Learn More About David De Cremer
How will AI impact the future of work and business operations around the world, and to what extent will Asian leaders play a role in dictating that future? Moreover, how do we keep jobs human-centered and AI ethical as robots and machines increasingly become co-workers?
These are some of the critical questions renowned leadership advisor, digital transformation strategist and technology futurist David De Cremer (deh-CRAY-mer) addresses when guiding organizations through change in what he calls the “New Tech Era.”
Dean of Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business, founder of the Centre on AI Technology for Humankind, and a widely respected behavioral scientist, De Cremer helps leaders in every industry make tactical, sustainable, and ethical decisions around integrating new technologies, particularly those that will impact their organization, its employees and the development of products they sell.
In his book, “Leadership by Algorithm: Who Leads and Who Follows in the AI Era” (Harriman House, May 2020), De Cremer reveals his futurist side, identifying key areas where algorithms will likely collide with human skills as AI becomes a bigger part of the workforce. The kindle version of the book quickly topped Amazon’s charts, was named among the 15 best leadership books by Wharton School Press, and was recognized by The World Economic Forum. De Cremer is also the bestselling co-author of “Huawei: Leadership, Culture and Connectivity,” which was awarded Best Business Book by a Foreign Author by PwC/Russia in 2018.
“The question of whether AI will replace human workers assumes that AI and humans have the same qualities and abilities — but, in reality, they don’t,” De Cremer explained in a July 2021 Venturebeat article. “AI-based machines are fast, more accurate and consistently rational, but they aren’t intuitive, emotional or culturally sensitive. It is in combining the strengths of AI and humans that we can be even more effective.”
As an advisor, speaker and executive educator to leaders in Asia, Europe and North America, De Cremer brings a human-centered approach to the study and application of AI, teaching leaders how to be more proactive, the importance of building trust, and why compliance requires less rule-based approaches and more purpose-driven leadership. Among his other noted accomplishments, he has contributed to significant executive development and corporate culture initiatives in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and advised such clients as Novartis, AB Inbev, KPMG, Solvay, IBM, Barclays, Rabobank, Nestle, Bank of Singapore, Bosch, ING, Cisco, Mizuho, Bayer, Exmar, and DSM, among others.
Keeping Digital Systems Human-Centered
To ensure a successful transition and avoid significant financial losses, De Cremer stresses the importance of getting input from people across the organization before starting the digital transformation process.
“You can have a lot of technology but if people can’t use it or don’t understand it, it is of no use and companies waste a lot of money,” explains De Cremer, who is a master at connecting the dots and bridging conversations between tech experts and non-tech experts. “You must first define ‘optimizing AI’ then ask key questions that specifically relate to your business and your employees to be sure your investment will be worth what you get on the other end. The point is, don’t be digitally obsessed and forget about the people.”
Named to Thinkers50’s Radar Class of 2021, and nominated for the distinguished Digital Thinking Award, De Cremer is a strong supporter of gender diversity and inclusive practices, and he is particularly valued by organizational leaders looking for a unique perspective on navigating Asian economies.
“Getting to know China is like getting to know the world,” says De Cremer, who has lived and worked in China and now resides in Singapore. “Many Western leaders try to jump into a relationship with Chinese executives quickly. But that tactic often fails because in China you have to prove your value first.”
A futurist at heart, De Cremer is passionate about helping organizations prepare for a new era where success will be defined by how well they balance the Human+AI equation.
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Before he was appointed Dean of Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business, David DeCremer was Provost Chair and Professor in Management and Organisation at Singapore’s NUS Business School, the KPMG endowed Professor of Management Studies at Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS) and a fellow at St. Edmunds College, Cambridge University (UK). In addition to serving as a scientific advisor to several multinational companies, he was also a faculty member and (visiting) professor at London Business School (LBS), China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), Harvard University, Stanford University, New York University (NYU) and Rotterdam School of Management (RSM). He has taken up several senior leadership roles including director and founder of two research centers. In 2005, he became a fellow of the Royal Dutch Academy of Science. In 2009-2010, he was named the most influential behavioral economist in the Netherlands (Top 40 of economists); in 2016 he was voted one of the Top Thought Leaders in Trust by Trust Across America; and in 2020 he was named one of 30 top management speakers by GlobalGurus.
De Cremer has published more than 300 academic papers and articles in the fields of economics, management and psychology, and his work has been featured in international media including Scientific American, Bloomberg News, The Economist, Forbes, The Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, China Daily, South China Morning Post, The Straits Times and The Business Times.
He has a PhD in behavioral economics and psychology from the University of Southampton, England, an M.A. from the University of Cambridge, and an MSc in psychology and B.A. in philosophy from the University of Leuven, Belgium.
David De Cremer is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.
David De Cremer – Dean of the Northeastern University D’Amore-McKim School of Business and director and founder of its Centre on AI Technology for Humankind – is a widely respected behavioral scientist, digital transformation strategist and technology futurist who helps leaders in every industry make tactical and ethical decisions around integrating new technologies. A veteran leadership advisor, he has contributed to significant executive development and corporate culture initiatives in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, having served as a consultant to such companies as Novartis, AB Inbev, KPMG, Solvay, IBM, Barclays, Rabobank, Nestle, Bank of Singapore, Bosch, ING, Cisco, Mizuho, Bayer, Exmar, and DSM, among others. Dean De Cremer is available to discuss any or all of the following topics during one-on-one or small group advisory meetings. Each program can be customized to meet the needs and goals of your organization with the added option of meeting virtually or in person.
AI, Ethics and the Future of Work
- The Future of Work: Designing a World/Organization for Machines and Humans
- The Ethical AI Paradox
- The Circle of Irony in People Analytics
- Conceptualization and Implementation of Integrity-based Compliance Thinking (Contrary to Rule-based Compliance)
- The Three Laws of Leadership
- Leadership by Algorithm
- The Psychology of Vulnerable Leadership
- Asian Global Leadership
- Leading Organizations in the AI Era: Challenges and Opportunities
- Building a Trustworthy Workplace and Cultivating a Leader’s Ability to Repair Trust
- Behavioral Approaches to Promoting Leadership Purpose
Leading with Knowledge, Purpose and Confidence
There’s a lot of pressure on leaders to be confident, knowledgeable and purpose driven. Most people, however, no matter how high up they are in an organization, experience doubt from time to time. In his transformative research and education, renowned behavioral scientist, digital transformation strategist and leadership advisor David De Cremer addresses these issues by helping leaders look at how to:
- expand their knowledge by developing an ability to see beyond what they normally see and seek out what they don’t know
- lead with clarity of purpose
- develop confidence in their value to the organization and its employees
Building on these insights, leaders are equipped with the tools they need to operate with more agility, put meaning behind their actions, and build trust by creating value with colleagues in a confident and collaborative way.