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CEO Corner - August 2023 Newsletter

In the ever-changing landscape of artificial intelligence (AI), its identity has evolved from a mere tool to a trusted partner in our work and lives. The potential for an embodied partnership with AI is already here, offering unparalleled productivity and creative possibilities.

In this month's CEO Corner, inviteCHANGE CEO, Janet M. Harvey, inspires us to embrace this "golden age" of AI to break through barriers, reimagine work environments, and tap into the true potential of human collaboration.

“Creativity is the power to reject the past, to change the status quo, and to seek new potential. Simply put, aside from using one’s imagination – perhaps more importantly – creativity is the power to act.” - Ai Weiwei, Chinese Artist and Human Rights Defender

AI's identity races from tool to colleague to embodied partnership. Does this seem unrealistic to you? LinkedIn Marketing researchers predict AI will enjoy a compound annual growth rate of 32.9% between now and 2030. As we explored last month, AI has a long history, with its origins in 1950. However, an article I wrote in March, Fear Not, Learn A Lot, was partially out of date in 90 days when published in June 2023 because the pace of technical advancement that fuels creative acts has jumped the innovation curve.

An embodied AI partnership exists today with those open to learning and participating in what Jeff Bezos has named the golden age of AI: "We've only scratched the surface of what's possible." I just attended a fabulous session hosted by the ICF Western Regional chapters on the "4 levels of ChatGPT." The presenter Dylan Watkins, from Reality Smash, moved seamlessly through many tools and apps and produced a marketing email campaign, a landing page with text and visual images, sales representative scripts, and a TikTok video script in a matter of seconds. Arun Pattabhiraman, CMO of Sprinklr, recently shared that "[AI] has rapidly evolved from a sensational content-hacking tool to an invaluable productivity booster for enterprise customer-facing teams. When properly integrated, generative AI empowers marketing and advertising teams to quickly achieve near-perfect content and ideas."

Many of you know I am a big fan of change and disrupting the status quo. As my Millennial nephews remind me, my and past generations created multiple challenges threatening any idyllic image of modern life. Rather than fret, wring my hands, and attach my attention to what was, AI may be the resource to support everyone to bust through to the promise that phrases like "golden age" and "technology renaissance" evoke. We may even discover the silver lining for an agile methodology to blossom fully. Today, the lack of slack time planned for the modern workplace blocks the iterative collaboration the agile approach requires. Large enterprises, such as 3M and Google, have published multiple studies that demonstrate the benefit and financial value of creating at least 20% slack, and even the World Health Organization reports that the optimal number of work hours is 38, not the trend we see toward substantially more that than.

An article, In Praise of Slack, published through the Academy of Management Executives, writes about the importance of having time during your workday not focused on tasks. The author identified some very costly factors caused by a lack of slack.

How does this relate to AI? Imagine a world where we maintain current baseline criteria for workforce planning and associated revenue forecasts. Then we deploy AI to replace tasks that technology resources accomplish better than humans, freeing up the time necessary to do what humans do best, iterative collaboration.

I wonder if the block to a growth mindset for AI as an embodied partner might be the tension of presence represented by the qualities of Control and Agility.

We invite you to explore the familiar tension leaders experience between Control and Agility. In what ways might you choose one quality over the other versus patiently exploring the benefits of both, accessed in a ratio that matches the context of a thorny problem, such as how best to leverage AI in the workplace? Please work with the handout available below and join us for the Vanguard Conversation Series session on Friday, August 18, at Noon US Eastern to learn how. Eldra Jackson, III, Co-Executive Director, Inside Circle will join us. This remarkable organization builds transformative environments for system-impacted youth and adults to heal, find purpose, and build meaningful lives of service. Join us to learn how he faced and navigated the tension of presence, Control, and Agility to solve a thorny problem.

Social connection is how human beings experience a deep sense of belonging. As we slowly restore our confidence with being in the same spaces physically, I am excited to see colleagues from around the globe for the ICF Converge, August 23-26. In addition to being present in Booth 201 on the Exhibitor floor, Sarah Graves and I are both delivering sessions during the conference.

Please email me ( if you plan to attend in person, and let's hook up. There are several ways to access the conference for those who cannot be there in person, from live streaming to post-conference recordings.

Check out some other free events for you in the tiles below. Two I want to highlight:

Keep loving your life's work throughout August and beyond!


P.S. Before I close for this month I want to invite you to feed your soul with beautiful art. Previously an empowering human resource executive, my friend Irene Shimizu, has powerfully launched her art into the world. If you live in the Pacific Northwest - mark your calendar for August 17th in Edmonds (details below in the flyer) and get a preview at her website.

AWE Flyer 073023 V2

Janet M. Harvey, MCC

Experienced with individuals at the Board of Directors, “C” Chair, Executive and Senior Management levels, Janet assists executives in adopting effective habits of perception and behavior to lead and accelerate corporate strategies. Typical engagements address executive development in the following areas: articulate and inspire through clarity of vision, enable respectful challenge, debate and catalyze synergy for strategic business choices, risk/reward critical thinking about investments and shareholder value, plan leader succession and architect sustainable cultural/strategic change.
Read more about Janet »