Humans + Machine, Reimagining Work in the Age of AI
I am fascinated by how authors Paul R. Daugherty and H. James Wilson portray the future of how we’ll work. There certainly are fears growing around if and how AI will replace workers. This book helps alleviate those fears because while AI will reduce the need for repetitive, non-value-add work, the result is also an increase in better jobs for those people.
Lesson for leaders: Use the arguments in this book to help your teams prepare for and adapt to the future, reduce fear and take advantage of the opportunities in the future of work.
Ready Player One
For anyone who wants to “see” the future, author Ernest Cline does a great job creating a virtual world and describing how we’ll interact within that world. His views of virtual shopping malls and virtual schools are truly insightful.
It will be easier for people to connect and collaborate virtually but the quality of those interactions will diminish. We’re already experiencing the benefits of virtual interaction in manufacturing, as technicians can open a cabinet and look at a part in 3-D in real-time without the need to travel.
What’s coming: the blurring of human and machine interaction. If you get robocalls you already know how difficult it is to tell when you’re talking to a human or to a machine. (Hint: ask the suspected robocaller to repeat a word for you).
Lesson for industry: For every technology, there’s an upside and a downside. Understand both.
Permission to Screw Up, How I Learned to Lead by Doing (Almost) Everything Wrong
When author Kristen Hadeed started her apartment cleaning service, she had 50 employees – and 40 of them quit the same day. She shares everything she did wrong, and she helped me look at mistakes in a new way.
Lesson for leaders: People who are trying their best and making decisions with good intent deserve help and mentoring, not job termination.
Delivering Happiness, a Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
This is a comic book from Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos. He’s also run a worm farm and a pizza business.
He stresses that as leaders, we owe it to our teams to be precise and direct, and to align what we say and what we do with our values. This book reinforced the power of corrective feedback. We all need it; we don’t all get it, or deliver it.
Lesson for leaders: This book made me more aware of the culture I am trying to create, and how I communicate what I expect and what I value.
What are your standouts? How have they changed you, your assumptions of the world and how you see the future?