Four ways to build a human company in the age of the Machine

        This time, I am being assigned to present the Ted Talks video in one of my class assignments. I have chosen the video hosted by Tim Leberecht (2016) on TedTalks where he discussed how the company can still be thriving with human interaction rather than a machine. In a situation where a machine can do any job more efficiently, there will only be some jobs left to humans which must be done beautifully. Tim has purposed four ways to build a human company in the age of the machine, which I will try to explain below.


        The first principle he mentioned in the video is “Do the Unnecessary”. Yes, that is true, do the unnecessary. By mean unnecessary, he tries to explain is doing such activities in the business which do not have any hidden motive or reaction to this work. That means the unnecessary work stated here is an unexpected, surprising, celestial, engaging, and joyful event. Let me be clearer with a simple but real example. I used to work with Innovent Inc. in Newport Beach. In the mid of last September, I noticed that something weird was happening in the office. While I entered the office, nobody was literally talking to me. Later, my supervisor came and asked me to join him in going to the warehouse. I did not have any option rather than “okay”. I joined him, he drove really slowly than usual and took me to the new place, where every staff of my office was waiting for me with the birthday cake. Isn’t it a joyful moment?  There is no direct benefit to the company to celebrating my birthday in the outdoor restaurant, but it makes our relationship stronger. It makes us motivated to perform our job beautifully. In Tim’s words “you might not always realize it, but when you cut the unnecessary, you cut everything.”

Second, creating intimacy. As per Merriam Webester (2021) dictionary, intimacy is something of a personal or private nature. In the workspace concept, it is a bond between colleagues which is built with work and cares about others simultaneously. Intimacy creates a comfortable environment during the time together. Tim explains that this is the moment that trusts an honest reign. 

To explain further, he used the humanitarian organization CARE which wanted to lunch a gender equality campaign in northern India. Before the announcement, CARE had conservation with its staff and their partner in the Khajuraho Temple which is known for erotic sculptures. During that event, all of them discussed their personal relationship and shared gender inequality in their own lives. He further explained that this occasion broke down all the invisible barriers among themselves. It’s been proved as none of the employees quit their job for next four years.  

The third principle he purposed is “Be Ugly”.  Tim insisted that an organization can perform better when it gets the ugly truth, and after that will try to find the solution. This means, if we want to see the beauty in the ugly, we need to change our perception. In the video, he pointed ugliness is simplicity and honesty, and sometimes we found the truth is ugly. We have observed that asking a question is important, but the more important is to answer the question with honesty, which sometimes seems ugly. In this view, I personally think that whatever we see spectacular is ugly, and I also think that beauty of ugly is far better than the beauty of falsity. I, therefore, agree with him that the company needs to remain ugly. 

The last principle is to remain incomplete. Perfection put the limitation. Remain uncomplete meanings either company or human eager to learn something new and never tired of gaining knowledge. That is why most prominent companies across the world also invest millions of dollars in research and development, even when the result is uncertain.  The incomplete company always remains mysterious. In personal life too, whoever creates new ideas, accepts challenges, moves out of the box, and eventually thrives. This is a life and is more valuable than a machine could ever be.



Marriam Webster (2021, August). Intimacy.,a%20quality%20that%20suggests%20informal%20warmth%20or%20closeness

Tim Leberecht (2016). Four ways to build a human company in the age of the machine.






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