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The end of whitepapers?

I was going to write an article about how internal collaboration is a key differentiator for innovative companies. You know, that’s the kind of thing independent consultants do. Write random papers on some pet subjects in the hope of promoting their brand and attracting customers.

Only that we live in 2023. So I first checked what ChatGPT knew about the subject.

Depressingly, it knew a lot.

And useful stuff too. That a company should have a clear vision with attainable objectives, stressing that it is easier to align forces when objectives are clear. That companies should promote openness and trust so employees don’t fear voicing their opinions. That companies should actively reward collaboration. And finally they should make use of tools that promote collaboration by disseminating knowledge and information.

Ok. There went my lunch.

Yes, there were some trivial points that ChatGPT omitted. My favourite is the appointment of departmental ambassadors to promote cross-collaboration. But these hardly merit writing an article – let alone reading one.

Being an innovation strategist, I am not a stranger to the concept of reinventing the business model when faced with changing conditions. And clearly, AI represent a major change. Is it, therefore, my turn to taste my medicine?

Perhaps when it comes to writing bog-standard whitepapers, it is. But not all is lost.

A recent research conducted in Harvard and Yale found that ChatGPT significantly improved the productivity of white collar workers, reducing the time spent and increasing the quality of output. (This would not surprise anyone who used ChatGPT). Strikingly, poor performers showed the greatest improvement, thus reducing the gaps between the best and worse employees.

How this will play in the workforce is open to speculation. However, I expect that what applies to individual employees, will be true for companies as a whole. Access to AI tools such as ChatGPT, reduces the skill gap between cash-rich and cash-poor companies. In the same way that the internet reduced the opportunity gap between companies who were physically closed and far from the market.

Once access to skill is no longer a differentiator, knowing how to apply it effectively, becomes one.

As a result, innovative companies with clear strategy, supportive culture and efficient processes are much likelier to take advantage of the opportunities presented by AI. With innovative companies with little financial resources benefiting the most.

Now, more than ever, companies need to improve their innovation skills to ensure they can stay ahead of the upheaval unleashed by AI.

Contact me if you’d like to learn more.

(Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash)

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