People and purpose

How we will use AI to be more deeply human

We recently ran a team day on how we will use artificial intelligence in our business. Several of us had already played with ChatGPT, Copilot and Bard, others were a bit nervous about the technology.

We wanted to start by establishing our philosophy around using the tools, we don’t see this as a way to reduce jobs, we’ve always been pretty lean, and we see this as an opportunity to improve the quality of our work.

We agreed on two important principles

  • We want to use AI to automate the less interesting parts of our roles, to release time to do the things we always wanted to do (but couldn’t because we were doing lower value tasks) – creating on average more interesting roles
  • By automating the routine stuff, we want to use AI to make our work more deeply human, to focus on the relationships and the interactions with people

We think this fits well with our focus on helping people find purpose and engagement at work.

We don’t think that AI will replace the need for what we do, but we do think that the training companies that choose to use AI will replace the ones that don’t.

Next, we had a play. There are lots of good “Cheat Sheets” for asking effective prompts (the questions you ask AI). Asking questions in the right way is critical to getting good quality responses.

We each used AI to explore the likely impact of the technology on our roles and used that to build confidence and competence in asking the right questions and interpreting the answers (sometimes AIs make things up so you need to check the sources of anything you’re going to rely on), we also learned to treat the tool as a back and forth conversation and not as just a new form of search

Then we had what we call an excursion, or safari.  When you are introducing a change, it can sometimes be hard to visualise the opportunity, so it’s good to get out and experience a different world to make the possibilities more real.

We had a demonstration of Gong, an AI driven platform that will enable us to build even better understanding of our customer needs and questions, give live coaching to our people, automate some routine sales administration tasks, and enable us to spend our customer facing time totally focused on the human interaction rather than on taking notes and following processes.

It will also give us an improved ability to look across all the conversations we have with customers to see patterns and common needs more quickly.

Gong was a great fit for our philosophy of automating the routine and focusing on being more deeply human. We quickly made the decision to invest in this tool and integrate it into our tech stack.

Our discussions also brought it home to us how important it is to have good quality source data for an AI to search through. We made the decision to be an early adopter of Microsoft Co-pilot which integrates AI into the Microsoft Office 365 products such as word, outlook, excel and PowerPoint. This will allow us to use AI to consolidate information across our internal documents and, for example, automate the process of summarizing Teams calls and agreed actions.

We are looking forward to learning how we can integrate this into the way we work.

It was important to us that both Gong and Co-pilot preserve the privacy of our conversations and customer information and don’t share this information outside of our systems.

We will also explore opportunities for  the use of AI in the delivery of our programs in the future. There is no doubt it will impact the way we work together in the future.

We are running an experiment in making our IP on effective meetings available to Mscore (a company we invest in) to look at developing an AI capable of analysing the quality of meetings and providing recommendations.

It was a very worthwhile process; we found a positive philosophy that everyone could buy into and built some real enthusiasm for using AI in our business.

We will focus on integrating the new tools and learning how they can help us be more deeply human in the work we do.

We hope our customers will see the difference and we encourage all of you to do something similar within your own organisations. AI is a source of anxiety for some and excitement for others, but there is no doubt it’s going to have a growing impact on company competitiveness and careers. As individuals and organizations we need to get out in front of this and shape the use of the tool to meet our needs.

As with all technologies there may be a tendency to overestimate the impact in the short term and underestimate the impact in the long term (Amara’s Law), but we believe that a choice not to engage with AI brings the risk of slow obsolescence.

What are you doing in your organisation to open up discussion about the use of AI.

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