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AI Advancement Demands a Workforce with Range. Are You Ready?

15 Aug 2019

David Epstein: AI Advancement Demands a Workforce with Range.

From offices to naval ships, today’s workplaces are doing more with fewer people. The trend will continue with the advancement of AI. “As complexity increases, as technology spins the world into vaster webs of interconnected systems in which each only sees a small part, organizations will need a different kind of employee,” says David Epstein. “They’ll need people with range.”

Epstein, author of the #1 New York Times best-seller Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, identifies people with range as those “who start broad and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives while they progress in their careers.” Often comparing the different paths of Roger Federer (who played many sports along the way to historic dominance of tennis) and Tiger Woods (who zeroed in on golf before nursery school), Epstein has become a notable champion of dabblers, late bloomers, second acts and circuitous career paths. His research-backed case has landed him not only on multiple best-seller lists, but on the reading lists of CEOs, top asset manager and companies like J.P. Morgan. He has also received praise from thought leaders such as Adam Grant, Daniel Pink, James Clear, Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain and David Brooks.

What can Range specifically teach us about cultivating the workforce of the future? According to Epstein and his growing fans in the C-Suite: plenty. An accomplished keynote and TED speaker, he is now sharing the secrets of hiring, cultivating and retaining a workforce with range. Audience-specific talks share essential guidance on:

  • Identifying (and not screening out) hires with the most potential to innovate
  • Forming teams that optimize the specific strengths of experts, generalists and, increasingly, AI
  • Reinvigorating creativity and ingenuity with outside perspectives
  • Improving decision-making and avoiding “the curse of expertise”

As Dan Newhall, head of oversight and manager search at Vanguard recently wrote about Epstein’s ideas: “David Epstein speaks to the drawbacks and even dangers of early specialization and the benefits of broad learning and slower career discovery. I find that very appealing for many reasons, including how active managers may benefit from broader conceptual thinking skills rather than mastering tasks which can be learned by computers.”

David Epstein’s speaking program, Hiring, Cultivating and Retaining the Workforce of the Future, is available exclusively through APB.

+Learn More About David Epstein