With my AI learning journey in full GO mode, I am hyper-aware of how AI is being introduced into our systems and new ways of working, often without corporate governance and change management. Just recently, Zoom enabled its AI assistant that now summarizes my meetings, and Google integrated AI-powered overview into my Search. AI is a colleague showing up like never before, and sometimes it appears they’re joining the meeting without an invitation! This is the new way of working and doing it alongside technology requires us to rethink our business and talent strategies.
“AI is a colleague showing up like never before, and sometimes it appears they’re joining the meeting without an invitation!”
“Ways of working” refers to the practices, processes, and methodologies employed by individuals, teams, or organizations to carry out their work effectively and achieve desired outcomes. It encompasses the strategies, tools, communication methods, collaboration approaches, and overall work culture that shape how work is executed within a specific context.
Source: University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. (n.d.). Ways of Working. Retrieved from https://www.cisl.cam.ac.uk/business-action/sustainable-finance/ways-of-working
Been There, Done That!
Leading into 2020 and since the pandemic, businesses have adopted new collaboration software like Microsoft Teams and moved from on-premise servers to the cloud. This allows for more efficient remote communication and document sharing. To support these technological changes, informed leaders are also investing in change management, including assessing the impact of new ways of working physically and technologically on their employees. New processes and procedures are being developed, and targeted communication and training is still being delivered to drive adoption.
At CARA, we transitioned our staff to Microsoft Teams and SharePoint to allow for real-time virtual collaboration. We restructured and used team charters to create shared expectations and enable high performance despite physical distance. To smooth the new ways of working and technology adoption, we also identified change champions who evaluated how the changes would affect their teams’ ways of working and facilitated adoption.
AI and New Ways of Working: The Human Element
In talking with other business leaders, we see that AI promises a similar shakeup in our ways of working. We’re working not only alongside our colleagues and clients but interacting more with artificial agents like ChatGPT and other AI-enabled tools to get work done faster. But with any tech, distraction can creep in. I urge you to start learning more about AI today by noticing where you are enabled by technology versus taken off course.
Because we sure can’t forget the human element. New ways of working with AI requires collaboration and as it becomes integral to how we work, our teams must learn together. Here are five intentional first steps:
1. Schedule 30 minutes each workday to research how are others in your organization or profession are using AI tools.
2. Plan specific weekly or monthly discussion sessions with colleagues regarding how AI will impact your ways of working, shared goals and how to get the most out of it while minimizing risks.
3. Create an ongoing list of ways AI can benefit the work you and your team are doing.
4.Share your AI research findings and insights with your team on a regular basis.
5. Introduce a new AI tool and use it for a fun activity during a team meeting.
Without a doubt, the future of work and AI is continuing to change and expand rapidly. If you want to share how AI is changing the ways you work, or if you could use expertise on new ways of working with AI within your organization, get in touch.
To learn more about how AI is being integrated into software you’re already using, check out these resources:
- AI Chatbots Are Coming to Search Engines. Can You Trust Them? – Scientific American
- The ChatGPT-fueled battle for search is bigger than Microsoft or Google | MIT Technology Review
- The misconceptions around ChatGPT and the potential threat it poses to Google and other search engines (betanews.com)
- Zoom Unveils New AI Companion Features