Unlocking Employee Potential in the Age of AI

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Many companies deploy AI to streamline operations and increase profitability. However, research shows that focusing on employee engagement can be more effective. Companies that prioritize employee engagement have 23% higher profits.

They are changing times

Employee engagement is also critical to managing organizational change. Gartner research shows that in 2022, the average employee will face ten planned changes at work, up from just two in 2016. With 40% of global CEOs believing their companies must become obsolete within the next decade, the ability to manage change is becoming increasingly important, according to PWC. It largely depends on the willingness of employees to accept change.

I’ve written before about the qualities employees need to embrace change, such as adaptability and a growth mindset. However, these qualities should be nurtured not only as individual but also as organizational attributes. From my experience with my previous company, successful change starts with building a strong foundation for employees to overcome the challenges posed by a leadership that supports the change.

Human Development Code

A new book by Christophe Fauconnier and Dr. Andrea Wenker, “The Human Growth Code,” offers a framework for addressing human challenges in organizations. Their 4R framework includes:


  1. Relevance: Convincing employees that tomorrow matters more than today.
  2. Resilience: Building a solid human foundation to thrive.
  3. Relationships: Sharing experiences that foster universal connections.
  4. Resource Capacity: Empowering more leadership in each to achieve shared goals.

Fauconnier and Vanacker break down each challenge into three capabilities, creating a playbook for organizations to use. Capabilities such as value or synergy in an organization are difficult to capture, but also essential to unlock human development potential.

Human Centric or AI Centric?

In today’s business world, AI is integral to the workforce. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, Fauconnier emphasizes the importance of humans:

“Our goal [at Innate Motion] Increasing the courage and capabilities of leaders and organizations to implement more human development choices to achieve better strategic goals and change ambitions. AI will certainly be essential for this.”

So, while we need to focus on humans, we also need to include AI. The final chapter of The Human Growth Code explores how AI can benefit employees. Wanker explains why this is important:

“One of the most compelling arguments for embracing AI lies in its ability to eliminate human inefficiencies. By automating routine tasks and augmenting human capabilities, AI allows people to focus on high-value activities. which require creativity, critical thinking and emotional intelligence. This change not only increases productivity and efficiency but also promotes innovation and creativity in various industries.

Refreshingly, the Human Growth Code lists 24 ways AI can serve employees, not just a performance tool. These range from ‘personal AI assistants for employees’ to ‘AI powered innovation labs to experiment with new ideas.

To create this list, Fauconnier and Vanacker focused on how AI strategies can help humans and how they relate to their 4R framework. It’s a refreshing change from the standard emphasis on AI strategy for its own sake. It also raises fundamental questions about the use of AI in human-centric organizations, such as:

  1. How can AI strategies enhance reputation and sense of belonging in a rapidly changing world?
  2. How can an AI strategy build the foundations that allow teams to focus their energy on the things that really matter?
  3. How can AI strategies deepen understanding, connection and co-evolution towards a better future?
  4. How can AI strategies help choose paths that accelerate growth in a world of endless possibilities?

These are challenging questions, but they’re essential for leaders who want to build truly human-centered organizations that unlock human potential — and see their profits grow.

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