Mike Walsh: What Does The Algorithmic Leader Look Like? Top Biz Futurist. Virtually Speaking Ep. 29

Mike Walsh is an authority on disruptive innovation, digital transformation, and new ways of thinking for the past two decades. A global nomad, futurist, and author of three bestselling books, Mike advises …



Mike Walsh is an authority on disruptive innovation, digital transformation, and new ways of thinking for the past two decades. A global nomad, futurist, and author of three bestselling books, Mike advises some of the world’s biggest organizations on reinvention and change in this new era of machine intelligence.

Mike’s views have appeared in a wide range of international publications including Inc. Magazine, BusinessWeek, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal. A regulator contributor to the Harvard Business Review, his writings explore a wide range of leadership topics including data-driven decision making, agile organizations, algorithmic management, and Arificial Intelligence ethics. Mike interviews provocative thinkers, innovators, and troublemakers on his podcast, \”Between Worlds\”.

His latest book, \”The Algorithmic Leader\” (2019) was selected to be given to the world leaders and executive attendees of the Ambrosetti Global Forum in Italy. \”Futuretainment\”, Mike’s first book Released in 2009, predicted how the smartphone would reshape the media and marketing industry, and the imminent rise of social media, digital influencers and streaming entertainment. In his 2014 book, \”The Dictionary of Dangerous Ideas\”, Mike anticipated breakthroughs in micro satellite networks, cryptocurrencies, remote work, digital protest movements, self-driving cars, drones and digital biology.

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Mike Walsh: What Does The Algorithmic Leader Look Like? Top Biz Futurist.

Joining me is Mike Walsh, an authority on disruptive innovation, digital transformation, and new ways of thinking for the past decades, a global nomad, a futurist, and an author of three best-selling books. Mike advises some of the world\’s biggest organizations on reinvention and change in this era of machine intelligence. Mike\’s views have appeared in a wide variety of international publications including Inc. Magazine, BusinessWeek, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal. A regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review, his writings explore a wide range of leadership topics including data-driven decision-making, agile organizations, algorithmic management, and AI ethics.

Mike interviews provocative thinkers, innovators, and troublemakers on his own podcast, Between Worlds. His latest book, The Algorithmic Leader, was selected to be given to the world leaders and executive attendees of the Ambrosetti Global Forum in Italy. Futuretainment, Mike\’s first book released in 2009, predicted how the smartphone would reshape the media and marketing industry. The imminent rise of social media, digital influencers, and streaming entertainment. In his 2014 book, The Dictionary of Dangerous Ideas. Mike anticipated breakthroughs in microsatellite networks, cryptocurrencies, remote work, digital protest movements, self-driving cars, drones, and digital biology. Please join me with the incredible Mike Walsh.

Mike Walsh, thank you for joining me on the show. How are you doing, sir?

Chris, I\’m doing well. It\’s good to see you.

It\’s great to see you too. Thank you very much. Are you in Australia?

I am. In the middle of all the chaos, I thought it\’s probably good to get to the furthest place on the map I could find then. I came back to my home country of Sydney, Australia.

[bctt tweet=\”What\’s really changed is not where we\’re working. It\’s how we\’re working and how we think about work.\” username=\”calentertainmnt\”]

That is far away from the US but I know you\’ve lived in London. You always lived everywhere on this globe. You\’ve been a world traveler and you\’ve observed a lot of different cool things.

I had the extremes for the last decade. I was traveling almost 300 days a year. Even during one period, I was in three different countries in one day, which was insane. To go from that hyperconnectivity to being stationary, it has been an interesting experience.

Is everything there starting to feel a little bit more normal?

I think so. It\’s this weird paradox because your external world can feel locked down or constrained. With what we\’re doing now, there\’s a sense that we\’re far more connected globally than we\’ve ever been through these new digital platforms and new ways of communicating. It\’s been strange to be both physically and mobile but mentally and spiritually hyper-connected.

You\’ve said that there is no new normal but there\’s no remote work. That\’s something you\’ve talked about, which segues perfectly into what you said. Tell me a little bit about those two thought ideas of yours.

That remote work has been one of those things that we\’ve all been talking a lot about because I think it was the first and most obvious indicator of how our life and world has changed. With all the troubles, we\’ve had on using Zoom, Webex, or Teams, and the challenges with family interruptions. This is the tip of the iceberg. I don\’t believe in remote work. I believe in work. I think what we\’re going to discover, even when we can go back to the office and when we can start meeting up in person is that what\’s changed is not where we\’re working. It\’s how we\’re working and how we think about work. Those changes are the beginning. The biggest changes we\’re going to see are not what happened last 2020. It\’s what\’s going to happen in the next months or years.

What are those changes you\’re talking about? What is it that you think is the most exciting, most transformative, or most important for us to all? Think about having it on our radar and take advantage of it.

\"VSP The Algorithmic Leader: How to Be Smart When Machines Are Smarter Than You

It\’s a good time to be having these thoughts. It\’s funny. We always love to think about the future in January. This is the time when we write New Year\’s resolutions and we think about the future. People love hiring futures to give talks. What we\’ve learned is that we need a whole new paradigm thinking about work and what we do. 2020 was all about survival. In fact, I talk a lot about the fact that there\’s no more digital disruption. Everything we called digital disruption in 2020 was a plan for staying in business. It\’s a good time to be questioning, now that we\’ve managed to survive, what have we learned that will shape our path for the coming years are going to look like? What does it mean to be an organization in a time where we have more automation and artificial intelligence? What does it mean for us as leaders about how we need to change and upgrade our skills? The biggest question that we all need to ask is, now that we\’re in an age of smart machines, what is now possible that wasn\’t possible before? The people that find the best answers to that question are the ones that are going to dominate the next century.

Does that have a lot to do with AI and data and how we come to terms or learn from those tools and take advantage of the data we may already have or the data we have access to?

Sometimes, it\’s easy to miss how crazy an idea it is. At the heart of our organizations are systems and machines that are capable of making decisions on our behalf. I\’m sure you remember this in the early days of the digital boom years ago. We already had websites. We started building smart devices. What\’s changed is not that we\’re on digital channels, you can buy things from Amazon, or you can get your groceries delivered online. What\’s changed at the heart of all our organizations is the power of data and the power of automated systems to do a lot of the things that human beings used to do. That allows us to reconceive industries. If you were going to start from scratch and you\’re going to design a healthcare provider, an insurance company, a retailer, or even a restaurant, you would do things differently if you had that knowledge.

Tell us a little bit about the data side of things. I\’ve heard you talk about examples with Caesars Palace was in big trouble a few years ago. They were going bankrupt. Is that right?

First of all, you\’d never expect a casino to go bankrupt. There were being restructured. In the process, there was this big question about what are the most valuable assets they had. Was it their brands? Was it their physical locations and their infrastructure? It turned out that one of the most undervalued items that the creditors got most upset about was the total rewards database. It was their data on the behavior and preferences of all of their gamblers. That was the single most valuable thing that they had. That was quite a few years ago. It\’s true that the most valuable thing any of us have as organizations is the data that we collect. That\’s not to say that the data itself sitting in a server is valuable. It\’s what we do with that data. It\’s our ability to use learning algorithms to then customize our offers the way we can personalize services, the way we can design platforms that are continuously learning from interactions. The idea of becoming a true learning organization is another way of saying, \”How do we become AI-powered?\”

Many people get turned off or they get scared when they hear these words AI and algorithms. They think that the big machine is out to get them. I think that what you understand and people in your side of the world, technology, and thought leadership when it comes to new technologies, futurism of technologies, and business, all understand that it\’s about helping the consumer. It\’s about making our lives easier and being a better provider of services to the customer. Also, understanding the customer better so we can give them more of what they want. Isn\’t that what it\’s all about?

I\’ve been writing a bit for the Harvard Business Review. One of the articles I wrote was called AI Should Change What You Do – Not Just How You Do It. I interviewed Harit Talwar who\’s the Head of Goldman Sachs Consumer Division. He launched markets, which was their consumer digital bank. This was crazy because Goldman Sachs normally serves billionaires and huge corporations on Wall Street. The idea that they launched a digital consumer bank shows you that we\’re in an age where technology allows us to move into entirely new markets. One thing he said to me that struck me was, \”Please don\’t call us a technology company. We\’re not a technology company. We\’re a company that\’s focused on solving consumer problems.\” That extreme consumer centricity whether it\’s Marcus or Amazon is a consistent trait that you find of these even technological companies. The ones that succeed drive all of their efforts, their thinking, their innovation, their genius towards creating better experiences for human beings.

[bctt tweet=\”It\’s easy to miss how at the heart of our organizations are systems and machines capable of making decisions on our behalf.\” username=\”calentertainmnt\”]

One of the simplest ways that I think of explaining this to myself or others is the Instagram idea. In other words, everybody\’s been on Instagram at this point. Maybe it\’s not a good thing but I enjoy it. I don\’t really love Facebook and I do like LinkedIn. I like the fact that it shows me that it knows me. It shows me things that are in line with how I think, what I want to know, and what I\’m interested in. Even the ads to me are the best ads I\’ve ever got online of stuff that I would want to buy. The ads on YouTube or the ads here or there don\’t speak to me or reach out to me. In Instagram, for some reason, the ads in there or the products that are popping in in-between everybody else\’s posts are amazing like the clothing I want to buy and the technology. Instagram has figured out how to create that feed with the algorithm but I don\’t mind it. I liked the products.

What you\’re describing is the two sides of the privacy data debate, which is on one side, we are fearful that data is being used to track us, to analyze us, to know what we want. On the other side, we\’re terrified that these systems are not good enough at knowing exactly what we want and they\’re going to waste our time. When we\’re given things that delight and surprise us, we don\’t see it as an intrusion, we see it as entertainment. Arguably, even more powerful than Instagram has been TikTok. TikTok\’s great success is its ability to design an algorithm that will show you something continuously that will keep you so engaged, you don\’t want to stop looking at it. This has some consequences for psychology and human behavior. It does show you the power of when you can take a technology platform, an infrastructure, and combine it with psychology and insight, human behavior, and a great business model. These is the building blocks of 21st-century entertainment.

The documentary in 2021 that came out that everybody\’s talking about, The Social Dilemma. It touches on all of this stuff we\’re talking about with TikTok. A guy like me doesn\’t need to spend any time on TikTok. LinkedIn on the other hand is a place for me and my customers. It\’s a gathering of people who are like-minded, interested in improving, and also learning about things that can affect them positively personally but also in business. That\’s what speakers, you, and me are all about, and everybody who I booked for my customers is all about. If you spend time on LinkedIn, you\’re looking at a lot of content that is probably not as targeted as it would have been by Instagram but definitely all somewhat in the realm of things that I\’m going to be interested in. LinkedIn does it based on who you\’re following. They don\’t throw new ones in there that you aren\’t following. Isn\’t that the difference?

If you step back and look at this, this is all about networks whether you\’re a professional, a kid, or an influencer. What we\’ve seen in the last years is the power of people\’s interconnection, a useful filter for discovering information and discovering content. One of the biggest stories you\’re going to see in the next couple of years is it\’s something your kids already know about. This is something I always tell people is that if you want to understand the future, stop listening to other adults. Look at what your kids are doing, particularly young kids. These are the people who are going to be living in the future.

One thing kids know that parents haven\’t figured out is Roblox. Roblox is the next version of Minecraft. Minecraft was Lego in a digital age. What if we combined Minecraft with social gaming and Bitcoin? It\’s an entire ecosystem where kids can build games for other kids. Some of these people are earning millions of dollars a year being game creators but it shows you the power of unstructured play. It\’s preparing a new generation to understand programming and to understanding building applications in an entirely virtual world.

I\’ve heard a little bit of some of that. I even have a special nephew who is building some games. That\’s exciting that there\’s a lot of money to be made in it. We as business owners, entrepreneurs, people in the C-suite, and people who are in any leadership position in business, how do we take control of some of these technologies? A lot of these companies that I do business with are necessarily collecting a lot of data. If they are, maybe it\’s emails. What are some of the things that people who are in your audiences and my audiences, for my clients and my customers, can do that maybe their competition won\’t get to for another several months or few years and they\’ll be able to destroy the competition, bounce ahead of everyone else, and start disrupting and innovating? What are some of these things that they can do?

The starting point is to realize that there is no turnkey solution that you can pay $20 a month for that problem. If there were, it would have no value because you could use it. This is a great opportunity that the pandemic has essentially accelerated, a lot of the change and transformation we\’ve been talking about. You need to ask yourself three important questions. Number one, \”How are these emerging technologies, AI, data, automation going to change my market, my industry, the space I planned?\” That\’s the first question you\’ve got to think deeply about. The answer to that question is not just going come from your space. You need to be looking at other industries. What\’s happening in retail? What\’s happening in logistics? What\’s happening in entertainment.

\"VSP Algorithmic Leader: We are in this weird paradox where your external world can feel very locked down or constrained, but because of digital platforms, we\’re far more connected globally than we\’ve ever been.


The second question that you\’re going to ask yourself is, \”How has it going to change the way that my team gets things done? How do we structure our organization? How do we collaborate? How do we make decisions? What are the mechanics? How does that culture now need to change to support the rapid growth and agility that we need to survive?\” The third and the most personal and important question is, \”What does this mean for me? How am I going to need to change as a leader? What are the new skills and capabilities that I need to make sure that I\’ve got to be useful? How do I need to change my mindset the way I think about risk?\” If you can spend some time thinking about those three questions, it doesn\’t matter if you\’re a dry cleaner or a Fortune 50 company. Those three questions are the starting point to understanding how you can make a bigger impact in your space.

You talk about a lot of that in your book, The Algorithmic Leader, right?

This is my third book, The Algorithmic Leader: How To Be Smart When Machines Are Smarter Than You. This came out in late 2019. Around the time when I was writing it, I thought this is going to take a while for this to sync in. A lot of the ideas I was speaking about were things that are going to start to matter as we got closer to 2030. I got the shock of my life because that whole agenda brought forward a decade to 2020.

What do you think is your most poignant or important chapter in there that is something that might be the most important thing for people to hear about?

One of the key chapters in that book was it\’s based on ten principles that are the new leadership skills and mindsets that we need in an age of AI. One of them was don\’t work, design work. For the longest time, we\’ve had this idea that to succeed, we need to show up early. We need to work hard at our tasks. We need to stay longer than everyone else. We\’ll be the last to leave the office. It was the era where you can imagine you had Steve Ballmer on the stage at Windows 95, yelling at people like a football coach to sell more. You look at Microsoft, there is success not because of that level of enthusiasm and passion but because they\’re smart. Satya Nadella is the opposite to Steve Ballmer. That\’s because a big part of what we don\’t need to do as leaders in any organization is not to do things the same way but to sit back and go, \”Should I even be doing this? Should anyone be doing this? Can I design a system or lose automation or use technology to automate this task?\” The best way to not lose your job is to be the one who\’s trying to destroy it. If you realize that the most important and valuable thing that you do is to spend your time trying to undermine your own job then you\’re doing the most valuable thing that any human being can do.

That\’s difficult to do because the one thing that we can\’t do is look at our own industry and be so disruptive because we always know why it\’s not going to work. \”That would never work in this industry.\” Step outside and take a look like a third party at your industry and your customers and say, \”How can we change this?\” You\’ve also said something that reminds me that robots are not coming for our jobs but they\’re coming to change them back to that theme of helping us.

To realize that there are a lot of professions where we\’ve been defensive and we\’re worried about the encroachment of technology. If you look at human history, humans have always evolved with our tools. In fact, it\’s our ability to design better tools that it\’s allowed us to advance as a civilization. We\’ve always managed to stay one step ahead. I don\’t see AI or robots as anything other than more sophisticated tools. There was a comment made that we don\’t need to train any more radiologists because machine learning can identify tumors in an X-ray better than a human can. We know that that\’s great. I spoke to a lot of radiologists for my book and they said, “We would like nothing better than not spend all day measuring lumps on a screen because we can do far more strategic activities that are more interesting.”

[bctt tweet=\”The best way to not lose your job is to be the one who\’s trying to destroy it.\” username=\”calentertainmnt\”]

You find that in many professions that what we think of is work. It was just the way things used to be done. One of the other people I interviewed was an astrophysicist. He was interested in finding exoplanets which are planets that are like the earth and other solar systems. This was something he used to do manually. He worked with Google to train an AI to find exoplanets in the telescope data. This was one of the first examples of using a machine to do what astronomy is to do but that\’s the future. We\’re not going to find planets with our eyes. We\’re going to use it using code.

For lack of a better term, it’s having computers, robots, technology, and AI do the busy work for us so we can be creative.

Creative, strategic, and importantly human. That\’s something that people miss. Automation is an opportunity for us to focus on building better experiences at a human level. Starbucks is working on a program called Deep Brew which is a whole system of technologies and platforms to automate more of the running of a coffee shop. The idea is that they\’re doing this so that the team members at Starbucks can spend more time on human interactions rather than keeping the wheels in motion.

They\’re using voice recognition. I\’m sure many of your readers have got complex, intricate, and baroque ways of ordering their venti lattes. In the near future, the Starbucks machine will have voice recognition. As you\’re talking to the barista and annoying everyone in the line behind you, the machine is listening to you in such you\’re preparing your order as you speak. By the time you finished, it\’s already done. This allows us to create more interesting experiences because we\’ve automated more of the busywork.

The Tomorrow West, is that a newsletter that you publish every month that we can look out for somewhere? I forget where it is.

It\’s a weekly newsletter. I published it on LinkedIn. You can subscribe on my website, Mike-Walsh.com or you can subscribe on LinkedIn as well. As you say, that\’s where we all are. I also do a podcast like you called Between Worlds where I go and interview scientists, entrepreneurs, and thinkers. This has been a big part of my research in the last years is that people often ask, \”Where did you get your ideas from?\” It\’s from two places. I used to spend a lot of time traveling and I will again, going to different markets, and seeing what\’s happening in different countries. I would find the people doing those interesting activities, the research, and I would spend a lot of time talking to them to get their insights and then looking at how they compare with other things that were going on in other industries.

Were there any people who you\’ve talked to in the last months of the last quarter of 2020 who said something that shocked you? I know you know so much about technology, what\’s coming, and what 2021 and 2022 are going to look like. What are a couple of things that you heard that shocked you? I know that\’s going to be shocking to the rest of us.

\"VSP Algorithmic Leader: What\’s really changed at the heart of all our algorithms in organizations is the power of data and automated systems to really do a lot of the things human beings used to do.


I\’ve interviewed a bunch of new people, everyone from big organizations, startups, and people working in biotech. The consensus is on two things. Number one, we are at the doorstep of a radical transformation of almost every aspect of human life as a result of AI. I\’ll give you a simple example. I spoke to someone who\’s a real pioneer in tracking cancer in the blood. We have this traditional process of you suspect you\’ve got cancer somewhere, you do a biopsy, and then you look for a particular solution for that. There\’s another approach, which is taking a drop of your blood and looking for any evidence of cancer using AI and machine learning to try and work out what the problem.

Years ago, our ability to control infection and antibiotics essentially doubled the human lifespan. When you think about that in a period of about years, suddenly, everyone could live twice as long. We\’re close to another breakthrough in the extinction of human life as a result of these new technologies and ways of thinking which will revolutionize society. The other big change we\’re going to see is a fundamental re-imagining of work itself. Remote work was the beginning. There are going to be whole new types of organizations, new types of jobs, new types of industries, and opportunities. If you\’re a kid growing up, the opportunities you have are unprecedented compared to any previous time in history.

Is that because of the access we have to so much information?

It\’s not just the access to the information. It\’s the access to markets, talent, and collaboration. If you\’re a twelve-year-old kid, you could be earning $2 million a year building games on Roblox or having your own YouTube channel. These things didn\’t exist even in the early days of the internet boom in the late ‘90s.

One of the things you mentioned that I\’ve heard a lot and I want to definitely hear you talk about a little bit is this voice recognition. This is something that I\’m hearing from a lot of different people who are in this world of the future and technology talking about how that is where everything is headed. We understand what that means. Our phones, Google Assistant, Alexa, and all those great gadgets are there to help us find the restaurant sooner, send a text message, or whatever it may be that it\’s going to assist us with. In business, how is that something that\’s going to affect big companies or medium-sized companies in how they interact with our customers? As you said, the dry cleaners. They\’re not going to be able to compete with the Fortune 50 company that has the ability to create their own voice recognition. How has voice recognition going to seep into the business world?

It\’s bigger than voice recognition. It\’s called natural language processing. What it\’s about is changing the interface between how we interact with systems, how we collect information, how we get computers and AI systems to do what we want. A great example comes from China. There\’s a big Chinese insurance company called Ping An Insurance. They\’re one of the world\’s leaders in doing research on natural language processing. During the pandemic, they used it to automatically call millions of their customers across China, asking how they were, asking their health, their temperature, if they had any symptoms. They were using that to assess their risk models around health insurance. In doing so, they were able to uncover thousands of COVID cases that have been completely missed by traditional testing.

That\’s at the big end scale. Even at the small end, if you look at some of the innovations that Google had been working on with Google Duplex. This idea that you\’ll be able to use AI and use natural language processing to make appointments for you at the hairdresser or check with your dry cleaning is ready for pickup. We\’re going to use this as consumers to almost build our own personal AI’s. We\’re going to look at Alexa, Amazon, and Siri as the most basic technologies in a few years\’ time. We will start to train our own personal AIs that we can delegate to do tasks on our behalf and to interact with small businesses and organizations for us.

[bctt tweet=\”People really miss that automation is an opportunity for us to actually focus on building better experiences at a human level.\” username=\”calentertainmnt\”]

Where there\’ll be also some new companies that come out of this offering technologies to anybody who wants them? You had said something about the fact that there was a company or there were investors who would look at the malls’ parking lots via satellite images to see how busy they were. I\’m imagining that satellite technology, looking at things, looking at data, and looking at pictures will start becoming more available to all of us to use so we can all see the bigger pictures. 

There\’s no doubt. This is not just the domain of big business or Wall Street analysts. There\’s so much data out there that anyone can access. The most important thing is developing a system and approach to be able to ask the right questions. The starting point is once you can frame the question in an interesting way, you can find opportunities in market niches that anyone can tackle. You don\’t need the same scale of organizations we\’ve had in the past. If you look at WhatsApp, it\’s a great example. When this was bought for almost $20 billion by Facebook, it was doing the job of a global international telco. Think about this. This is a platform that connects billions of people around the world and allows them to communicate. You\’d need 100,000 people, if not more.

I think Verizon has 140,000 people building a network for America. They had about 50 people. You think about the value created per employee. What that tells you is two things. One, in this new age, the scale of our organizations can be different relative to our impact. The second is just because you\’re a small business, it doesn\’t mean your opportunities are small anymore by leveraging Amazon for cloud computation or storage by stitching together other cloud-based services to do everything from your accounting, sales, and CRM. You can build your own little empire that\’s highly efficient but still successful.

As we come towards the end, I definitely want to focus back on our industry. I know that the meeting professional customers that I work with are all eager to find out what they\’re going to do, how they\’re going to do it, and how the meetings are going to look. Is it virtual? Is it hybrid? Is it forever going to be hybrid? What is the new landscape look like in our industry? This is an industry you know very well. You\’ve been a successful speaker for many years. What do you see that you\’ve already seen happen? What\’s your take on the next couple of years in the meetings industry as far as events, what will work, and what they\’ll look like?

The great insight for me that I got as a speaker in 2020 was something that everyone in LA has already known for years which is, you\’re not an actor. You\’re in the entertainment business. You\’re in the content business. I realized in 2020 that I\’m not a speaker. I\’m in the content business. It doesn\’t matter what that format is. It could be me delivering it on a stage. It could be being in a studio beaming to people on stages around the world via a hologram. It could be talking to you from your screen. In fact, I was shocked when I gave a virtual speech.

There were 70,000 people watching it. It was a huge global event. Most of the people were sending in screenshots. They were sitting on their couch watching on their big 50-inch TV. We\’re going to find entirely new formats. The thing to remember is that this is all about content. How do you find the most effective way of delivering high-impact messages that transforms people\’s minds, their organizations, and their behavior? That is the guiding thread, that if you\’re a meeting planner, you need to be focused on.

It\’s how do I get the content in front of my people whether it be virtual or in-person. There are a lot of new tools that haven\’t even come out yet I\’m sure that will make Zoom look like yesterday\’s news or Oculus will be something that we start to have a feeling for wearing glasses that we can see things through that are virtual. Do you have any opinions on virtual reality, XR, or AR?

\"VSP Algorithmic Leader: TikTok\’s great success is its ability to design an algorithm that will show you something continuously and will keep you so engaged you don\’t want to stop looking at it.


I\’ve been looking into this and it all depends on the kind of outcome you\’re trying to achieve. If your intervention method is a discussion with ten people then something like virtual reality can be effective because you can have that sense of presence for a conversation. If you\’re doing something that\’s more broadcast, if you\’re trying to create a twenty-minute inspirational message that you\’re trying to reach lots of people with, then it can potentially be distracting putting people in a virtual environment. What kind of change are you trying to achieve? What kind of emotions you\’re trying to stimulate? What kind of messages do you need to communicate? It\’ll help you pick the right medium to choose.

Mike, this has been awesome. Even though we\’ve talked for an amount of time, we only scratched the surface of the things that you can go into and the things that you\’re an expert in and a thought leader that so many people look to for guidance. Thank you for giving us so much insight. You\’re a great speaker to have as the first speaker of 2021 to talk about setting the tone for the New Year.

Chris, if I could say one last thing. This is an important time for all of us and anyone in this industry. If you look back last time that we had a crisis like this, it set the stage for a complete re-imagining of that society. The changes in economics, culture, and politics all were set off in that original event. In 2021, we have a similar opportunity to create a whole new agenda for change. This is a great time to be thinking about it.

The silver lining certainly is that a lot of new technologies have been introduced to people. People have embraced a lot of new technologies they never would have. People not only looked inward with their companies but also personally like, \”How am I looking at my life? How am I eating? How am I exercising? How is my company being efficient? People are working at home, how do we make that more efficient? How do we connect with our customers better?\” It\’s a reset that was forced upon all of us personally and professionally and I welcome that.

I think you\’re right on.

Thank you so much. I appreciate you. You\’ve always been amazing to work with and amazing to talk to. Have a wonderful year and I will look forward to seeing you again soon, sir.

Thanks, Chris. It\’s been a pleasure.

Take care.


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About Mike Walsh


Mike Walsh is the CEO of Tomorrow, a global consultancy on designing companies for the 21st century. For the past twenty years, he has been a leading authority on disruptive innovation, digital transformation and new ways of thinking. A global nomad, futurist and author of three bestselling books, Mike advises some of the world’s biggest organizations on reinvention and change in this new era of machine intelligence.

A prolific writer and commentator, Mike’s views have appeared in a wide range of international publications including Inc. Magazine, BusinessWeek, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal. A regulator contributor to the Harvard Business Review, his articles explore a wide range of cutting edge leadership topics including data-driven decision making, agile organizations, algorithmic management and AI ethics. Each week Mike interviews provocative thinkers, innovators and troublemakers on his podcast, Between Worlds.


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