Humanification – Go Digital, Stay Human. It has been a while since I Last reviewed a book, but this one first grabbed my attention, if for no reason than it’s title. This was followed quickly by the description:
Imagine being able to spot the next big trend, all being able to predict the next big wave of change. Imagine having encouraged that gives you the power to invent, predict all harness the next big technology. Humanification is going to help you unlock the DNA of innovation itself, your business and your community.
I was hooked.
Humanification is written in three parts
Part one the principles of Humanification
Part two the seven waves of innovation
Part three how to adapt, innovate and thrive
Chapter one disrupt or die
The author suggests that incremental change is no longer an option. In his first chapter the author states “disruptive innovation is no longer the exception, it’s the New Normal; and change is hotting up.” This point he emphasized through examples in the business world. Uber, Google, sat NAV.
In many ways the author is describing humanification much like a black swan event.
Chapter 2 Patterns, parallels and time machines
Outlines the importance of innovation and the importance of making decisions and processes more human. This is done through a moving personal story about his daughter and her and the families struggle for survival. I wont spoil the story by sharing it here, but its a great example of the application of innovation and attitudes to change. Innovation and barriers to innovation make much more sense when we are confronted with normality and change ourselves.
Chapter 3 The biology of technology
The biology of technology. Kromme outlines his approach to working with clients in change and innovation. He seeks to help organizations and people look at natural solutions and approaches. That is solutions that appear natural to users after the fact.
Kromme gone on to talk about patterns. Patterns in everything. The importance in seeing the patterns, for breaks in the patterns may well highlight issues. This is something that dyslexics have been trying to tell the business world for a long time, but have failed to make headway. Now we have the evidence!
Chapter 5 Disruption Secrets.
Kromme describes several situations where disruption has changed the space in which we operate. Starting with Steve Jobs and Apple, but also exploring the likes of Uber and Spotify.
What is disappointing about this is the choice of examples used to illustrate a point. The author has used the obvious examples, and not introduced the reader to things that have changed behind the scenes. Less obvious disruptors. For example cloud computing, 3D printing etc.
The end of part one of the book is focused on what the first half means. The conclusion that Kromme has drawn is that there is a pattern. This pattern the author calls the S-curve.
The s-curve has 7 needs:
These he calls “The spooky secrets”.
There are 14 short but punchy chapters in the first part of the book. You will have to buy the book to get the rest of them!
Part 2 The 7 waves of innovation
The second part of the book looks at innovation. How waves can be predictors of change. In turning to the human factors of change and technology Kromme links back to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. The reference for this in the book is Wikipedia. The image used in the book contains a version of the model that is a combination of the 2 versions of the model that Maslow wrote about. The Wikipedia version only talks about the earlier model. The version in the book is a hybrid of the versions. The authors do highlight a division in the model between “Deficiency and growth needs which could help some people understand the model in this context.
Using this human understanding of what drives us Kromme takes us on a journey through what he says are the seven stages or waves of most natural developmental processes.
- Security and Communication
- Automation to emotion
- Higher purpose
Kromme believes that much of the developed world is at wave 5 – Social. With many parts of the world still at levels 1 & 2. He states that with the progress of technology they will develop through the waves faster than we did.
Part 2 consists of 22 short chapters. Each covering a simple point or focus
Part 3 How to adapt, innovate and thrive
In the concluding section of the book Kromme looks to the application of the thinking and patterns that are shown in the first 2 parts of the book.
There are hints at what it takes to apply the ideas presented in the book, one I like a lot is a model called “Sense and Simplicity Curve”. In essence it suggests things needs to be simple enough that people can understand and use, but not so simple that it is meaningless.
The book sets out to show how the evolution and revolution of technology and change follows the biological and natural world laws of progress. The fact that there is a predictable pattern if you know where to look for it. In the book Kromme gives some strong signposts of where to look for each of us in our unique positions.
The book is a real eyeopener and one that will encourage readers to think. To think differently.
Humanification is a step (process or set of processes!) that many of us involved in change seem to overlook.
This book, much like some of the ideas contained in it will cause disruption. Both to the linear and predictable approaches of traditional change management methods.
Disruption is here. We need to develop the skills to be able to identify and predict it to protect our organizations, businesses and careers!