It’s always been like so but seldom have we elevated this cognition to a conscious level that there are essentially two kinds of jobs in human society: the job of making decisions and the job of executing decisions.
Making the right decision is far more important than executing decisions rightly. As was famously said in a proverb, “Do the right thing; it’s more important than do it efficiently”.
However, these two are tightly interwoven that we all agree that pure thinking and deciding is futile and dangerous while do-ers always sunk to the lowest rank in most circumstances no matter in ancient times or at present.
If we have to take a preference, it should be the thinking and decision making. Despite the fact it looks very unfair and feels mistreated, do-ers usually are the slaves to the thinkers. There is a Chinese saying, Those who work with their brains will rule; those who work with physical strength are governed by others.
It’s especially important to be cognizant of modern workers like us, in this era of the internet age, rather than industry age, where workers are operating on assembling line, modern workers are more or less brain-workers, deceiving ourselves that we are not physical labored slaves. Sadly, at the current time point, we are still in the same status as former workers, even the environment is vastly changed from dark, noisy factory to comfy, stable-temperatured office rooms.
We are like the ostriches, deny to recognized this fact, and even self- cheatingly claimed that we value and respect do-ers, thusly, bury ourselves to be a busier do-ers without asking whether it is worthy.
We should pause and ask a question – why those who focus on thinking, no matter it is thinking about playing political games, maneuvering to gain power, or seriously thinking about strategic way to advance the productivity and deliverable to customers, they become the rulers to tell you what to do, and you just have to take their orders. It is particularly frustrating if you witness a bulk of these people get to be far ahead of you not because of their busy thinking of maximizing the interest for the company but sharpening their Machiavelli kind of knowledge and skills.
I wrote this not to admonish anybody or to provoke the bad feelings, on the contrary, it helps me see the complex world a bit more clearly so we can get rid of frustration or, more worse, self-pitying. The world is nothing but an evolutionary machine, where we struggle to survive and thrive, no room for accusing and lamenting.
In the future, things would be altered to a good direction. Companies like Uber and Airbnb have set ostensible sample cases in which, we see it’s possible for a mammoth company to run with speed and agility because the mechanism is based on an AI algorithm, workers, customers all just need to obey the rule to play. As a result, demand – either need a taxi or need a nice boarding place – is fully satisfied with the lowest cost or inefficiencies.
Similarly, we embrace and appreciate Google opens its tensorflow source code so any programmer can tap and use the most advanced technology and deploy it into their endeavors or even create their own start-ups such as Data Robot. Following the footprint, Amazon also provides its resources and codes for free: https://aws.amazon.com/machine-learning/?nc2=h_l3_ai, in particular, Amazon SageMaker removes all the barriers that typically slow down developers who want to use machine learning. Traditional fintech company FactSet caught on by open-factset, aiming to provide a seamless, on-cloud platform for any users to leverage a swathe of datasets without going through the pain of setting up the relational database, configuring the connection, overcoming firewall hurdle etc.
It is a bright and exciting outlook for people just be focusing on the thinking of how to deliver value, meet the needs of the market. Extrodianny substance-based, not Machiavelli type of thinkers will excel and rule. It’s coming. But we don’t know how fast, how transforming it would be. The majority of us still need to cope with the old structure and again, thinking deeply and clearly always is the key.