend or anticipate. They constitute a source of constant surprise. In such a context, it is a leader’s ability to continually learn, adapt and challenge his or her own conceptual and operating models of success that will distinguish the next generation of successful business leaders.” [2Selfs Theory reveals that continuous learning is the domain of our thinking-self. Our auto-self improves through periodic transforming and that is true for the auto-contexts that control organizational cultures (and therefore for inculcating disruptive innovations) as well as for the auto-behaviors (habits) of individuals and leaders that play a crucial role in their ability to execute consistently at star levels. Also, to succeed within our increasingly turbulent business environment with its technology tsunamis, a leader’s “conceptual and operating models of success” must include as their foundation 2Selfs Worldview (or some worldview foundation that empowers leaders to understand and manage automatic mental activities), which fortuitously you will automatically acquire as you learn about 2Selfs Theory and apply what you learn. You will need 2Selfs Worldview in order to comprehend and manage the automatic mode of human activities using 2Selfs Theory.] (711)
“Therefore, the first imperative of the business impact made by the fourth industrial revolution is the urgent need to look at oneself as a business leader and at one’s own organization. Is there evidence of the organization and leadership capacity to learn and change? Is there a track record of prototyping and investment decision-making at a fast pace? Does the culture accept innovation and failure?” [You will learn in the 2Selfs Revolution book about conducting Annual Culture Reconstruction Retreats that have as their sole purpose searching out and identifying candidates for discontinuous innovations and creating systematic culture (auto-context) reconstructions that turn these technology innovations into new profit streams. Unless we take a fundamentally new approach such as described in the 2Selfs Revolution book, companies will inevitably succumb to innovation deathtraps caused by the onslaught of new technologies and our basic human-nature inability to accommodate them at the increasing rate of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Therefore, the minimum supraevolutionary level to achieve repeated successes in business and business successes is to become star leaders who create transformable organizations. You must become discontinuously better at playing the (execution and innovation) games you play now within the rules of the game (business worldviews) in place while you rose to power. You can learn in the 2Selfs Revolution book about additional discontinuously different and more empowering ways to address the urgent need to look at oneself as a business leader and at one’s own organization so you can solve debilitating problems you likely do not address adequately and perhaps don’t even think about today. You will learn that the next higher supraevolutionary (problem-solving) level for business leaders will be the heroic leaders who can transform the rules of the games (worldviews) their business plays. However, the best of the best will ascend to an even higher supraevolutionary level to become super-heroic leaders who will rise above playing discontinuously better within the existing rules of the business game they have been playing and beyond reconstructing the rules of the games they play to transform the political/economic environment in which businesses operate. These assertions may seem too grandiose and obscure to you now, but if you work your way through the 2Selfs Revolution book, they will make clear sense to you. Even more empowering, you will have a roadmap to rise up through successive supraevolutionary transformations to unprecedented levels to create long-term repeated business successes and, if you choose and have the capabilities, to play a part in leading the 2Selfs Revolution charge of your profession, and perhaps your country into 2Selfs Age.] (715)
“The ride will only get faster, the changes will be fundamental, and the journey will therefore require a hard and honest look at the ability of organizations to operate with speed and agility.” [Most businesses do not currently have that ability, at least not at a rate consistent with the escalating need. 2Selfs Theory will emancipate our auto-self to empower “organizations to operate with speed and agility” in the tumultuous business environments of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.] (718)
“Disruption also flows from agile, innovative competitors who, by accessing global digital platforms for research, development, marketing, sales and distribution, can overtake well established incumbents faster than ever by improving the quality, speed or price at which they deliver value.” [2Selfs Theory reveals that startup companies go through a culture construction process, which is immensely easier to accomplish than a culture reconstruction process. That has put existing companies in an inherent competitive disadvantage and has led to so many business failures. The stealthy “certainty illusion.” which is an unhelpful byproduct of our normally useful auto-contexts, creates the self-deception that our business strategies (and other forms of auto-contexts) are certainly “true” independent of whether or not they align with our success needs. The human-nature trap companies create for themselves is that their successes automatically construct auto-contexts (culture elements) in the power players that align with success needs when the business created its great successes. However, in our current tumultuous business environment, technology innovations keep coming, requiring ever more frequent culture reconstructions, and that will only accelerate as the Fourth Industrial Revolution crashes over us, resulting in the company culture inevitably becoming misaligned with success needs even more frequently. Unfortunately, due to the devastatingly misleading certainty illusion and the relentless auto-self driven need to escape discomfort created by the Comfort Imperative, companies routinely fail to make these culture reconstructions quickly enough (and often not at all) and therefore succumb to the innovation deathtrap. With 2Selfs Theory, existing companies can now have the means to recognize explicitly and overcome systematically the debilitating certainty illusions and the Comfort Imperative that tenaciously guard the gates of the status quo to block infusing discontinuous innovations into their culture systematically and quickly.] (725)
“Business leaders and senior executives need to understand that disruption affects both the demand and supply sides of their business. This, in turn, must compel them to challenge the assumptions of their operating teams and find new ways of doing things. In short, they have to innovate continuously.” [These “assumptions” are of a different form and are much more difficult to manage than most people realize today. They are deeply embedded in the shared auto-contexts of the power brokers of organizations and therefore they require systematic auto-context reconstruction techniques to make the needed culture changes. Businesses can continuously incorporate incremental innovations because those only require thinking-self improvements within an existing culture (shared auto-contexts). However, because of the nature of auto-context reconstructions, companies will only be able to instill disruptive innovations periodically and in the current rapidly changing business environment, they must learn to do that methodically and much more rapidly than is now possible. Leaders and their businesses must become “transformable.”] (738)
“All these different impacts require companies to rethink their operating models. Accordingly, strategic planning is being challenged by the need for companies to operate faster and with greater agility.” [Operating models are not just what is written down for the thinking-self to process. The most powerful parts of operating models are buried in shared auto-contexts (which is what actually constitutes the company culture). 2Selfs Theory reveals the fundamental difference between evolutionary and revolutionary strategy formation. Evolutionary strategy formation, which is a thinking-self activity within an existing culture (shared auto-contexts), is a straightforward process that you already know how to accomplish. However, revolutionary strategy formation, which requires reconstructing elements of an organization’s culture, is a completely different process that most leaders and companies do not currently know how to accomplish effectively and quickly. You can get an overview of a systematic process for reconstructing business cultures using Annual Culture Reconstruction Retreats in my article on coaching. Since the ability to inculcate discontinuous innovations will increasingly determine successes as the need becomes ever more frequent within the Fourth Industrial Revolution, you must learn about and use 2Selfs Theory (currently the only comprehensive theory of the automatic mode of human activities) to manage this process effectively.] (814)
“The fourth industrial revolution may be driving disruption, but the challenges it presents are of our own making. It is thus in our power to address them and enact the changes and policies needed to adapt (and flourish) in our emerging new environment. We can only meaningfully address these challenges if we mobilize the collective wisdom of our minds, hearts and souls.” [Klaus Schwab identifies here a major underlying problem companies (and societies!) now face. The business community has been smart enough (due to amazing thinking abilities that the Science/Enlightenment Revolution finally emancipated over two centuries ago to establish our Thinking-Self Age) to create the technologies that are driving disruptions “of our own making” that are creating the incipient Fourth Industrial Revolution. However, we have reached the point where we have overwhelmed our natural abilities to operate effectively within the new turbulent business and social environments we are still creating. Unfortunately, within the disintegrating foundation of the Thinking-Self Age, it is not currently “in our power to address them.” Therefore, we must now create the 2Selfs Revolution to emancipate the auto-self that will take us through a major overarching supraevolutionary ascent to begin operating within the worldview (problem-solving) foundations of 2Selfs Age. Schwab struggles, as do most people including the best and brightest, with trying to point a way forward with the tools (or even vocabulary) that have been available – relying on the “wisdom of our minds, hearts, and souls.” It is not within our natural “power to address…and enact the changes” as long as we remain trapped within the problem-solving worldview foundation of the Thinking-Self Age. We must create something much more specific and powerful to meet this new challenge. We must now recognize explicitly, understand comprehensively, and have the ability to transform auto-self attributes systematically, including auto-contexts, to achieve successes repeatedly – we need to conquer the auto-self ruts we all occupy. We need heroes to emerge to launch the 2Selfs Revolution for their profession including for business.] (1524)
“Knowing what is required to thrive is one thing; acting upon it is another. Where is all this leading and how can we best prepare?” [The knowing-doing gap has become a knowing-doing chasm as we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution. With the widespread ignorance of, or at best metaphorical access to (as in “soft” success factors, “heart,” “soul”), the automatic mode of human activities, it is leading to widespread career derailments, company failures, faltering competitiveness in the global market, and anemic productivity gains. Now, all of this tragically has spilled over into the voting public, causing destabilizing political chaos in many countries in the West. You can “best prepare” by learning to understand and manage automatic mental processes (the auto-self) and currently 2Selfs Theory is the best way to accomplish that.] (1602)
“The eventual course that the fourth industrial revolution takes will ultimately be determined by our ability to shape it in a way that unleashes its full potential.” [The business community does not currently have that ability, but 2Selfs Theory now provides it. The 2Selfs Revolution will come to the rescue to unleash the “full potential” of the emergent Fourth Industrial Revolution.] (1607)
“We must work to transform these challenges into opportunities by adequately – and proactively – preparing for their effects and impact. The world is fast changing, hyper-connected, ever more complex and becoming more fragmented but we can still shape our future in a way that benefits all. The window of opportunity for doing so is now.” [Fortunately, 2Selfs Theory arrives just in time because it provides the first, and so far the only, general theory that will enable us to “shape our future” proactively by empowering people to understand and manage automatic mental activities that the business community must conquer to prosper in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.] (1609)
Making the Fourth Industrial Revolution Successful
Neither the theme of the 2016 Davos forum nor Schwab’s book, both of which focus on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, are a call to arms to create a broad spectrum of rapidly evolving technologies that define the physical side of this revolution. Rather, they represent organized, insightful observations that advanced societies have arrived at a dramatic inflection point that requires explicit attention and a powerful response. We must now create a revolution in the way that we respond to the rapidly advancing technologies by emancipating our automatic mental activities – i.e., our auto-self. This is currently the only systematic way to execute the Fourth Industrial Revolution effectively, just as emancipating our thinking-self empowered the first through third industrial revolutions. Therefore, the 2Selfs Revolution book is not observing and narrating a revolution that is already underway; it is explicitly fomenting one – the 2Selfs Revolution – to respond to escalating turbulence in the business environment (and political, economic, other social, and personal responsibilities environments). There is no dramatic, single technology breakthrough that we can see now or will likely identify later as the precipitating force that created the Fourth Industrial Revolution (and provided the distinguishing feature or event). Instead, the triggering event will be the sudden emergence of the 2Selfs Revolution that emancipates our auto-self. This will provide the mental foundation (2Selfs Worldview) and processes (2Selfs Theory) to flourish within the technological turbulence that is crashing over us. So, just as the Science/Enlightenment Revolution laid the foundation for the first three industrial revolutions, now the 2Selfs Revolution will lay the foundation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and then the long successful Fourth Industrial Era that will follow as we move into 2Selfs Age.
You now have the opportunity to examine more about how you can help yourself, your business, your profession, your country, and possibly the whole West by understanding and participating in the 2Selfs Revolution. You can get an overview of the book that presents the roadmap for the 2Selfs Revolution at the homepage of this website.