Leadership Articles

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...

Innovation in Canada – What’s Not Working and What Is

Innovation in Canada
Canada’s rankings in innovation has lagged that of other peer nations for decades despite government efforts to address this issue. Considering its success in developing research programs at its universities, its mediocre rankings overall in technology development is disappointing. Those programs alone have not been enough to translate into entrepreneurial innovation. A 2017 C.D. Howe Institute study points out that, even though Canadians have been at the forefront of breakthroughs in emerging technologies, in many cases, the chief beneficiaries of those breakthroughs have been other nations’ economies. Canada needs to take a stronger role in building an environment in which Canadian know-how spurs Canadian business growth. Causes for concern According to a 2017 PwC global survey, Canadian companies stand significantly ahead of...

The Future of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Future of AI
If you’ve read the many predictions about the future of AI, you’ve likely found them to be wildly different. They range from AI spelling doom for humanity, to AI ushering in Golden Age of peace, harmony and culture, to AI producing barely a blip on society’s path toward ever-greater technological achievement. Those three views – dystopian, utopian and organic – present issues we need to consider as we move deeper toward an AI-integrated future. Yet they also contain exaggerations and false assumptions that we need to separate from reality. The Dystopian View of the AI Future Those with a dystopian view of emerging technologies point to studies such as the often-quoted 2013 Oxford report on the susceptibility of more than 700 job...

Those with Interpersonal Skills Have Least to Worry About the AI

AI Interpersonal
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming ever more important, and not just in automating repetitive, manual labor jobs. Increasingly, it also enters the realm of highly trained knowledge workers. New. AI-driven world will require different skills. Systems like IBM Watson augment the expertise of tax preparers, lawyers, doctors and many other highly trained professionals. Corporate executives use AI’s ability to gather, analyze and run extensive simulations on data to help them make better-informed decisions. The applications for AI appear almost unlimited. The implications are clear. AI will reshape not just operations, but also all other aspects of the business world. So, how can we prepare our skills for how AI will reshape it? Assessing economic growth from AI A 2017 PwC report, Sizing the...

Driving Change as Assimilators in the Age of AI

AI Assimilators
AI leaders must adapt to the changing culture as young workers enter the job market with expectations strikingly different from the ones that leaders traditionally have encountered. These changes within their own business culture are not, though, the only culture changes to which leaders will have to adapt. AI and other emerging technologies are accelerating the process of globalization. For example, as 3D printers become more prevalent, manufacturers will sell designs rather than finished products. Breaking into new markets won’t be a multiyear, investment-heavy effort. Emerging technologies will greatly reduce logistics requirements and expand old, geographically limited markets into one, global market. Suppliers, consultants, employees and consumers will come from all over the world. This will require leaders to expand their...

AI Is Neither the End of Civilization nor the Beginning of Nirvana

AI Future
Where AI, robots, IoT and the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution are taking us, and how we should prepare for it are some of the hottest topics being discussed today. Perhaps the most striking thing about these discussions is how different people’s conclusions are. Some picture a utopia where machines do all work, where all people receive a universal basic income from the revenues machines generate and where, being freed from a need to work for wages, all people devote their time to altruism, art and culture. Others picture a dystopia where a tiny elite class uses their control of AI to horde all the world’s wealth and trap everyone else in inescapable poverty. Others take a broad view that sees...

AI and The Great Workforce Skill Set Shift

AI Future Workforce
Whether AI and the technologies it enables will reach their full potential depends on the workforce that will work alongside them. Yet the skills that that workforce needs to do this are in short supply. Rather than debating what to do about massive job losses from AI, discussion should focus on how best to prepare workers' skills for the types of jobs that they will need to fill. A shifting job picture A 2017 McKinsey’s report says that approximately half of all activities done by the current workforce could be automated. They point out, however, that this does not point to massive job losses as much as it does to the workforce needing to shift their skill sets to fit new...

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