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The human being is a tribal creature. We operate as a ‘we’ far more reliably than we operate as an ‘I’, and our compulsion for conformity is consistently stronger than our impulse towards individuality. This revelation has been key to the last century of psychological findings, and offers vital insight to the social and trends of our day – and how we might influence them.
Intuitively, we all know we operate as a group. Anyone who has been caught up in the energy of a sports match or immersed in the atmosphere of a concert has witnessed firsthand the striking power of the herd. The group’s influence on the individual has been proved over and over in psychological studies, often to rather comical effects.
Creatives are at a crossroads.
A few months ago, a letter signed by over eight-thousand authors made the news as it asked the leaders of companies like Microsoft and Meta not to train their AI systems on the authors’ work without consent or compensation. Published by the Author’s Guild and signed by names like Margaret Atwood and James Patterson, the letter made the case that real authors have worked to produce the intellectual property which is being used to feed the AI, and should be appropriately compensated.
Technology often advances faster than the infrastructure and regulations needed to support it. As AI tools have proliferated exponentially over the past year, the legal issues of intellectual property, copyright and plagiarism have only become more complex. As big companies are profiting of the creative work of people who have spent decades committed to their craft, the ethical injustices are clear.
American author, speaker and pastor John Maxwell practices what he preaches when it comes to leadership. Over the years, he has been a strong proponent of the critical importance of credibility for individuals and organizations.
“Credibility is a leader’s currency…” he suggests, “With it, he or she is solvent; without it, he or she is bankrupt.”
In my work with leaders across a range of industries, I have found that there are three characteristics that typically add up to make a credible leader or organisation.
Since the advent of ChatGPT last year, few things have dominated the public discussion in the tech and business world more than generative AI and chatting with robots. This comes as no surprise considering how genuinely revolutionary the technology is and radically fast the uptake has been within the public.
Comparing ChatGPT’s success to other major companies gives some indication of how monumental it has been. Within 5 days it had reached 5 million users – for Netflix, acquiring this customer base took 3.5 years.
However, ChatGPT is not even the tip of the iceberg when compared what else is out there and what else there is to come. There are over 11,000 AI apps built on language models like ChatGPT, which successfully achieve tasks all the way from planning logistics to creating artworks.
But beyond ChatGPT, AI is already serving us across many arenas of life, all the way from serving as a round-the-clock doctor to keeping online customers happy customers.
Downturns and hard times are often perceived as a curse in business. When market share dwindles, sales dry up and nothing seems to be going your way, leaders often long for the former glory days of growth and prosperity. However, in the same way that nature has seasons, industries have cycles that serve an important purpose. The key to surviving, thriving and achieving enduring relevance in the long-term is to work with rather than war against seasons and cycles – especially the adverse ones.
We often think of the world of farming and agriculture as the antithesis of the technological hubs of places like Silicone Valley. Our urban Internet of Things feels worlds away from the earthier environments that keep our people fed and our societies functioning. It’s easy to forget that one of the industries where tech innovation is hitting the ground most effectively is agriculture.
Agricultural technology, or ‘agtech’, is moving just as quickly as the technology in other industries, and is significantly improving the efficiency, profitability and sustainability of farming. Significantly, agtech is boosting precision agriciulture which is based on precise monitoring and measurement of the environment and aims to maximise farm outputs. Particularly as concerns grow surrounding food wastage and the health of our environments, the sensors, drones and autonomous technology now being used on farms are providing solutions that are both effective and timely for farmers.
Robo-farmers aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.
The annuls of history make it very clear that power has generally belonged to organizations – from religious institutions to government bureaucracies and corporate behemoths. There have certainly been various ‘Davids’ who have stood up to their respective Goliaths and managed to temporarily upset the status quo and gain an upper hand. But these cases were exceptional in every sense of the word – most of the time, the individual lacked the power.
Today, the opposite is true. Recent years have seen the balance of power shift rapidly away from organizations and to the individual. There are 3 tools of empowerment that cannot be underestimated by leaders and organizations aiming to build trust in the years ahead.
The tides are changing in the world of recruitment, as the impact of AI and the post-pandemic workplace shifts continue to proliferate. The process of attracting workers, advertising jobs and adjusting workplaces is becoming increasingly complex as these forces change the way we have grown used to doing business. Here’s what you need to know.
Generative AI & The Job Hunt
As with every industry at the moment, recruitment is facing major disruption at the hands of AI. While some recruiters may lose jobs lost to the technology, most will find that their work is made much more efficient, precise and free of bias. The simplest way it will improve efficiency is by automating the repetitive tasks that recruiters must engage in, such as direct messaging potential workers, crafting job outlines and personalising the responses to applicants.
While the world of travel has been the industry perhaps most disrupted in the last couple of years, it is set for more disruption in the years to come – but in some of the most striking and novel ways. With the capabilities of technology invading every facet of travel all the way from the transit to the destinations themselves, we are set to see our travel plans change more dramatically than we may think in the coming years.
The most futuristic of the changes set to take over our travel plans comes with our flight paths and planes. The advent of air taxis is upon us, and while they may take a while to overtake our current commercial travel conventions, they may be the new normal sooner than we think.
Every sacred cow was once an innovation. One day someone discovers a new technique that offers greater efficiency, it is implemented, considered best practice and its use is mandated and monitored across the organisation. It is then taught in in induction and training programs, but without the new staff being taught why it was originally developed. Before long, what was once an innovative idea is a stale habit and any efforts to challenge or change it are met with active resistance. The innovation has become a sacred cow.