I recently watched a Fortune’s video. The speaker, Dov Seidman was sharing his thoughts on Artificial Intelligence. He said that Machines are not only out producing us they are starting to out think us. But they are not going to out feel us. His question was: How do we put hearts at the center of organizations and recapture the hearts of consumers. His reference to machines was Artificial Intelligence, meaning computers, software programs and the like. Ummm! Interesting thought to chew on.
Co-incidentally, this links to a book I am reading written by a famous Rabbi, Harold S. Kushner. He is well known for his book “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.” In the book, I am currently reading now “9 Essential Things I’ve Learned About Life”, he said that computers demand perfection whereas humans are forgiving. His example story went something like this. If you want to send someone an email, you must have the exact email address to the dot or to the hyphen, the @ sign. Otherwise your message will be returned by this “ Mail Delivery mailer-daemon” and never reach your intended party. Whereas, if you sent someone a letter with a zip code digit missing or you had the number of the house wrong, somehow it will eventually show up at their home or business.
So, if I put these two brilliant men’s comments together, I have a computer that can out think me and demands perfection. But a human can be forgiving and have heart. So, to bring heart to our customers we will always need humans at the helm even if we screw up from time to time. We always have that opportunity to recalculate and get back on track. A computer will never allow that as we know from the 2001 Odyssey movie with Hal or the Terminator. I totally get that. I just sent a well-crafted email to someone to invite them to a webinar and I inserted an incorrect email address. It went no-where. I lost all the beautiful pearls of wisdom I was going to express. Back to the drawing board to see where that email is. Hopefully it is hiding in some recesses of my computer so I don’t have to recreate it.
So, what is it about us humans that drives us to perfection like Artificial Intelligence. It is a goal totally unattainable, but yet we strive for it. We are not computers and never will be as we have a heart that beats. If nothing else we know that is what distinguishes us. So why do we fret, agonize, wring our hands, beat our heads against the wall because we do not live up to our perfect expectations.
I am not a Freud, so I don’t have the technical or psychological answer but as a human being who has been on this planet for a while, I think I have somehow figured it out. Human nature. We strive to be the best we can be because we want success. We view success as reaching the top of a mountain, reaching monetary or lifestyle goals we set for ourselves, or being recognized in Forbes magazine. Success means we have arrived. People are judged by others by their success. But along the way, for true success we must have failures, which makes us imperfect. Hopefully the failures are the kind that allow us to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and trudge on to that pinnacle of success.
Gillian and I have had our failures along the way and we have always looked at each failure as an opportunity to learn, to grow. Without them I don’t think we would be where we are today. In fact, I know so. Learning from our failures actually contributed to our success. Not perfection of course, but we are getting better every day.
We recognized that some success included learning how to harness Artificial Intelligence. Isn’t that a pun. Humans can use the perfect solutions found in Artificial Intelligence to help their businesses be successful. But in the exercise of learning you may have obstacles presenting themselves from all directions, how much time to devote, spending the least amount of money, and finding the right resources. There is no perfect solution. How does one do this while simultaneously running a business. Experience has taught us that everyone has a different learning style based on attitude, age, exposure to technological advancements and attention span. There is no judgement on this. Everyone is unique in their style to absorb new data and process it. Sounding like a machine doesn’t it. But here is the difference. We should not expect perfection from ourselves. We have a beating heart and we can choose to forgive ourselves if we don’t get it the first or even second time round. It will come, just be patient. Now some will pick it up quickly and move forward. Others will require hand holding and guidance, otherwise they may become too frustrated and give up.
After learning from our struggles managing Artificial Intelligence we noticed most teaching styles are geared to the self-managers. We made a conscious business decision to help those that need hand holding, teaching them in baby steps so they can have the success they deserve too. That has become our niche – our customer needs us and we know how to take complicated things and break them down into bit size chunks of learning.
If we can minimize the overwhelm, and give them a framework to learn and implement using baby steps to build on one step after the other, we can help humans (entrepreneurs and business owners) harness the power of Artificial Intelligence. For us that is online marketing.
So here are the four take aways:
- Don’t expect perfection from yourself, you are only human.
- Striving for success should be a journey, not a daunting summit.
- Evaluate your learning style and find training that supports your style.
- Take heed that you will have customers with both styles. How do you support each of your style of customers so they can learn from you and get it?
A friend of mine, Alan Hobson undertook 10 grueling self-guided and self-organized expeditions to high altitudes including three expeditions to Mt. Everest to realize his dream, his success. His motto has always stuck with me. I never forget it because he gave me a black fleece vest which I still wear when I need inspiration or warmth. On the front it says “I Can, I will”!
Have a great day and just say I CAN! I WILL! in baby steps!!!!! Oh and with heart!!