"The factory of the future will have only two employees: a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment."
Prof. Warren Bennis

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Leadership Notes -- Thoughts on Leading People and Making a Difference in Organizations

Word count this issue: 343

Estimated reading time:  2:15 minutes


Greetings from a rainy Edmonton where I am working with the Alberta credit union system’s emerging leaders. Smart, curious and committed is how I would describe this group of young executives.


And I am learning as much from them as they might be learning from me. One moment today stood out as we were exploring ideas for the future. One of the group noted that they looked forward to the day when AI and big data would allow him to build relationships with his members, and not simply serve them. Another emerging leader spoke up, saying too much of her staff’s time is spent doing data entry, rather than building relationships. ‘What’, another suggested, ‘would it look like to have all of the member’s info stored already so that a retinal scan prompted gave all that information to the staff person right away.’


I love the way these emerging leaders are thinking. My inference is not that tech is replacing jobs, or turning member or customer experience into line-ups are automated checkouts. Rather, they are seeing the amazing possibility of real relationships between a credit union and its members, moving beyond “service” and towards relationship with individuals. Bringing the private banker experience reserved for the wealthy to the middle class. 


And yes, there are some creepy privacy issues that need to be addressed; retinal scans may not be the correct answer. And, doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is clearly not working. It is one of the reasons I love working with emerging leaders; given an opportunity to challenge and provoke their own and other’s thinking they can identify fascinating ideas.



My invitation to you, from what ever industry or workplace you have responsibility in, what are you doing to create space for new ideas, from your own emerging leaders? What’s just one more idea to create more space for such conversations and ideas?