“The Cylons were created by man. They rebelled. They evolved. They look and feel human. Some are programmed to think they are human. There are many copies. And they have a plan.”
– Season 1 Opening Prologue
Battlestar Galatica, regardless of the series (1978 or 2003), provides a good platform for this technology discussion. In this scenario, the creation (Cylons) turns on the creator (mankind). The Cylons were created to make life easier for humanity. However, Cylons evolved into thinking beings and rebelled against their intended use. Clearly, the inventors had created something without understanding unintended consequences in the socio-technical system.
We now approach the 2nd critical element for effective socio-technical systems, which is technology relevancy. Organizations rush to accelerate their products quicker to their customers. Under this umbrella, industrial designers seek to optimize three elements: (a) tools – involves the material infrastructures, (b) training – relates to human capital matters, and (c) time- considers setting realistic expectations in the operations. Yet, organizations shouldn’t ignore the significance of any soci-technical system integrations. In their article “The Relevancy of Concurrent Engineering in Industrial Technology Programs,” Dr. Radha Balamuralikrishna, Dr. Ragu Athinarayanan, and Dr. Xueshu Song analyze how organizations attempt to maximize operational efficiencies: “It is safe to assume that a hurried implementation of concurrent engineering without careful planning and investment of time has a high probability of backfiring.”
Organizations must understand that technology needs to be relevant as it relates to benefiting the whole socio-technical system. As an engineer, we are taught how to use theory in order to build, design, and operate technical systems, whether mechanical, digital, or otherwise. Sometimes this creates a technical superiority over the other components of this socio-technical system. Vince Adams, a technical manager, agrees, “Engineers are more concerned about the technical aspects of a system. This is what we are taught. Engineers do not want to deal with the social aspects.”
Dr. Daryl D. Green is the Vice President of Marketing at AGSM Consulting, LLC, where he provides strategic planning, marketing and product development to emerging and existing businesses. In 2016, Dr. Green retired from the Department of Energy, where he had been employed for over 27 years in the DOE’s Environmental Management Program. He is a much sought-after speaker and award-winning author of several textbooks and reference books, including Job Strategies for the 21st Century. Dr. Green has a national digital marketing certification and is also a respected researcher in his field of study, which focuses on culture, decision-making, leadership, management and marketing.
Dr. Green received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Southern University, an M.A. in Organizational Management from Tusculum College, and a doctoral degree in Strategic Leadership from Regent University. He is currently a respected university professor at Oklahoma Baptist University, who has been noted and quoted by USA Today, Ebony Magazine and the Associated Press.