Author of the W.E.I.R.D CEO
Forbes Contributor on AI and Organisational Structures
Speaker and Advisor
The WEIRD CEO
How to lead in a world dominate by AI
In 'The WEIRD CEO', Charles sets out the technological and societal changes that will take place over the next fifteen years, and explains why companies need to rethink the way they motivate employees. He outlines why CEOs and managers need to encourage Wisdom, Emotional Intelligence, Initiative, Responsibility and Development (WEIRD) to make sure employees feel fulfilment and ownership in their work – and gives a fascinating and sometimes brutally honest record of the change process his company went through.
The WEIRD CEO explains how and why we need to change, in order to deal with a new working world dominated by Artificial Intelligence.
Technology has already hugely changed our lives, but that is nothing compared to the change coming in the next 5 – 15 years. We have (unwittingly) created the perfect sociological storm, including the social havoc that Artificial Intelligence will create, an increasing need for instant gratification, and an education and training system that is not preparing us for the future of work.
Any task that can be made into a process will be automated by AI, and more thought-based roles will emerge that we can’t even imagine now. This is why we need to change the way we think about work, and use our most ‘human’ attributes to work alongside technology, instead of being left in its wake.
By making these changes we will also reduce mental health issues and anxiety caused at work (almost 15% of people suffer mental health issues at work) whilst significantly improving relationships at work and home.
Encouraging the thought process of ‘is that a wise decision?’ encourages an attitude of taking into account all the implications of taking that decision.
Emotional intelligence includes self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills.
Initiative is the reverse side of control. A company cannot have control and expect employees to take initiative.
If you expect someone to be responsible, you also need to let that person have the freedom to implement that responsibility in a way they see fit.
Two thirds of an employee’s motivation comes from the satisfaction of doing a good job, being recognised for it and growing personally as a result.
Read the Reviews
Review by: Philip Pepper CEO of Pencil and Pepper
This book will question your assumptions. Charles Towers-Clark is a CEO who, after running one large company, decided to do it differently a second time around. This book tells you what happens when employees set their own pay, know what everyone else is paid (including the CEO), can see all the company’s financial data, and can choose what work to do and how to go about it. Towers-Clark is a CEO who is actively giving up control, fundamentally challenging what it means to be a boss and, as a consequence, what it is to be employed in the collective project we call work.
Towers-Clark considers the dialectic between a prevailing thesis of AI driven automation and the impact this will have on the way we work, and a radical antithesis in the form of the W.E.I.R.D approach to fostering a new kind of corporate culture. (W.E.I.R.D is an acronym for the personal qualities this approach urges us to exercise).
Of course it’s not all plain sailing. Rational employee resistance to trading orthodox security for challenging responsibility, and the author’s dilemma in bring them around to his way of thinking without resorting to managerial fiat is what makes this an engaging human story.
Read the book to find out if this bold experiment is a success, and whether you think it’s just a bonkers notion or if Towers-Clark has hit on a more rational, resourceful and creative engagement with the enterprise and organisation of work. You’ll find plenty of acute observations and stimulating ideas along the way. Highly recommended.