Unlocking the Power of AI and Human Brilliance: A Blueprint for Future-Ready Teams

by Dominic Atkinson

In our second issue, we dive into a timely topic — harnessing the power of Generative AI to secure your organisation’s future success through the power of your human teams.

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT are rapidly transforming the way we work. According to a recent survey by Fishbowl:

  • 43% of professionals have used ChatGPT or another AI tool for work-related tasks.
  • 68% believe that AI will significantly change their job in the next 5 years.

(Source: Fishbowl Survey, March 2023).

And usage, approved or not, is happening across the world.

This article is an extended version of our fortnightly Spark! Newsletter. Every two weeks, we share the latest career development and team performance insights, inspiring articles and podcasts, and free resources for teams and managers. Subscribe here.

Establishing resources ahead of the curve

As organisations grapple with this technological shift, a critical question arises: How can we leverage AI’s potential while securing the future of organisations that will need to adapt quickly to dynamic market changes?

The knee-jerk reaction might be to slash headcount, hoping for quick cost savings.

Companies like Klarna have seen significant gains from adopting Gen AI. However, 10% of their workforce was laid off, citing the need to become more efficient, which Klarna leadership says was not related to their Gen AI adoption (Source: Yahoo Finance, May 2022).

And DuoLingo cut 10% of their contractors as they move to more content creation via Gen AI.

However, forward-thinking leaders understand that now is the time to double down on their most valuable asset — their people.

Just as Mark Zuckerberg doubled Meta’s investment in GPUs in 2022 to stay ahead of the compute curve, savvy organisations are investing in their teams’ “superpowers” — the uniquely human skills that AI cannot replicate, such as creativity, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, and adaptability.

6 Key Strategies for Managers & Team Leaders

1. Embrace a growth mindset

Encourage your team to view AI as a tool to augment their capabilities, not replace them. Foster a culture of continuous learning and experimentation. Create the space to do so, following concepts like Google’s 20% rule. Help your team to secure the future of your organisation through a commitment to their development.

2. Provide tailored coaching

One-on-one coaching helps individuals identify their unique strengths, overcome challenges, and chart a course for growth in an AI-enabled workplace. Stay Nimble’s Elevate for Teams programme offers unlimited personalised coaching to keep your team energised and on track.

3. Align AI adoption with human strengths

As you integrate AI tools, consider how they can complement your team’s natural abilities. For example, let AI handle routine tasks while your team focuses on high-level strategy and relationship building.

4. Invest in upskilling and reskilling

Help your team acquire the skills needed to thrive in an AI-driven world, such as data literacy, digital fluency, and agile project management. “By 2025, 50% of all employees will need reskilling” (Source: World Economic Forum, 2020). Learning and development don’t need their own strategy. Your business strategy hinges on your teams’ ability to adapt, learn and apply new skills to further the success of your organisation.

5. Foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing

Encourage cross-functional collaboration and create platforms for employees to share their experiences and best practices in leveraging AI tools.

6. Prioritise employee wellbeing

Support your team’s mental and emotional health during times of change. Regularly check in, offer resources, and create a safe space for open communication.

The benefits of bridging the AI-human gap with robust upskilling initiatives

Strategic planning and decision-making

With AI handling data analysis and providing insights, your team can focus on interpreting the data, identifying trends, and making informed strategic decisions. This shift allows your organisation to be more agile and responsive to market changes, as your team can quickly adapt strategies based on real-time data and insights.

Innovation and product development

As your team spends less time on routine tasks, they can dedicate more energy to creative problem-solving and innovation. Encourage your team to explore new ideas, experiment with emerging technologies, and collaborate across departments to develop innovative products and services that set your organisation apart from competitors. Develop new ways of working together to make this happen.

Complex problem-solving

AI can help identify patterns and provide recommendations, but it takes human expertise to navigate complex, ambiguous, and new challenges. By investing in your team’s critical thinking and problem-solving skills, you equip them to tackle the most pressing issues facing your organisation and industry.

Emotional intelligence and leadership

As AI takes on more tasks, the importance of emotional intelligence and effective leadership grows. Invest in your team’s soft skills, such as empathy, communication, and adaptability, to build a strong, resilient, and cohesive workforce. Emotionally intelligent leaders can motivate teams, foster collaboration, and create a positive work culture that drives performance and engagement.

Relationship building and customer experience

While AI can streamline customer interactions, human connection remains essential for building long-lasting relationships and delivering exceptional customer experiences. Encourage your team to focus on understanding customer needs, providing personalised solutions, and going above and beyond to create memorable, positive interactions that foster loyalty and advocacy.

How to make it stick: The Role of Coaching

By providing opportunities for continuous learning, skill development, and growth, you demonstrate your commitment to your team’s long-term success and create a culture that attracts and retains top talent.

As your team focuses on higher-value activities, they are more likely to feel engaged, motivated, and fulfilled in their work. This increased engagement leads to higher productivity, lower turnover rates, and a stronger sense of purpose and connection to your organisation’s mission.

So why is coaching a key to enabling this? Well, all of the above is a significant change, and that makes people uneasy. Plus, of course, there will be friction, misunderstandings, and mistakes along the way. We need a way to smooth those edges as much as possible.

Let’s go one step deeper and look at how coaching can help you to develop and refine point four above, emotional intelligence and leadership, within your organisation.

Coaching is a powerful tool for developing emotional intelligence and leadership skills because it provides a safe, supportive, and confidential space for individuals to explore their strengths, weaknesses, and growth opportunities. Through coaching, individuals can gain self-awareness, learn to manage their emotions, and develop empathy, communication, and adaptability skills, which are crucial for effective leadership in the age of AI.

You can definitely build internal capacity to make this happen, although there are advantages to using external coaches.

For example:

1. Objectivity and external perspective

Third-party coaches bring an unbiased, external perspective to the coaching relationship. They are not influenced by internal politics, hierarchies, or preconceived notions, allowing them to provide honest and constructive feedback. This objectivity enables individuals to gain new insights into their behaviours, thought patterns, and leadership style, fostering personal and professional growth.

2. Expertise and specialised knowledge

Third-party coaching services often employ highly trained and experienced coaches with expertise in emotional intelligence, leadership development, and various coaching methodologies. These coaches bring a wealth of knowledge and best practices from working with diverse clients and industries, ensuring that individuals receive high-quality guidance tailored to their specific needs and goals.

3. Confidentiality and psychological safety

Engaging a third-party coaching service ensures confidentiality and creates a psychologically safe environment for individuals to explore their vulnerabilities, challenges, and aspirations without fear of judgement or repercussions. This level of confidentiality is particularly important for leaders who may hesitate to share their concerns or weaknesses with internal stakeholders, enabling them to work on their development more openly and effectively.

Here’s the coaching framework we’re using to help support the development of Emotional Intelligence and Leadership in organisations:

Assessment and Goal Setting

  • Emotional intelligence assessments (e.g., EQ-i 2.0, MSCEIT)
  • Set SMART goals aligned with individual and organisational objectives

Self-Awareness and Self-Management

  • Explore personal values, beliefs, and motivators
  • Practice mindfulness and self-reflection
  • Develop strategies for stress management and resilience

Empathy and Social Awareness

  • Active listening and perspective-taking exercises
  • Recognise and interpret nonverbal cues and emotional signals
  • Develop cultural competence and inclusivity

Communication and Relationship Management

  • Practise assertive communication and giving/receiving feedback
  • Adapt communication style to different audiences and contexts
  • Build trust and rapport through authentic interactions
  • Foster collaboration, teamwork, and conflict-resolution skills

Adaptability and Change Management

  • Develop a growth mindset and embrace continuous learning
  • Practise flexibility and agility in the face of change
  • Learn to lead and support others through transitions

Ongoing Support and Accountability

  • Regular coaching sessions to review progress and address challenges
  • Establish accountability measures and support systems
  • Encourage the application of new skills in real-world situations

By following this coaching framework, we help people in your team to develop the emotional intelligence and leadership skills necessary to thrive in the age of AI. Through a combination of assessment, skill-building, practice, and ongoing support, we enable your leaders to create psychologically safe, empathetic, and adaptable work environments that foster innovation, collaboration, and growth.

Ready to elevate your team?

Let’s chat about how Stay Nimble can plug into your organisation and help your business thrive in the age of AI. Book a consultation today.

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