My Manager Asked Me What Are We Doing in L&D with Generative AI: My Answer Impressed Her. 

Jasmine is a learning professional whose manager recently asked her in a Teams meeting “What’s your team doing with generative AI?” Jasmine’s learning team had been talking about how Artificial Intelligence might change the work of their team and learning professionals in general. One of her multimedia developers said he had been playing around with DALL-E on his own time. Last week, he shared with the team some of his images he’s been creating from his prompts- which were intriguing, but certainly were not work-related. 

The title image for this article was created by Open AI’s ChatGPT and DALL-E 3 from the prompt “An orange cat surfing a wave on Mars in 16:9 ratio” 

It’s clear to Jasmine that everyone on her team knows about generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) to some extent. And while some team members have been experimenting on their own, no one has been using GenAI in their daily work to design or develop learning. She’s aware of some teams in her organization, led by IT, who are exploring tools and developing governance, but nothing’s fully baked yet. In fact, it seems like new changes from OpenAI, Google, and others are coming faster than meetings can be scheduled to discuss how to use them. She ponders some questions: 

  • How do I choose what GenAI tools and work projects to focus on? 
  • How ready is my team and our organization to use GenAI? 
  • What can we do with GenAI to improve our work as L&D professionals? 

Fortunately, Jasmine came across a framework recently that helped her not only to sort all of this out, but helped her to explain her perspective to her team, manager, and leadership. This decision matrix helped her identify what to focus on, and as importantly, what to pass on. The framework is called The Adjacent Possible and it categorizes possibilities into Here, Near, and Far. 

  • HERE: Spaces that are familiar and use current strategies, tools, and designs 
  • NEAR: Spaces that are familiar, but with a twist- and use existing designs and tools- and then enhance a key aspect of them with innovation 
  • FAR: Spaces that require substantial investment and risk, using cutting-edge and unproven tools 

Using this framework, Jasmine answered her manager by saying “GenAI can create impressive image and text generation. Yet we need to ask ourselves- how ready is our team to use this technology? How ready is our organization? If we’re talking about today- here and now, I’d say we could focus on upskilling ourselves in GenAI and experimenting with free AI tools.” Jasmine could then compare what could be done in the Near and Far so her manager and leadership will better understand the landscape of what’s possible. 

Do You Want to Explore More? 
Check out our resources for Generative AI for L&D Professionals where you can read, watch, and engage. 

  • Are You Curious? If you want to deepen your understanding of The Adjacent Possible, launch our free 5-minute interactive activity to learn, practice, and apply this framework with your L&D team. Launch The Activity
  • Are You Committed? If you’re ready to dive in, sign up for our Capability Building Certificate Workshop: Generative AI for L&D Professionals. Here, you’ll work with a cohort of other L&D professionals to learn, practice, and apply The Adjacent Possible and other frameworks. You’ll create your own plan in 30 days to drive your team’s success in using GenAI. 

Johnny Hamilton, VP Strategic Innovation, My Baseline Builder