Jim Cortada

Nov 6, 2023

The Superpowers of a Historian in the Business World

A Discussion with Historian and Former IBM Executive Jim Cortada

New Books Network 2023

Prolific historian, former IBM executive (and energetic impresario for "Applied History") Jim Cortada discusses his journey from being a freshly minted PhD in 1973 to various senior roles at the iconic tech company. Drawing on four decades of experience at IBM, Jim talks about how historians, with their research, analytic, and communication skills have tremendous value to offer to modern business organizations. What’s the historians’ superpower? According to Cortada, it’s being able to analyze thoroughly contexts of complex situations, helping senior leaders find solutions to delicate problems and being able to shape organizational culture and strategy. Jim makes the case that every Harvard Business Review article is a history article. We also talk about the limitations of artificial intelligence, and Jim talks about why AI can’t and won’t be able to do a historian’s job.

Patriyk Babiracki is historian, researcher and writer; professor & MA student advisor at the University of Texas at Arlington. PhD from Johns Hopkins. Promoter of #AppliedHistory: using historical concepts, frameworks, and methodologies to solve real-world organizational problems.

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Patryk Babiracki

Patryk Babiracki is a historian, researcher and writer; professor & MA student advisor at the University of Texas at Arlington. PhD from Johns Hopkins. Promoter of #AppliedHistory: using historical concepts, frameworks, and methodologies to solve real-world organizational problems.

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