Embracing Constructive Styles for Organizational Success in the Era of AI

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.1

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.2

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.3 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). Learn more about this framework in this excellent overview by Dr. Robert A. Cooke and through the HS interactive Circumplex model.

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.5 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.6  These initiatives should focus on skills and areas that complement AI capabilities, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and emotional agility.

Key Learnings

  • 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.


Author’s Note

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. From leadership assessment and feedback, to executive coaching programs and cultural transformation initiatives, we offer a range of services designed to help you build resilience, foster innovation, and achieve sustainable growth. Stay tuned for practical tips and actionable strategies to help your organization thrive in this rapidly changing world.

To schedule a complimentary discussion on envisioning your constructive culture, contact us here.

 

References

1 Beauchene, V., de Bellefonds, N., Duranton, S., & Mills, S. (2023). AI at Work: What People Are Saying. BCG. https://www.bcg.com/publications/2023/what-people-are-saying-about-ai-at-work

2 Cooke, R. A., & Szumal, J. L. (1993). Measuring Normative Beliefs and Shared Behavioral Expectations in Organizations: The Reliability and Validity of the Organizational Culture Inventory. Psychological Reports, 72(3_suppl), 1299–1330. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.2466/pr0.1993.72.3c.1299

3 Bersin, J. (2023). New MIT Research Shows Spectacular Increase In White Collar Productivity From ChatGPT. Josh Bersin. https://joshbersin.com/2023/03/new-mit-research-shows-spectacular-increase-in-white-collar-productivity-from-chatgpt/

4 English, L. (2023). The Impact Of AI On Company Culture And How To Prepare Now. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/larryenglish/2023/05/25/the-impact-of-ai-on-company-culture-and-how-to-prepare-now/?sh=21c0d0fb5f15

5 Chui, M., et al. (2018). Notes from the AI frontier: Insights from hundreds of use cases. McKinsey Global Institute. https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/artificial-intelligence/notes-from-the-ai-frontier-modeling-the-impact-of-ai-on-the-world-economy

6 Bughin, J., Hazan, E., Lund, S., Dahlström, P., Wiesinger, A., & Subramaniam, A. (2018). Skill shift: Automation and the future of the workforce. McKinsey Global Institute. https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/future-of-work/skill-shift-automation-and-the-future-of-the-workforce 


About the Author

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Kalani Iwi'ula

A creative catalyst with a strategic mindset, Kalani integrates classical marketing methods with modern insights. He holds accreditation in Human Synergistics' full suite of assessments.