The Future of Work

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Doug Camplejohn

The world has always moved pretty fast. Recently, however, it seems to be picking up speed.

Every time we adjust to a new way of working – or a new way of leading a team – a new, radical transformation appears on the horizon. Right now, it’s AI and the rise of the robots. Tomorrow? Who knows. 

Today we sit down with Doug Camplejohn, a renowned tech executive and startup advisor with more than two decades of experience working with companies like Microsoft, LinkedIn, and Salesforce. We discuss the AI revolution, the future of workplace culture, and how Doug’s latest venture – Airspeed – is working to connect and celebrate employees in a digital world. 

Learn more about Doug and Airspeed here:

Key Points

  1. Navigating Technological Change: Emphasizing how leaders can adapt to continuous technological changes, like the AI revolution, and utilize these advances to enhance work culture and employee connections.
  2. The Remote Work Revolution: Addressing the significant shift to remote work prompted by COVID-19 and its enduring impact on workplace dynamics. Highlighting strategies for maintaining empathy and connection in a remote or hybrid environment.
  3. Cultivating Happiness and Passion: Discussing the idea that happiness in the workplace stems from engaging with people and projects one is passionate about, and the importance of leaders fostering an environment that prioritizes employee well-being and job satisfaction.
  4. The Role of AI in Work Culture: Exploring the potential of AI as a tool to augment human work, improve productivity, and contribute positively to company culture, while also ensuring it’s used to complement rather than replace human creativity and originality.

*What leads to a happy life? What are the various ways to be happy? Happiness means different things to each of us. After doing extensive research, Management 3.0 founder Jurgen Appelo discovered the common thread: Happiness is something we create. It is not something to achieve. It is a path you choose, not a destination to arrive at.

So many of us spend our lives in pursuit of happiness. Instead of searching for it, we need to find ways to live, embrace, and implement it into our daily lives. That’s why we created the 12 Steps to Happiness at Management 3.0.

You can find more information and even download a free poster of the 12 steps at: 


*Please note that the transcript has been automatically generated and proofread for mistakes. But remains in spoken English, and some syntax and grammar mistakes might remain.

Elisa Tuijnder: [00:00:00] The world has always moved pretty fast. Recently, however, it seems to be picking up speed. Every time we adjust to a new way of working or a new way of leading a team, a new radical transformation appears on the horizon. Today, it’s AI and the rise of the robots. Tomorrow, who knows? [00:00:30] Today, we speak to an executive, entrepreneur and chief connection officer who has navigated these changes with some of the biggest companies in tech.

We’ll discuss the AI revolution, the future of workless culture, and how his latest venture, is working to connect and celebrate employees in an increasingly digital world.

Before we dive in, you are listening to the Happiness at Work podcast by Management 3. [00:01:00] 0, where we are getting serious about happiness.

I’m your host, Elisa Tuijnder, happiness enthusiast and Management 3. 0 team member. In this podcast, we share insights from industry experts, influencers, and thought leaders about what it takes to be happy, motivated, and productive at work, so that loving your job becomes the norm and not the exception. [00:01:30] We will be publishing every fortnight on Friday, so be sure to tune in and subscribe.

wherever you get your podcasts.

Our guest today is Doug Kempeljohn, a renowned tech executive, entrepreneur, and startup advisor with over two decades of experience working with companies including Microsoft, LinkedIn, and Salesforce. He’s also the [00:02:00] founder and chief connection officer for Airspeed, a platform designed to connect and celebrate employees digitally.

Thank you so much for joining us, Doug. Thank you for having me. Great. There’s so much I want to talk about today, but on the podcast, we always start with the same question and that is, what does happiness mean to you?

Doug Camplejohn: So for me, happiness comes about leading with love. Um, I think in what you do, who you spend time with, you know, how you treat others.

I think if you’re putting your energies into, you know, kind of people and projects that you’re [00:02:30] passionate about, can’t help but be happy.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, absolutely. Hey, so today we’re talking, or we’re going to talk about change and how it can impact workplace culture and the employee experience. So we’ve seen a lot of changes in the last few years.

So, so many. Uh, so of those, what would you say were kind of like the most significant, uh, in terms of how we work and how we manage teams? I’ve known, we’ve seen so much from, from wars to. Pandemics too. Yeah, everything.

Doug Camplejohn: Yeah, well, I mean, [00:03:00] COVID was obviously a worldwide tectonic shift, um, and, uh, you know, just changed the way the entire world thought about work.

And it’s not that remote work didn’t exist before, but it’s suddenly, I think what COVID did is it helped us who worked in headquarters. suddenly have full empathy for the challenges and the upsides for the colleagues who were working remotely before. Um, and I don’t think that genie is ever going back in the bottle.

Um, I think it’s, you know, uh, we’re going to see the [00:03:30] repercussions of that, uh, and the impact of that for years and decades to come. And then obviously the one that’s hit more recently, um, it’s been obviously, you know, been worked on for decades, but, but really come to the, the forefront has been AI. And there’s not a job or a person on this planet that it’s not going to affect.

Um, and you know, if you think about those two things coming together just in the last, you know, 3, 4 years. Um, it’s the most, I have to say, it’s the most exciting time in my life [00:04:00] for these radical changes around work and personal life. And I’m an optimist. I think we’re all going to be better for it.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, that’s fantastic.

That’s good to hear because obviously there’s a lot of critical voices around this as well. And you know, the speed at what’s, what it’s happening at is it’s sometimes hard for us as humans to actually keep up. Um, I, I heard somebody Explain. And I thought this was so brilliant. Like the AI revolution is as if the internet and the iPhone were invented in the same year.

And I was like, Whoa, you [00:04:30] know, I can’t even grasp that concept yet. Um,

Doug Camplejohn: yeah, we’re, we’re still in act one. We’re still in early innings of all this stuff. And, and, uh, it is, I mean, I’m in my fifties and it’s the most exciting time and I’ve been working in tech since I graduated from college. And this is probably the most exciting year I’ve had in my entire career.

Elisa Tuijnder: Wow. Yeah. Yeah. You just said like, you know, you’ve seen the rapid expansion of the internet, even like, you know, the rise of social media and the iPhone or any smartphone that we now use nowadays. Like, I’m, I’m kind of curious, do you [00:05:00] feel like it has accelerated at a lightning speed now? Were any of these changes,

Doug Camplejohn: Yeah, well, I think, you know, the, the, the thing I love about tech is we’re kind of, and this is humanity in general, like we’re all kind of building these bricks on top of what came before us.

And so obviously we’re standing on the shoulders of many giants who came behind before us to get, get here. Uh, but I do think the two changes we mentioned, you know, kind of the, the impact of COVID and AI. are, are probably going to be more important [00:05:30] than all of those that you mentioned, uh, which is pretty amazing, you know, because, you know, the internet was obviously a pretty big deal.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, absolutely. And I don’t think we could, we could grasp. I love reading some of these old articles of people like, you know, why the internet is, is, is the redundant thing. And you’re like, well, yeah.

Doug Camplejohn: And you’re saying exactly the same thing as you said with AI right now, you have people. Rightly so kind of questioning things or fearing things or, um, you know, [00:06:00] uh, kind of wondering how big or, or not big it will be.

Um, and I think we’ll just like looking back on the internet, we’ll, we’ll be five, 10 years from now going like we underestimated it.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I feel that too. I feel that too. And hopefully in a good way. So your, your company, uh, Airspeed was built, um, in response actually of many of the changes and challenges that we’ve seen.

throughout the pandemic, especially, you know, this remote work or hybrid work. Can you, like, tell us a little bit of why you started it [00:06:30] and, and what your goals were, actually?

Doug Camplejohn: Sure. Uh, so the idea for Airspeed was hatched in 2020. Um, I had just moved from LinkedIn to Salesforce to be the general manager of Sales Cloud.

Um, and six weeks later, everyone was on COVID lockdown. So, and we did all the same stuff that everybody else was trying. We did Zoom happy hours and virtual cooking classes and set up a bunch of fun Slack channels and did a lot of extra all hands meetings. Um, and it was really in the midst of [00:07:00] that, that I realized that all this information was scattered all over the place.

There was no system of record for culture. And that’s really where the idea for Airspeed was born to create an operating system for culture and to be on a mission to ultimately help employees feel more connected and appreciated.

Elisa Tuijnder: Nyeh. And, and incredibly important. And we’re all about culture here. So, hey, can you tell us a little bit of, you know, what the functionalities of Airspeed are?

Like, how’d you do that? Make a platform around culture.

Doug Camplejohn: Yeah. And you know, [00:07:30] we’ve kind of played around with a lot of the beginning thinking, is this a, is this a desktop? thing, is it a mobile thing? Um, and ultimately it’ll be all, but, but where we’ve landed is a family of six Slack apps that address different moments that happen around culture.

Um, and I’ll kind of run through them quickly. So first it’s intros. So how do you introduce yourself to the company or to a new team that you’ve just joined? Uh, celebrations, which is like putting birthday and work anniversary cards on autopilot. So your [00:08:00] admin doesn’t have to be, you know, Kind of chasing people around to sign a digital card anymore.

Uh, Icebreakers is really for injecting a little bit, a moment of personal discovery at the beginning of, uh, team meetings. We use this in our, in our team meeting. Um, and it’s totally transformed how we, how we get to know each other, uh, from the, even when we were working in person in the past, um, shout outs is about how do you give or recommend recognition for your colleagues in a way that’s, that’s impactful.[00:08:30]

Uh, Maps, I think I’m number five now. Maps is kind of foreseeing where all your teammates are around the world. And, uh, even helping coordinate get togethers when you’re traveling. And then our latest, which is just about to launch, uh, Coffee Talk, is for meeting people in the company that you might not normally get to interact with.

So like, especially in the larger companies, when I was at Salesforce or LinkedIn, um, how do you get to, you know, there are certain people that you see, you know, every week, but there’s a lot of people that are still on the team that you’re not getting to interact with. So [00:09:00] how do you kind of, um, help those interactions happen that might not be as organic?

So those are all the apps we have today. All six are free, um, and to use now. And so we’re just going to be in this early access program for the rest of 2023. And even when we charge, uh, start charging a few dollars per seat. In next year, we’ll always have a free forever tier. Um, so for many companies, they’ll just continue to be able to use all these apps for free.

Elisa Tuijnder: That’s, that’s amazing. We [00:09:30] need to get on this at the moment. We have some of these functionalities, um, built in through Zaps, et cetera. But, you know, having this, I’ve had a look at, you know, what it looks like and it looks also super engaging, obviously, and it’s like, it is very inviting. So it’s. I think we have a very small team, so we know where exactly where everybody is, but, uh, I can imagine that it makes a world of difference for these larger teams, like you talked about, like Salesforce, et cetera, that it can make such a big difference.

Where, where does it go from here? Where’s the, what’s the, what’s the [00:10:00] rollout for the next few years? Like what, what other things are you thinking about?

Doug Camplejohn: Well, there’s, I mean, there’s lots of short term things. Like right now we’re working on integrating HR systems so you can automatically bring in, uh, information about who reports to whom in departments and, and obviously, you know, automate a lot of the, the birthday and work anniversary stuff.

Uh, we’re leaning in really heavily, as you would imagine, to AI. Um, so there’s some very lightweight things, like you can say, like, I want to write a birthday card, uh, to Lisa, write it in the, uh, you know, she likes X and Y, [00:10:30] write it in the voice of a pirate, And, you know, you can kind of generate these birthday greetings and have a lot of fun with that.

Uh, but there’s some pretty profound ways as well. If you really think about, um, this suddenly having a bunch of information about who we are as employees and HR information and other stuff in there, you can start to ask some pretty, pretty interesting questions like, you know, who is engaged, who’s not, who’s, who, who, uh, will be best to be matched up with each other.

Uh, a lot of things around recognition, um, just in general, [00:11:00] like. You know, the state of the art right now for measuring employee happiness is usually like a once or twice a year. Weird. Yeah,

Elisa Tuijnder: it’s very, yeah. Um, and

Doug Camplejohn: the world is much more real time. And so I think we can do a lot to kind of improve that and give both employees a much better experience in, in the culture and reinforcement, but also help management, you know, really Give them the tools to be, to be better managers and better leaders.

And if you’re like, even if you look at the early days [00:11:30] of Facebook, it was really, uh, Mark trying to say, here’s a set of tools for you to kind of help better connect initially with people in your college campus and then ultimately friends in the world. And I think we’re doing the same for employees.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, I also really like that you’re talking about, you know, the measuring, like data is important, really important. And I’ve had this whole conversation with lots of L& D people, like, what do we measure? How is, a lot of it is subjective, but the data is important to make changes as well as the people making the decisions as well as the [00:12:00] employees.

So yeah, thank you for that. I also wanted to pick up on something that you said, you know, like making it more, more fun. And I feel like I’ve seen this a lot, like obviously we’re one of those people who’ve made agile leadership and like you can tell from my background on Zoom that, not that the listeners can see that, that obviously we put a lot of fun in it.

Um, there’s a lot more facilitation to it. Platforms like Miro or Butter or whatever. We’re making everything more fun and engaging. Do you think that’s important nowadays? Cause we do sometimes get the comment like, [00:12:30] Oh yeah, you know, a fortune 500 company doesn’t really like that, but you’ve worked with these companies.

How do you feel like they’re evolving in this?

Doug Camplejohn: I think fun is, uh, incredibly important. And I think that, that. The reality is productivity is a byproduct of the inputs that you put into it. And for me, the, the best environments have always been one where obviously you’re, you’re keeping the bar really high in hiring talent.

Um, you’ve got a really clear sense of shared purpose. So people really know what they’re working on [00:13:00] and are bought about that. They’re not just employees. They’re, they’re passionate about the mission. Uh, and then you’ve kind of built this trust layer, right? And, and that comes from, uh, obviously the first two being in place, but also the things that you’re doing on a consistent basis, trust is just consistent behavior over time.

And so how are you. Creating this thing where your default is that I’m trusting that person I’m working with, not I’m doubting that person I’m working with. And some of the most, uh, poisonous cultures I’ve [00:13:30] ever experienced are ones where it’s all about focusing on, on power and mistrust and people like hoarding power and, and those are just those environments ultimately.

are not productive, right? Um, the ones that are productive are where people are going like, I feel trusted, I feel like I’ve got the resources I want, I feel like I’m aligned with the mission, I’m having fun, right? Those are the ones that are just crazy productive where you can do 10x what other companies can do.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yep. It is incredibly important and not [00:14:00] seen, I feel like it does still get seen by some people as like, you know, it’s a bit unprofessional or, you know, but actually how you just explained that it, it makes perfect sense, right? To have fun at work.

Doug Camplejohn: And I think that, uh, you know, either generationally, like just watching the new generation come in, people in their twenties and thirties.

are just much more, you know, because of social media and what happens in their personal lives, are much more comfortable sharing things, are much more comfortable bringing their whole selves to work. Um, and I think that’s a good thing.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, [00:14:30] absolutely. It’s less that divide between my work persona and my home persona, especially also because we’re all working from home as well.

Like you are, are, are, and, and so it should be right. It shouldn’t be that we have these two different personas, but everything seeps sort of into each other nowadays a lot more than did even before the pandemic.

Doug Camplejohn: Yeah, I think that was one of the fun things about COVID when we all jumped on Zoom was suddenly seeing, you know, somebody’s pet jump on the table.

Yeah, a cat or a dog. Or their work environment. It kind of humanized the whole thing. Um, and so I think I, I, [00:15:00] I’m a big fan of that. I mean, I, I, I still believe getting in together in person is important. We as a company, we’re fully remote, but we get together once a quarter, we go somewhere fun. and get everybody on a plane just spend mostly time just hanging out we do very little like structured work during that time And that’s really about like continuing to build those those connections, but I think it has to happen organically I don’t think you can do something and saying like i’m forcing you into the office three days a week just so you interact Um, it’s got to feel like You know, more, more carrot and less [00:15:30] stick.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, absolutely. Are you seeing any of the, um, more traditional companies doing this well? Who is doing it well in creating a good company culture?

Doug Camplejohn: Yeah, I mean, I, I’ve had the good fortune, like, uh, I’ve, I’ve worked at three large companies. Um, Apple was the first, uh, right after college and more recently LinkedIn and Salesforce.

And I think all three of those do a really good job, but I think it’s really about saying, um, let me focus on. The employee first, right? And in fact, if [00:16:00] you look at like Richard Branson talking about Virgin, he’s like, our number one priority is employees. It’s not our customers. It’s not our profit. Those things are our byproducts of if we do the right job of hiring the right people and resourcing them, well, make sure they’re having fun.

Then they’re going to be much more, uh, likely to do a great job in handling our customers. And if our customers are handled well, All the profits will flow and, and, and that all those metrics of profits and productivity [00:16:30] are really downstream byproducts of getting the first set of things right.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, absolutely.

Hey, so we’ve, uh, or you’ve mentioned it a few times, this, this big thing that is here, artificial intelligence, and, and you kind of recently wrote a blog about AI and, and how it came to be. So maybe, you know, for those who are not that familiar, could you explain or give a little synopsis on how, you know, how prevalent in today’s workplace it will be and maybe what it could do in the future?

Doug Camplejohn: Yeah, well, I mean, the first thing you have to just understand is AI is really, um, about [00:17:00] predictions, right? It’s, you know, so we call it machine learning. Uh, machines are learning things over time and being able to make predictions. And it’s kind of how the human brain works. And a human, if you think of, if you watch a baby learn how to walk, they’re effectively predicting Where they should place their foot and how so they don’t fall forwards, right?

Or don’t, uh, and over time they learn and then it becomes easier and we only trip when we get a surprise input, right? So that’s, that’s, that’s really what it is. AI is just machines, i. e. computers. [00:17:30] Learning to predict what should come next. And what’s really been amazing. I mean, and you’ve had this in various forums for a long time.

What really, uh, blew people’s minds at the end of last year when ChatGPT came out, uh, were these LLMs, these large language models that power ChatGPT. And what was amazing is that they’re really just predicting what the next letter should be. And then the next word and the next sentence. given all the data they’ve, they’ve ingested, which is most of the internet [00:18:00] and lots of, lots of information there and what you ask of it, uh, what we, what’s often called a prompt.

So what’s incredible is that, you know, you might try to walk a thousand or 10, 000 times, these machines are running thousands, millions of simulations and running this stuff to the point where it’s like. Indistinguishable in a lot of cases from asking a human expert. And so I think that the way to think about these right now, and, and this will, this is just, again, early innings.

There’ll be a [00:18:30] lot more that’s coming about what you can go predict and what you can go create. Um, but I think that this notion of a co pilot being there, something that can kind of augment your abilities. It’s just the latest. I mean, we have these, we have these things called phones that are, that are like augmenting our human abilities.

Uh, we don’t need implants to do that. We can just look at our screen and have better directions, better restaurant recommendations, et cetera. Um, and AI is just going to take that to a whole new level.

Elisa Tuijnder: It’s, I kind of [00:19:00] see it sometimes as like my own personal assistant as like, you know, What I loved at one point is somebody did this experiment on giving it all the information of kind of what he had in the fridge and what he liked and letting it learn about all of the things and then saying, Hey, what should I eat today?

And I want to have it in this amount of calories. And, and cause I’m trying to watch my, my weight and it came up with something really true to his taste. And yeah, it’s that exactly, instead of looking up your recipe, it’s actually tailoring it to you.

Doug Camplejohn: And I think it’s, [00:19:30] as these things, these models begin to learn us more over time.

Then the thing that I love about ChatGPT is it’s not just a single query, like Google, it’s a conversation. And so what you’re going to do is say like, Hey, act as if you’re my nutrition coach. You know, here’s the things here. What do you need to know for me in order to design? Here’s my goal, what I’d like to achieve.

What are the things you’d like to know from me? And then they can recommend something. And again, they’re not always going to get it right. And you can then go, I’m acting almost as a, as [00:20:00] an editor, as a, as a teaching assistant, and I’m teaching this, this assistant to do a better job for me over time.

Elisa Tuijnder: Um, You know, like there’s obviously a lot of concerns as well around AI and a lot of concerns probably are in our world center around, you know, what jobs might be altered, what jobs might be threatened.

Like a lot of people didn’t expect the robots to take over all these knowledge worker jobs all of a sudden. Uh, and now we’re sort of there where we’re seeing that happening to, you know, some [00:20:30] people thinking we should absolutely stop doing AI at the moment because they’re going to take over the world potentially in a month or so, uh, even that quickly.

So how do you. You know, how do you see these changes and how do you see these kind of like negative voices?

Doug Camplejohn: Yeah, I think it’s good to have healthy skepticism about technology. And I think that, um, the, uh, there are often any technology can be used for, for different purposes. You know, I don’t think anybody could have predicted when Facebook started or a lot of social media networks started that they [00:21:00] would be used not only to Enhance our relationships, but to divide us in ways since people kind of gotten further down certain paths So I think that’s healthy for us to be able to do but I’m an optimist.

I think that um, Ultimately the impact of AI is going to be a net positive And I think that a lot of jobs will be created, a lot of jobs will change. Um, and I think a lot of jobs are going to look more like editors. As I said, I think that, you know, almost [00:21:30] like in programming, there’s this notion of pair programming, like when you’re programming with a buddy.

I think pair program is now going to be, you’re going to be programming with AI. You’re going to say, I want to go create this. It’s going to create something. You’re going to go edit it. You’re going to, it’s almost like, again, it’s doing a lot of the, the heavy lifting or the, the boring stuff in some ways for you.

And you, but you’re still going to need that expertise to say, how do I guide it? So Microsoft’s branding of Copilot, for example, I think is brilliant. Um, I think that’s a great way to think about it. [00:22:00] Um, so for leaders, for example, you might think about this as a super intelligent, always on chief of staff.

And, uh, what’s great about that is if you’re in middle management, you’ve never had access to a chief of staff before, so you’re going to be that much more productive. If you’re a programmer, you can, um, have this doing work for you. Uh, not only when you’re asking it a direct question, but it can be doing stuff in the background and generating new things for you.

So I think whether you’re writing code, writing copy, doing designs, any of [00:22:30] those tasks are going to be, uh, enhanced when we all have our own personal assistants.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, exactly. That’s exactly how I tend to, how I use it at the moment as in like, you know, help me out with this. I give me some ideas, uh, and then I’m the editor really.

I’m not necessarily the person writing it. I am in a certain sense, obviously, but yeah, with the expertise that I have and I think with programming, I can totally see that as well. Do you think then everything is going to accelerate even further? Because now, you know, a few years ago, take for example, [00:23:00] software development, we were putting out new features.

It took, it took ages, right? It took six months. Now people are continuously, even sometimes on a daily basis, trying out new features. Do you think we can even speed up further or are our brains actually not even going to keep up?

Doug Camplejohn: Yeah, I think, uh, it is pretty remarkable the acceleration at which it’s happening.

I’m actually reading a book by a gentleman, uh, Tim Urban, who has a blog, WaitButWhy, and he, his latest book basically describes human history [00:23:30] as if it was a thousand page book and each page represented 250 years of mankind. Um, the first 999 pages would look pretty much the same.

Elisa Tuijnder: A thousand

Doug Camplejohn: page would look Like the person who just finished reading page 999 and read page 1000, their head would explode, right?

You know, and now we’re going to page 1001. So I think that the, the, the pace is getting even faster. Um, and again, I think, uh, that can be [00:24:00] scary when people can react negatively to that. But I think that if we think about these things as tools to help us and not something that we have to master everything,

Elisa Tuijnder: um,

Doug Camplejohn: and I do think that if you think about humans laying these, these bricks that build the building on top of each other, we’re just going to have much better.

Infrastructure and foundations that get built much faster. And that’s going to allow us to stand on the shoulders of giants even, even greater, uh, in a shorter amount of time. [00:24:30] So I’m incredibly optimistic and excited about the future.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, you know, it’d be great to say, Like, Hey, uh, we need a solution for, you know, some type of cancer or whatever.

Can you work on everything that is out there and maybe potentially having a solution, or we need to do more research in this area. But it is, yeah, the, the potential for good is insanely big as well, as well as potential for negative, I think for certain people. But yeah. Well,

Doug Camplejohn: I think, yeah, the unknown is always scary and I get that.

Mm-Hmm, [00:25:00] absolutely. Yeah. Um, but, but you just gave a great example, which is medicine. I mean, think about Mm-Hmm. . Doctors are really pattern recognition machines, right? You go to school for years and years and years and study the journal of medicine and all the, uh, you know, all this, uh, physician’s handbook and all these things.

And what you’re doing is saying someone comes in and basically says, uh, these three things are happening. That’s my prompt. And you’re going to your own memory banks and saying, okay, based on that information, I think that it’s this. And you might ask a few more questions and [00:25:30] chat GBT style, and then they’re making a prediction.

Um, so imagine, like, I, I can’t imagine ever going to the doctor again without relying on ChatGPT for second opinion, right? Or doctors should be able to do that. And then when you think about drug discovery and the amount of information that you’re bringing in and drug interactions, so just, it’s, it’s 10xing, it’s 100xing our ability to, to be able to see these patterns.

And I think that we will have amazing [00:26:00] medical breakthroughs as a result.

Elisa Tuijnder: What leads to a happy life? What are the various ways to be happy? Happiness means different things to each of us. Yet after doing extensive research, Management 3point0 founder Jurgen Apollo discovered the common thread. Happiness is something we create. It is not something to achieve. It is [00:26:30] a path you choose, not a destination to arrive at.

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com slash practice.[00:27:00]

We both obviously work in workplace culture. How is this kind of AI revolution? Where, where does it go from here? Maybe let’s say short term, long term, because I think short term there will be a big turmoil and maybe even this turmoil might continue. Yeah. Have you got any predictions around that? Any thoughts around it?

Doug Camplejohn: Well, I think, I think it comes back to the stuff we talked about earlier. Like it depends on the culture you have in the beginning, [00:27:30] right? So when these huge tectonic shifts happen, um, if you have a culture of mistrust, it’s much harder to adapt to them than if you have a culture of trust. Um, so I think it becomes more important than ever.

I think one of the things that was fascinating to me when I went for my last, you know, small 30 person company. to 10, 000 plus employees at LinkedIn when we got acquired was watching how deliberate and thoughtful the management team was at cascading communications. So it started the [00:28:00] executive team, they’d bring it down to their senior leaders, it would go into all hands meetings, they’d repeat it, you know, so you want something where everybody goes, oh, I know what the mission of the company is, I know what our goals are for this quarter, you know, and that was really a very deliberate exercise.

I think what COVID taught us was, That ha that we have to be that deliberate about culture, right? We have to be that deliberate about cascading culture. And I think that, um, so, and this is not specific to AI in your question. Mm-Hmm. . But I think in general [00:28:30] we have to, it, you have to have that culture of trust and fun and passion.

Um, because then you can, then you can look at these things as opportunities, not threats. And so I think that AI is an opportunity, um, at all levels in an organization for people to rapidly accelerate what they’re able to do. Um, and if the culture is right, you’ve got the right people in the right culture, they can absorb that versus people who will, like, the, the [00:29:00] system will reject it like a, you know, an antibody.

So I think that’s incredibly important for AI. I don’t know exactly which ways it will impact culture. Um, um, but I do think that, you know, I’ve talked to engineers of mine who think that they will just be coaching in AI five years from now and people won’t be doing original programming, right? I know people in marketing who feel like, yeah, I’ll be kind of, Guiding, you know, the automatic copy of it’s being generated and put into HubSpot and, you know, deliver it out to people.

[00:29:30] Like there, there’s a lot of this stuff that’s going to be on autopilot. Uh, and, uh, I think that we just have to make sure we don’t lose that spark of creativity and our own human, uh, elements of, uh, uh, seeding it and editing it on both ends.

Elisa Tuijnder: One of the things that also pops to mind there is like, how do we, because there is already a lot of noise, right?

I can’t keep up with all of the blogs on LinkedIn and all the information that’s out there and all of the podcasts and all of the books, [00:30:00] all of the amazing books that are coming out. And I feel like maybe because a lot of this automation will happen, there might be more, yeah, there might be more noise and how do we cut through the noise to like what the actual message is.

And that’s probably a bit linked to that originality and creativity in that human aspect of it.

Doug Camplejohn: Well, I think AI, you know. It’s on both ends. AI is going to generate a lot more content, right? But I also think it can help us summarize and filter through the noise. And so I think one of the things you can do is say, you know, here are the things that I’m interested [00:30:30] in.

Here’s, here’s the things that I’m following. Would you notify me when you’re finding stuff that’s interesting? Would you summarize this podcast for me? Would you summarize this, this book for me, um, would you tell me, like, given that these are the things I’m looking for, you know, be on the lookout for this stuff.

Um, so I think it can act as your filter, as well as, um, uh, somebody who’s generating a lot of this stuff. Um, and, and what, what, you know, I’ve seen people do already is, you know, hey, here’s my Twitter handle, right? [00:31:00] So, Write this in my voice, right? Or here’s, you see what I’m liking and I’m interested in, show me stuff that I might be, you know, more interested in and summarize it for me.

Um, and I think that, that we just have to make sure that we’re not letting our brains go soft in the process. And, and we’re, we’re continuing to engage with this stuff and using it as an assistant and rather than a replacement for original thinking.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I think so too. And then you have the school systems and everything.

Everybody’s going to [00:31:30] have to catch up. Uh, and that is going to be a massive revolution, I think, uh, on their part as well. Hey, um, so here on the podcast, we’re really big fans of tangible practices and we always want to leave, uh, our listeners with some of that. So. Um, in your experience, are there any small steps or strategies leaders can adopt, um, to improve their workplace culture, even like, you know, in a remote setting next to, you know, what you’ve already shared about what the lovely things that are AirSpeed are doing?

Doug Camplejohn: Yeah, [00:32:00] well, it’s interesting because all of our apps were kind of designed around Absolutely. And supporting strategies to improve workplace culture. Um, and so I can give you a couple of examples, you know, and, and this is not saying use the apps, you know, you can do them on your own, but, you know, so for example, uh, I’ve always believed a great strategy, uh, for onboarding new employees is to have a goal that that person is even more excited about the company at the end of their first day than when they came in.

So what we used to do is we used to [00:32:30] take everybody to lunch. Take this new employer employees lunch

Elisa Tuijnder: and

Doug Camplejohn: we had a standard set of questions. You know, we did everything from like, what was your first concert to what’s something we’d be surprised to know about you, uh, to, uh, what are you most excited to work on here?

And, and the standard set of questions. The challenge of that in the real world was, If you weren’t at that lunch, you didn’t hear that, that information. And if you joined the company afterwards, you missed it as well. And vice versa, that employee didn’t get to see what your answers were, those questions.[00:33:00]

So now we use the app intros and we’re kind of collecting this all in database. So an employee can not only say, Hey, here, I’m answering these questions and sharing this information with you, but they can go look at other people and see what their answers are and get to know their coworkers. A little beyond their LinkedIn profile, but that notion of a, making, having that goal of making that first day.

Having them even more excited at the end than they were in the beginning when they came in, I think, is key for good culture. Um, and another one I would say is around recognition. Obviously, it’s important to [00:33:30] do recognition in a timely and consistent way, so you’re not only highlighting who’s done great work, but you know, good recognition also talks about how it’s impacted the organization and how it aligns with your company values.

Um, and again, in the past, um, I, and people can salute us today, I would ask my executives to come to me and say, Hey, you get to see certain things that I don’t see. So if you’ve seen somebody who has done an amazing job [00:34:00] and you think it would be more impactful for that, that recognition to come from me, please let me know.

And so in the past, my VP of engineering would come to me and said, Hey, This guy, Alan, did an amazing job over the weekend. He really went above and beyond. Here’s the impact of it. Would you mind, and you almost like draft me a note and say like, here’s an email, would you send this? And I’d obviously edit it to put it in my voice, but there are these moments where it’s more impactful coming from the CEO.

And it was coming from that person’s direct manager. Um, and I think that’s [00:34:30] something that, that people should do all the time. Anyway, we now have incorporated that into our app shout outs. So not only can you give somebody that recognition and it’s all templatized in Slack, but you can nominate somebody, you can see, you could say, I want to go send this to another executive, cause I think it will be even more impactful coming from this person.

Um, and you can hashtag, you know, company values and things like that. So when you’re going back later and saying, Hey, we want to talk about Our company value of results or our company value of passion. Who’s exemplified that the most? You can go search and see [00:35:00] who’s, who’s done that. So again, these are all things that you don’t need apps to go do.

You should just go make happen anyway. Uh, what we’re just trying to do is, is to make it a little easier on the manager and the employee.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, that’s great. Yeah. And Ty, I love that you also just said at the end, you know, tying in your values with your recognition, um, is also a very important one. Um, so last question, I promise, you know, we’ve been talking a lot about change today and, you know, I’m kind of curious, um, what are recommendations for, for companies or even [00:35:30] individuals, you know, want to become more agile and want to start preparing for all of these major changes, um, that are happening and will accelerate even further throughout the coming years.

Doug Camplejohn: Well, I think it’s, you know, uh, I’m, I’m a big believer in kind of growth mindsets versus fixed mindsets. So I think obviously listening to podcasts like your own, playing around with chat GPT, like, you know, get hands on with this stuff and really, um, and understand it firsthand and don’t just, don’t just, uh, you know, uh, kind of wait for [00:36:00] it to come to you, I think is, is key.

And then I think as, as I was mentioning earlier, I think trying, if you’re leadership in a company, you should really think about. What are your culture practices and how do you become more deliberate about those? How do you make sure those aren’t just, you know, you’re just hoping people run into each other in the cafeteria, right?

Um, you’re really saying like, how do we think about onboarding new employees? How do we think about praise? How do we think about celebrating wins? How do we think about, um, getting people together when they, when they [00:36:30] are, you know, geographically located? How do we think about volunteering? Like really be deliberate As deliberate, if not more so about that stuff, as you do with cascading your, your goals for the quarter of the year.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah. And I feel sometimes, you know, keeping your, your culture constant, like that’s your, that’s your baseline and everything else around you can change it a hundred times an hour. But if you have your culture and your people stable, You know, you can kind of

Doug Camplejohn: tackle the world. Right. Because, because, as you know, in business in general, [00:37:00] there’s always going to be these ups and downs.

There’s going to be these surprises. There’s going to be these times you feel whiplashed. Um, if you feel scared or, um, untrusted, right, or that you don’t have this kind of connection and this trust, um, then, um, You’re going to assume the worst. You’re going to, it’s, it’s going to spiral downwards. Um, it’s why we actually have in our mission to say, help employees feel more connected, because I think that connection is, uh, really important.

I mean, we use [00:37:30] tools like zoom for, for, uh, you know, communications and tools like Slack for collaboration. But I think connection is, is just as important, if not more so, so that, that you can weather these storms and, and be able to, Benefit from it and not kind of feel like you’re just getting title waved over.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah. And that’s why I really love that we have these things like, you know, chief connection officer, like yourself or chief happiness officer or chief fun officer, like, you know, they, they [00:38:00] really, they really come to the forefront, but they are going to be. Incredibly important and more important to come as well.

Hey Deb, thank you so much for answering all the questions and having this really engaging conversation and enlightening us a little bit further about, you know, the future of AI and what company culture, you know, might, might come across in the coming year. So if people want to kind of find you or, you know, follow up with you with something or find Airspeed, where can they do that?

Doug Camplejohn: We’re at getairspeed. com, so you can find out all [00:38:30] about the company and the apps there, or you can go to the Slack app store and search for Airspeed and see all the apps there as well. And, uh, uh, we also will have this podcast on our podcast page.

Elisa Tuijnder: Fantastic. All right. Well, the last thing that’s left for me to say is thank you very much.

Thank you so much for this conversation again, and yeah, we’ll hope to see you in the future.

Doug Camplejohn: Thank you. Have a lot of fun.

Elisa Tuijnder: Thank you.[00:39:00]

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