By Kalani Iwi’ula
The Wisconsin School of Business Center for Professional & Executive Development is proud to partner with Human Synergistics International to provide assessments and data into your leadership style, organizational culture, agility, and readiness for change. The following article by Kalani Iwiula was published to the Human Synergistics Constructive Culture blog on June 20, 2023.
In the rapidly evolving landscape of the modern workplace, the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) brings both excitement and concerns. While AI offers transformative possibilities for businesses, it can also instill stress and fear among workers.
Leaders can play a crucial role in helping their people embrace AI while alleviating their apprehension. With a clear understanding of the Constructive Styles and their value in fostering innovation and collaborative teamwork, leaders have the means to prepare their workforce to effectively navigate this new reality.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the potential impact of AI in the workplace and how Constructive leadership and cultural styles can empower employees to adapt and solve complex business problems through mutual support, creative problem-solving, and synergy.
The Phenomenon of Artificial Intelligence: Balancing Opportunities and Challenges
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to revolutionize various aspects of work, from automating repetitive tasks to enabling data-driven decision-making. However, the fear of job displacement and the unknown implications of AI can create anxiety, stress, and resistance in people.
Leaders need to address these concerns by communicating with transparency and emphasizing the potential benefits of AI as a tool that can augment human capabilities rather than replace them. This position has been advocated by many observers, including Larry English in a recent Forbes article on AI and culture.4 Demonstrating a commitment to support employees throughout the transition and maintain open communication channels will help build trust and dispel misconceptions.
Understanding Constructive Styles: Empowering Workers for Innovation
The Circumplex-based model of leadership and culture, as established by Human Synergistics, equips leaders with a framework to understand, practice, and leverage positive behaviors that drive problem-solving and innovation. The framework has three groups of behaviors and norms, the most effective of which are the Constructive styles: Achievement, Self-Actualizing, Humanistic-Encouraging, and Affiliative.
These positive styles contrast with and can replace less effective, Defensive, styles—not only with respect to the behaviors that leaders themselves exhibit but also the behaviors they encourage in the people around them (that is, cultural norms).
The Achievement style encourages setting high standards, challenging the status quo, and thinking ahead and planning—enabling team members to embrace and shape the potential of AI as a tool for innovation rather than a threat to their roles.
Leaders can boost experimentation and provide resources for employees to explore, test, and strengthen AI-driven solutions that enhance productivity, efficiency, and customer experience. This will help work teams embrace AI by enabling them to take ownership and increase its potential for improving their performance and jobs.
The Self-Actualizing style fosters a growth mindset, emphasizing personal development and encouraging people to continuously learn and adapt to technological advancements, including AI.
Leaders can support discovery and mastery, encouraging their people to see AI as an opportunity for acquiring new skills and expanding their knowledge. They can promote learning by providing training programs and resources that enable employees to develop the necessary skills to effectively work alongside AI technologies.
Embracing Constructive Styles: Cultivating Collaborative Teamwork
Successfully integrating AI into business operations requires coordinating related activities. This coordination is encouraged within and between groups by Constructive norms that highlight and reinforce listening, cooperating, and, more generally, interacting in positive ways.
The Humanistic-Encouraging style emphasizes creating a supportive environment where workers feel valued and safe, allowing them to explore AI-related opportunities with confidence.
The Affiliative style promotes a sense of belonging and open communication among team members, creating an environment where they can collaborate effectively to tackle complex challenges.
Leaders can accentuate the importance of collaboration in the context of AI by encouraging cross-functional teams to bring work groups together thereby combining human expertise with AI capabilities.
Promoting and enabling an inclusive workplace where all team members contribute their ideas and insights with a sense of ownership and engagement is essential for leaders to consider.
Preparation and Upskilling: Equipping Workers for AI Integration
To mitigate the fear and stress associated with AI, leaders must invest in training and upskilling programs that help people develop the necessary capabilities to work alongside AI technologies. These initiatives should focus on skills and areas that complement AI capabilities, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and emotional agility.
- The emergence of AI can create stress and fear in the workplace. Leaders need to address these concerns through transparent communication and support.
- Understanding the Constructive Styles empowers leaders to foster innovation and problem-solving in the face of AI.
- Collaborative teamwork is crucial for effectively integrating AI into business processes. Constructive Styles enable effective collaboration and psychological safety.
- By embracing Constructive Styles, leaders can champion psychological safety, where workers feel comfortable experimenting, sharing ideas, and learning from failures without fear of punishment or rejection.
- Constructive leaders encourage open dialogue, diverse perspectives, and constructive differing, enabling teams to harness the power of AI collectively.
- Leaders must invest in upskilling programs to equip workers with the skills needed to complement AI technologies.
Stay tuned for news on Human Synergistics’ research and development on AI recommendations for cultural change in organizations. We are developing algorithms to help identify the most relevant culture styles and levers for change on which an organization should focus. The recommendations are based not only on the organization’s OCI and OEI results but also on the historical relationships between levers for change, culture styles, and outcomes.
The type of AI being used to produce the Prescriptive Feedback and Action Plan is Traditional AI, based on our own proprietary code, logic, data, and algorithms. We are not using generative AI, which is used, for example, by ChatGPT, Dall-E and Bard. We’ll keep you up to date on this new feature via our website and email outreach.
More generally, the past few years have been marked by significant disruptions and transformations, from the far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to the disruptive influence of AI. In light of these changes, it’s essential to equip your leaders and work groups with the necessary tools and strategies to thrive in the months ahead.
If you are ready to update your strategy, be on the forefront of changing industry trends, and equip your leaders with the tools and skills they need to manage through times of change, we can be your partner. Set up a Discovery Session with our Solutions Advisors to learn more about how our combination of consulting, coaching, and professional development programs can help you and your organization achieve its goals.
Kalani is a marketing professional in the field of high-performance assessments for leaders, teams, and organizational culture. An advocate for the power of branding and its role in connecting how people think and perform in workplace cultures, he blends traditional marketing elements with new advancements to foster environments where innovation can thrive. A creative catalyst with a strategic mindset, Kalani is accredited in the Human Synergistics suite of assessments, including LSI, LWS, M/I, L/I, OCI and OEI.