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Don’t Start With The Tech: Bringing Your People On The AI Journey

If you want to use AI more in your workplace, the most important thing to get right is to bring your people on the AI journey. It’s not about the technology – it’s about first understanding your people and how they think and feel about AI.

What do your team members think and feel about AI?

I’ve talked to many leaders and teams about using AI and other technology. One of the biggest mistakes people make with implementing AI is they think it’s all about the technology. It’s not.

It’s about people first, technology second.

And the most important people are the people in your team. What do they think and feel about using AI?

This is crucial for leaders to understand. As a leader, if you’re bringing AI into your team or organisation, you must bring your people along on the AI journey. If you don’t, it can go horribly wrong.

You might have seen the story about an entertainment organisation in Scotland that used AI badly to create some of their marketing material. Another recent story in Australia was about a real estate agent who used ChatGPT to write a property listing, but didn’t bother editing the chat conversation before pasting it directly into a website!

These are not technology problems. They are problems with the process of people working with that technology.

There are many positive examples as well. One of my clients recently engaged me to run some sessions about AI for their team, and even offered incentives and cash prizes for people who suggested practical ways to use AI within the organisation.

The worst thing that you can do is ignore AI or ban it. That sends it underground, and people start using it themselves, but without the right sort of education and guardrails. They can then make those horrible mistakes that can really damage your brand – or worse.

At the other end, some people are excited and enthusiastic about it, and are pushing for more power to use it.

In your organisation, and even in your team, you will find people at different stages on the AI journey. It’s not only about their experience and expertise, but also how they feel about it. Some are scared, others are excited, and others are somewhere in the middle.

If you’d like to know more about having open conversations about AI, download my worksheet for ideas. Use it with your team to understand how they think and feel now – and to learn what they want for the future.

DOWNLOAD THE WORKSHEET

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