TECH TALK X Webinar Series

Career Decisions, Management, and Leadership in a Data and AI World

March to June 2021

  • How do you develop and plan your career in a world where data and AI have an increasingly significant impact on organizations?
  • What new skills do you need as a future business leader to succeed?
  • How can organizations best leverage AI and data technologies to achieve their objectives, and how can you best contribute to this effort while positively impacting your own career progression?
  • What does it even mean to become a data-driven organization or team?

These are just some of the questions we will discuss and debate with business leaders in our new INSEAD webinar series on “Career Decisions, Management, and Leadership in a Data and AI World”.

We will draw upon the experience of top data and business leaders to help individuals – and their organizations – close the gap between the possibilities that data and AI open up and the realities of implementing them in complex environments, while developing successful careers in the process. We hope that these conversations will help individuals to better manage their own careers and to prioritize the skills they need, and the strategies and initiatives that will drive the most value for them and their organizations, in a data and AI world.

Setting Yourself up for Success

Tuesday, 16 March 2021
5.30PM CET
Duration: 60min

  • Katia Walsh, Senior Vice President & Chief Strategy and Artificial Intelligence Officer, Levi’s
  • Jeff McMillan, Chief Analytics and Data Officer, Morgan Stanley
  • Caroline Zimmermann, Research Associate, INSEAD
  • Theos Evgeniou, Professor of Decision Sciences and Technology Management, INSEAD


In this first webinar of our series on “Career Decisions, Management, and Leadership in a Data and AI World”, Dr. Katia Walsh, Chief Strategy and Artificial Intelligence Officer @ Levi’s and Jeff McMillan, Chief Analytics and Data Officer @ Morgan Stanley, two data leaders with significant commercial acumen and business experience will explain how they navigate their career choices and set the agenda for data and AI in a way that maximises their – and their organizations’ – chances for success. For example, we will discuss what questions to ask in “reverse interviews” before accepting a job, how to plan the first 100 days in a new position, ideal reporting lines for a data leader, creating an influence map, choosing use cases, working effectively with the board and peers, and aligning incentives.

Further reading: Three Key Steps to Prepare for Data and AI Leadership, INSEAD Knowledge, April 12, 2021

Leading an Impactful Data Team

Wednesday, 14 April 2021
6.00PM CET
Duration: 60min



In this second webinar of our series on “Career Decisions, Management, and Leadership in a Data and AI World”, Sanjeevan Bala and Gilad Lotan, two data leaders who have created highly effective data organizations – both now in the media space, one for a “digital native” company and the other for a “traditional” player, but with past different industry experiences – will explain what profiles they have hired into their team and why; how they have deployed these resources in the organisation; how their team structures and priorities have evolved over time; how they collaborate effectively with their stakeholders in business and engineering teams; and how their own backgrounds have influenced their leadership style.

Further reading: Building and Leading Your Organisation’s Data Capability, INSEAD Knowledge, May 18, 2021

Enabling Data-Guided Leadership and Decision-Making

Tuesday, 18 May 2021
5.00PM CET
Duration: 60min



In this third webinar of our series on “Career Decisions, Management, and Leadership in a Data and AI World, Daragh Kelly and Joyce Weng, a seasoned data leader and a senior business leader, both now working in the luxury retail space but also with different past industry experiences, will explain how they best leverage data to improve decision making and lead teams and the organization, balancing data with intuition. We will focus, among others, on the importance of asking the right questions, how to help and encourage business functions to become more data literate, and how to develop a strong understanding of the art of the possible when it comes to data & AI.

Further reading: Are You Asking the Right Questions of Your Data Team? INSEAD Knowledge, July 22, 2021

Bridging the Gap between the Poets and the Quants

Tuesday, 16 June 2021
5.00PM CET
Duration: 60min



In this final webinar of our series on “Career Decisions, Management, and Leadership in a Data and AI World”, Venky Jitender and Eric Weber, two data leaders at digital native companies, will explain how, even for them, much of their focus is on overcoming cultural barriers between the technical contributors in their teams and their business stakeholders, particularly the non-technical oriented ones. We will discuss how they and their teams communicate value, choose what problems to solve and when, generate trust, drive adoption of new processes and technologies, educate stakeholders (both “poets” and “quants”), and generate alignment.

Further reading

Evgeniou T., Venugopal A., Malik A., Pryer T. (2021). Leadership in AI 2021: Boards, Barriers and New Beginnings, London: Board Agenda.