EYE­ING THE FU­TURE

NZ Business - - CONTENTS - An­nie Gray

Lead­ers to­day al­most need to be fu­tur­ists con­stantly pre­par­ing busi­ness case sce­nar­ios as global events con­tinue to un­fold and un­fold and un­fold. As I write the Bri­tish elec­tion re­sults are just com­ing in; the on­go­ing sagas in the United States are ramp­ing up; North Korea hasn't gone quiet and vile ter­ror­ism mas­sacres seem to be be­com­ing more fre­quent.

And then there is the rise of the ma­chines. This is our an­nual lead­er­ship is­sue and AI is fast be­com­ing a ma­jor busi­ness plat­form that lead­ers of all ilks will be grap­pling with. As IBM's Chan­dan Ohri writes, in an ex­cel­lent ar­ti­cle, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence long just a prom­ise, is fi­nally here.

He says that in the last few years AI and the cog­ni­tive sys­tems that bring it to life have emerged as prac­ti­cal and pow­er­ful busi­ness plat­forms, “able to un­der­stand the con­text of an in­ter­ac­tion and rea­son for it­self the best out­come. We now ex­pe­ri­ence AI in many as­pects of our daily lives, from rel­a­tively sim­ple smart­phone as­sis­tants to more com­plex ser­vices in health­care”. (See page 11).

While bul­ly­ing is cer­tainly noth­ing new in the work­place, it too is an is­sue lead­ers can't af­ford to ig­nore and it is a ques­tion we all need to ask of our­selves as well. As our story says abra­sive peo­ple are of­ten aghast to find how their be­hav­iour is re­ceived and that the higher up the lead­er­ship tree you are the less likely you are to get frank and timely feed­back, which can be prob­lem­atic for CEOs. Some­times a quite small be­hav­iour can be seen as abra­sive be­cause it is mag­ni­fied by the po­si­tion the leader holds. (Page 8).

We are half­way through 2017 now and what the rest of the year holds is any­one's guess. I hope you find this is­sue of Man­age­ment use­ful and that you can ap­ply some of the think­ing we high­light in your daily busi­ness life.

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