Leadership Articles

Destructive Criticism – My experiences with negative feedback across cultures

Giving Feedback Across Cultures
Giving feedback is hard. Giving good feedback is even harder. Giving good feedback across cultures is next to impossible. On my first Canadian project two decades ago, my Canadian boss "suggested that I think about" doing something in a different manner. So I did. I thought about it, and I decided not to. Not long afterwards, our Canadian client provided feedback on my first deliverable. I was elated to hear that I had "some original ideas" and that my report was "relatively fine." They concluded with a suggestion that perhaps I "should consider rewording parts of it." Never the one to go fixing what's not broken, I considered it, but ultimately decided that it would be a mistake to change something that is "fine" and "original". Imagine...

We need to free organizations of bullshit – Part 1: Why?

Organizational Bullshit
While I add a similar disclaimer to all of my public content, it's particularly important in this case to emphasize that the convictions I've expressed in this article are entirely my own. I've arrived at these opinions after 30 years of corporate work, but they in no way reflect the views of PwC and are in no particular way inspired by PwC. Preamble I have to admit that I am a little surprised to find myself writing a series of articles on 'organizational bullshit.' At first glance, this is not my area of specialist expertise. But the more I have reflected on this topic, the more I have realized that I am at least partially qualified to contribute an opinion, as...

We need to free organizations of bullshit – Part 2: How?

Organizational Bullshit
Read Part 1: Why Part 2: How One day, sitting in the shed he called home, the journalist, Oobah Butler, had an idea: he would turn his shed into a fake restaurant and make it the top-rated eatery in London. This audacious thought wasn't random, though. Before becoming a feature writer for VICE.com, one of Butler's part-time jobs had been as a review writer. But not just any reviews – these were fake reviews on TripAdvisor paid for by establishments who wanted to improve their business ratings. As he became more entrenched in this work and watched his reviews have real-world effects on restaurant rankings, Butler began to doubt the reality of the whole system, believing that it was all fake,...

Neurodiversity: Talent or Token?

How window-dressing chips away at any tangible rewards companies could reap from neurodiversity efforts. Diversity has made a dent in the public consciousness. With a long-overdue shift from an ethical buzzword into a brand-defining must-have, emerging nuances to diversity have at last begun to take their place on the front burner. In fact, neurodiversity is now so widely known that it has quickly risen to become a subject of keen interest. Google Trends drops data-backed hints about how much of a crucial role neurodiverse individuals actually play in corporate and social settings — unlike how we have come to view them as outliers. A close look at the data around the search for the term “Neurodiversity” reveals a sudden spike in...

What COVID-19 Taught Us About the Need for 5G

There are many adjectives that could be used to describe the global outbreak of COVID-19, but perhaps the simplest might be: fast. The disease has spread quicker than most people can mentally digest. By nature, humans process linearly. This pandemic has been a lesson in exponential thinking for the common man. Those who don’t spend their time contemplating Moore's Law or compound interest have felt overwhelmed by infection or mortality rates that double daily. In response, governments, businesses, monetary institutions, education systems and the many other players in corporate and civil life have acted at high speed. It is easy to argue that, in numerous cases, reactions should have been faster, but as a whole, shifts in policy and social management...

CH 8: Driving Change as Innovators

Future of Leadership in the Age of AI CH8
To remain competitive, organizations will increasingly have to innovate. As the speed of innovation increases, disrupting whole sectors, competitive intelligence, market intelligence even a bit of futurism will become essential skills. Leaders will have to stay informed not only of macro trends in their industry but also in technology in general. And they will have to do more than merely report their findings to appropriate people higher in the organization. AI can easily do that. Instead, they will also have to develop a sense for how those trends could impact their organization, so they can assess how to get the most out of them, as organizations transform their structures to respond faster to customer expectations. These skills will not stop merely...

CH 1: Introduction – The Future of Leadership in the Age of AI

CH 1: Introduction – The Future of Leadership in the Age of AI
It’s almost impossible to turn around nowadays without finding another article predicting the impact that AI and other emerging technologies – the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution – will have on our future. It’s one of the hottest topics being discussed by forward-thinking business leaders today. And well it should be. The fact that we are on the cusp of dramatic change in how business, workplaces and our very lives are carried out is inescapable. Some writers picture a utopia where humankind is freed from manual labor, where machines do all the work and all people receive a universal basic income from the revenues that machines generate. This view further pictures all people, having been freed from the need to work...

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