Pearls of Wisdom from the AIIA Podcast Episodes 36-40

Voice of AI; Worthwhile Journey; Faster, Better Cheaper; Disruption; Enterprise-Class

Seth Adler

Highlights include the actual voice of AI speaking, realizing that by chasing ends your enterprise more quickly brings upon it’s own end, not letting up on process, giving up on what’s not working, and optimizing your talent for tomorrow:

Episode 36: Marek Sawa, Formerly Bank of Ireland

“I’m the new voice of artificial intelligence, more human like, customer friendly and definitely less robotic than anything you have every heard before.”

We met up with Marek Sawa at IA BFSI in London and he expounded upon the need for automation groups to understand and implement technology within their very teams as opposed to simply arms-length processes. But he took it one step further in that he built technology to help him with an issue he was having as a customer of his business. He built the technology for the business to service him - the customer. That technology turned out to AI similar to Siri and he demonstrated it on the podcast:

The quote above is his bot Sophie speaking. But the lesson here is, know the technology that you’re implementing. Implement it as close to your own job function as possible. And if you’ve got the knack, try to even build something yourself to truly understand how the technology can serve the business and the customer.

Episode 37: Sree Upadhyula, Sears

“It's not about the end anymore. It's about how do we make the journey worthwhile.”

The interview settles in to discuss customer experience case studies but the quote portends more. Sree was an engineer in India before he came to the US where he got further schooling and wound up in six sigma at GE in the halcyon days of each. He blew through the boom and bust – as we all did – winding up at Amazon in process – as only a few of us did. He thus gained an empirical understanding of how technology could reinvent the customer experience. And with the onset of smartphones, everything moved to experience thinking. Informed by the zeitgeist, Sree and I also discussed that those on the back-end of the age bell curve crave experience. And all the while, artificial intelligence has crept up on us…finally arriving and loudly insisting that we shall transform or die. And if you apply the quote above to what’s happening inside global corporate enterprise you realize that, it’s no longer about perfecting the process or a new path for growth. It’s about the means justifying the means. The only organizations that will survive are the ones that make their artificial intelligence answer how and why as opposed to what.

Episode 38: Brandon Halbert, Campbell's Soup Co.

“Faster, better, cheaper.”

Brandon is a process guy with a computer science degree so he’s the perfect liaison for the Center of Excellence. The interview focuses in on how the continuous improvement of enterprise processes and even dives in to some preliminary discussion around the “alexa-fiation of internal customer service.” Brandon knows his job is to make everyone else’s job better and faster and do that more cheaply for the organization. Is it earth shattering and mind bending? No. Is it absolutely and essential for the survival of the enterprise? Yes.

Episode 39: Roberto Mancone, Deutsche Bank

“Global Head of Disruptive Technologies is an interesting title”

Roberto’s job is to disrupt his enterprise and ensure that it is transformed from what it is now to what it will be. If you don’t have a similar title, work with a person with a similar title in your organization or know that there is such a person at your company - change that. Or leave.

Episode 40: Richie Daigle, Coca-Cola Refreshments

“Bring them in, capture their process knowledge and help upscale them so that they could become real enterprise-class developers.”

Your future talent is your current talent plus new talent minus old talent. There is a ton of intellectual property within your enterprise and some of that intellectual property comes in the form of a person with technology know-how who isn’t currently thusly employed. Find them. Bring in new talent who is different from your current talent - with a new skillsets like cognitive abilities, system skills and complex problem solving. Your current talent can innovate themselves to acquire these new skills. Let them. Incentivize them to do so. But if you can’t change the people, change the people.