The insights shared by IBM's Chief Human Resources Officer, Diane Gherson, really chimes with a growing phenomena that I have noticed amongst an increasing number of big business clients coming to CEDR asking for help. 

Only this month I have met with four organisations diversely involved in global insurance, international retail, local government and public health. All have woken up to the fact that yes, technology and the advances in Artificial Intelligence (A.I.)  bring tangible benefits in terms of responsiveness, flexibility, volume and significant savings. However, there is an accompanying and growing downside.

Traditional processes allowed for everyday human interactions to occur in a manner that fostered the opportunity for people to practice, learn and develop the skills needed to be the complete business professional. However, in our brave new world, that won't be happening and when, inevitably, the computer can't answer the question, or the answer is questioned by the client or it is a 'no,' that will be the juncture at which 'human to human' interaction comes back into play. But, how effective will that conversation be, will it be 'match fit' when that personal contact is now at the 'crisis' end of the spectrum?

So, in what is becoming a faster moving, competitive, hostile environment, how do you build from zero, at speed, an effective working relationship when all around, things are getting fraught and the mission is now business critical with livelihoods and reputations being on the line? 

Welcome to the world of Hostage and Crisis Negotiators. The parallels around how I and my colleagues went about our 'life in your hands' role, using hard learnt  'critical skills,' are very real , absolutely relevant and highly prized by those who are looking to position themselves at the spearhead of the next 'industrial revolution.'

If you don't want to lose out, CEDR can help.

We offer a wide range of tailored packages that include our flagship Advanced Negotiation Course or our new modular programme in 'Skills for Life' - master active listening, managing emotion, how to have that difficult conversation and be an agent of influence. To learn more, contact the CEDR Skills team at