How AI is Changing the Culture of Work

August 11, 2019 – Artificial intelligence is poised to become one of the most important business disruptors of our times. But too often people look only at the potential downsides of machines simulating human intelligence and overlook the positive impact and value that AI stands to deliver, particularly when it comes to organizational culture.

A new white paper report by Walking the Talk, a global culture transformation firm based in Amsterdam, says the changes that AI brings will be substantial, and that to take best advantage of the technology and to keep ahead of the competition, organizations must embrace a culture of innovation.

Organizational Culture

“What is clear to everyone is that AI is not about eliminating jobs, but about eliminating tasks of jobs, and about creating jobs that are more human – in other words, jobs that machines can’t do – or can’t yet do,” said Humberto Branco, executive director at Walking the Talk.

Walking the Talk said it foresees two main angles in which AI will impact organizational culture. The first one is that AI will help to manage culture. It can help, for example, to conduct a current culture assessment. “The purpose of AI is to analyze vast amounts of data to extract patterns,” said Mr. Branco. “By analyzing behavioral data sets, organizations will develop a good picture of their culture. We can picture a world where data is fed from many sources such as HR data, exit interviews, induction processes, performance management, business processes, leadership forums, and discussion threads to extract real-time behavior patterns to build an almost daily picture of the culture.”

It can also identify the target culture. “AI may be able to predict the best target culture based on hundreds of thousands of external and internal information sources,” he added. “To do this, it could simulate various scenarios of behavior change and measure the resulting business outcomes.”

Mindsets and Behaviors

AI can also serve to develop a culture plan. Beyond behaviors, AI will be able to identify systemic issues and their consequences, avoiding many of the current risks and facilitating the development of a culture plan. “It will help focus on the right culture change levers, better predict impact on culture and on the bottom line,” said Jerome Parisse-Brassens, executive director at Walking the Talk. “AI will also help identify culture influencers in the business as well as those resisting new sets of behavioral and management standards.”

And it can measure culture itself. “Whether it is to measure business outcomes or behavioral shifts, AI will play a significant role,” said Mr. Parisse-Brassens. “AI’s power and intelligence comes from the data at its disposal to analyze patterns, so having tools to collect behavioral shift will still be necessary. The second angle is that AI will directly influence the mindsets and behaviors of people at work through the systems that will be implemented.”

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief, Hunt Scanlon Media

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