Communicating with Artificial Intelligence

I have been dragging my heels about learning ChatGPT. I know I have to do it, but I like the old way of doing things like research and editing. Plus, if I'm going to have to double-check its output, what's the point? Frank Shaw, the Chief Communications Officer at Microsoft challenges me:

LinkedIn: The Future of Communications: How to Adapt to the AI Transformation by Frank X. Shaw

As communicators, we tell stories that help people fall in love with Microsoft, the things we make, and the impact we have in the world. And now we add – using the incredible potential of artificial intelligence – to that purpose.

Okay, here's how he says we should get started:

To realize this incredible potential, we must first understand the soul of our jobs. If we don’t deeply understand this, then all the fantastic new tools in the universe won’t help us. 😊 And what is clear is this: It is human interaction that drives the insights and the stories and the emotional connections.

Looking at artificial intelligence as a way to free up my time and increase my communication quality... Well, I guess I better get started.

Plus, Frank increases my confidence with his sound insight into the innovation process:

We have an idea, we experiment with it, we measure it, we evaluate it, we share it with one another, we repeat. Some experiments will work, and we’ll celebrate! Some will fail, and we will learn! Both are great outcomes.

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Don't let fear of ridicule squelch your ideas... even the "dumb" ones

The Maven Game: A Head Full of Ideas, 2023-Mar-4 by David Moldawer

Creatively competent people welcome "dumb" ideas. They love them! Contributions that are weird, cringy, tangential, bizarre, klutzy, catachrestic, or otherwise unexpected are the most useful when you're trying to get somewhere new, interesting, and valuable. Great ideas grow best from the fertile soil of stupidity. If you want to be smart, get stupid.

Now, you may not be surrounded by any creatively competent people. They may all sneer at your dumb ideas. Doesn't matter. If your collaborators, team, and/or company are creatively hopeless, all your efforts are doomed anyway. What do you have to lose? Build that blurt muscle. Bring a head full of ideas and fearlessly share those pearls with the swine. That way, you'll be ready when you finally get the chance to shine.

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Unexpected Precondition for Innovation, noted by Nilofer Merchant

When we are trying to drive innovation in an organization, we often ignore an essential precondition. This precondition is sometimes called "psychological safety." Nilofer Merchant has a valuable angle on this for managers. You can't get to psychological safety in your team until you recognize the unique value of each individual. It's not enough to say "you can express your ideas." You have to notice what each person wants to contribute and make space for them.

Nilofer Merchant: Belonging Precedes "Doing Stuff", 2017-Dec-21

We each need to belong. Having a sense of belonging is, in fact, a most fundamental human psychological need, as essential as our need for shelter, sustenance, and being safe from harm. For those of us who took Psych, is in Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs....

Belonging is the Key to Innovation

With belonging, you show up in the world more fully alive. With it, you feel safe enough to share an early notion, to explore that seemingly wild idea, and even take the risks to invent the future. So, before you can “Do Stuff”— dream and think stuff up, build or create stuff, act and react to stuff — we each need to belong....

We want to be seen, and belong in a meaningful way… as ourselves. By our Onlyness. If there is one thing any leader can do to create more innovation, it’s to lead in such a way as to create belonging.


The Ends and Means of Diversity

Increasing diversity is both moral AND productive in organizations. An organization with diversity of employees is more likely to thrive. Acquiring a more diverse workforce turns out to be expensive in the short run. Suck it up!

Digital Tonto: We Need To Learn How To Bridge Difference To Drive Creativity And Innovation, 2023-Feb-19 by Greg Satell

We are encouraged to think about matters of diversity in moral terms and, of course, that’s an important aspect. However, it is also a matter of developing the right skills. The better we are able to bridge differences, the more effectively we can collaborate with others who have different perspectives, which is crucial to becoming more innovative and productive....

However, it is at this nexus of identity and purpose that creativity and innovation reside, because when we learn to collaborate with others who possess knowledge, skills and perspectives that we don’t, new possibilities emerge to achieve greater things.