EM finds some currency in the business world.
In the work entitled the “Extended Mind” Andy Clark and David Chalmers asked where does the mind stop and the world end? This question led them to looking at our “gameified” world and the classic game of Tetris. Clark and Chalmers found a piece of work done by David Kirsh and Paul Maglio. Below is a quote from that work:
“In Tetris, falling geometric shapes must be rapidly directed into an appropriate slot in an emerging structure. A rotation button can be used. David Kirsh and Paul Maglio (1994) calculate that the physical rotation of a shape through 90 degrees takes about 100 milliseconds, plus about 200 milliseconds to select the button. To achieve the same result by mental rotation takes about 1000 milliseconds.
Kirsh and Maglio go on to present compelling evidence that physical rotation is used not just to position a shape ready to fit a slot, but often to help determine whether the shape and the slot are compatible. The latter use constitutes a case of what Kirsh and Maglio call an `epistemic action’. Epistemic actions alter the world so as to aid and augment cognitive processes such as recognition and search. Merely pragmatic actions, by contrast, alter the world because some physical change is desirable for its own sake (e.g., putting cement into a hole in a dam).”
Clark and Chalmers go on to add” In these cases, the human organism is linked with an external entity in a two-way interaction, creating a coupled system that can be seen as a cognitive system in its own right. All the components in the system play an active causal role, and they jointly govern behavior in the same sort of way that cognition usually does. If we remove the external component the system’s behavioral competence will drop, just as it would if we removed part of its brain. Our thesis is that this sort of coupled process counts equally well as a cognitive process, whether or not it is wholly in the head.”
With this work in mind I would then suggest that this would also extend to the organization. For an organization to truly be innovative it must leverage coupled systems to increase its collective cognitive ability and increase its speed of discovery.