Mr. Tim Leberecht delivered a powerful and touching presentation on “How to Lead Beautifully in the Age of AI” today.  There is an urgent need for radical humanism in the rise of AI and a huge amount of data and data analytics.

Among many takeaways, Tim elaborated the following 3 key points:

# 1. Do the unnecessary:

Tim told us a story of a management decision of canceling the order of orange balloons. It wasn’t just the balloons that were being taken away. It was everything. It was that mindset and the consideration.

# 2. Create intimacy:

Need to move hierarchy first before we can have any intimacy.  Invest time in mindfulness and pay attention to the “thick presence”.  When people are truly happy, they produce great work.  Tim shared a story where some sensors can detect an employee’s happiness level.  If the sensor detects unhappiness, the work that this employee has produced will be deleted or removed.  Tim shared Jack Ma’s saying about not to teach children how to be smart like a machine (or smarter) but learn how to feel.

Tim mentioned it may be more effective to create a bond between human beings where there is silence:  Tim was once invited to have a silent dinner with 30+ other German executives.  It was not a comfortable experience but everyone felt they were connected more effectively.

# 3. Suffer (a little):

Suffering is the source of passion.  A truly human workplace will embrace both positive and negative feelings: happiness, sadness, grief, etc.  It is okay to be vulnerable instead of calculating the risks.   We don’t have to show up as the same person every day.

(Source: Tim’s presentation at Talent Connect hosted by LinkedIn on October 9, 2018)

Another great story Tim shared was about Patagonia ran an ad in The New York Times on Black Friday and told customers “Don’t buy this jacket”.  The message was intended to “encourage people to consider the effect of consumerism on the environment and purchase only what they need”.  The result was huge increases in sales.  Patagonia takes pride of remaining true to its eco-friendly ethos by using organic cotton and recycled polyester in products.

Customers’ loyalty is not about what we do but it is about who we are.

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