In the past humans have dominated the world of strategy, but now technology is at a point where it can be recruited to improve upon the process. Humans and technology each possess unique roles that are crucial to designing strategy. These two roles can complement one another and make the process more efficient than ever before. Humans possess the ability to think outside of the box and to think abstractly, whereas technology possess the ability to execute well defined tasks with incredible speed and accuracy. Harnessing these two abilities and allowing them to work in tandem can lead to drastic changes in the way businesses design and carry out their strategies.
In a synergistic strategy, humans play the role of managers and define the scope of the strategy design process. They are the ones who determine the questions that need to be answered and what the objectives are. After determining the initial questions, they can pose those questions to the technology and analyze the output to decide if they need to reframe or change the course that the process is traveling down. Humans provide the vision and ensure that all actions taken are working towards that vision.
Technology plays the role of the workers and does most of the leg work through data analysis and providing the answers to the questions asked by the humans. Computers are extraordinarily proficient at executing single tasks quickly and precisely. The problem is that they never ask the question “why?” and never take a step back to look at the big picture. They currently require someone to tell them what tasks to execute and in what order.
The combination of the two roles allows for extremely fast allocation of meaningful data from the technology and then meaningful action from the humans. But the key to this process being successful lands on the human side. People need to ensure that they are asking the right questions that will lead to obtaining the information needed so that their objectives are met. In the present day we are experiencing a technological shift where computers are gaining more and more abilities everyday, but they can’t quite work yet without their human counterparts guiding them along the way. When it comes to strategy design, the whole truly might be greater than the sum of its parts.