Book says AI will drive a different approach to staff management
Artificial Intelligence

Book says AI will drive a different approach to staff management

These are pretty weird times so it perhaps feels less surprising than usual that a recent book recommends running a company where staff can help to set their own salaries, accounts are accessible to all, where there is no formal hierarchical management and where holidays are unlimited.

You perhaps thought, as I did, that this is the latest crank manifesto from some business guru who has never so much as run a chip shop, but that's not the case. The author, Charles Towers-Clark, is not a fast-talking mouth for hire on the conference circuit but the founder and group CEO of Pod Group, an international company in the Internet of Things (IoT) space.

We only meet by phone but my impression is of a mild-mannered man who thinks differently, rather than a limelight-seeking self-publicist. Even when we talk about IoT he swerves the upbeat outlook, provided by many in his position, of sunlit uplands and gravy all the way.

"The problem we've got is standardisation: there are 450 platforms because nobody knows who's going to win the race .... There's no BetaMax versus VHS story yet," he says, referring to the standards battle that ended with VHS becoming the dominant format for video cassette recorders. (If you're under 35, ask your parents.)

That situation not only slows the growth of a fledgling sector but can also lead to uncertainty and risk. There are "known unknowns", Towers-Clark says, evoking Donald Rumsfeld, where standards that don't allow for new data coming along in future that could be combined with the old data.

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Martin Veitch

Martin Veitch is Contributing Editor for IDG Connect

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