How can new tools work for your business?
During my recent trip to New York City, I was immersed in an intimate learning environment as I participated in Alan Weiss’s Million Dollar Consulting® Hall of Fame. Ten globally recognized, award-winning consultants gathered to examine our businesses with the support of like-minded elite consultants.
The experience was powerful because it forced me and others to examine the very core of their business while surveying how technological and environmental opportunities will evolve our businesses—if we choose to latch onto those opportunities.
One such example is ChatGPT. Artificial Intelligence has been here for a while, but ChatGPT has caught the masses off guard. It also caught Microsoft a bit off guard in that the company quickly questioned whether it had released it to the public too early. Too late, the genie is out of the bottle. But that’s not bad.
Using ChatGPT for your business
Some early criticisms were:
- “It will dumb down everyone’s writing to pure vanilla or cardboard.”
- “It will prevent kids from ever learning how to write for themselves.”
- “Copyrights will forever change.”
These could all be correct, depending on how one uses ChatGPT. One attendee in our group, Colin Cox, a highly successful technologist in the gaming industry and now consultant, offered a more insightful perspective.
“Think of ChatGPT as a tool that can help you think about your problem,” he said. “The better you get at asking ChatGPT questions, the more refined its outputs will be. The magic is in the software’s ability to gather information and reframe it as you have asked it to.”
Example: “Provide me a list of titles for a book about consulting using the voice and style of Alan Weiss.” Amazingly, ChatGPT comes up with ten-plus suggestions that definitely sound as though they were from Alan’s body of work.
Example: “Provide me with an outline for a book about social media marketing that would appeal to people of very high technical skill.” Voila, a starting point of an outline appears.
When using the tool appropriately, as a stimulant to activity, it can speed up that activity. How many times have you sat down to write something and faced a blank page or screen? You will gain efficiency if you can cut the amount of time you spend on a mundane task or even a creative effort.
Think of tractors, calculators, electric typewriters, computers, mobile phones, and satellite navigation. In the bigger picture, they changed the form of work and, in doing so, allowed for incredible gains in productivity and efficiency.
Jerry Seinfeld in residence
On my last night in New York, my wife Julie and I scored center orchestra seats to see Jerry Seinfeld in residence at the Beacon Theater. It was an incredible show filled with tightly packed and incredibly humorous observations of man. I would not dare to attempt to retell his stories, but he covered topics like iPhone pictures, the emergence of pop-tarts, living with kids in the house, communication between spouses, the birth of kids and death of us all, driving cars, Netflix programs, infomercials, and more.
The common threads were the humorous takes on the things right in front of us to which we can all relate but often under-appreciate.
Back to the consultants around the table, I shared with the group that I am working on trying to convey what I do for clients in a language others can understand.
As I’ve written elsewhere, my research of defense executives confirms an overwhelming lack of awareness of the process and access points available to any company, but which go unnoticed and therefore unused. When I described some of the successes my clients routinely observe in our work together, the experts around the table were clamoring to offer insight and wise counsel.
“What you do is incredible. Really, you help accelerate multi-million-dollar outcomes by over a year.” One internationally based consultant asked, “Do you know how quite extraordinary that is?” He stated more than he asked.
Of course, I recognize the value and take pride in helping my clients do big things. I do it regularly, and it can be easy to underappreciate how few companies achieve those outcomes.
Not too unlike the observations of Jerry Seinfeld—he, of course, enjoyed great success with his long-running, “Seinfeld,” often called, in his words, “a show about nothing.”
His career continues with an incredible stand-up act, multiple Netflix shows, an HBO series (Driving in Cars with Comedians), and a forthcoming Netflix movie filmed completely via Zoom.
Where am I going with all of this?
Here it is:
- When did you last step out of your business to immerse in deep learning and reflection about your work? If you did not attend my recent Meet the Ringmasters event, I will offer another version in November. You can email me if interested, and I will add you to the waiting list.
- How often do you look more closely at the things around your work, work environment, and work practices? Do you see them? Or do you see them like Jerry Seinfeld—with a sense and order of detail that is both rare and profound?
- When evaluating technology and potential disruption, do you shy away, wait, and see, or figure out how the new tool might work for you?
We can’t all be Jerry Seinfeld; there is only one. But we can improve ourselves in small increments. As I wrote in Make Your Move, recognizing who is responsible for setting the conditions to make those small improvements was a life-awakening revelation for me. Could it be for you as well?