This Week in Culture

AI Will Change How We Work, but It Won’t Change Why We Work

Let’s explore a subject that’s igniting discussions everywhere, from boardrooms to casual coffee breaks and virtual Zoom sessions: the transformative impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on our work life. While AI is undeniably reshaping our work methods and processes, it’s crucial to acknowledge that it doesn’t alter the fundamental reasons why we work. This concept, also highlighted in Reece Akhtar’s Forbes article, underscores the enduring importance of human motivation in an AI-influenced workplace. 

Company Culture Remains The Competitive Edge In The AI Age

Take the University of Oxford’s forecast, for instance: by 2047, AI might surpass humans in nearly every task. This prediction is monumental, yet it doesn’t fundamentally affect the core of our professional existence. Our basic needs for connection, autonomy, and mastery remain as pertinent as ever, regardless of AI’s influence. 

Reflect on this: Why do you work? Is it solely for the income? Personally, I view work as a playground for my personal growth, a channel for contributing usefully, and a platform for engaging with others who share my passions. AI won’t alter these aspects of work. 

This is where effective leadership becomes vital. As AI integrates more into our workplaces, there’s a fine line to tread. Leaders must ensure that this technology augments the work environment without overshadowing the human elements crucial to our motivation. Here are some essential strategies: 

  • Emphasize Human Drives: Despite AI’s appeal, we must not forget our basic human needs, the foundation of any robust organizational culture. 
  • Position AI as a Collaborative Tool: It’s normal to feel apprehensive about new technologies. Leaders should introduce AI as a collaborator in the workplace, a tool that complements us, rather than replaces us. 
  • Use AI to Boost Human Skills: AI should be viewed as a tool to enhance human capabilities, not as a substitute. The goal is to use technology to enrich our creativity and problem-solving abilities. 

In summary, while AI is revolutionizing our work methods, it doesn’t redefine the reasons we work. Leaders now face the challenge of blending AI’s innovative capabilities with the timeless human motivations that drive us. Striking this balance is crucial for thriving in a workplace that is both technologically sophisticated and deeply human. 

Adding to this, it’s noteworthy to consider how each revolution in the workplace prompts a transformation in the nature of work. Historically, each technological advancement has elevated the type of work humans focus on, and the advent of AI is no different. Perhaps, in the future, as technology handles more routine tasks, we might find ourselves evolving into roles more akin to painters and poets, engaging in more creative and emotionally fulfilling work. 

A girl can hope anyway.  

Elsewhere In Culture

Unhappy Workers Cost US Firms $1.9 Trillion

The recent Gallup study reported by Charlotte Hampton in Bloomberg News, revealing a $1.9 trillion loss in productivity due to unhappy workers in the US, highlights a critical link between company culture and employee engagement. This significant financial impact underscores the importance of clear communication in the workplace, particularly regarding role clarity and expectations. The disruption caused by the pandemic has evidently diminished job satisfaction and engagement, stressing the importance for companies to foster a culture where employees feel valued and connected to the broader objectives of the organization. 

Furthermore, the study sheds light on the evolving needs of the workforce, especially among younger employees who are seeking meaningful work-life balance and viewing their roles as integral to their personal growth. This shift necessitates a change in managerial approaches, moving from traditional supervisory roles to a more coaching-oriented style that emphasizes individual development. Creating a workplace environment where employees understand their contributions and how they align with the company’s goals is essential for enhancing engagement and productivity. Such a culture not only aids in talent retention but also builds a more resilient and adaptive organization. 

The Tech Employee Who Went Viral for Filming Her Firing Has No Regrets

The situation with Brittany Pietsch, the ex-Cloudflare employee who filmed her firing and shared it on social media, raises important considerations about handling workplace issues in the public eye. While Pietsch’s approach garnered attention and support, it’s crucial to remember that one viral influencer’s success in such a scenario doesn’t necessarily set a precedent for others. Just because Pietsch felt it was the right move for her and received positive outcomes doesn’t mean it’s a universally advisable strategy for everyone facing workplace challenges. 

In a professional context, especially in sensitive situations like dismissals, the repercussions of publicizing the experience can vary greatly. Each case is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. For employees, it’s important to carefully weigh the potential impact on their future career prospects and personal reputation before taking such actions. Similarly, for employers, this incident is a reminder of the importance of handling terminations with utmost care and respect, recognizing that their approach can have significant implications for their brand image and employee morale. Overall, while social media provides a powerful platform for sharing experiences, it’s essential to approach its use thoughtfully in a professional context. 

𝗘𝘅𝗰𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗖𝘂𝗹𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗟𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗣𝗼𝗱𝗰𝗮𝘀𝘁 𝗨𝗽𝗱𝗮𝘁𝗲!  Three NEW episodes of the Culture Leaders podcast are out, and each one brings a unique perspective on leadership and resilience.  1️⃣ Meet Lloyed Lobo: his journey from being a refugee to co-founding Boast is more than just a success story. It’s a real-life lesson in overcoming odds and innovating in the tech world.  2️⃣ Then, there’s Karen Eber, an Author and Speaker. Her take on storytelling in leadership isn’t just about communication. It’s about understanding the brain science behind it and how it shapes our workplace cultures and teams.  3️⃣ Finally, we hear from Libby Kranz, founder of Unravel Pediatric Cancer. Her story is a powerful example of turning personal loss into a force for change, showing us the impact of passion and perseverance.  These aren’t your average leadership talks. They’re deep dives into the experiences that shape innovative Culture Leaders.  Catch all this and more at jessicakriegel.com/podcast. Join the conversation and be part of these eye-opening discussions. 

Related Stories

Learn More

Resenteeism is the new black

Learn More

It’s Time To Add Spirit To Your C-Suite 

Learn More

We’re all tired of DEI. Too bad…

What Can We Help You Find?