MIKE WALSH

Discover the 10 principles that leaders need to navigate the new world of AI, automation and algorithms

THE ALGORITHMIC LEADER

The greatest threat we face is not robots replacing us, but our reluctance to reinvent ourselves.

We live in an age of wonder: cars that drive themselves, devices that anticipate our needs, and robots capable of everything from advanced manufacturing to complex surgery. Automation, algorithms, and AI will transform every facet of daily life, but are we prepared for what that means for the future of work, leadership, and creativity? While many already fear that robots will take their jobs, rapid advancements in machine intelligence raise a far more important question: what is the true potential of human intelligence in the twenty-first century?

In writing this book, I've synthesized years of research and interviews with some of the world's top business leaders, AI pioneers and data scientists into a set of 10 principles about what it takes to succeed in the algorithmic age. Across disparate cultures, industries, and timescales, the Algorithmic Leader brings to life the history and future of ideas like probabilistic thinking, machine learning, digital ethics, disruptive innovation, and de-centralized organizations as a foundation for a radically new approach to making decisions, solving problems, and leading people.

I believe that The Algorithmic Leader offers a hopeful and practical guide for leaders of all types, and organizations of all sizes, to survive and thrive in this era of unprecedented change. By applying my 10 core principles, readers will be able to design their own journey of personal transformation, harness the power of algorithms, and chart a clear path ahead--for their company, their team, and themselves.

This book is based on 10 principles that I’ve organized into three stages of a journey of transformation, starting with your own mind- set, then extending to the people with whom you work, and finally expanding to the world around you:

I - Change Your Mind
II - Change Your Work
III - Change the World

A word of warning. The principles in this book are neither exhaustive nor definitive; they are intended as a guide for personal exploration. I chose them based on numerous conversations with visionary leaders and global innovators, a decade of advisory and consulting work, and a detailed study of scenarios where algorithmic- era leaders typically act and think differently from analogue-era leaders. So, while you can certainly read the table of contents as a series of recommendations, what I’m really trying to offer you is not a checklist but a practical framework for thinking about problems and decisions in a new way.

The 10 principles are:

1 Work backward from the future
2 Aim for 10x, not 10%
3 Think computationally
4 Embrace uncertainty
5 Make culture your operating system
6 Don’t work, design work
7 Automate and elevate
8 If the answer is X, ask Y
9 When in doubt, ask a human
10 Solve for purpose, not just profit

Read this book from start to finish, or skip around and focus on the principles that interest you most. In the real world, ideas have to speak to difficult choices that leaders face when they make decisions, allocate resources, or bet on a new venture. So, as you read, try to apply the principles to your current challenges and opportunities.

At the end of each chapter, I’ve included a short summary and a question designed to challenge you to confront the core of what needs to change in your own organization. It is all too easy to read about disruption without accepting the terrifying possibility that the real thing that needs to change isn’t your company or industry—it’s you.

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DESIGNING YOUR BUSINESS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

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