Vanishing Point

Phil Cunningham

Phil Cunningham is a Senior Associate focused on the integration of technological and human processes to enable successful, large-scale IT implementation, transition, and adaptation within the public and private sectors. Phil earned his his MBA at George Mason University and his Bachelor of Science from The College of William and Mary. He currently is a PhD candidate in Experimental Economics at George Mason University.

Recent Posts

Do people still matter in a post-automated world?

Posted by Phil Cunningham

March 22, 2017 at 7:50 AM

Telephones came into existence in the late 19th Century. Along with the innovation came the establishment of new businesses, each focused on providing this new communication capability to the marketplace. And along with those emergent organizations came hundreds of thousands of new jobs for switchboard operators who would connect incoming calls to a final destination. The overwhelming rise in market saturation of telephones and resulting call activity outpaced the capacity of human workers to connect the calls well into the 20th Century. Automatic switching equipment emerged as a solution - and ultimately replaced the workforce entirely.

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The Path to Your Organization’s Success is Paved with Failure

Posted by Phil Cunningham

December 28, 2016 at 9:15 AM

In Plato’s Meno, the character Socrates raises the question of why knowledge is more valuable than a strongly held conviction or ‘true’ belief. He relates an anecdote of a traveler navigating the road to Larissa. When the traveler comes across a fork in the road, he can either know that Larissa lies to the road on the left or he can have a ‘true’ belief that he’ll reach the city by choosing to go left.

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How Flash Mobs and Unions Reveal the Future of Consumer Rights

Posted by Phil Cunningham

September 7, 2016 at 10:05 AM

The 1973 story “Flash Crowd” describes an event in a future world in which an argument in a public location swells into a small riot. The news reports the event, spawning a social disruption that grows and intensifies with incredible speed.

 

In the 43 years hence, Flash Crowds – now known as Flash Mobs – have taken various forms. In 2003, 130 people gathered at a Manhattan Macy’s, wanting to buy a rug for the warehouse where they claimed to live together. This was followed by a group of 200 people breaking into 15 seconds of ‘spontaneous’ applause in a hotel. Flash Mobs have evolved into pranks, artworks, and even political movements (e.g., the Arab Spring uprising).

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The Human Side of IT Resource Implementation

Posted by Phil Cunningham

April 6, 2016 at 10:17 AM

There is little doubt that we will continue to see a future that employs automated machines and other technology solutions to perform knowledge tasks and data analysis. As that happens, it is important for organizations to recognize these solutions as combined human-machine institutions – not as segmented machines or tools. 

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