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From Fear to Opportunity

When I started my career in consulting on ERP systems, their use was gaining momentum, and a lot of companies were jumping on the bandwagon.  It was, of course, the newest technology for achieving efficiency in the workplace.  That was the employer’s and shareholder’s viewpoint, but what about the employees?  ERP systems had the potential to, and in some cases already had automated so many corporate processes that employees were becoming uneasy about their future in the workforce.  The willingness to adapt, adopt, and use these tools varied from employees who were afraid of, and who believed these new systems would displace them to employees who saw these tools as a means to make them more efficient and effective.


We are now seeing the same impacts from what may feel like the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI).  There is a heightened tension comprised of excitement and apprehension that comes up whenever AI is discussed.  While AI holds the promise of revolutionizing industries and enhancing efficiency, it also brings concerns about job displacement, fear of change, and lack of trust in its capabilities. It brings the fear of the unknown, which, as we have all experienced, is usually not as bad as we think it will be.  So, rather than worrying about it, it may be better to view it as a tool that may bring significant benefits and improvements in our daily lives.


Although it is true AI has (and may continue to) automate certain jobs, history has taught us that technological advancements create new opportunities, industries, and…you guessed it, new jobs!  Perhaps then we should consider that AI can be a catalyst for reshaping our lives into new roles that leverage human creativity, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence.  It is not easy to flip the script; we all fear change and are naturally resistant to disruption.  But change is inevitable, and our world is fast-paced, so we can’t stop the change.  Hiding from it doesn’t make it stop, but it does cause us to fall farther behind.  So really, our only and best option is to embrace the change and turn it to our advantage!


I was on a flight back this weekend and a woman and her mom were in the row in front of me.  I offered to help her stow her bags in the overhead bin (since chivalry is not yet dead). She accepted, and I put her bags in the overhead.  When we landed, the gentleman sitting next to her offered to get her bags down, and she accepted. This was one of those flights that had several folks trying to make tight connections, so on landing, we were asked to let them pass first. We all moved ourselves and our bags out of the aisle, including the lady we helped.  She effortlessly picked up and moved her bags to the seats, allowing the passengers to get through.  We joked with her that she could have handled her own bags, and her response reminded me of how I view AI.  She said, “I could have, but this just seemed easier.”  For whom?! 😊   It’s the same with AI; we can all do the work, but it makes life easier and does it faster, so why not use the tool to our advantage?


Although the concerns over job displacement, change, and lack of trust in AI are valid, it is just one dimension of the story.  It’s important to look at the entire picture, understand how it may be advantageous to you, and then embrace the change.  By embracing change, we can adapt to the changing landscape, drive innovation, and create a brighter future for generations to come. We may also find new opportunities open for us, and we may find we have more time to pursue activities that challenge us and that we enjoy.  So, instead of fearing AI, let’s embrace it as a tool for positive transformation and embrace the opportunities it brings.


“Some changes look negative on the surface, but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.” – Eckhart Tolle


Let’s seize the opportunities change brings. Let me know how you will embrace change today for a brighter tomorrow!


Did I write this or did AI?  What’s your guess?! 😊


Have a great weekend.