S2Episode48 The Resistance Hurdle

May 17, 2024

Good morning from New York City. What’s on my mind this morning as I’m sitting here having my morning coffee is my new bestie from the Apple store yesterday. Oh my gosh, let me give you some background. I am a diehard Android and PC gal, and I made the executive decision to keep my new client in the Apple world. What does that mean? Tage, I’m it!  I have to learn their systems and so I’ve embarked on my foray into the whole Apple universe.

What I’m thinking about is this. I have spent many hours over the last week sitting in the corner of the Apple store on Madison Avenue and 77th and yesterday things came to a head. I’m faced with this annoying, difficult thing, trying to bridge a Microsoft product with Apple and it’s something that no one was able to help me solve. Not ChatGPT, Google, Microsoft, nor my previous jaunts to the Apple store. I’m kicking myself that I can’t remember the guy’s name who helped me solve the problem, but at the end when I was thanking him profusely for having stayed with me to solve this problem, he turned to me and he said, I can’t believe how much you’ve learned in a week. I learned something from you today.

It’s kind of funny. I was sitting here thinking to myself, and I’ve told this story before on the podcast, how my teachers used to write on my report card Connie is a bright student who gets along well with everyone, but she’s too easily frustrated. And it’s true. That’s something that surprises people because in fact I am a very determined and focused and tenacious person when I want to be, yet when I come across something that feels particularly challenging, I tend to throw up my hands too easily. So, I felt really grateful and proud of myself when the Apple guy acknowledged my tenacity.

Anyway, I’m not sharing this to pat myself on the back. I’m sharing it because the other evening I was catching up on 60 Minutes from last weekend and I can’t remember which segment it was, but the person who was being interviewed was talking about how our tendency (me included) is to want to buy things with all the bells and whistles when the thing to do is to go with the simplest solution. The guy went on to talk about how the tech companies are being tasked with making things extraordinarily simple because, as we already know, voice activation is something that’s critically important. And it’s going to become more and more important in the future, so these tech people are trying to figure out how to program things to respond to a simple voice prompt.

I think it’s important to share because a lot of Dear Constance listeners are quite near my own age range, (I’m going to be 63 next week, by the way), and I want to encourage people not to throw their hands up. Now, given my circumstances that I’ve taken on these new clients, I was basically forced to step up to the plate and to learn a new operating system. But once I got over the hump of getting started, the floodgates opened. This whole world opened to me.

Interestingly, another thing that’s popping into my mind as I’m sitting here sharing this is I had breakfast this past week with a new buddy of mine, Michele, who I met at MEA, the Modern Elder Academy. She is a former HR executive from Meta and her company is called Next Waves. Part of what her company does is dedicated to working with executives who are navigating what’s next in their lives, but another part of her business is related to AI.

We were talking about resistance because in this other avenue she’s pursuing in Next Waves, she has to speak with the CEOs of top companies, and of course we all know that AI is the big buzzword and the implications on business systems are immense. One of her products is a 10-day sprint because the CEOs, while they don’t need to become experts in AI, need to really understand how it works because they need to make the decisions But in order to do so, they need to do the work and do the 10 day sprint to understand the implications on budgeting, resources, supply chain, organizational development. and of course, ultimately on the end product and their customer. If you’d like to learn more about my friend Michele Evans, it’s Next Waves, you can find her on LinkedIn.

So, we were talking about the resistance because AI is moving so quickly, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and to just shut down. It’s funny one of the things that Michele told me was that she met with an AI company, and she did a little survey and found out that around 85 percent of the employees in an AI company were not actually using the tool. When she saw that data, she realized this is an incredible business opportunity. The resistance is real and big and it’s age and job agnostic. Here again, getting people over the resistance and the overwhelm and getting them to the start line is a huge business opportunity.

The reason I’m sharing all this is to encourage you – if you’re feeling this resistance – not to give up. Your job is to get yourself to the start line and get some support. Remember that we’re early in the game, and the people that know this stuff well are tasked with making it simple and user-friendly. There are so many things that are going to be changing very, very quickly and which ultimately will serve us very well as we age. So yeah, all this to say, think twice before you throw up your hands. Remember that AI is in large part (for the end user), about learning how to query – learning how to ask new questions and how to refine your questions – and that’s certainly something we can all learn.

So here’s to dropping resistance and opening our arms wide to all of the change that is ultimately going to simplify and bring greater ease into our lives as we age. There you have it. that’s all for today Until next time, from my heart to yours.

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dear Listeners,

Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

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