Episode 1 - Navigating the Human Side of Leadership: A Conversation with Bill Anderson

“The Intersection of Tech and Human Connection”

Welcome to Plain Spoken with Derek Fournier, where we delve into the driving forces behind company loyalty and the technical ties that bind in the modern workplace. Our guest, Bill Anderson, a luminary in the fields of technology, marketing, and communication, shares his insights on what attracts people to a company and, crucially, what keeps them there.

The Evolution of a Tech Career:

Bill’s journey, spanning over three decades, illustrates the evolution from a focus on customer needs in product marketing to the cutting-edge realms of data science and artificial intelligence (AI). His pivot from a high school teacher to a tech giant at Microsoft, and later to roles at Ford Motor Company and in responsible AI advocacy, underscores a career driven by adaptation and learning.

Leadership and Adaptability:

The conversation highlights the essence of leadership and the importance of adaptability in one’s career. Bill’s experiences underscore the unpredictable nature of career paths, emphasizing the need for flexibility, openness to change, and the significance of learning from failures.

The Human Side of Technology:

A recurring theme in the podcast is the human aspect of technology and leadership. Bill shares personal anecdotes, including his transformative experiences with terminal cancer, which reshaped his approach to leadership, embedding empathy, vulnerability, and sincerity at its core. These reflections bring to light the profound impact of personal experiences on professional growth and leadership style.

The Future of AI and Innovation:

Bill and Derek explore the potential and challenges of artificial intelligence, particularly its implications for the job market and ethical considerations. Projects like Dyslexico, aimed at assisting dyslexic individuals through AI, exemplify the positive impact technology can have on addressing specific human needs.

Cultural and Technological Adaptation:

The dialogue also touches upon the necessity of cultural sensitivity and adaptation in a global and increasingly digital workplace. Bill’s transition from Microsoft to other ventures illustrates the importance of understanding and navigating different organizational cultures and technological landscapes.


The podcast with Bill Anderson offers invaluable insights into the intertwining of technology, leadership, and the human element in the workplace. It underscores the journey of continuous learning, the significance of adapting to change, and the profound impact of personal experiences on professional endeavors.