What Do Steve Jobs, Tim Kobe, Dan Goman and the like Have in Common? Disruptive Leadership

Evolution of digital technologies is gathering greater momentum each day and it has a great impact on the way markets are changing. With all these changes taking place, organizations and businesses need to become prepared for any disruptions coming their way.

How can businesses belonging to any industry do that? By listening to the disruptive voices of leaders like Steve Jobs, Tim Kobe, Dan Goman and the like.

What does disruption mean?

This term has been a buzz word in the tech industry in recent years. Basically, the term means changing the way of thinking or the way of doing things, in a business context. Disruption has the power to completely erode or alter markets by providing a more efficient alternative to existing products or services. Also, it can be the change-driving force of entire industries.

Disruption is closely connected to innovation, even though they do not mean the same. Startups are changing industries, innovators are changing the modus operandi, and nearly everybody can agree that a disruption carried out well is a positive thing.

How does this have anything to do with leadership if leaders are usually relied upon to help people work together towards the same, predetermined goals?

What is disruptive leadership?

A disruptive leader is a person holding a leadership position and who is always on the verge of finding new solutions, developing processes, their organizations and businesses. These leaders are ready to change things from the ground up to achieve the necessary results.

Steve Jobs belongs to this category and Apple’s unprecedented success can definitely be attributed to his leadership style and creative vision. He was known for his unapologetic criticism, which he defended by pointing out the results his team achieved.  

How industries benefit from disruptive leadership?

This type of leadership definitely benefits both organizations and the industries they belong to. The founder and CEO of OWNZONES Dan Goman has leveraged his team to come up with a cloud-native platform solution that has set new grounds in the entertainment industry. Dan Goman and his team didn’t want to accept standard benchmarks for success in the industry and disrupted the digital landscape by coming up with a post-production platform that helps content creators manage and deliver their content more effectively.

The disruption lies in creating software on the cloud itself and using a new IMF format to future-proof the content creation and distribution work and eliminate all the pain points of on-prem servers.

How disruption changes the customer experience?

An example of disruptive changes can be seen in the moves by Time Kobe. The CEO and founder of design firm Eight Inc., which has been the designer of Apple’s stores for the last two decades, led the disruption of the car dealership experience. The first things that visitors to The Lincoln Way store in China is the absence of salespeople. The showcased vehicles stand alongside displays where customers can find more information and configure their own features for a real luxury purchase experience.

Kobe advocates “returning to experience” where consumers who interact with a company have a simpler, easier encounter compared to what they’ve experienced before. If we look at their China store example, the company created a diametrically opposite experience to the one seen in high-pressure environments most car buyers get into today.  By doing so, they created an emotionally positive and memorable experience eventually resulting in a stronger connection with the brand.

Conclusion

Changes are certainly not an easy thing to accept but the times we live in dictate the need to adapt quickly. Leaders like Dan Goman and Tim Kobe and the organizations they are in charge of are ready to deal with difficult times and accept risk-taking and experimentation as mechanisms for thriving in a change-driven environment.

People who have disrupted their industries are aware that decisions and changes are not made at their whim and they never lose sight of the overarching goals. They trust their teams to steer projects in the right direction and, most importantly, they trust their vision of reaching new heights.

HR Your Way

HR Your Way

How the next-generation digital workplace can power a deeply personalized HR customer experience

Business disruption is rampant—new business models, new technologies, a challenging economic environment, and the overall quickening pace of business are all disruptive to “business as usual.” Workforce demographics and trends—retiring boomers, high-expectation millennials, workforce-on-demand models, team-based work—are another disruption. It is incumbent on HR to find ways to “hack” these disruptions for their customers, leveraging the digital workplace to customize the HR customer experience according to each individual’s unique needs in the face of this almost constant change.

To better understand how the next-generation digital workplace can counter disruptions by powering a deeply personalized HR customer experience, let’s flash forward about 10 years to 2027. This is when we could see the first cohort of Gen Z employees—engage in their organization’s open enrollment process for benefits.

Our Gen Z futuristic scenario envisions three hypothetical levels of digital workplace “chatbots” at increasing levels of sophistication:

  • Workflow Adviser—assists the HR customer through the life or work event workflow using natural language, while automatically gathering data from disparate systems and tapping into available training, research, and operational services support resources.
  • Solution Adviser—“understands” desired outcomes and leverages all available internal and external data to design and propose an optimized solution for the HR customer.
  • Human Adviser—“empathizes” with the human emotions and feelings likely involved in the HR customer’s decision process, and provides support—or referral to an actual human—as required.

Future forward to Gen Z

Jamie, an employee and a new mom, along with her husband, Liam, kick off the enrollment workflow in Jamie’s digital workplace and are greeted by the chatbot who will be assisting them through the workflow.

The chatbot explains that, set at the level of Workflow Adviser, it has the capability to listen, understand natural language, and talk back, and is also able to interpret the context of Jamie and Liam’s questions in order to suggest relevant training, research, or operational services assistance as they work through the open enrollment process.

As a bonus, the chatbot explains, it has recently been upgraded to a beta version of the Solution Adviser level. So if Jamie would like to explore this advanced level of digital workplace engagement, the chatbot will be able to understand desired outcomes and leverage Jamie and Liam’s demographic, health, and financial data, as well as cloud-based benefits solution provider data, to effectively personalize a recommended package of benefits.

Jamie authorizes the chatbot to use its Solution Adviser capabilities for her open enrollment process. After a structured conversation driven by the chatbot, she is rewarded with a customized portfolio of company benefits that are customized for her family’s unique health needs and financial resources. After a discussion with the Solution Adviser chatbot to clarify the details, Jamie verbally accepts the recommended portfolio of benefits and completes the open enrollment process.

Toward a true AI model for HR

So, what’s going on behind the scenes in our futuristic scenario, and how far are we from being able to deliver this hyper-personalized experience? Let’s drill a bit deeper into the chatbot’s capabilities at the Solution Adviser level by considering one element of the benefits package—long-term disability insurance—the chatbot recommended.

At the Solution Adviser level, the chatbot was permitted to leverage Liam’s personal health records, (which included information about a mild attack of unexplained vertigo that sent him to the ER six months prior), as well as financial income and liabilities information (indicating the couple was living paycheck-to-paycheck with very little savings). By leveraging this information, along with the context gathered through a structured conversation with Jamie and Liam, the chatbot was able to conclude with a reasonable degree of probability that covering a portion of Liam’s expected future income in the event of an unexpected disability made sense for the couple.

Impressive to be sure. But this ability to use natural language to understand context in order to make reasoned judgments about desired outcomes isn’t even the end of the line. Interestingly, and perhaps just a bit frighteningly, true AI is reserved for what we call the Human Adviser level. Here, the chatbot actually understands the human situation, demonstrates empathy with HR customer feelings, and even engages in humor opportunistically to build a deeper bond of understanding with those it has been designed to serve. Of course, at this level of sophistication, the chatbot would also discern, given the nature of the HR customer’s questions, when a referral to an actual human on the operational services team may be in order.

Hacking the disruption

While the advanced cognitive and empathetic capabilities we are ascribing to our next-generation Solution Adviser and Human Adviser digital workplace chatbots are in the infant stages today, we are making rapid advances at the Workflow Adviser level of sophistication for Deloitte’s own digital workplace solution.

As we increase digital workplace capabilities, however, we may find that the process of benefits enrollment itself has become disrupted by our technology advances, and a complete rethink of how benefits are packaged, priced, and administered will likely not be far behind. After all, disruption tends to breed more disruption—which, by the way, is why achieving sustainable HR is so imperative.

About the Authors:

Michael Gretczko is a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP and the practice leader for Digital HR & Innovation. He focuses on helping clients fundamentally change how they operate, often working with large, complex, global organizations to guide transformation programs that enable HR organizations to reinvent the way they leverage digital to improve the employee experience and business performance.

Daniel John Roddy  is a specialist leader with Deloitte Consulting LLP and a member of the Digital HR & Innovation team. He focuses on leveraging his decades of global HR transformation experience to develop and promote thought leadership that helps create breakthrough opportunities for our clients. 

Copyright © 2017 Deloitte Development LLC. All rights reserved.


Source: HR your way | Michael Gretczko | Pulse | LinkedIn

Brexit, Trump, and the Future of Work | The HR Tech Weekly®

Brexit, Trump, and the Future of Work

Written by Alex Cooper, on behalf of HR Tech World.

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There’s no doubt the world is going through a huge shift in paradigms when it comes to conceptualizing work. While technology rapidly advances, companies are trying their best to adapt. Tech is changing how we understand what we do, how we work, and even how we see the world around us. The disruption that technology is having in the world of work, however, is not the only disruption entering our lives. With the Brexit referendum passing in the United Kingdom and the election of Donald Trump in the United States, disruption seems to have gone ballistic.

As Josh Bersin notes, understanding the future of work is more than just simply comprehending technological innovation. The political events occurring in some of the world’s leading economic powers are drastically changing our approaches to society, the workplace, and how we view each other. Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, the fact remains that these two events have drastically changed HR and work, not only in the respective countries, but globally.

Brexit, which has dominated the news channels in the U.K. and the E.U, has already had a huge impact on people and work. At the core is the unresolved question as to what this means for those living in the U.K. who are able to work and live there due to the E.U.’s free movement of labor policy. As soon as the results were in, businesses and their HR departments had to immediately confront the problems of how to deal with future recruitment plans and how to manage the implications for staffing and profitability if the U.K. were to leave the European single-market.

The U.K. government, led by Prime Minister Theresa May, currently appears to have set the controls for a hard break with the E.U., and as of yet there is no released plan for the road ahead; in spite of this, somehow companies must reevaluate their talent acquisition plans and employer branding. Although PM May insisted this week that E.U. citizens would maintain their right to live in the U.K. Without a concrete legal guarantee, there is little to stem the tide of fear and uncertainty this creates for people and organisations. The Financial Times recently reported that 58 percent of senior executives in major U.K. companies believe the Brexit referendum has negatively affected business:

“In terms of their priorities for the forthcoming negotiations, the business leaders said movement of labour and access to skilled labour came the highest, followed by securing free trade or retaining the single market with the EU and passporting rights. The interviewees said that to be successful in a post-Brexit UK, they wanted the level and complexity of regulation to be reduced and for it to still be easy to recruit EU staff.”

The other obvious shockwave is the rise of Donald Trump in the United States. President Trump relied heavily on his business experience during the campaign and used it to his advantage with the electorate. Yet, in his two weeks in office, Trump has received a backlash from within the business community due to a recent executive order on immigration.

Business leaders came out strongly against the ban because it directly conflicts with their operations. Bloomberg reported that Google CEO Sunar Pichai sent a note to employees after the order was issued condemning the ban and informing the company that the executive order affected 100 Google employees. Google also recalled staff from abroad because of the roll out of the ban, which temporarily barred even employees with work visas and permanent resident status in the U.S. from re-entering the country.

The order barring individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen—has since been temporarily stopped by federal court.

At the end of the day, Article 50 still hasn’t been triggered and Trump is only 2 weeks into his presidency with the ban being frozen. However, these situations have caused alarm and posed questions about employees positions within the organizations in which they work, whether they are non-U.K. EU citizens in the U.K. or workers in the U.S. from one of the countries included in Trump’s immigration ban. There are at time of writing no clear paths as to what is next; negotiations between the UK and the E.U. have yet to begin, and in the US states and rights groups are pushing back against the immigration ban through the legal system.

As we move through the first few months of 2017 Brexit and the Trump Presidency leave companies and their HR departments no hiding place; they must begin planning for a wide variety of disruptive scenarios. Businesses are already developing ways to counteract any negative effect and those that are the most agile are often better able to cope with disruption. On the subject of Brexit, for example a Financial Times report states, “A large majority [of business leaders] — 96 per cent — was confident their business could adapt to the consequences of leaving the EU, and more than two-thirds had already taken action in response to the referendum result. A tenth were moving business outside the UK.”

In an interview with HRN about Brexit for the upcoming HR Tech World London show, economist Daniel Thorniley told Peter Russell, Director of Research and Development at HRN, “companies and HR departments will need to show a lot of consideration for staff in how the want to retain staff and motivate them over the next 2-3 years… This time of elevated uncertainty will show which companies can produce Best Practice in HR.”

With socio-economic and political disruption coming in on top of all the media noise on artificial intelligence and robotics it’s no small wonder there is fear and confusion about where the future of work is headed. Precarity does not seem to be dissolving anytime soon; a calm breath, alongside a compassionate and proactive stance should be pushed to the fore. Being preemptive in this regard could save businesses from impaired employee performance, future talent and recruitment headaches, and do much to inject a massive boost of trust and confidence into both worried employees, and those hard-earned employer brands.

About the Author:

Alex Cooper is the Content Specialist of HRN, organizer of HR Tech World shows, and curates the HRN Blog. You can follow him on Twitter @wgacooper.


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