Whether you’re looking to make clearer decisions faster, adapt to an ever-changing digital landscape, or simply get your customer service score where it needs to be, this is a great age for learning. There have never been more tools (machine learning or otherwise) at our professional fingertips to help get the job done right.
We asked three GLOBIS faculty members to sound off on the books that inspire them for the future of work.
How to Implement AI in Business for the Workforce of Tomorrow
Leadership by Algorithm: Who Leads And Who Follows in The AI Era, by David De Cremer
As AI becomes increasingly powerful and continues to replace humans in various tasks, what does that mean for managers and leaders going forward? Will AI one day become our boss? Or, as a leader, will you soon be incorporating AI into your team? This book attempts to answer these questions by dissecting the complex relationships between leadership and AI.
The author (rightly) argues that management and leadership are actually two different things.
Management is essentially the act of administering orders and ensuring stability in the organization. On the other hand, leadership is all about driving change and pushing the organization forward into the future. In that sense, management could be offloaded to an AI to allow leaders to focus on leading.
To quote the book itself, “Humans lead, algorithms manage.”
What does it take to lead an organization where humans and AI work together, an environment which De Cremer coins as “new diversity”? Leadership by Algorithm: Who Leads And Who Follows in The AI Era outlines the traits and skills of these modern leaders.
Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence, by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, Avi Goldfarb
In this fascinating read, economists from the University of Toronto examine the economics of AI.
The many capabilities of AI boil down to one simple thing: predictions. Recent advancements in AI have led to faster, more accurate, and most importantly, cheaper predictions.
Medical diagnosis, for example, is essentially a prediction process. Medical professionals used to visually inspect medical imaging themselves to check for diseases. But now, AI can do that for them at a higher accuracy and a cheaper cost.
As AI continue to get faster and cheaper, more and more organizations will embrace its use. Business leaders should consider how to incorporate AI prediction making in their daily operations to avoid falling behind the status quo.
But AI alone is not enough.
Going back to the medical diagnosis example, human being is still required to provide things that AI simply cannot, like emotional support and the consideration of risks and ethics to determine the best course of treatment. While AI replaces people in the capacity of prediction making, the value of these “human skills “increases. This in turn allows business leaders to consider which skills they want their human workforce to focus on, leaving the rest to the machines.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Can Scientists and Engineers Work Together for the Future of AI?
How Creativity Pushes Innovation in Business Processes
Creativity: Understanding Innovation in Problem Solving, Science, Invention, and the Arts, by Robert W. Weisberg
Modern leadership (especially in the era of COVID-19) requires creative thinking to solve unprecedented problems.
In this richly researched book, we learn that creativity does not simply come about from genius or artistic talent, but rather problem-solving skills that business leaders can learn and develop.
Weisberg has made many enemies within creative circles, as he seems to suggest creativity is not an inherited trait, but something that can be learned. He even goes so far as to say that the concept of “the genius” is a myth!
I use this text in my digital leadership training programs to help managers develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills and learn how they can apply them towards creative solutions.
How Understanding IP Management Can Get You Ahead
Edison in the Boardroom, by Suzanne S. Harrison, Patrick H. Sullivan
Every business manager should study intellectual property (IP) management, as it’s an essential (yet often overlooked) part of a company’s overall business strategy. An effective IP strategy is way beyond simple defensive or protective mechanisms. In fact, it can be leveraged in a wide range of business activities according to the five levels of customer value hierarchy.
All business schools have classes in strategy, marketing, organizational behavior, accounting, finance, etc. Yet very few offer strategic IP management in their curriculum.
This is an obvious gap that MBAs can fill (at least partially) with Edison in the Boardroom.
Over the past few decades, society has been transforming at an accelerated rate due to the emergence and quick spread of new technologies. Ocean Tomo estimates that intangible assets (such as IP) now command 90% of the S&P500 market value against the 10% claimed by tangible assets.
Edison in the Boardroom was published over ten years ago, but its message still applies to today’s business managers.
Bill Gates once said, “CEOs must now be able to formulate strategies that capitalize on and maximize the value of their company’s intellectual property assets to drive growth, innovation, and cooperative relationships with other companies.” If Gates thinks IP is so important to CEOs, business students should certainly take a hard look at what additional knowledge they’ll need to add to their repertoire. Edison in the Boardroom is a good start.
Help Write the Next Chapter of Technological Innovation
Sometimes the future can feel scary. While we’re not quite ready for Skynet to take over, it’s clear that embracing AI systems and solutions can open a world of opportunities.
Whether your career is just getting started or you’ve been leading your team for years, there’s something to gain from embracing the tools and methodologies afforded to you in the age of Industry 4.0.
Utilize what you’ve learned and turn the chapter on your career. You might be surprised where your story leads you!