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My brother and mom are chefs. When they open the fridge, it’s like a portal to a magical world of delicious possibilities. No matter what random leftovers and wilting produce lurk inside, they can effortlessly whip up a meal that will make you smile with culinary delight.

Me? I stand there blinking at the contents like a helpless fawn, unable to imagine how to combine a jar of pickles, some dubious takeout containers, and a brick of cheese into something edible.

It’s the same blinkered stare I see in people’s eyes when I mention embracing new technology like AI to improve their work. They look into that fridge of opportunity and feel blocked, almost helpless.

Take my colleague Jim. For months he dismissed AI as unnecessary and distracting. Then last week he saw Susan, who has fully embraced AI, effortlessly accomplish the work of five people. He finally woke up to the importance of AI, but still hasn’t made any moves to start using it himself.

What is this resistance hardwired into human nature that blocks us from taking the simple steps needed to make a better meal or improve our productivity/creativity with new tools like AI? Is it short-sightedness? Fear of change? Lack of imagination?


Ai learning

5 people working on ChatGPT

I don’t have the answers yet. My team has designed multiple courses to help people overcome their AI resistance, but we haven’t quite cracked the code. If you have any insights into overcoming this fridge blindness, I’d love to hear them! Maybe someday my mom’s magical fridge skills will rub off on me. Until then, I guess I’ll keep staring blankly at leftovers, while the future waits patiently for me to embrace it.

Here are a few examples I used on myself to get better (with fridge puns included of course!)

Start simple – don’t try to swallow the whole fridge at once. Begin with small steps like sautéing some veggies or whipping up a basic omelet. Similarly, pick one narrow AI application to implement rather than a full digital transformation.
Experiment and practice – my mom didn’t get good at improvising meals overnight. She refined her skills over years of trial and error. Be willing to experiment with AI and keep practicing using it.
Learn from the experts – ask someone AI-savvy to show you the ropes, just like asking a chef for cooking lessons. Leverage people with experience to fast-track your learning.
Follow recipes at first – when learning to cook, recipes provide step-by-step guidance. Likewise, many AI solutions come with implementation instructions to follow. Don’t try to freestyle until you’ve got some fundamentals.
Embrace the unexpected – creative chefs embrace random ingredients as opportunities for innovation. Maintain an open mindset about AI capabilities you may not have considered.
Have fun with it – cooking and eating should be enjoyable! Approach AI adoption with a spirit of play and experimentation rather than dread.

Also, if you are a Facilitator – here is a sample agenda for teaching others that has proven to work.

Seeing neural networks of how humans interact is incredibly helpful. Check out how TeamCreator does that automatically.

Using the infographics that countless companies put out to help understand Ai tools can be found with a simple Google image search. The one above is from SEMRush.

If you are looking to re-create this? theDifference Consulting is hands down the best facilitation and design agency around – and are early, early adopters of ai.

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