Humility Is the New Smart

  • Rethinking Human Excellence in the Smart Machine Age

    Cover of Humility is the New Smart

    About the Book

    Humility Is the New Smart is a book about human excellence – how human beings can excel at the skills that smart machines and smart robots will not be able to do well in the next few decades. It is our Paul Revere’s ride – a call to action – the smart machines are coming and we humans must take our cognitive and emotional skills to a much higher level and this book puts forth a game plan of how to do that. 

    In Ed's Words...

    “This book is the most important book I have written. Why? We are on the leading-edge of a societal transformation that will be as challenging and transformative as the Industrial Revolution was for our ancestors and we as a society and as individuals are not ready for what is fixing to hit us. In the next 10-15 years, technology will take over millions of jobs including professional jobs. To stay relevant, we human beings need to excel at doing those skills that technology won’t be able to do well: higher order critical thinking, creativity, innovation and high emotional engagement with other humans. 

    “We humans will be in a frantic footrace with the smart machines to stay relevant. Based on science and exemplars, we offer a new story about human excellence called NewSmart along with four NewSmart Behaviors that we believe will be necessary to excel at doing the skills that technology can’t do well. Our book is a game plan for how you can stay relevant. It is “how to” book – how to take your thinking, listening, relating and collaborating skiils to much higher levels. 

    "We invite you to join us in the pursuit of the type of human excellence that will be necessary the Smart Machine Age."

    Order Humility Is the New Smart: Rethinking Human Excellence in the Smart Machine Age

  • Introduction: Why You Should Read This Book

    Part I: A New Mental Model for the Smart Machine Age

    1. The Smart Machine Age: A New Game Requires New Rules

    2. NewSmart: A New Definition of “Smart”

    3. Humility: The Gateway to Human Excellence in the SMA

    Part II: NewSmart Behaviors

    4. Quieting Ego

    5. Managing Self: Thinking and Emotions

    6. Reflective Listening

    7. Otherness: Emotionally Connecting and Relating to Others

    8. Your NewSmart Behaviors Assessment Tool

    Part III: The NewSmart Organization

    9. Leading a NewSmart Organization

    Your NewSmart Organizational Assessment Tool

    Epilogue: Our Invitation to You

    About the Authors

    Ed Hess 2016

    Edward D. Hess is a professor of business administration and Batten Executive-in-Residence at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. His professional experience includes twenty years as a business executive and fifteen years in academia. His research and twelve books have a common theme: how organizations and individuals can be consistent high performers. His work has been featured in over 350 global media outlets.

    Katherine Ludwig 2016

    Katherine Ludwig is a research, editing, and publishing associate at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. Previously she was a corporate finance and securities lawyer and associate
    general counsel for a public technology company. 

    “I loved this book. Drawing from research on human cognition, the authors explain why all of us are ill-equipped to cope with the coming new smart machine age.  And with research backed ideas, they offer a path forward in the form of 5 NewSmart principles, which are profound and powerful. What the authors have described, beautifully, is the need for profound humility, wonder, curiosity, and appreciation of others.  In short, this is not a book about new technology but rather about new thinking -  the kind of generous thinking that will allow us to thrive in a world in which machines do so many things better than we ever will.”  Amy C. Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management, Harvard Business School, Author of Building the Future: Big Teaming for Audacious Innovation  

    “This book has a very important message that I agree with. That is - new forms of relationships and a more humane attitude toward each other both at work and play will become essential ingredients of a new way of being. Humility, more personal relationships, and collaboration will no longer be options but the key to health, productivity, and a sense of well being.”  Edgar H. Schein, Professor Emeritus, MIT Sloan School of Management, Author of Helping (2009), Humble Inquiry (2013) and Humble Consulting (2016)

    “Outstanding book with rock-solid arguments about why doing a ‘good job’ will no longer be good enough in a smart machines world and how NewSmart beliefs and behaviors can help humankind master this challenge.” Kurt D. Bettenhausen, Chair, VDI of Germany, “Digital Transformation” Group 

    "Hess and Ludwig offer actionable insights for coping - and thriving - in the new era, describing how to excel at the critical skills that machines can't replicate." ("New Book Offers a Roadmap for Success for Workers in the Smart Machine Age"Maginalia Magazine 

     “Machines will soon be smarter than we are and do most of our jobs. Hess & Ludwig provide valuable insights into the roles that us humans will play and how we can adapt to the new realities. The values they prescribe are so uplifting for humanity that I wonder why we can’t start now; why do the machines need to evolve before we do? Humility is, after all, our greatest virtue.Vivek Wadhwa, Distinguished Fellow and Professor, Carnegie Mellon University Engineering at Silicon Valley

    "Humility Is the New Smart challenges everything we think we know about a ‘good' education. Today, in the Smart Machine Age, it’s no longer about how much you know, but how you know — the questions you ask — and how you interact with others.  A fascinating and challenging book for all educators.” Tony Wagner, author of The Global Achievement Gap and Creating Innovators

     “Fascinating and perceptive, Humility Is the New Smart is an excellent book for leaders and everyone who wants to remain employed in the Smart Machine Age.” Marshall Goldsmith - The Thinkers 50 #1 Leadership Thinker in the World

     “The forces of the Smart Machine Age are already upon us and like time and tide they cannot be held back. Hess & Ludwig are out front with this insightful, practical and compelling guide to navigating, transforming, and leading organizations for this new age in which the nature of work and the workforce will be dramatically different.  To lead and shape the future, whether in the private or public sector, start with this book.” Admiral Gary Roughead, U.S. Navy (Retired) former Chief of Naval Operations

    “As a venture capitalist, I have a front row seat to the way advances in robotics, sensors and artificial intelligence are changing the way we work- and it’s happening faster than you think.   Once again, Ed Hess is out front in his research- this time on the skills and behaviors that will determine whether people and organizations succeed or fail as they adapt to the new reality of working side by side with machines.  From CEOs to students, thus is a must read.” Frank H. Foster, Managing Director, Frontier ∙ Venture Capital

    “This book was a revelation to me. Who knew that the secret to survival in this intimidating new world of machine intelligence was for us to become more human? In both our business and our private lives, we can choose fear and ego and retreat into ourselves in the face of these challenges, or we can embrace collaboration and positivity instead. Hess &Ludwig show us how to make the life-affirming choice.” Jeanne Liedtka, Author of Designing for Growth (2011) and Solving Problems With Design Thinking (2013)

    “An insightful, practical, enriching book for individuals and organizational leaders.  NewSmart can be a key to unlocking immense organizational value, one human interaction at a time.” Sean Ryan, SVP, McGraw-Hill Education

    “This book makes the compelling case that true competitive advantage requires human excellence. If you want to be an agile, adaptive and enabling leader, this book is a must read.” Marvin Riley, President, Fairbanks Morse Engine, an EnPro Industries Company  

    “Original and counterintuitive, Humility Is the New Smart, is essential reading for all who would prepare for the great transformation of employment and work that lies ahead.” Rashmi Prasad, Dean, College of Business & Public Policy, University of Alaska Anchorage

    “This compelling book is about how we can succeed in the age of AI – by excelling at what differentiates us as humans. Leaders will have to be good at ‘not knowing’, quieting their ego and mastering their fears of looking bad and making mistakes. Instead of managing others, leaders will have to manage themselves in order to enable others.” Peter Rodriguez, Dean, Jones Graduate School of Business, Rice University

    "Hess & Ludwig offer revolutionary approaches to self management along with innovative and insightful leadership platforms for the Smart Machine Age.  A powerful book!" Jeanette K. Winters, SVP & Chief Human Resource Officer, Igloo Product Corp

    “How must our notions about individual and organizational excellence adapt to the Smart Machine Age?  Hess & Ludwig offer insights that are perceptive, provocative, and powerful!  Their ideas can help your organization and you adapt to the coming transformations spurred by big data, deep learning, artificial intelligence and automation.”  Robert F. Bruner, University Professor, University of Virginia

    Humility Is the New Smart is a must read for business and political leaders, parents, teachers and everyone interested in understanding the challenges and opportunities of the coming Smart Machine Age. The explanation of humility—its philosophical meaning and application to leadership—is the best I’ve ever read.” Fernando Merce, President-Latin America & Caribbean, Nestle Purina  

    "Hess & Ludwig crush it in Humility Is the New Smart.  They introduce the compelling concept of NewSmart that will help learners successfully navigate the coming Smart Machine Age. They want our young people to be adaptive life-long learners and embracing NewSmart is a path to learning for the future, not our past." Dr. Pamela R. Moran, Superintendent, Albemarle County Va. Public Schools 

    “This fascinating examination of what it will take to thrive in the Smart Machine Age offers compelling and profoundly humane manual on how to achieve our highest expressions of excellence, in business and in all our interactions.” Ming-Jer Chen, Former President of Academy of Management and Professor, Darden Graduate School of Business 

    Humility Is the New Smart provides a provocative view of the kinds of individual skills necessary to succeed in the future. Through their exhaustive interdisciplinary research, the authors give us practical advice on how we can best prepare ourselves to excel in the Smart Machine Age." Wally Walker, Founder, Hana Road Capital and former CEO, Seattle Supersonics

    As a father and the leader of a school responsible for preparing students for their future, I embraced the authors’ premise that we need to change our mindsets, skills and behaviors for a more dynamic technology-based world.  They provide compelling research and very practical tools to help us on our journey. Listen well - our futures and our children’s futures depend on it.” G. Thomas Battle, Jr., Headmaster, Virginia Episcopal School

    "I was incredibly impressed with how this book blends the importance of self-management and self-awareness with the reality of the new-age technology that will shape the way business is done in the future.” Sam Presti, General Manager, Oklahoma City Thunder


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    "Transforming School Education for the Smart Machine Age"
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    "Becoming a Hyper Learning Community: The Future of Business"
    Darden Ideas to Action (25 Jan 2018)

    "The Future of Work Predictions for 2018"
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    "The Why of Business"
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    "Beating the Robot" Daily News & Analysis (6 July 2017)

    "Humility - The Key to Success in the Smart Machine Age" Marginalia (30 June 2017)

    "Artificial Intelligence at Law Firms: The New Standard for 'Smart' Lawyers"
     The Ethical Investigator (27 June 2017)

    "In the AI Age, “Being Smart” Will Mean Something Completely Different"
    Harvard Business Review (19 June 2017) 

    "Book Review: 'Humility Is the New Smart: Rethinking Human Excellence in the Smart Machine Age'"
    San Francisco Review of Books (15 June 2017)

    "Dire or Rosy? Dueling Views on Automation's Impact on Employment"
    Society For Human Resource Management (30 May 2017) 

    "Five Big Conversations We MUST Have About Jobs and the Next Generation"
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    "What to Look for in a College Today ... To Survive Tomorrow"
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    "Surviving the Digital Age: 4 Corporate Transformations" Darden Ideas to Action (27 April 2017)

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    " Voice of America (15 April 2017)

    "Why Humility is the New Smart"
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    "More Than Managing, The Focus Has to be on Developing People: Edward Hess"
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    "6 Future-Proof Skills Your Next Hire Needs" Tweak Your (22 March 2017)

    "Workplace of the Future: Mr. Spock Wouldn't Survive the Smart Machine Age - Will You?" Bulldog Reporter (17 March 2017)

    "In the Smart Machine Age, the So-Called Female Confidence Gap May be a Blessing in Disguise"
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    The Washington Post (8 February 2017)

    "The No.1 Job Skill Needed for the Smart Machine Age: Knowing How to Iteratively Learn" Darden Ideas to Action (7 February 2017)

    "Who Will Lead in the Smart Machine Age?"© (7 February 2017)

    "To Excel in the Smart Machine Age, We Need Others" Darden Ideas to Action (24 January 2017)

    "Here's Why Emotions are the Secret Sauce of Innovation" (17 January 2017)

    "The Rise of the Smart Machine Age and the Need for a New Story on the Purpose of Business"
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    "Leadership in the Smart Machine Age: The 4 ES" Darden Ideas to Action (20 September 2016) - republished as: "How to Lead in the Smart Machine Age" Fortune (24 September 2016)

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    "Humility is the New Smart"
    The Matt Townsend Show, BYU Radio (19 September 2017)

    "Can Technology Humanize the Workplace?
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    "Taking Corporate Learning to the Next Level" IESE Business School, University of Navarra (18 August 2017)

    "Redefining 'Smart' in the Smart Machine Age"
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    Skip Prichard (May 4 2017)

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    "Humility is the New Smart"
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