Listen to: Scaling Goodness as the foundation of the “Lived Experience” by Patrick Cowden
Over the ages, the human race has been empowered by goodness and kindness, so how can we build this into lived experience?
Can leaders create a corporate culture filled with kindness, goodness and joy, where we can truly be the best and ever better version of ourselves, each time we meet, even as strangers? Can the workplace of the future be a place where our ability to be together, create together, perform together, and transform together, reaches the highest levels?
It is natural to assume that creating this human-centred approach has to be driven solely by people. But what if technology is the missing link for making that space and future happen? How would technology, AI and robots have to be designed and built so that this version of a better future is possible?
With the development of Artificial Intelligence it would be entirely reasonable to have a code for robots (and even ourselves and our leaders) that designs empathy, kindness, and compassion into every interaction. This would inspire a ‘be there for others’ mindset and culture that makes our spirit come alive each time we meet, no matter if that encounter is with real, virtual, or artificial others.
That would be a future where goodness prevails, and empowers us and the human spirit to shine bright and light up the world around us. A world where noble endeavours are the norm and where everyone, no matter who they are, contributes to a better ‘lived experience’ – that is worth striving for. We can do this in conjunction with our friends the robots. They are no longer the cold, unfeeling, logical machines we see in science fiction. They are capable of enhancing positive human interactions.
Here is an account of how a positive experience of this kind could work:
The other day, my friend George invited me to join him at an event with friends.
I gladly accepted. He said it would be an intriguing experience for us all, so I was curious.
When I arrived, at first, the hostess that greeted me just said that it would be good for me to wait for the others to arrive and asked me how I was. I gladly answered. I liked her voice, it kind of reminded me of my sister. It was warm, yet insistent.
So, I waited, and when the others came, the hostess asked us to briefly greet each other with a smile, before we would begin moving to the other rooms. Four of us warmed up a bit through that first encounter, and, again, our hostess came in and told us that we could warm it up a bit more if that was okay with us.
And so she invited us into rooms of two, to get to know each other better. And she said that the most natural question for us to begin with was, ‘How are you?’, but she added a ‘really’ to the question. I was with Beverly, and so I asked her ‘how are you, really?’.
The hostess had told us just to listen and to give appreciative and thankful feedback for what we notice in the conversation, just a couple of minutes and just two of us. Wow! We did get closer and the appreciation I gave, I received in return. And that helped us be a lot closer to each other. And what a difference that tiny word ‘really’ made for the two of us.
Then, the hostess came back and said, ‘Listen, I’d like to bring you back together with the others and reflect on how that was, how we feel now.’ So we shared our experiences, and it was nice to hear how warm and kind we had been with each other just during the first couple of minutes. And as we shared, we came became closer again. Then our hostess came in and asked us to express our gratitude to each other at the end, before progressing to the main event.
This is a future ‘lived experience’ that is already becoming reality. The hostess was, of course, a robot. The people were real, and the ensuing event was warmer, kinder, more familiar than it would have been otherwise.
Having the ability to ‘insert’ this type of ‘goodness’ routine into meetings and gatherings of any sort, will uplift the quality of everything we can “do” together. Because it is a routine driven by AI, we feel safer, warmer, more familiar, generous, energised, joyful, and content. And since our Hostess could be in millions of such welcoming rooms simultaneously, the scale and positive impact for us all would be significant. A touch of goodness, everywhere.
The Lived Experience, Working Life in the 21st Century:
This is one of a series of 13 practical articles on leadership written by the Future Work Forum (FWF) for the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), an accreditation body for business schools globally with a membership of 30,000 management professionals. Our partners have contributed to a special edition of their Global Focus magazine.
About the Future Work Forum:
The FWF exists to explore the working world of tomorrow. It is a think tank and network of highly skilled experts who share a passion to create a better, more humanised workplace, inspiring a new generation of leaders.