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...
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...
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...
Future of Leadership in the Age of AI CH8
To remain competitive, organizations will increasingly have to innovate. As the speed of innovation increases, disrupting whole sectors, competitive intelligence, market intelligence even a bit of futurism will become essential skills. Leaders will have to stay informed not only of macro trends in their industry but also in technology in general. And they will have to do more than merely report their findings to appropriate people higher in the organization. AI can easily do that. Instead, they will also have to develop a sense for how those trends could impact their organization, so they can assess how to get the...
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...
Neurodiversity Brains
The cybersecurity industry is constantly evolving, facing new threats and challenges every day. To stay ahead of the curve, protect sensitive information, and protect lives (in case of cyber-kinetic risks), the industry requires a diverse range of skills, perspectives, and innovative solutions capable of tackling complex and evolving threats. The cybersecurity sector has a unique opportunity to harness the distinctive talents of neurodivergent individuals. Neurodiversity, which encompasses individuals with cognitive differences such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other neurodivergent descriptions, offers a unique and untapped talent pool for the cybersecurity sector. The benefits of diversity, especially in tech spaces, are...
5G COVID-19
There are many adjectives that could be used to describe the global outbreak of COVID-19, but perhaps the simplest might be: fast. The disease has spread quicker than most people can mentally digest. By nature, humans process linearly. This pandemic has been a lesson in exponential thinking for the common man. Those who don’t spend their time contemplating Moore's Law or compound interest have felt overwhelmed by infection or mortality rates that double daily. In response, governments, businesses, monetary institutions, education systems and the many other players in corporate and civil life have acted at high speed. It is easy to...
Innovation in Canada
Canada’s rankings in innovation has lagged that of other peer nations for decades despite government efforts to address this issue. Considering its success in developing research programs at its universities, its mediocre rankings overall in technology development is disappointing. Those programs alone have not been enough to translate into entrepreneurial innovation. A 2017 C.D. Howe Institute study points out that, even though Canadians have been at the forefront of breakthroughs in emerging technologies, in many cases, the chief beneficiaries of those breakthroughs have been other nations’ economies. Canada needs to take a stronger role in building an environment in which...
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,...
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...
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,...
AI Interpersonal
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming ever more important, and not just in automating repetitive, manual labor jobs. Increasingly, it also enters the realm of highly trained knowledge workers. New. AI-driven world will require different skills. Systems like IBM Watson augment the expertise of tax preparers, lawyers, doctors and many other highly trained professionals. Corporate executives use AI’s ability to gather, analyze and run extensive simulations on data to help them make better-informed decisions. The applications for AI appear almost unlimited. The implications are clear. AI will reshape not just operations, but also all other aspects of the business world. So, how...
Giving Feedback Across Cultures
Giving feedback is hard. Giving good feedback is even harder. Giving good feedback across cultures is next to impossible. On my first Canadian project two decades ago, my Canadian boss "suggested that I think about" doing something in a different manner. So I did. I thought about it, and I decided not to change anything. Not long afterwards, our Canadian client provided feedback on my first deliverable. I was elated to hear that I had "some original ideas" and that my report was "relatively fine." They concluded with a suggestion that perhaps I "should consider rewording parts of it." Never the one to go fixing what's...
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...
Future of AI
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 the AI Future Those with a dystopian view of...