By Randy White

I was excitedly writing to my consulting psychology listserv about a panel I had been on and the question that was posed by a senior executive chief technology officer concerning artificial intelligence and leadership.

My question on the listserv was promptly dismissed, pushed to the bottom of the thread. The group replied, in so many words, that I was too enamored of technology. Period.

I shook my head and thought, “How uncurious can we be?”

Well, here’s why I brought it up to my peers and why I need to bring it up again…

In June, I participated in TRIUM Module 7 (the joint global EMBA of the London School of Economics, HEC Paris, where I teach, and NYU Stern) in Cartagena. I was honored to sit on a panel with Nabil Bukhari, chief technology officer of Extreme Networks. He said within the next 60 months, we would be working alongside of, and with, AI team members – picture six individuals on a team where four are sentient human beings and two are bots.

And he asked, “What will leadership look like?”

I said, to much audience laughter, “I haven’t a clue.”

From that moment forward, I continue to be intrigued by AI and all things leadership along with all the emerging uncertainties and opportunities that AI brings. It’s time for AI-competent leadership, and lots of appetite for the wonders of uncertainty. And according to David Edelman and Vivek Sharma, writing in Harvard Business Review, it’s reached board-level importance.

With AI now able to disrupt the state of competition, the nature of a company’s value proposition, the way a company operates, and its economic model should be reexamined by the board. We believe that boards must challenge management with core questions about the strategic direction of the company in an AI-driven world. 

Edelman and Sharma