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,...
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...
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...
AI Three Futures
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 AI Future Those with a dystopian view of emerging technologies...
Leadership AI Book
Today’s business leadership face a conundrum. Artificial Intelligence (AI) unquestionably will play an enormous role in the future of their organizations and the business environment in which they operate, but what effects will it have? Prognosticators have wildly different visions of the future it will create, ranging from causing the extinction of humanity to ushering in a Golden Age in which machines provide all humanity’s needs and free us to focus on altruistic service to one another and the advancement of human culture. Both of these most commonly heard predictions are based on assumptions that lead to wild speculation that...
Leadership in the age of AI
AI’s effect on the workplace will not be limited merely to repetitive, production line-type jobs. Increasingly, it also enters the realm of highly trained knowledge workers. It will also affect those who manage workers currently employed in such jobs. AI likely will reshape jobs all the way up to the C-level offices. That doesn’t mean, though, that managers and executives will no longer be needed. They simply need to prepare themselves for shifts in their work responsibilities. In my latest article Why AI Is Neither the End of Civilization nor the Beginning of Nirvana I argued that AI will bring...
Diversity Uncomfortable
The topic of diversity is not one that most people find in their comfort zone. As I wrote in a previous article on diversity, increasing diversity often engenders frustration in those tasked with accomplishing it, and inspires eye rolls among diversity-fatigued employees who have heard countless reports on management’s diversity goals, but remain unconvinced of diversity’s value. Can anything be done to make diversity less of an uncomfortable topic? The answer is no. Nothing about diversity will ever make it into the general business population’s comfort zone. I say that not out of cynicism, but out of practicality. At its root, diversity...
Enterprise Resilience
Modern theories of the firm remain focused on transaction costs, operational efficiency, employee motivation, leadership, strategy and other related factors. While any of these may support our success at various times, none of them alone will facilitate it in the long run. Even strategy, while vitally important, is set at a point in time and is vulnerable to change. The one factor that enables our company’s long-term viability is Enterprise Resilience which enables a company to adapt to a change. Technological Upheaval We are in an ever-shifting maelstrom of change. Climate change causes more frequent and intense natural disasters. Changing climate...
Diversity Failings
Don’t expect this to be either of the typical articles about diversity. I’m here not to fawn over its benefits nor to rant about who does or doesn’t get hired. I’m here, instead, to ask why we react to it in the baffling way we do, why it often accomplishes the exact opposite of its stated goals and what dramatic approaches we might take to make achieving its goals more realistic. Announce a round of diversity training, or of progress toward reaching diversity hiring goals, and one thing is guaranteed. Eye rolls and sarcastic comments among workers will abound behind...
Curiosity
Several comments in response to my recent competency-focused post led me to also consider the importance of curiosity in the workplace. Interestingly enough, recent experiences have given me a chance to see firsthand the benefits of nurturing curiosity and how to do so as part of the DNA of the work environment. Curiosity is a vital element in all aspects of innovation, yet is tightly confined by many companies to only certain stages of developing solutions. It’s a characteristic that all companies claim to value, but that many companies, in their actual culture, firmly suppress. Curiosity increases employees’ value to the company and...
Being Interim Manager
Businesses, facing an ever-increasing variety of complex problems, are in desperate need of good interim managers to help solve them. Such positions are highly rewarding, with the opportunity to explore new places, meet new people – and fill your plate with a steady diet of fascinating challenges. Perhaps you’ve considered entering this growing field and becoming one of these people who jump into new companies at their moment of need, solve their problems and move on to the next sticky situation. Maybe it’s time to stop imagining this challenging lifestyle and think about making it a reality. So, what do...
Interim Manager
Are you hiring and using interim managers wisely? Why is it that some companies attain exceptional results from interim manager hirings and some are disappointed? It has little to do with the quality of interim manager candidates. The only way they become candidates is by demonstrating exceptional skill in implementing the kinds of solutions that clients want. Why, then, do results sometimes go awry? Unfortunately, some companies treat hiring an interim manager like a magic potion: Drop someone – anyone – into the position and wait for amazing results. That simply doesn’t work. To produce the exceptional results expected of interim managers,...
Interim Management Career
The face of interim management is changing. Traditionally, an interim manager was someone at the end of his career who chose interim management to extend his working years. This is changing fast. An increasing number of managers – both men and women – have entered the market in recent years, intent on making a career of interim management. That’s no surprise. The rewards of interim management make it a great career choice if you have the skills and personality for it, and don’t mind its few disadvantages. Interim management benefits Interim executives enjoy the challenge of working on different assignments with tight...
What is interim management

What is Interim Management?

When crisis strikes your business, what can you do? As you try to pick up the pieces, at some point your mind would likely turn to the fantasy of bringing in an accomplished executive with extensive experience in the exact type of crisis your business is experiencing, just long enough to get you through it. That’s no fantasy, though. Such an option exists. It’s called Interim Management, and it’s one of the latest forms of troubleshooting management techniques to emerge in recent years. While similar to bringing in a management consultant, it has striking advantages that can help your business...