Christian Lanng’s Visionary Approach to Reshaping the Workplace Through A.I. 

Christian Lanng's Visionary Approach to Reshaping the Workplace Through A.I. 

As the co-founder and CEO of Tradeshift, Christian Lanng has caused shockwaves to ripple throughout the tech industry. Valued north of $2 Billion, Tradeshift is a business network and platform that helps provide automation, supply chain processing, virtual financing, and supply chain financing solutions to businesses worldwide.

An established entrepreneur and a bright mind within the tech field, Lanng made major moves into the realm of Artificial Intelligence with his latest efforts at Beyond Work.

The Importance of Automation with Christian Lanng

Beyond Work promises to be a human AI work platform that transforms the very workplace that we interface with daily. Established in concert with a team of experts, Tradeshift includes founders such as Joakim Recht (Distinguished Engineer – Uber), Mikkel Bo Schmidt, Kate Kharchenko (Stack Overflow), and Malte Hojmark-Bertelsen (KMD).

In an interview, Christian Lanng dug into the motivations behind his efforts at Beyond Work. Lanng stated, “With Beyond Work, we saw an opportunity to use AI (…) to try to make work both better and more productive, meaning both the workplace and the worker win in how they work.”

Of course, the ideal outcome of an improved workplace is far from a stranger to move heads of office. However, Lanng believes that Beyond Work is taking a step that other tech-workplace improvement concepts have not.

Leveraging concepts from scratch, Beyond Work aims to implement something of a ‘new application’ that provides a revolutionary and enterprise-safe outcome to its customers.

Lanng states simply, “We are building the next generation of work automation. Leveraging AI as a core engine, and we are doing it in a way where we try to make work a lot more fun, a lot more engaging.”

Beyond Work Has a Different Approach

When discussing workplace automation and technological improvements, it is easy for people to get lost in the concept. Lanng believes that the most recent ‘advancements’ in that space are hollow, at best. Lanng says, “Enterprise software has failed.”

To get around the idea of failed enterprise software, Lanng and his team wanted to take an honest look at how things really were operating. Lang stated in an interview, “I think if you look at most software today, we invented a lot of jobs that are essentially just fake digitalization. People sitting and pushing buttons in applications.”

Lang adds, “Instead of sitting every day and clicking buttons in different applications, maybe you can just tell your computer what you want it to do for you – like a friendly co-worker.”

If that concept seems a little outlandish, don’t worry – it’s looking like a reality for the near future. At the time of this writing, the start-up secured more than $2.5 million during Pre-seed Funding with investments from MIT-affiliated E14. The company is being built in Europe, where Lanng calls his home.

Emphasizing the importance of creating a coworking companion out of artificial intelligence, Lanng states, “The reason we’re saying we need to go beyond work is that for the last two decades, the way most software has been made is it turns us, humans, into robots.”

Speaking to the idea of ethics and artificial intelligence, Lanng wasn’t ready to hold back. The CEO stated, “I think a lot of the fears are very overblown. ‘Now AI is going to go live and take control’. They’re called AI doomers, right?”

Lanng would go on to elaborate by saying, “Google used AI in data centers to cut power by almost 40% of its footprint. We should ethically challenge ourselves to say, “Why not? Why are we not using them? Why are we holding back?”

To round out his thoughts on the subject Lanng would challenge our idea of what a computer even was. “If a computer is more of an agent or a collaborator a cowkrer, that’s super powerful. It can do a lot of stuff for you.”

An Approach to Leadership by Christian Lanng

The development of successful new concepts requires, almost by nature, someone who can will them into existence while leading the way. Christian Lanng is not a new member of the entrepreneurial workforce, and he has learned a lot from his failures as well as his successes.

Lanng stated in an interview, “You can’t rely on your own ability as a founder to just stand on a soapbox and be heard and understood.”

To help shape his place in the entrepreneurial world, Lanng paid careful attention to curating teams that enhanced his operations while helping to build the kind of culture and leadership that he was looking for.

Lanng says, “We needed leadership on the ground. We were seeing too many people feeling disconnected.”

To guide his team forward, Lanng relied on a few areas of understanding. The first idea was that startup factories are naturally going to be places where make-believe becomes reality, or businesses fail on the route.

Lanng says, “You must always walk that fine line between hope and cheerleading and being realistic and critical.”

Laboring on the idea of leadership, Lanng went on to add that a vision without a plan in place is simply an act of hallucination. To try to lead a team and bring them to a thriving area of conclusion, Lanng advises leading from the front with a plan in place.

Lanng suggests that every leader and future CEO understand, “There are plenty of long nights, weeks, months, years in any startup; remember that everyone is watching you and if you are the first to shovel, they will follow.”

Along the path to success, Lanng understands that there are going to be variations in the road. With that being said, he suggests that leaders be ready to fight for their vision when necessary but change direction when it is the right thing to do.

Christian Lanng states, “Don’t cling to it because you are afraid of losing face. The ability to let go and move on is one of the most important skills of a leader.”

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