Jeremy Bentham was an 18th– century philosopher and reformer who is best known for his advocacy of utilitarianism, a moral theory which states that the best action is the one that maximizes overall well-being. If Bentham was alive today, he would likely apply his utilitarian philosophy to the digital transformation of organizations, seeking to create solutions that promote the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Bentham believed that individual happiness could be increased through the implementation of rational and efficient systems, so it is possible that he would use digital technology to streamline processes and create more efficient organizations. Ultimately, Bentham’s approach to digital transformation would likely prioritize the ethical use of technology to enhance human wellbeing and create a better world for all.
Let’s dive a bit deeper.
If Jeremy Bentham was the digital transformation leader of a global corporation, he would likely take a utilitarian approach to the transformation program, seeking to create solutions that maximize overall wellbeing. Given Bentham’s emphasis on efficiency and rationality, he would likely work to streamline processes and systems, making use of digital technology to improve organizational performance and increase competitiveness in the global marketplace.
As a digital transformation leader, Bentham would also consider the ethical implications of technology. He would seek to ensure that the corporation’s use of technology respects individual privacy and promotes social good. He would likely be primarily concerned with ensuring that the benefits of the transformation program are distributed fairly so that all stakeholders, including employees, customers, and communities, benefit from the changes.
Bentham would also likely focus on transparency and accountability, both in implementing the transformation program and in the corporation’s operation more broadly. He would work to create a culture of trust and collaboration so that all employees feel empowered to contribute to the transformation effort and to help shape the company’s digital future.
Finally, Bentham’s utilitarian approach would drive him to continually assess the impact of the digital transformation program and make changes as necessary to ensure that it continues to promote the greatest good for the greatest number of people. With his commitment to creating a better world through technology, Bentham would be an innovative and forward-thinking digital transformation leader, driving the corporation to new heights of success and sustainability.
This is also applicable in today’s world.
A successful case study of a digital transformation aligned with Jeremy Bentham’s utilitarian philosophy could be implementing a digital healthcare system. In such a system, technology is used to improve the delivery of healthcare services, increase access to care, and ultimately enhance patients’ overall well-being.
For example, a government might introduce a comprehensive digital healthcare system that streamlines processes, increases efficiency, and reduces the administrative burden on healthcare providers. This could involve the implementation of electronic health records (EHRs), telemedicine, and other digital tools that allow healthcare providers to more easily access patient information, communicate with one another, and deliver care more efficiently and effectively.
In a digital healthcare system like this, the focus would be on maximizing the overall wellbeing of patients rather than on maximizing profit or efficiency for healthcare providers. Bentham’s focus on transparency and accountability would also be reflected in system’s design, which would include robust privacy and security measures to protect patient data and ensure that the benefits of the transformation are distributed fairly.
Ultimately, a digital healthcare system designed along utilitarian lines would aim to improve access to care, increase the quality of care, and promote the wellbeing of patients. By improving the delivery of healthcare services and increasing the efficiency of the healthcare system, such a system would provide a practical example of how Bentham’s utilitarian philosophy can be applied to the digital transformation of an industry.
You must be pragmatic about transformation.
Here are some suggestions for leaders on how to apply a utilitarian approach to digital transformation in today’s business environment:
- Focus on the customer: Leaders should start by concentrating on the needs and wants of their customers and ensuring that the digital transformation serves their needs and enhances their overall experience. This can be achieved through customer research, customer feedback, and the creation of user-centric digital solutions.
- Foster a culture of innovation: Leaders should create a culture of innovation that encourages employees to embrace new ideas and change. This can be done by investing in training, providing opportunities for collaboration, and rewarding innovation and creativity.
- Emphasize ethics and transparency: Leaders should be transparent about the digital transformation’s goals and the benefits it will bring to customers, employees, and other stakeholders. They should also emphasize the importance of ethics and privacy and ensure that the transformation is designed with these values in mind.
- Leverage technology: Leaders should leverage technology to improve processes, increase efficiency, and enhance the overall customer experience. This may involve the implementation of new systems and tools, such as artificial intelligence, big data, and the Internet of Things (IoT).
- Measure success: Leaders should regularly measure the success of the digital transformation and adjust as needed to ensure that it delivers the desired outcomes. This can be done through customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and process efficiency metrics.
By following these principles, leaders can ensure that their digital transformation aligns with Jeremy Bentham’s utilitarian philosophy and focuses on improving the overall well-being of customers, employees, and other stakeholders. In addition, this approach can help build trust and create a more positive and sustainable future for the business and its stakeholders.
You can succeed with digital and at the same time do good to your customer.
A good example of a successful digital transformation in the private sector is a large retailer’s implementation of a customer relationship management (CRM) system. The retailer wanted to improve its customer experience and build stronger customer relationships, so it implemented a CRM system that provided customers with a personalized and seamless shopping experience.
The CRM system was designed with the customer in mind and aimed to improve customers’ overall well-being by making the shopping experience more convenient, efficient, and enjoyable. The retailer used data and analytics to gain insights into customer behaviour and preferences, which helped to inform decisions about product offerings, pricing, and promotions.
The retailer also emphasized ethics and transparency in the design of the CRM system, ensuring that customer data was collected and used in a responsible and secure manner. Additionally, the retailer invested in training and development to help employees understand and embrace the new technology.
The digital transformation was successful and positively impacted the retailer’s bottom line. Customer satisfaction increased, sales grew, and the retailer was able to establish stronger relationships with its customers. This demonstrates the benefits of a utilitarian approach to digital transformation and how focusing on the needs and wellbeing of customers can drive positive business outcomes.
We believe that the digital future holds great potential.
In conclusion, the key to a successful digital transformation is to align it with Jeremy Bentham’s utilitarian philosophy, which emphasizes the importance of the wellbeing of all stakeholders. This approach focuses on improving the customer experience, fostering innovation, prioritizing ethics and transparency, leveraging technology, and measuring success. By adopting this customer-centric, data-driven approach, leaders can ensure that their digital transformation delivers positive outcomes for the business and its stakeholders and creates a more sustainable future.
In summary, a successful digital transformation requires a clear understanding of the goals, a focus on the customers’ needs, an innovative and transparent approach, and the use of technology to drive efficiencies and enhance the customer experience. By following these principles, leaders can ensure that their digital transformation delivers positive outcomes and creates a brighter future for the business and its stakeholders.