Anywhere work comes with all-around security risks. When HP moved its workforce of 70,000 employees and contractors to a hybrid model, the umbrella of devices it had to protect expanded exponentially.

HP had to ensure that they could:

Meet today’s rising security challenges

Guard employee data

Make layers of security transparent and automated Keep software up to date

Ensure security policy compliance

How HP achieved it

The HP CISO and Security team looked to their own extensive arsenal of services and chose the HP Adaptive Endpoint Management, HP Sure Click Enterprise, and HP Wolf Security components to protect its growing hybrid work environment.

Automated security policies

HP Adaptive Endpoint Management helps automate security updates from the cloud. When a cyberthreat is on the horizon, employees no longer have to wait until they are back on a corporate network—they can get the latest patches and upgrades from anywhere. Adaptive Endpoint Management enabled HP to rationalize its device management practices by streamlining policy management and using a corporate-ready device image.

Vigilant protection for end users

HP Sure Click Enterprise isolates key applications in their own micro-virtual containers—trapping and deleting risky programs, viruses, and malware as soon as the task is closed, keeping them from infecting the PC or network.

Built-in device protections

HP Wolf Security provides hardware-enforced full stack security that works below, in, and above the OS. IT departments are better able to improve lifecycle management as well as incident and disaster recovery while helping security teams minimize risk and increase team productivity—without interruption to employees.

Click here to read the full case study. To find out more about HP’s Workforce Security Solutions click here.

Remote Work, Security

The enterprise workplace has changed significantly over the past few years with the rapid adoption of hybrid work. Organizations across all industries can leverage digital workspaces to implement hybrid work models that (1) provide employees with a superior user experience, (2) meet security, productivity, collaboration, and employee satisfaction goals for the business, and (3) are manageable for IT.

The way forward is implementing a digital workspace solution that can deliver a high-quality user experience for a wide variety of employee needs and keep business information secure. Digital workspaces closely replicate the on-premises experience when an employee is off-site or at home, so employees can continue to be productive wherever they want to work.

What is a digital workspace?

Digital workspaces allow employees to access their work in real-time, from anywhere they have a network connection and using any device. It encompasses virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), data centres, edge, workstations, and applications, whether onpremises or in the cloud, endpoints, collaboration technologies, management and administrative tools, as well as secure access policies and tools.

The virtual nature of digital workspaces makes them highly accessible—corporately managed devices that remain in an office space aren’t a requisite to securely access company data and applications.

 A digital workspace that lives on a cloud or on a server stack can be accessible on employee’s devices, Zero Clients, and Thin Clients.

Digital workspaces include collaboration features so employees and peers can work together on the same project—even on the same workspace—when they aren’t physically in the same space. They also allow users to share resources. Teams in the same city, or even around the world in different time zones, can leverage shared hosts and applications. To find out more on how to create secure, collaborative and productive digital workspaces click here. For more information on ensuring secure access to digital workspaces click here.

Remote Work

When it comes to facilities, IT, staffing, and supply chain, businesses today need a whole new kind of blueprint to thrive in the new era of uncertainty.

Discover the five ways to help prepare for whatever is thrown your way while still meeting your desired business outcomes.

Workforce Experience

The whole purpose of gathering people in offices is so they can connect and interact; replicating this can be challenging when your workforce is distributed across multiple locations. Connectedness is about more than ongoing operations; it’s also about getting and keeping the best people.

IT Optimization

If the old style of blueprint was dogmatic, with a top-down structure offering little room to manoeuver, the new style of blueprint must embrace change and put people at the center. Give your staff the equipment they need to let them use the tools they’re already comfortable with, whether that’s a laptop, a tablet, or workstation.

Manageability

Nothing is more important than making sure that business can keep going whatever challenges arise. Today, enterprise IT’s mission has emerged not just as a vendor of services to internal corporate clients but as a full strategic partner in keeping the business running no matter where workers or customers may be.

Security Fortification

Whatever your security blueprint is, ensure it acknowledges the very real threats that are already occurring and likely to become more intense. That means having endpoints with built-in protection against the biggest threats and ensuring you have a mechanism to keep those endpoints up to date wherever they may be.

Sustainable Impact

Ensuring that technology is used in a way that aligns with your Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals is crucial for protecting the planet and creating sustainable working practices. By actively seeking out solutions that reduce your carbon footprint and promote environmentally responsible practices, organizations can make a positive impact on the world. Read the full guide from HP here.

To find out more about HP’s Workforce Solutions click here. To read more about HP’s Sustainable Impact click here. Discover more on HP’s Workforce Experience here. Learn about HP’s Workforce Security Solutions by visiting here. And find out more about HP’s Managed Device Services here.

Remote Work

It has been three years since COVID sent us into remote work, and we now find ourselves with a new challenge: employees who have never met in person. 

The hybrid work paradigm has exposed the importance of getting in front of evolving changes in the way employees will work together in the future, accelerating IT leaders’ need not only to address the impact of hybrid work and sharpen their tech strategies to support it, but also to help shape the future workplace culture, in large part through employee experience initiatives.

As CIO of Cisco, Fletcher Previn plays a central role in defining the company’s new corporate culture. I spoke with him about the CIO’s new mandate to help create a best-in-class hybrid work culture and to define the future of work within their organizations, a problem that IT leaders must work to solve in real-time today.

Martha Heller: What is the problem with our current approach to hybrid work?

Fletcher Previn: Over the last few years, we have experienced the evolution of work in three phases: technology, cybersecurity, and culture. Phase one was getting the technology in place to support our employees in an environment of 100% remote work.

Then, we quickly shifted our attention to the next phase, which was solving the security challenge of employees working in homes with smart thermostats, online classes, and video games all potentially on the same network.

We are now in a third, more complex phase, which is establishing cultural norms about the way we work. During the first two phases, culture was less of a challenge, because employees knew one another from their time in the office. But over time, as people left their organizations and new people joined, we found ourselves with a challenge we had never had before: employees who have never met in person. We now have a new problem statement: What is a best-in-class hybrid work culture?

We are solving that problem in real-time, and the organizations that get it right will have a competitive advantage. The decisions we make as technology leaders will define what it feels like to work in our organizations. As CIOs, we are the designers of the future of work in a very real way.

How do you define ‘best-in-class’ from a social perspective?

I think about this in the context of a ‘relationship bank.’ When we are in the office and having impromptu discussions about our personal lives, or getting a meal together, or having non-work-related discussions, we are making deposits into the relationship bank. When we are asking things of each other in a meeting, we are making withdrawals.

In a remote environment, you tend to make more withdrawals than deposits, which can result in a relationship deficit, where work becomes a transactional activity. We spend more time working than doing anything else, so work needs to have a deeper meaning. It can’t be transactional. Best-in-class is a hybrid environment that allows for some of the magic and serendipity that happens when people are together physically.

As CIO of Cisco, how are you creating this type of environment?

My goal is to deliver a meaningful hybrid work experience that enables people to do the best work of their lives — whether in a remote or hybrid environment. My approach has always been to lead with user experience and design in everything we do, which means engineering solutions from the ‘user experience in’ instead of the ‘IT department out.’

User research and experience design was important before, but it’s an existential requirement in a hybrid world. Are there distractions in the home? Is someone working in a shared environment? Is it noisy? Is the internet unreliable? It would be very difficult to build an effective hybrid work strategy without user research and design capabilities at the front, coupled with continuous feedback loops. Today’s best user experience is tomorrow’s minimum expectation.

Our goal is to avoid the tale of two Cisco work environments, one where some people are in the office in a conference room together or joining remotely with high-quality reliable connectivity and collaboration tools, and others are on unreliable connections, struggling to hear and see what’s going on, and cannot read body language and non-verbal queues. We want an equal footing across all environments, so that people have the same meeting experience and career opportunities no matter where they are.

What technology changes should CIOs consider in designing the future of work?

The network that can properly support hybrid work needs to be more distributed, porous and has a very different attack surface than when we were all in the office. Technologies like Zero Trust become even more important, along with split tunnel VPNs and having the right endpoint security strategy so you don’t have to backhaul all the traffic in order to inspect it. You need carrier and path diversity at your carrier neutral facilities and network points of presence, and you want to have a good peering strategy so you can bring applications closer to the end users and take traffic off the public internet.

Full-stack observability becomes more urgent in a hybrid world. How do we really understand our employee experience our employees are having when they are connecting from across all sorts of networks that we don’t manage? We need to understand the performance of the public internet and various SaaS tools in order to really know what our hybrid work experience is going to be for our people. We also need tools that provide valuable observability that lets us detect and fix problems before our employees even know there is an issue brewing.

Also important is DNS filtering, multifactor authentication, network automation, and generally making sure that you and your team understand your network better than the apex predators who are trying to break into it.

How have you changed your management practices to deliver a positive employee experience?

Hybrid work has brought some informality to management practices in general, which I believe is a net positive, and I hope persists. But with this informality, rituals are still very important. With my own team, I have a check-in every morning and check-out at the end of every week. We have an end of week happy hour that is virtual, and monthly in-person operating reviews and quarterly in-person strategy and OKR alignment meetings. This is how we are operationalizing our culture; I am trying to create an operational cadence where we talk to each other regularly as a close-knit leadership team, even though we may not be in the office together every day.

Looking back five years from now, what will be the benefits of hybrid work?

The pandemic compressed what would have organically happened over 15 years into three or four years. We know now that work is an activity, not a location. If you have enabled your digital estate properly for hybrid work, supported by the right culture and rituals, then location is much less of an issue — and that means we now have the benefit of access to a global labor market. The past few years also triggered a lot of exciting innovation in the collaboration and end-user productivity space. Employees will have more agency over their destiny because they will not be limited to their physical location; they will make decisions about what mission they feel passionate about and what organization and culture they want to be a part of. This is a good thing because everyone benefits when people make those decisions thoughtfully.

Another significant benefit will be broader recognition that IT departments around the world are, to a large degree, designers of the future of work. All the decision points around remote access, security, collaboration, employee productivity, and so on — while they may feel tactical in the moment — collectively form the answer to the question, ‘What does it feel like to work in this organization?’ When you add up all the decision points that go into enabling your environment properly for hybrid work, you are defining the future of your culture.

IT Leadership, Staff Management

Five days after its launch, ChatGPT exceeded 1 million users1. Generative AI (GenAI), the basis for tools like OpenAI ChatGPT, Google Bard and Meta LLaMa, is a new AI technology that has quickly moved front and center into the global limelight. 

GenAI’s hallmark is the ability to answer almost any question on demand, converting text-based queries into masterful creations, such as songs, poems, art or college essays. GenAI then builds a network of related topics, generating an enormously expanded base of information, often visualized as a knowledge map. 

GenAI Meets the Enterprise

While we’ve seen initial consumer interest in GenAI tools and use skyrocket, GenAI capabilities are fast moving to the enterprise world. Today, an estimated 60% of IT leaders are looking to implement GenAI2.

At the same time, concerns exist. Most notably, for about 71% of IT leaders, angst about security creates a barrier to adoption, mandating that approaches, infrastructure, data strategies and security be appropriately aligned3. Finding the right, fit-for-use GenAI model for enterprises is the key to mitigating its risks, dispelling concerns and ushering in GenAI’s mainstream adoption in the enterprise world.

Overcoming GenAI challenges holds epic potential for enterprises. From improving customer interactions to automating complex business processes, GenAI models have the power to revolutionize the ways businesses operate, opening new possibilities for every industry in every part of the world.

Pivoting to Purpose-built GenAI

To enable that revolution, the way enterprises use GenAI will likely differ from general-purpose Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT. Instead, enterprises are likely to use GenAI models that are trained and tuned to solve specific problems; for instance, to enable automated customer support, financial forecasting and fraud detection. Although LLMs such as ChatGPT can be used for enterprise applications, the accuracy of their results will not match that of a purpose-built model created to meet a specific need.

Other major benefits of purpose-built GenAI include:

Data security and compliance: AI’s unique capability is handling and analyzing huge datasets with unprecedented speed and efficiency. Simply put, if AI is a rocket ship, data is the fuel. The more data that a company can use to tune the purpose-built LLM, the more powerful the GenAI model becomes. Enterprises can tune their LLMs with customer purchase history, support or telesales logs, health records, financial records and other data sources. Consequently, handling this data in a secure manner will become even more important than it is today. Experienced advisors can help guide organizations size up a security strategy with minimal disruption to existing systems and approaches.

Additionally, some industries, such as healthcare and finance, must comply with stringent regulations regarding data privacy and security. The privacy of data that is entered into third party LLM services is the subject of intensifying debate. Thus, enterprises that need to retain control over their data must tread carefully. 

Agility and time to market: Most enterprises will need to update their GenAI models regularly, which is easier to do with purpose-built GenAI models. The time required to train general-purpose LLMs can take months. That’s because massive amounts of data are required for training, eclipsing deployment speed and time to market, the very benefits GenAI enables. Reducing time-to-model and facilitating faster data-to-decisions can improve business efficiency.

Performance: Purpose-built models also provide performance benefits over general-purpose models. Specifically, enterprises using third party general-purpose LLMs may not be able to optimize performance and reduce the latency of their GenAI workloads. This is problematic for applications that require real-time processing or low-latency response times, a key attribute of GenAI adoption.

Cost: The smaller amounts of training data needed for purpose-built GenAI models also translate into cost savings. As a result, purpose-built LLMs often cost far less to train and re-train compared to general-purpose LLMs like ChatGPT.

Moving Enterprise GenAI Forward 

For enterprises, GenAI holds the profound potential to automate complex processes, improve customer interactions and unlock new possibilities with better machine intelligence—and CIOs are the key to moving it forward. Together with organizations like yours, Dell and Intel are driving the next wave of innovation in the enterprise AI landscape.  

To help organizations move forward, Dell Technologies is powering the enterprise GenAI journey. With best-in-class IT infrastructure and solutions to run GenAI workloads and advisory and support services that roadmap GenAI initiatives, Dell is enabling organizations to boost their digital transformation and accelerate intelligent outcomes. 

Intel. The compute required for GenAI models has put a spotlight on performance, cost and energy efficiency as top concerns for enterprises today. Intel’s commitment to the democratization of AI and sustainability will enable broader access to the benefits of AI technology, including GenAI, via an open ecosystem. Intel’s AI hardware accelerators, including new built-in accelerators, provide performance and performance per watt gains to address the escalating performance, price and sustainability needs of generative AI.

To find out more visit our website

To learn more, please see:

How Generative AI Tools Like ChatGPT Could Revolutionize Business

Taking on the Compute and Sustainability Challenges of Generative AI

Unleashing the Power of Large Language Models Like ChatGPT for Your Business

[1] https://twitter.com/gdb/status/1599683104142430208

[2] https://www.techrepublic.com/article/salesforce-openai-chatgpt-powers-einstein-ai/

[3] IT Leaders Call Generative AI a ‘Game Changer’ but Seek Progress on Ethics and Trust – Salesforce News

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning

Midjourney, ChatGPT, Bing AI Chat, and other AI tools that make generative AI accessible have unleashed a flood of ideas, experimentation and creativity. If you want to harness that in your organization, questions remain about where to start putting AI to work and how to do it without running into ethical dilemmas, copyright infringement, or factual errors. A good place to start is use it to help people who are already expert in their area to save time and be more productive.

There are many other different places to quickly start using generative AI, and it’s being incorporated into several tools and platforms your organization may already use. So you’ll want to think about setting out guidelines for how to experiment with and adopt these tools. Here are five key areas where it’s worth considering generative AI, plus guidance on finding other appropriate scenarios.

1. Increase developer productivity knowhow

Coding is often considered to be somewhere between an art and a science, but there’s a lot of work in programming that’s routine and repetitive. The rise of cloud platforms and module repositories means that writing modern applications is as much about gluing together components and APIs, refactoring existing code, optimizing environments, and orchestrating pipelines as it is about coming up with algorithms. A lot of that work is ripe for automation and AI assistance, but, again, you need to know how and where you’re using these tools to monitor impact and effectiveness. You could start with single-use tools that speed up specific, common tasks before moving on to full-scale coding assistants.

Documentation is both critical and frequently neglected: not only can you have generative AI document a codebase, but you can then build a chat interface into your documentation where developers can ask how it works and use it, or just replace the usual search box. That turns generic documentation into conversational programming where the AI can take your data and show you how to write a query, for example.

Testing is another area that tends to get neglected, so automated unit test generation will help you get much broader test coverage. Commit bots can also help developers write messages that include enough information to be useful to users and other developers, and generative AI could do the same for IT staff documenting upgrades and system reboots.

It’s also key to generate backend logic and other boilerplate by telling the AI what you want so developers can focus on the more interesting and creative parts of the application. You should also use generative AI to write your own codemods, (scripts that automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks in large code bases), or ask it to help fix contribution voice and tone to better suit house style. Coding assistants like GitHub Copilot and IDEs that build in large language models (LLMs) can do all of that and more but shouldn’t replace a developer; they need to understand and assess code they haven’t written (and the context it runs in) in case it contains security vulnerabilities or performance bottlenecks, omissions, bad decisions or just plain mistakes since it’s generating code based on learning from repos that might have any or all of those issues. Think about how to track AI-generated code in your organization so you can audit it and assess how useful it is. Developers report being more productive and less frustrated when using GitHub Copilot, and Microsoft says 40% of the code Copilot users check in is AI-generated and unmodified. Currently that provenance is lost once a developer leaves their IDE session, so think about internal guidance on recording how AI tools are used.

2. Uplevel low code and no code business users

Although business users don’t have the expertise to evaluate the code produced by an AI assistant, low code and no code environments are highly constrained, and the places where they integrate generative AI tools are far less likely to be problematic.

Low code apps frequently need to retrieve and filter data. And low code platforms already add generative AI features that can generate lookup queries or sanitize the data that come back—like programmatically adding missing zip codes—which allows business users without database expertise to get further without needing to stick to prebuilt components or wait for a professional developer to build the query string for them. Open-source tools like Census GPT make it easier to query large public data sets.

Code assistants aren’t just for pro developers, either. Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) can build a whole website for you, mixing code generation and generative design; Uizard does the same for website and app prototypes; and Fronty turns images into HTML and CSS while Express design in Microsoft Power Apps turns a hand drawn sketch or Figma file into a working app, complete with backend.

Most of the generative AI use cases organizations will be interested in are modules that can be called in a low code automation workflow so employees can adapt them to their specific needs. And platforms are already making ChatGPT and other OpenAI APIs available like any other component. However, be sure any warnings or guidance accompanying the text or images generated show up correctly in the low code environment, ideally with a way to give feedback, and that staff know your policy on whether any of this can be presented directly to customers without an employee reviewing it first.

3. Understand documents and data

Combining a custom version of ChatGPT with Bing has brought millions of new users to Microsoft’s search engine. But the way LLMs work means errors and ‘hallucinations’ will happen as they essentially autocomplete sentences and paragraphs to generate text that matches query prompts. And if the information you want doesn’t exist, the model will still attempt to create something plausible. Even when the information given is correct and matches what most experts in an area would say, responses may be incomplete, inaccurate, and if you’re not already an expert, you may not know what’s missing. These issues can be as much of a problem for enterprise search as they are for the public web; the forthcoming Microsoft 365 Copilot tool will try to deal with that by grounding queries in data from the Microsoft Graph of documents and entities, and providing references, but it might still miss important points you’ll need to add in yourself.

Start taking advantage of the opportunities to use LLMs to summarize and analyze documents, or generate text to explain concepts in more constrained scenarios where that information gets reviewed internally by people with expertise, rather than getting shown directly to your customers or other end users.

Generate a knowledge graph to visualize the connections and relationships between different entities as a way to help you understand a project, community or ecosystem. The Copilot tool coming to Excel promises an interactive way to get insights and ask questions about data in a sandbox that doesn’t change the underlying data, so any mistakes might take you down the wrong path but shouldn’t contaminate the original information for future analysis.

Storytelling with data is another effective way to communicate key trends and AI-powered analytics like Power BI’s Smart Narratives, which can find anomalies and contributing factors, and then explain them with charts and autogenerated descriptions. This avoids the problems LLMs have with math because the insights are derived by AI models like linear regression and then described by the language model. These kinds of ensemble approaches are likely to become more common. Similarly, security tools are starting to use language generation to explain threats, anomalies, and possible evidence of breaches detected by AI in clear, customized language that tells you what it means and what to do about it. In future, expect to be able to ask these kinds of tools questions and have them explain recommendations.

You can also make existing chatbots smarter and more flexible by moving beyond keywords and canned responses to something that sounds more natural and can automatically include new information as your knowledge base updates. Again, it’s tempting to use generative AI chatbots directly with customers to increase customer satisfaction and reduce costs, but this is a riskier scenario than using them inside your organization to surface useful information about benefits and other HR questions, for example. While a sassy chatbot will suit some brands, you don’t want to make the headlines because a customer received dangerous advice or got insulted by your chatbot. Using generative AI for agent assistance can get you the productivity boost with less of the risk.  

4. Speed up business user workflow

Meetings are supposed to be where business decisions are made and knowledge is shared, but far too much meeting value never leaves the room. AI tools like Microsoft Teams Premium, Dynamics 365 Copilot and the ChatGPT app for Slack create summaries and record the action items assigned to attendees and people who weren’t in the room and may not know what they’re on the hook for. This can also help avoid power plays around who’s asked to take notes and do other ‘office housework,’ for instance.

Being able to catch up with a busy Slack channel once a day could also improve productivity and work-life balance, but those who make the plans and decisions should take responsibility for making sure AI summaries, action items, and timescales are accurate. AI tools that summarize calls with customers and clients can help managers supervise and train staff. That might be as useful for financial advisors as for call center workers, but tools that monitor employee productivity need to be used with empathy to avoid concerns about workplace surveillance. User feedback and product reviews are helpful, but the sheer volume can be overwhelming and nuggets of useful information might be buried pages deep.

Generative AI can classify, summarize, and categorize responses to give aggregate feedback that’s easier to absorb. In the long term, it’s easy to imagine a personal shopping assistant that suggests items you’d want to buy and answers questions about them rather than leaving you to scroll through pages of reviews and comments. But again, businesses will need to be cautious about introducing tools that might surface offensive or defamatory opinions, or be too enthusiastic about filtering out negative reactions. Generative AI tools can read and summarize long documents, and use the information to draft new ones. There are already tools like Docugami that promise to extract due dates and deliverables from contracts, and international law firm Allen & Overy is trialling a platform to help with contract analysis and regulatory compliance. Generating semi-structured documents like MoUs, contracts, or statements of work may speed up business processes and help you standardize some business terms programmatically, but expect to need a lot of flexibility and oversight.

5. Get over writer’s block, spruce up designs

You don’t have to turn your whole writing process over to an AI just to get help with brainstorming, copywriting and creating images or designs. Office 365 and Google Docs will soon allow you to ask generative AI to create documents, emails and slideshows, so you’ll want to have policy on how these are reviewed for accuracy before they’re shared with anyone. Again, start with more constrained tasks and internal uses that you can monitor.

Generative AI can suggest what to write in customer outreach emails, thank you messages, or warnings about logistical issues, right inside your email or in a CRM like Salesforce, Zoho, or Dynamics 365, either as part of the platform or through a third-party tool. There’s also a lot of interest in using AI for marketing, but there are brand risks too. Treat these options only as a way to get started and not the final version before clicking send.

AI-generated text might not be perfect but if you have a lot of blanks to fill, it’s likely better than nothing. Shopify Magic, for instance, can take basic product details and write consistent, SEO-tuned product descriptions for an online storefront, and once you have something, you can improve on it. Also, Reddit and LinkedIn use Azure Vision Services to create captions and alternative text for images to improve accessibility when members don’t add those themselves. If you have a large video library for training, auto-generated summaries might help employees make the most of their time. Image generation from text can be extremely powerful, and tools like the new Microsoft Designer app put image diffusion models in the hands of business users who might balk at using a Discord server to access Midjourney, and don’t have the expertise to use a Stable Diffusion plugin in Photoshop. But AI-generated images are also controversial, with issues ranging from deepfakes and uncanny valley effects, to the source of training data and the ethics of using works of known artists without compensation. Organizations will want to have a very clear policy on using generated images to avoid the more obvious pitfalls.

Finding your own uses

As you can see, there are opportunities to benefit from generative AI in everything from customer support and retail, to logistics and legal services—anywhere you want a curated interaction with a reliable information source.

To use it responsibly, start with natural language processing use cases such as classification, summarization and text generation for non-customer-facing scenarios where the output is reviewed by humans who have the expertise to spot and correct errors and false information, and look for an interface that makes it easy and natural to do that rather than it just accepting suggestions. It’ll be tempting to save time and money by skipping human involvement, but the damage to your business could be significant if what’s generated is inaccurate, irresponsible, or offensive.

Many organisations are worried about leaking data into the models that might help competitors. Google, Microsoft and OpenAI have already published data usage policies that say the data and prompts used by one company will only be used to train their model, not the core model supplied to every customer. But you’ll still want to have guidance on what information staff can copy into public generative AI tools.

Vendors also say that users own the input and output of the models, which is a good idea in theory, but may not reflect the complexity of copyright and plagiarism concerns with generative AI, and models like ChatGPT don’t include citations, so you don’t know if the text they return is correct or copied from someone else. Paraphrasing isn’t exactly plagiarism, but misappropriating an original idea or insight from someone else isn’t a good look for any business.

It’s also important for organizations to develop AI literacy and have staff become familiar with using and evaluating the output of generative AI. Start small with areas that aren’t critical and learn from what works.

Artificial Intelligence, Business IT Alignment, Data Management, No Code and Low Code

You’ve had a great CIO career filled with transformational triumphs and award-winning projects and teams. What’s next for your career before you retire? Board service, of course!  

With cybersecurity keeping CEOs up at night and digital transformation all the rage, the number of CIOs on corporate boards is increasing. For experienced IT leaders looking to get out of operations and into the Socratic world of private or corporate boards, this means serious opportunity, as corporate boards are keen on putting CIOs’ transformational experience to work at the next level.

Wayne Shurts can tell the tale of leveraging CIO experience into board work. Shurts was CIO for Cadbury, Supervalu, and then for food distribution giant Sysco when he was appointed to his first board, for Con-Way Freight and Trucking, then a $5 billion public company, in 2015. Unlike many CEOs, Supervalu’s CEO allowed Shurts to accept the board appointment, provided Shurts assure him that that board work would not distract from his CIO role. 

How board service is different

The chair of the Con-Way board gave Shurts sound advice about the difference between executive management and board service. “He said that the board is all about helping management craft a strategy, but letting management execute on it,” says Shurts. “Despite a long career of executing on strategies, I had to let that part go.” 

Soon after Shurts joined the Con-Way board, the company was sold to XPO, which gave Shurts early experience in weighing in on the terms of a public company sale. 

Shurts retired from Sysco in 2019, and then joined the board of Armstrong World Industries, another public company. He was approached on the recommendation of the former Con-Way chair, which underscores the fact that a large percentage of board appointments come from a board’s networks rather than through search firms. 

That same month, Shurts joined his first private board, for a third-generation family import and distribution business. “Unlike the public company boards, this is not a fiduciary board because the family decides what to do with the money,” he says. “But other than that, the board has the same role as public company boards.” 

Since then, Shurts has added two more private boards to his plate, which he enjoys because, “private boards can be more fun than public boards; there is less bureaucracy,” he says. 

Advice for finding a board seat

With all of this board experience, Shurts can offer some advice to CIOs seeking board work. First, given that most board appointments come through your network, “let the people in your networks, and especially people who are on boards, know of your intent,” he says. “And that includes the board of your current company.” 

But before you start calling people, decide what kind of board you want to join, whether public or private, and in what industry. “I’ve spent almost my entire career in food, and my boards are either food distribution, grocery, or logistics,” he says. “I don’t know if I could have joined a board in an unrelated industry.” 

Also, put together your board bio, which is very different from a resume. Rather than a chronological list of your experiences, your board bio is a one-page document that, in a just a few paragraphs, presents a strategic view of your experience.

Shurts suggests that when writing your board bio you read the board section of a few corporate annual reports. These typically have a board matrix with dots next to the expertise areas that each board member checks off. “You will never get a board position if the only box you can check is technology or cyber,” says Shurts, “Make sure your board bio demonstrates expertise in multiple boxes, like finance, supply chain, international experience, or M&A. The broader set of experiences you can represent in your bio, the better.”

Interviewing for a board position

Shurts advises that you bring the same strategy to the board interview. “The board interview is at higher level than an executive management interview,” he says. “You should be prepared to cover your operational experience, but that’s not the point of the interview. The board wants to know that you understand the role of the board and that you can think strategically.” 

With roughly 80% of boards made up of CEOs and CFOs, boards are pushing for diversity of background for sure, but also for diversity of thought, which CIOs certainly bring to the table.

“The boards will not test your technology expertise during an interview,” says Shurts, “because they don’t know exactly what technology expertise they need. Rather than talk about ERP programs or technology spend, you are better off talking about how technology disrupts business models. The board does not want a technologist; they want a full-fledged board member who can service on audit, finance, and nominating committees.”

Once you are on a board, you will find that board discussions are very different from executive committee meetings. “Your job on the board is not just to ask questions,” Shurts says, because most of the time the EC will have good answers. Your job is to question those answers and to encourage senior management to think differently. “We are always asking, ‘Have you thought about it from this angle?’” he says. “The board dynamic is to dig into the issues, look at them from all angles, and talk about them in an intellectual, collaborative way.”

Shurts suggests that aspiring board members check out BoardProspects.com and Private Directors Association, inexpensive resources that provide education on board service and opportunities to submit your board bio, so that nominating committees can find you. 

Now is the time for CIOs to consider board service. Just as Sarbanes-Oxley mandated the need for certified financial experts, new cyber regulations will create demand for technology leaders on boards. 

“I see CIOs joining board all the time now,” says Shurts. “We are still underrepresented, but our opportunities are growing.” 

IT Leadership

“Who owns and oversees employee experience and the future of work at your organization” is a question I’ve been asking CIOs and IT leaders a lot of late. The ensuing conversation usually reveals a telling disconnect that CIOs should remedy for the health of their companies.

Most IT leaders pause before responding to this question. Some go on to describe hybrid work plans,  which is one aspect of the future of work, but it’s not the complete scope. To align on terminology, I share Gartner’s definition, “The future of work describes changes in how work will get done over the next decade, influenced by technological, generational, and social shifts,” and then ask them to reconsider this greater scope.

After another pause, some will say there isn’t ownership around this agenda. Others say human resources leads the future of work considerations for the enterprise, and department leaders own it for their teams. This may be so, but it isn’t a recipe for ensuring long-term organizational success.

The CIO as a key driver for the future of work

Many CIOs will say IT is involved in laying the foundation for the future of work at their organizations, but usually in a supporting role. Helping departments with automations is one area where CIOs consider IT to be a driver. Or when a department procures new technology, an implementation requires IT’s assistance, or when integration is needed. 

But taking this kind of butler approach to the organization’s future of work mission and waiting for business drivers can be shortsighted. CIOs should take more of a leadership role, especially when future of work initiatives can be a digital transformation force multiplier.

CIOs have the opportunity to improve their organization’s competitiveness, promote innovation capabilities, and catalyze culture change by driving blue-sky thinking around how technological shifts will transform employee responsibilities and experiences. Here are three technology areas CIOs should focus on.

1. Transform knowledge management with generative AI

ChatGPT and other forms of generative AI have generated a storm of consumer interest that is carrying over into the enterprise. Many marketing departments are embracing content generation, image creation, and video editing to scale their workflows, while Microsoft added ChatGPT capabilities to its office suite, and Google is adding generative AI tools across Workspace.

“Generative AI is reimagining the future of work, from the content we write to the creative we use and how we converse with each other,” says Yishay Carmiel, CEO of Meaning. “While early challenges with accuracy and credibility remain a barrier to entry, generative tech is still proving valuable for enterprises producing content and uncovering valuable information quickly and at scale.”

One area I expect generative AI to impact the future of work significantly is knowledge management and enterprise search experiences. I expect we’ll see the consumerization of search and knowledge management over the next decade, driven by generative and conversational AI capabilities. 

Today, most enterprises create, store, and search content across a breadth of tools, including CRMs, CMSes, ecommerce platforms, office suites, and collaboration tools. Employees search for content using primitive keyword search boxes instead of natural language processing and conversational AI capabilities. These capabilities are ripe for transformation, and AI search is a force multiplier when it centralizes information access, addresses tribal knowledge risks, and personalizes employee experiences. 

2. Drive self-service capabilities with no-code tech

The first no-code tools for building web applications became available over two decades ago. Today, most organizations use a mix of low-code and no-code tools to build applications, and many support citizen development performed by non-IT employees.

No-code isn’t just for developing apps, as many organizations use no-code self-service business intelligence tools such as Power BI and Tableau to enable a data-driven organization and reduce the reliance on operational spreadsheets. There are also no-code data prep, automation, and integration tools used by marketing, operations, and finance teams with staff and skills to implement technology solutions with little or no IT assistance.

CIOs should embrace no-code and citizen development as a key future of work strategy. The reality is that IT is always understaffed, and many people entering the workplace have the sufficient technical acumen to work with no-code technologies.

Empowering employees with no-code technologies can drive a culture transformation when CIOs drive the initiative and IT provides support services. Instead of IT saying “no” or having staff waiting for IT’s help, departments have technologies to drive their agendas.

What does it mean to drive self-service capabilities? CIOs should define a citizen development governance model and govern citizen data science so that no-code apps and dashboards developed today don’t become tomorrow’s technical debt. Disciplines such as identifying requirements, versioning applications, testing functionality, establishing security access roles, documenting releases, reusing capabilities, and defining standards are all important whether an app is developed with code, low-code, or no-code. 

3. Accelerate decision-making with hyperautomation and real-time analytics

If self-service business intelligence and data catalogs helped democratize data, then hyperautomation and real-time analytics will enable CIOs to accelerate smarter decision-making.

Large enterprises have transformed from batch data processing, where executives review weekly and monthly reports to more real-time analytics. In addition, CIOs have scaled beyond using robotic process automation (RPA) on tasks and workflows and now focus on hyperautomation, the integration of automation, low-code, and machine learning capabilities to enable smarter decision-making.

These technologies and capabilities are mainstream, and more small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can no longer afford to be laggards in driving intelligent automation.

Tom Sagi, co-founder and CEO of Hourly.io, says, “As the Federal Reserve continues to increase interest rates, small and medium businesses will continue to look for ways to save money this year. The future of work for SMBs will be driven by their ability to adopt new technologies like automation and real-time analytics and will be a key driver of innovation for SMBs focused on saving time and money.”

Here, opportunities include empowering the finance organization with real-time analytics capabilities or using hyperautomation to improve field operation’s resource scheduling.

But the key opportunity for CIOs is to use these technologies as building blocks by asking, “How can we reimagine workflow X by integrating automation, real-time analytics, machine learning, and low-code capabilities?”

CIOs should become drivers of the future of work, starting with blue-sky thinking, implementing radically reinvented workflows, and focusing on employee experiences.

Artificial Intelligence, Digital Transformation, Emerging Technology, Innovation, No Code and Low Code

After recent rounds of high-profile layoffs, a lot of technologists are looking for work in a market that’s different from any they’ve experienced. More companies are now set up to support remote work, which offers candidates a wider range of potential employers. The new working models benefit companies, too, since they can now hire people with rare and highly desirable skills, regardless of location.

Yet some organizations still insist everybody come into the office. Ed Toner, for example, CIO of the State of Nebraska, has a policy of 100% in-office work. “When you decrease face-to-face interaction, you decrease growth and professional development,” he says.

At the other end of the spectrum, and half a world away, other organizations accept fully remote arrangements—at least for some positions. “When you need highly skilled workers in a sparsely populated country, you benefit from a policy that allows remote work in suitable roles,” says Jarkko Levasma, Government CIO for Finland.

Overall, however, most IT leaders now favor hybrid work, which usually means at least three days a week in the office. According to Gartner’s Human Resources Research Team, employee expectations for a flexible work environment have grown—and hybrid work is clearly here to stay.

Forward-thinking IT leaders have already thought a lot about how to best implement hybrid work, and this extends well beyond technology. It also means providing emotional support to a dispersed workforce. Job seekers should target companies that address all the needs of people who work at least part-time from home.

Getting the technology right

The most obvious thing CIOs need to do to support a remote or hybrid work environment is provide the right technology. But there’s more to it than that. “As soon as you start heavily supporting remote work, your footprint increases significantly,” says Irvin Bishop, Jr., CIO of Kansas City-based engineering firm Black & Veatch. “This significantly raises your security concerns.”

Black & Veatch supported remote work before Covid-19, but during lockdown, they deployed more collaboration tools including virtual whiteboards, polls, and voting so people could still brainstorm and share perspectives. “It’s not always easy for people who are not in the same room to be recognized and given equal airtime and attention,” he says.

The company, which already supported over 100 different office sites, implemented additional virtual system monitoring tools to support a larger population of home workers. These monitoring tools make sure systems are up and functioning—a much easier task when everybody’s in the office connected on WiFi or Ethernet. Also, keeping infrastructure working flawlessly takes an even higher priority when people are remote, because they can’t do anything if they can’t connect.

During the pandemic, Bishop found that managers had to adapt to radically different schedules as employees got accustomed to having more control over tasks. They started earlier, finished later, or worked whatever schedule best suited their lifestyles and family. “Now they expect that level of autonomy,” says Bishop. “Managers have to be attentive to these new expectations.”

French multinational tire manufacturer Michelin also supported home working before Covid-19, but only as an exception. About 10% of employees worked from home from time to time—and even for those people, it was only for about one day a week. The company had already undergone a complete upgrade of their Microsoft stack to a modern cloud solution in 2018, so they were well prepared when the pandemic struck.

“One of the mistakes we made during the lockdown was having people turn their camera off during Teams meetings to save bandwidth,” says Yves Caseau, group digital & information officer at Michelin. “We quickly found out that if the goal of a meeting is to have people collaborate and be creative, it’s best to have them work face to face. But if they cannot be in the office, they absolutely need cameras on. So we increased our bandwidth to support more video traffic.”

Like Michelin, German rail logistics company DB Schenker supported remote work on a very limited basis before the pandemic. “About five percent of the staff worked from home,” says Fredrik Nordin, CIO of DB Schenker for Sweden, Denmark, and Iceland. “And those people only worked remotely for one day every two weeks. Even with a limited number of employees working from home before Covid, when the lockdowns came, we were well prepared in terms of technological tools.”

Understanding the emotional impact

But technological tools aren’t enough for companies who’ve decided to support a hybrid work arrangement from now on. What’s needed is more emotional support and more team building. According to a Gartner report from May last year, only 24% of remote and hybrid knowledge workers feel connected to their organization’s culture. And who better to turn to for questions of employee well-being than an HR expert? “Remote work has decreased the sense of belonging, and increased the feeling of loneliness and isolation,” says Kirsi Nuotto, SVP and head of HR for VTT, an institute for applied research in Finland. “During the pandemic, we trained all of our managers on emotional agency.”

Managers need to tune into how employees cope when separated from their teams. For example, Michelin found that attention management is even more challenging when some workers are remote, and people tend to multi-task even more than they do in the office. Moreover, working from home amplifies some of the stress. “The paradox of digitalization is that some of the good collective practices that help minimize overload are absent when you work alone,” says Caseau. “For example, taking short breaks to talk about something else with a colleague is not only essential to your health, but it also contributes to making teamwork more efficient.”

DB Schenker noticed during the pandemic that even though efficiency went up in the sense of fitting more meetings into a single workday, the lack of corridor talks and spontaneous alignments that act as the glue in a collaborative organization had to be overcome by scheduling even more meetings.

“We learned that working from home, whether forced or voluntary, is perceived very differently from one person to another,” says Nordin. “One person’s joy and happiness over not having to commute to the office is another person’s worst nightmare. Remote work is very tough on the people whose personalities crave interaction with others.”

Despite these challenges, both Michelin and DB Schenker say the flexible work environment provides a net benefit. Both companies now have a hybrid policy, where employees are allowed to work from a home office two days a week.

What’s best for a new generation of employees

With hybrid being normal now for so many companies, top management is looking to fine tune the flexible work environment. “A year after training all managers on emotional agency, we saw an improvement in 12 out of 14 different psychological markers,” says Nuotto. “Encouraged by this tangible difference, we have now extended training to include all of VTT’s 2,200 employees.”

She points out that many people assume this kind of training can be carried out in a matter of hours. But getting it right requires not only classes over an extended period, but also a way of practicing the ideas. Trainees at VTT have “sparring” partners to bounce their ideas off one another outside of class hours, for instance.

Meanwhile, back in Kansas, Bishop says managers need to be more intentional in a hybrid environment. “If you’re facilitating a hybrid meeting, you have to be intentional and ask specifically if there are comments or questions from people who aren’t in the room,” he says. “You can use techniques, such as Round Robin, to go around the table and the screen or phone to get comments from everyone. Another option is to appoint a virtual meeting facilitator to ensure people who are remote can hear the dialog, see the presentation, and contribute equally to the meeting.”

These techniques help build trust, keep collaboration high, and make people feel a lot more included. Employees want empathy from management—and when they find an organization that makes them feel that, even from their home office, they return the favor through loyalty and productivity.

“We want to be the best place to work on the planet,” says Bishop. “We’re trying to create the best environment, so people love working here.” Bottom line is the new generation of employees expects a hybrid work environment, and they want to be fully supported in their workplace, wherever that may be.

CIO, Employee Experience, Employee Protection, IT Leadership, Remote Work

Technology work attracts neurodivergent people. So if you are leading a tech team, it’s likely that someone in your crew may be on the autism spectrum (ASD), be living with ADHD, or have an auditory processing disorder, learning disability, or other mental difference. Without the right accommodations, many neurodiverse professionals can struggle and, eventually, leave. These modifications are typically not equipment you can install or tasks to add to HR’s plate. They are behaviors and processes that start with you.

“This is the unique challenge of leadership,” says Brian Zielinski, vice president of technology at Circa. “Some of the most productive, talented individuals have challenges in terms of how they interact with others, or with the world. That talent is precious. If you can create an environment where they can be productive, you’ve got a leg up on the competition.”

To accomplish that, you likely need to do more than you are. A recent Wiley study found that 60% of business leaders believe they are working to foster an inclusive culture while half of Gen Z tech workers felt uncomfortable in a job because of their gender, race, ethnicity, socio-economic background, or neurodevelopmental condition. This disconnect is hitting companies hard when it comes to retaining talent. The reason most young tech workers gave (20%) when asked why they left or wanted to leave a role was that they lacked a sense of belonging.

I asked experts how to fix this. And it turns out that most of the adjustments neurodiverse people need are relatively simple and inexpensive to implement.

“And most of what we think of as accommodations make the environment better for everybody,” says Cara Pelletier, M.A., senior director of DEI at holistic performance management platform 15Five. “When you’re implementing something that makes life easier for somebody with a disability, you’re making life easier for everybody.”

1. Ask people what they need

Neurodiversity includes a wide range of styles, disabilities, preferences, and needs. You can’t know what any of those are until you ask, which is the best place to start.

“In most of my internal messaging before a meeting, I ask, ‘Do you need any accommodations?’” explains Chloe Duckworth, co-founder and CEO of Valence Vibrations, which makes digital solutions for neurodiverse teams. “I make sure I’m asking the question in our very first encounter.”

If you are leading a team and have not already done this, you might hesitate to raise the subject.  

“The most important thing you can do as an executive trying to support disabled or neurodivergent employees,” says Duckworth, “is to ask them what they prefer. It can be uncomfortable for people to constantly advocate for themselves without knowing if their boss or peers will be accommodating. So a lot of disabled people don’t feel comfortable disclosing their diagnosis. As executives, it’s incumbent on us to proactively ask employees what they need.”

You might feel that you don’t want to probe into things that aren’t your business, bring up something that might make your team member feel uncomfortable, be rude, or know what to say. You don’t have to ask about their disability or neuro type, though.

“People don’t need a diagnosis — and shouldn’t have to disclose one — for you to be able to accommodate the best way for them to perform in your environment,” says Duckworth. Ask instead, “What type of workplace environment helps you focus,” she says.

2. Build a safe psychological space

If you find that getting people to ask for what they need is a challenge, it may mean that your work environment does not feel safe or that people don’t trust the company.

“The more psychological safety there is in an environment, the more you’re going to find disclosure of what would help people perform best or deliver results best,” says Bettina Greene-Thompson, program manager for DEI talent acquisition at Amazon.

For Circa, this took some effort. “The biggest cultural change was building an environment where individuals felt comfortable sharing,” says Zielinski. “We were not getting that reporting early in our journey. That took bold statements by leadership. We did mental health roundtables, where we split up into groups and talked about our own experiences. I think that humanized it for everybody.”

This was true at Amazon, too. “Having environments where conversations can exist and you can feel seen and authentic, has an impact on how secure an individual feels,” says Greene-Thompson. “I know, for myself, having leadership come forth and identify and be public about it, allowed me to feel comfortable with my own disclosure.”

3. Learn to speak many emotional languages

Some people talk in meetings and chat effortlessly with you and coworkers. Others communicate as if they are being charged a fee for every word. Some gesticulate enthusiastically while others present such a flat affect, you wonder if they spoke at all. The way someone expresses themselves can be the result of ASD, their cultural background, and many other factors. It’s important to listen to the intention and meaning of what people say, not only their emotional delivery.

“About 10% of the worldwide population is estimated to have alexithymia,” explains Duckworth. “This is an emotional perception deficit that commonly coexists with autism, ADHD, and anxiety disorders.”

Emotional perception can have a huge impact on the way your team communicates, though. Duckworth offers an example: Duckworth offers an example from another company that had many brilliant, autistic engineers. All of them raised a red flag that something in the stack was broken. “But because they had a very flat affect in the way they were communicating that challenge, the people on their team didn’t address it appropriately. They didn’t realize how severe the issue was,” she says.

This emotional communication breakdown can happen between people of different genders, cultural backgrounds, and neurotypes, too. “We are trained, neurologically, to interpret emotions by comparing them to people like us,” she explains. “So, if we’re speaking to someone that doesn’t have our same vocal tone patterns to convey emotions, we often misinterpret them and may not realize it.”

4. Document expectations and action items

One simple step that helps every neuro type — and takes the onus of asking for an accommodation off neurodiverse people — is to practice good hygiene around work expectations and the action items that arise in meetings. Use daily, weekly, or monthly checklists to make your expectations clear and easy to reference. And write out action items in the meeting chat or a shared document during the meeting.

“Having clear goals and a checklist of things you’re supposed to accomplish between check-ins is important,” says Pelletier. “People with autism or ADHD also sometimes have auditory processing disorders so they miss part of the conversation, or it takes them longer to process what you’re saying.” That checklist becomes an easy source of truth, viewed by both parties, that can prevent misunderstandings and keep people on track.

“It’s another way to be sure you are on track, which is huge for someone with ADHD, anyone who struggles to prioritize their time, or who’s on the autism spectrum and who may come out of conversations without clarity,” says Pelletier.

5. Offer a written version of meetings and agendas

A simple way to address a wide range of needs is also just good meeting hygiene.

“Make meetings more friendly for neurodivergent people,” suggests Pelletier, “by putting out an agenda ahead of time. This gives people a chance to read it, think about it, process it, and prepare for the meeting.”

Also turn on captioning in meetings and make a transcription of it readily available. This helps anyone with an auditory processing disorder overcome the difficulty of following meetings that are audio only. If you make this standard operating procedure, neurodiverse people for whom auditory processing is a challenge won’t have to ask for anything. And those tools, though often intended for people who are hearing impaired “are also helpful for people in a noisy environment, on their commute, who have kids in the background, speak English as a second or third language, and for lots of other reasons,” says Pelletier. It’s even helpful for people who simply prefer to glance over meeting notes for an idea or task, rather than rewatch a video or listen to a recording.

6. Take a break from meetings

One thing 15Five does to provide a more neurodivergent-friendly workplace culture is to have a day without internal meetings, Pelletier says. Most people on your team will appreciate the uninterrupted time as well as a day where they don’t have to dress up, wear makeup, or be social. But for some neuro types, this is huge.

“For many autistic people, video conversations are mentally and emotionally taxing,” explains Pelletier. “Many autistic people have a difficult time matching their facial expression with their emotions. Behind the scenes, there is another track where I’m thinking, ‘Fix your face so you look engaged. Don’t look angry or upset. Look into the camera. Don’t spend a lot of time looking away. It’s like when you watch a duck go across the water. You see only the bird gliding on top. What you don’t see underneath is the feet paddling like hell. If I can turn the camera off, all I have to do is close my eyes, focus on what I hear you saying, and try to interpret the tone of your voice. I don’t have to worry about what is my face doing.”

Video calls can sometimes be necessary or desirable. But often they aren’t. “Provide the grace and flexibility to allow people to show up in a way that’s going to be most productive for them at that time,” says Pelletier. “Sometimes tiny adjustments like that make a huge difference for people.”

7. Get some training

“Education is the foundation,” says Amazon’s Greene-Thompson. The actions you take in your role as leader are important to the success and productivity of a wide range of neuro types. We all know only our own way of seeing and interacting with the world. But ours might not match what others experience.

To discover what you don’t already know, you have to study. Read about neurodiversity. Invite speakers to give presentations. Take a class. “The more you understand,” says Greene-Thompson, “the more you see that your lived experience is only your own perspective. But how do we understand the lived experience of another? How do we make the work environment more accommodating, equitable, and inclusive for everyone? We start with education, training, presentations, through accessing the latest research, and in seeking out subject matter experts in this field.”

This effort usually has benefits beyond your neurodiverse team. “We find that managers start to think, ‘This is going to work for everybody!’ If I, say, start asking what is your communication style or how can I support you best. For a neurodivergent individual, it might be one thing. For a working parent, it might be ‘Can I start at 10 am? Can we schedule meetings at 11?’”

Everyone is different. When you learn about these differences, you might discover people are struggling with something that’s easy to change.

“When we recognize that everybody’s showing up uniquely and support them delivering their best work,” says Greene-Thompson, “we are much more inclusive.”

Diversity and Inclusion, Staff Management