Tuesday, October 12, 2021


Progress has to be achieved through collective wisdom and diversity of insight.

Progress represents change, either by individual or group efforts or induced by environmental and cultural tangible and intangible forces. Without change, people or organizations cannot even stagnate. They will be on a backward journey.

 Human society is forced to grow out of a paradigm because of dynamic changes in the physical world or other major shifts. Progress demonstrates the evolution of humanity into a more unified, prosperous and peaceful society from the following perspectives.

Cognitive progress: The world becomes hyper-connected and over-complex, every complexity has intelligence in it. Thus, a progressive mind is in demand to decode complexity and lead upward changes. Conventional traditions, outdated knowledge and concepts are like the time glue that keeps people still. People with a static mind consciously or subconsciously protect their status quo. A progressive mind is all about the desire to learn, grow and make continuous improvement. Collectively, the progressive minds in a collective setting can sustain a balance of diversified viewpoints, creativity, discipline; opportunities and risk; individualism and teamwork, democracy and unification; science and art to solve varying problems collaboratively.

You can only know what you know, but there are more dimensions which you don’t know. Cognitive progress can be made based on how broadly you can view and how profoundly you can perceive. How deep your understanding is based on the mindset, logic, knowledge, lenses, and the methodology you leverage to interpret things. In order to handle complex situations, diagnose the right problems and solve them smoothly, it’s important to deepen the level of understanding, to analyze and synthesize information, dig deeper to gain contextual understanding by sensing the tones and embracing holism, keep practicing and climb the pyramid of cognitive maturity for leading cognitive progress.

Sociological progress: Individual progress enriches our experience and drives an upward life journey. Collective progress leads to societal advancement. Different communities, groups are perhaps at the different stages of the progress journey. More often, progress is not a universal truth, but a relative truth. The progress being made in your community perhaps is the old tradition in the other community in which they intend to break through. There are learning curves behind each progress. Encourage people to question the status quo and think independently and create an environment that encourages dissent and candor for enhancing a healthy feedback-feedforward cycle to drive continuous progress. The best we can individually do is to start breaking chains of habitual thinking, perceiving, willing, and feeling, continue updating knowledge, skills, and capabilities, to drive the change we want to see and lead the journey of business transformation via many accumulated steps and a few leapfrogs.

There are agricultural societies, industrial societies, and now we are moving into information/knowledge led societies. We define most societies by shared patterns of beliefs, attitudes, and actions, that sounds a lot like the substance of culture. Since each society is different, societies will develop the practice that is best suited to them to make progress. Sociology is the important study of human interactions, acts, behaviors, cultures, usually within the context of organized groups, communities, or societies for enabling business leaders and professionals to envision what progress they need to make and understand how to shape a more advanced society. We all belong to certain societies with the very characteristics such as citizen, freedom, liberty or system; a society is an organization that belongs to us and the way to change it is to modify our individual, group, and collective practices so that they facilitate both the development of our fellow citizens and the functioning of our collectivity to make continuous progress.

Technological progress: Information is the linchpin and technology is the backbone of modern businesses. Organizations need both internal and external focuses when it comes to staying up to date with advances in information technology. The exponential growth of information is one of the most invaluable assets besides people that all forward-looking companies are exploring to gain business insight and generate business value. While the emerging digital technologies enable learning, working, or other social behaviors to take place online, endowing these interactions with scale, speed, and disruptive economics, provide platforms for content creation, distribution, consuming, co-creation and transformation of personal and group communication into the content.

It is true that the growth of technology is triggering a paradigm shift - we are moving from an industrial age to the knowledge/creative economy. Technology can be efficiency-driven, or it can be disruptive - changing the industry. Information can be transaction driven, but it interwovens a digital organization and drives business transformation. Technology centrism becomes multidisciplinary. Every technology change is the business initiative either for empowering employees or delighting customers, to make organizational progress by improving business productivity, responsiveness, adaptability, innovativeness, and flexibility. But opportunities and risks co-exist; there are risks and return on investment sharing models to experiment with new technologies. Organizations have to balance real technology needs against the risk appetite of the company for building a technology based, information savvy, people-centric organization. So the technological perspective of progress converges into the collective business or societal progress.

The world is hyper connected and interdependent. This view of the world has many dimensions, these dimensions interact and mutually influence each other; expressing that interaction as an emergence of a new worldview very different from the previous era. In fact, progress is often not the straight line, but in a curvilinear upcycle with a multifaceted truth. Allow yourself permission to be wrong, forgive yourself more for failures, take the consequences and learn from them. More often now, progress has to be achieved through collective wisdom and diversity of insight.


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