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  • Writer's pictureGary Lloyd

AI and the Art of Gardening: Why We Must Cultivate Change, Not Engineer It

The release of ChatGPT in November 2022 marked a turning point. Traditional career and organisational strategies were upended, highlighting the need for a new approach. It's time we embrace the art of gardening in the AI age, cultivating change rather than engineering it.

In my book, "Gardeners Not Mechanics: How to Cultivate Change", I discuss the concept of work as an ecosystem, characterised by three foundational elements:

  1. Unpredictability: The future is not a linear extension of the past. It's full of surprises and unexpected turns, much like the release of ChatGPT and the subsequent wave of generative AI technologies.

  2. Interdependence: Just as in a natural ecosystem, entities within a work ecosystem are interconnected. The actions of one can have far-reaching effects on others.

  3. Limits of Control: We can't control everything in our environment. We can, however, learn to adapt and thrive within these constraints.

These characteristics have never been more relevant. The advent of generative AI has introduced a new level of unpredictability and interdependence while highlighting the limits of our control over technological advancements.

So, how do we navigate this new landscape? The answer lies in experimentation. To prosper in this fast-changing environment, individuals and organisations must run numerous experiments and do so quickly. We must test, learn, adapt, and iterate - much like a gardener tending to their garden.

The good news is that generative AI, like ChatGPT, empowers us to do just that. It allows us to experiment with new ideas, strategies and approaches at an unprecedented scale and speed. In under two weeks and without writing a single line of code, I created a ChatGPT-powered app, the Leadership Skills Lab, which facilitates leadership skills role plays.

As we step into this new era, let's embrace the mindset of a gardener - nurturing growth, adapting to change, and cultivating resilience. The future of work is here, and it's more exciting than we could have ever imagined.



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