What organisations can learn from Harari’s dataism…

In his book Homo Deus, the sequel to Sapiens, Harari invites us to consider that humanism may get serious competition from dataism.

Humanism is the ‘modern day religion’ that posits that not God but humans are the highest authority.  When you have a tough decision to make, humanists recommend you to discover your unique self, to listen to yourself, to follow your heart, and to do what feels good.

Dataism posits that data are the highest authority, that the world consists of data flows and that the merit of any entity consists of its contribution to data flow, to data processing.  One of the ideals of dataism is free flow of information.

This is not the place to debate the merits of humanism or dataism. But I do want to ask you: what might this mean for your organisation?

Does your organisation have a set of values? What if you would add free flow of information as a value? How open are people sharing information throughout the organisation? With information I do not mean just financials or other key performance indicators. Even more important is sharing less structured information such as the issues that people sense, the observations they make when they reflect, the new ideas they would like to consider.

What has your organisation done to change its basic processes such as communicating, decision-making, running meetings, setting strategic priorities, in ways that increases the free flow of information?