People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 49

companies get particularly disrupted
around what can be done by machines
and not by us.
Companies are now starting to integrate these trends into their thinking.
They're starting to say "Okay, we know
this is impacting our business at the
lower levels. How and when is it going to
affect the higher levels? What changes
do we need to start making and capabilities do we need to start building to be
ready?" What I'm seeing as well, is more
of a focus on the humanistic, interpersonal, and emotional intelligence factors
of their leaders - more than ever before.
P+S: It sounds like the principles of Organization Development might be coming
back somehow even if in a different form?
David: I think so at least to some extent.
The next stage of automation is the
application of AI to products, which is
currently happening. I'm on the board
of a company working in the medical
industry using AI to change the way heart
scans are done. Current tests are about
60%-70% accurate, but with new technology and AI we can get to 99% accuracy
at predicting blockages, which would
disrupt the industry. The same thing is
happening throughout the healthcare
system.
We are seeing the impact of AI in the
development of products today, but the
next stage will be in the way work is done
in organizations. So, this is all just the
beginning. If you read the news carefully,
Google and other places, are suggesting
that jobs are going to be disappearing
because of automation. Typical functions
can now be done, even customer interfaces, through AI.
Companies who are looking ahead
at these same trends and anticipating
what's going to happen are planning for
tens of thousands of jobs disappearing in
the next five to 10 years. So, at the top,
there's no doubt they are aware of these
trends and how it's impacting the future.
They're sending out quiet signals that
jobs are going to be disappearing. CEOs
and senior leadership teams will need to
have strong humanistic skills to manage
through these changes. When you think
about what a CEO looks like 10 or 15
years from now, they are managing an
organization that is largely made up of

robots and artificial intelligence.
P+S: Will there be a heavy science
requirement and set of data skills that
goes with all of this as well to help manage, synthesize and interpret all the information coming into the leader?
David: Algorithmic management is taking
over in many areas, so the impact of data
skills and decision-science is also critical.
We're in the early stages of determining
"what's the algorithm?" for people and
organizations and how it impacts decision
making. I'm working with the CEO of a
global pharmaceutical company and he
said to me "I want data people involved
in every key decision to look at the algorithms of what we're doing." So, data
skills and decision making is the other
piece of it, but that's only in short term.
Longer term, a large portion of that
number crunching and even insights
work will be done by AI. I think people
are over-emphasizing the technical analytics skills a little right now when in fact
they need to think more broadly about
where they can add value. People ask
me for career advice all the time. These
days I tell them "don't do anything a
robot can do." The same thing is true
with leadership potential in the future.
What's going to be left for leaders to do
when robots are delivering most of the
core work being done today? This gap
is where we need to focus for leadership
development and succession.
P+S: Will analytics and insights be AI
driven and push button delivered?
David: Right. And most people equate
automation with being digital, which it's
not at all. [It's] doing what robots can't
do. I mean they can't create. They can't
relate to people in an interpersonal and
intuitive way. They can't empathize all
those things.
P+S: Is the implication of all this that
potential really doesn't matter anymore?
David: Potential matters, but I think it's
going to become much more diffuse in
terms of what it really means. It's going
to be made up of some of the elements
we've already identified, like being adaptive, resilient, and the ability to learn.

Those attributes and qualities that have
been really important so far. Those will
remain important. But the conversation
about potential, and getting alignment
on "potential for what?" in each organization's unique context considering their
level of disruption, will be more important than the definition itself. It's almost
the process of asking the question and
defining potential more than product of
what is potential.
P+S: Will formal assessment tools still be
needed? If the discussion is all that matters, should we bother with collecting
behavioral, cognitive, and personality,
data with our tools anymore?
David: Assessment tools will always have
value. They provide perspective on people. But they represent a starting point
for the discussion, not the ending point.
Many companies use them as the ending
point, which I think is a big mistake. But
they can be very helpful in the process
of alignment around what is potential
because they touch on all the attributes
of leadership, critical thinking and interpersonal skills we've been discussing.
I tell executive committees all the time,
the conversation you're going to have
is much more important than the tools
themselves. But, the whole point in our
field is to get multiple data points coming back so that you have a rich conversation and arrive at a better outcome. And
they can help with eliminating biases
so that's the advantage of using formal
tools.
P+S: Do you have any concerns about an
over-reliance on science and algorithms
versus the humanistic side of the
equation?
David: Yes, I think the disruptive element
of business automation and AI is going to
continue to be increase, but there will always need to be an intuitive element too,
which only humans can apply. So that's
where I think the discussion will still and
always be very important.
P+S: In sum, there will always be an art
and science to our approach to leadership potential, and a role for us humans?
David: Exactly! At least I hope so!
VOLUME 41 | ISSUE 1 | WINTER 2018

49



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1

From The Executive Editor
From The Guest Editors
Perspectives
So You Want to Be a High-Potential?
How to Identify and Grow High Potentials: A CEO’s Perspective with Proven Results
Getting the Right People in the Hi-Po Pool
Wherefore Art Thou All Our Women High-Potentials?
Are Your HiPos Overrated?
Executive Roundtable
In First Person
Linking Theory + Practice
Insight into Action
Leadership Insights
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Cover1
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Cover2
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 1
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 2
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 3
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - From The Executive Editor
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - From The Guest Editors
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 6
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 7
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Perspectives
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 9
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 10
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 11
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 12
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 13
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 14
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 15
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 16
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - So You Want to Be a High-Potential?
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 18
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 19
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 20
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 21
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - How to Identify and Grow High Potentials: A CEO’s Perspective with Proven Results
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 23
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 24
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 25
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 26
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 27
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Getting the Right People in the Hi-Po Pool
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 29
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 30
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 31
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Wherefore Art Thou All Our Women High-Potentials?
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 33
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 34
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 35
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 36
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 37
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Are Your HiPos Overrated?
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 39
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 40
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 41
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Executive Roundtable
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 43
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 44
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 45
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 46
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 47
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - In First Person
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 49
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Linking Theory + Practice
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 51
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 52
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 53
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Insight into Action
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 55
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Leadership Insights
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 57
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 58
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Cover3
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Cover4
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