Build-a-Bot: A Guide to Using GPTs
Fiona Passantino, Early December 2023
OpenAI’s GPT Builder allows premium users to build their own version of the foundational model that provide specific information based on the instructions, data and reference material you provide. These babies are multimodal, easy to build and wildly popular with the experts among us. What they are, why you might want one, and how to get started.
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How We’re About to be 10-xed
Fiona Passantino, Late November 2023
As non-technical professionals are learning about AI and incorporating it into their workflows, the bar will slowly be raised at work. Employees will soon be expected to handle a wider range of tasks and responsibilities because they can process information and perform tasks at higher speed and at scale that surpasses their traditional colleagues. The result? Higher expectations for everyone. Are we ready to be 10xed?
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The Re-invention of Freelancing
Fiona Passantino, Early November 2023
If you’re working at a company, AI will likely transform your role, rather than eliminate it. But if you’re a freelancer who takes on certain creative tasks for organizations, your Human skills may soon be redundant. How to tell if your role is at risk and how to re-invent yourself to fit into an AI-Powered environment.
Fiona Passantino, Late October 2023
Only 12% of employees found that their organization does a good job with the onboarding experience. But ChatGPT and Midjourney can combine powerfully to give the new joiner a highly personalized, energetic and distinctly Human welcome to a new role, whether it’s their first or their tenth. Learn about Joiner Personas and how to make onboarding AI-powered.
The Digital Nomads of Madeira
Fiona Passantino, Early October 2023
Thanks to the tools a pandemic built, the global “Digital Nomad” culture and lifestyle is a growing phenomenon. The freedom to live in beautiful places while still logging in at work, experiencing high levels of wellbeing that you don’t have at home, draws some 10,000 to the island of Madeira and other tropical islands. I spent some time up close and personal with this famous Nomad community.
Fiona Passantino, Late September 2023
A two-minute audio clip is all you need to clone a voice; before you know it, you are listening to yourself reciting poetry in French or asking where to find a reliable cat café in Japanese. Voice AI has the potential to give so many more of us the ability to be heard in a uniquely Human mode; voice is intimate and emotive, which is also why it is so dangerous, too. This will be highly disruptive – for good and ill – in the months ahead.
Fiona Passantino, Early September 2023
As our world becomes ever more complicated and process-oriented, we find our world becoming very small – our digital spaces, the constant distractions and the noise of our current media landscape. We need big stories of adventure, heroes and villains, guides and demons. Insurmountable obstacles. Undying love, loyalty and determination. This speaks to our core, and we can use the tools of the Epic to deliver information, to inspire, to align and to remind us of who we are. Five tools of the great storytellers.
AI-Powered HR: the Smooth Exit
Fiona Passantino, Late August 2023
Who has time for the offboarding ritual of employee knowledge transfer, contact collection and the all-important exit interview? Surely not the overworked HRBP. And it’s also… icky. Who wants to talk to a soon-to-be ex? The AI-Powered HR professional has a jetpack, provided he understands how to use the tools. Whether someone left by choice or by force, using AI to augment our off-boarding process has benefits for all involved.
The Power of Silence
Fiona Passantino, Early August 2023
In our current media landscape, with its barrage of information, chatter and noise, building in silence has become essential. Generative AI will thousandfold this condition as it issues forth video, images, audio, words-words-words… more than we could ever hope to consume. The true art of communication is reductive. Mastery of the tool of silence puts us in another league of Storytellers; the abuela, the shaman.
Why AI Needs Us
Fiona Passantino, Early July 2023
With all the swirling emotions, it’s good to know that Humans still – and may always – have the edge when it comes to communicating with other Humans (which, thankfully, we are still doing). Why the absence of Human-generated content will actually make Large Language Models “dumber”. The “poisoned pool” and seven ways we still outperform.
AI-Powered Visual Communication
Fiona Passantino, Late June 2023
/imagine… an AI application that generates stunning, original art with the same ease as ChatGPT does for copy. Today’s content creators need visuals as much as they need words to improve just about every form of messaging. A brief guide to Midjourney; what it is, how to get started, and how to prompt like a pro.
Fiona Passantino, Early June 2023
Teams who hear the words “urgent” and “crisis” too often, the word begins to lose its meaning and eventually, it starts to get tuned out. If everything is urgent and all things need to happen “yesterday”, then something further up the chain is going wrong. Five ways to manage urgency and lower the temperature.
In-house Coaching Programs
Fiona Passantino, Late May 2023
Coaching increases our job satisfaction and productivity, improve our efficiency and personal skills and make us better leaders. With more employees demanding professional development, organizations are introducing in-house coaching teams, which are more affordable, sustainable and rewarding. What an in-house coaching team needs and five steps for setting it up.
Making ChatGPT Your B*tch
Fiona Passantino, Early May 2023
Leaders today need to be visible. Not just physically present for their teams but digitally, producing posts and thought leadership content for internal and external audiences. When words are needed, ChatGPT can help. When refined for accuracy, voice and coherence, it’s a tool that can help raise your profile and get your message out. Five ways to use it and five best practices to make it your own.
The True Cost of our Disengagement
Fiona Passantino, Late April 2023
Whether by layoff, reorg or attrition, many businesses underestimate the true cost of losing talent, which goes beyond the obvious visible, “hard” expenses of payouts, fees, recruiting and training new employees. The “soft”, unseen costs are dips in productivity, customer service, morale and the depreciation of culture. Seeing the costs and moving to a more efficient model of re-use, re-purpose and re-skilling.
From “Single Use” to “Recycle” Mindset
Fiona Passantino, Early April 2023
We suffer from a use-once-and-throw-away mindset. This goes for both plastics and people. Companies exhale and inhale staff on an annual cycle, but nothing ever truly disappears. The plastic particles from a single-use bottle come back into our drinking water, our soil and our air, and the discarded employee will soon be working for your supplier, your client or… your competition. Learn how to reuse, recycle and reduce for sustainable cost cutting and a truly people-first culture. Thanks to Suzanne H and Stephen Heidari-Robinson for the inspiration.
Ramadan at Work: A Guide for Getting it Right
Fiona Passantino, Late March 2023
Ramadan kareem! If you work in a diverse, international organization, chances are a portion of your workforce will be practicing Muslims; for an entire month starting March 22-23 (depending on the moon), they will refrain from eating or drinking from sunrise to sundown. A few small actions state loud-and-clear that your culture is one of curiosity, respect and celebration of diversity. Five small and easy ways to make Ramadan great for everyone.
Managing Rebels: Who They Are and What They Need
Fiona Passantino, Early March 2023
We all have one. The brash, high-performer with the big mouth. A fountain of radical ideas, constantly pushing back against the status quo. He bends the rules, ignores advice and does things his own way. Emotional, intense and stubborn, he takes your time and upsets others. You secretly wish he would just quit. But Creative Rebels bring something special to the workplace and are a fountain of energy, ideas and passion that can be positively channeled into your most loyal supporter. Eight ways to unlock the value in your Rebel.
Reaching the Factory Floor
Fiona Passantino, Late February 2023
For many multinationals, internal communication is split between the office workers and those on the factory floor. Plant and field workers have some of the hardest jobs and provide core value for the company. Yet this group shows low engagement and often feels out of touch with the organization. Who are these workers, and what do they need? Learn about the secret weapon to inform, engage and connect this group.
Habits of High-Visibility Leaders
Fiona Passantino, Early February 2023
Often, our top-level leaders live in another world; they work at the same company with the same goals, vision and share the same elevators, but are invisible to the community working for them. How can leaders increase their presence, visibility, and interaction with the people making the company run, and still meet the needs of other stakeholders, clients, partners and board members? Five easy ways to start.
Quiet Quitting, Quiet Firing
Fiona Passantino, Mid-January 2023
“Quiet quitting” describes an employee who “switches off” psychologically; logging in, doing the bare minimum to avoid being fired or becoming burned out, and at the end of the day, logs off. No more weekend or evening work. “Quiet firing” is the other side of that coin, when a manager gives up on a team member, withdraws support, communication and guidance. Both are a result of our current environment and both can lead to toxicity in the long run. How to spot it and seven ways to turn the tide.
Engagement is About the Details
Fiona Passantino, Late December 2022
Engagement Managers are often measured by how they move the needle on employee net promoter scores or attrition rates. But in fact, it’s all about the details. Conveying the feeling of being heard, seen, valued and respected in the workplace, and allowing for empowerment, inspiration and joy.
The Dangers of “Burn-In”
Fiona Passantino, Early December 2022
An invisible, little-known phenomenon that affects high-functioning teams and is just as dangerous as burnout. How do you know if your team is in danger? Is your power team operating in an unsustainable state of perpetual over-delivery? Ways to dial it down.
Fiona Passantino, Early November 2022
Speakers’ Pools are a great way to jump-start the process of fattening the leadership pipeline; taking very fresh voices and training them for very high-profile public speaking roles from a very early age. It’s a triple win: engagement goes up across the board, employer marketing gets a boost and it feels like a cool place to work for everyone. The CEOs are happy; one less thing to do. And the MCs? Engaged for life.
Fiona Passantino, Late September 2022
In the Post-Covid world, we define our values as an organization, collectively. We can brainstorm together, in real-time, from step zero, with every person having a say. Enormous, collaborative co-creation sessions which weave together all voices of the community are the new Town Hall: the ‘Co-CreaPalooza’.
Fiona Passantino, Early September 2022
While the pandemic made us adjust to work from home, life after Covid forces us to be flexible about how we define the physical workspace and how this adds to the overall employee experience. Understanding the Four Basic working Personas and what motivates them to come into or avoid the physical office helps us capitalise on the benefits.
Fiona Passantino, Late August 2022
Gamification works for training, testing, awareness, problem solving and engagement and has the capacity to make mundane, repetitive tasks more enjoyable. And we still don’t use serious play in our ways of working. How to tap into the benefits of gaming in the workplace.
Fiona Passantino, Mid August 2022
“Purpose” is a co-production of everyone in the organisation; fluid, organic and constantly needs adjustment. How do you know your purpose fits all? The answer is invisible diversity, celebrating the different thinkers among us, and making the creation of purpose an annual town hall-style co-creation event for all. Seven ways to build a truly reflective purpose for all.
Fiona Passantino, Early July 2022
During Covid, we all grew used to the erosion of work-life boundaries and the 5% productivity increase. We do more, take on more, work more hours, deliver more. We “engage” by suggesting mindfulness courses or yoga, which we join to be a team player. But the key to post-Covid engagement is conscious workload reduction: creating space for quality results, more creativity and joy that only time can allow. Five ways to lessen the load.
Finding the Funny
Fiona Passantino, Early June 2022
Laughter. We know it reduces stress, eases tension and connects people. Doctors know that laughter helps with pain relief, muscle tension and overall immunity. But joy and laughter in the workplace increases productivity and lowers attrition. Teams that that laugh though stress and strain are more engaged and creative. Five ways to find the funny while still doing serious business.
More about post-Covid engagement?
Navigating the Post-Covid Power flip
Fiona Passantino, Early May 2022
The post-Covid workplace may well be determined the workforce rather than the employer. Culture, engaged leadership, growth opportunities, constant listening and flexible work will become the new rules of the game; four ways to navigate the flip.
Even more post-Covid engagement...
The Day the Easter Bunny Came to Work
Fiona Passantino, Late April 2022
The post-Covid office is our playground. We have the chance to rebuild it in a way to meet our needs. Make it fun, perhaps a little silly at times so we don’t want to miss out on what crazy thing might happen next. The Office can offer something the home, with all its comforts and conveniences cannot. We can build a post-Covid workplace that pulls instead of pushes and delights rather than demands.
Handing back 5%
Fiona Passantino, Early April 2022
During the pandemic we saved time commuting, found our focus and got stuff done. Productivity levels increased 5%. When we return to the office, we’re back in traffic again, chatting with colleagues, subject to unplanned interruptions and new impromptu mini-projects. Our office days stretch well into the evening as we catch up on missed mails. Is the next step a conscious workload reduction as we return to work?
More? There's more.
Fiona Passantino, Late March 2022
A true Workation is a working vacation; leaving one’s city or country for a week or longer, and working fully remotely using the video conferencing and visual collaboration tools that the pandemic brought us. With lockdown measures relaxing, the Workation may be here to stay well after the pandemic fades away.
Fiona Passantino, Early March 2022
“Flow” contributes to increased job satisfaction and improvise our mental, physical and emotional well-being which naturally translates to higher levels of engagement and lower churn rates. The average workday, chock with meetings, incoming fire of communication, expectations and deliverables, needs to be carefully choreographed to create that all-important, critical ingredient for achieving “flow”: silence.
Fiona Passantino, Late February 2022
“Radical Listening” means taking every opportunity to ask your community what they want across a variety of channels and delivering results within 48 hours, in some cases, with the small, “Listen and Deliver” tight loops, and within 6 months for the slow-burning Deep Listen. These listening channels have very different goals, deliver different data but together form a more accurate picture of the current state of engagement and helps build trust in the process of data collection.
Even more? Sure.
Fiona Passantino, February 2022
Future Mapping is, in many ways, the opposite of succession planning. Rather than planning for gaps in the current org chart, imagining the future state of the organisation and asking which individuals’ vision, values and ideas align with that future. What tools, training and experience will she need to get there. Six ways to start.
Exploring New Work Models.
Fiona Passantino, Late January 2022
How do we go back to work “when all this is over”? A full physical return? Fully remote? Leave it up to the team, the individual? Covid has been a long, uncontrolled mass experiment in next-level flex working.
Exploring the many-headed “hybrid” hydra.
Fiona Passantino, Early January 2022
Hiring managers have likely worked for a company for longer than three years. If so, they were onboarded in the light, which meant being there physically, going to an office, having predecessors to shadow, a digital services department to visit on the fifth floor and the IT department to ask for help setting up on the second. Onboarding in a fully remote context means mapping hundreds of stakeholders, interests, departments in your head, in two dimensions. Seven ways to get it right in the time of Covid, when new talent has choices.
Here we are, now.
Fiona Passantino, December 2021
As we celebrate our entry into the year 2022, we understand that Covid will be with us for a while. Sharp divides have emerged in our communities along vax/novax lines.
But we have the creativity and resourcefulness to re-imagine a future that keeps the best part of what the pandemic gave us.
Written during the last variant...
Why EX is the new CX
Fiona Passantino, December 2021
In this talent-driven market, companies have to evaluate the value they offer their employees. Not just attracting fresh talent but keeping the current workers happy.
Welcome “EX”: the Employee Experience. And it is quickly outpacing CX (Customer Experience), as a corporate focus point in the Post-Covid age.
Soooo last variant...
Flipping the Org Chart
Fiona Passantino, November 2021
The people doing most of the talking and ideation should be the ones out doing the work, interacting with the customer. The people doing the most listening and implementing should be the leaders.
This means that the traditional, top-down org chart needs to be flipped on its head. Seven easy ways to build a high-functioning team.
Another employee survey? Fine. But this time, do something.
Fiona Passantino, October 2021
Post-covid, the Great Resignation. Keeping employees happy and not quitting is now a matter of business survival.
Five tips on making employee engagement surveys work.
Communicating Psychological Safety in the Workplace
Fiona Passantino, September 2021
Constructive conflict is good for a company.
A functional creative process weaves in friction, tension, a clash of ideas and converging solutions. It’s OK to disagree, even in a heated way, as long as we turn it into a constructive process.
Fiona Passantino, August 2021
At this moment in our history, we have been given a unique, defining opportunity to re-think our definition of the physical office and fashion it into something truly human-centered.
Now is the time to embrace the “New Normal” and design our workplaces with empathy and intention.
Re-inventing the Re-org
Fiona Passantino, July 2021
Imagine your own casually dysfunctional family. At home you have high-performers and low performers, people who are more detail-oriented and those who prefer to see the big picture. There are some who don’t quite fit the group culture and some that are visibly more engaged than others.
The “reorg” is a passive aggressive firing spree that a company engages in when it wants to trim the fat, reduce costs and “go lean”.
Death to the Hostage Video
Fiona Passantino, June 2021
Proof of employee engagement is something freely offered, not asked for. Spontaneously created – short videos showing off new facilities, mom-to-be sendoffs, team acknowledgements, thanks for hard work or extra hours – the resulting videos, memes and giffys are pure gold for employee engagement, employer marketing, onboarding. They are authentic and positive, which is the source of their value.
CSO the CEO’s new BFF
Fiona Passantino, May 2021
As the post-pandemic world rebuilds itself, we will need to get serious about signaling our seriousness about diversity, inclusion and belonging to an ever-wider group of people. Visual communication is the key to speaking to us all; universally understood content that is highly effective and fits our new, digital context in lockdown.
Fiona Passantino, April 2021
As our world becomes ever more complicated and our way of life more fragile, we need the skills of the ancient Storyteller and the tools of the Epic and metaphor to deliver us the information we need to survive as a tribe, and to inspire, to align and to remind us of who we are. In the time of Covid-19 we are deep in an unfolding Epic of our own. Our human ability to be the signal amidst the noise of our current media landscape of pseudo- and hyper-connected social media.
Next-Level Crisis Communication
Covid-19 is exactly the kind of crisis humans have difficulty understanding. Slow-moving yet omnipresent, lethal, silent, invisible. It has made us isolated, disconnected and alone. Our ability to overcome this enemy is based on our capacity to effectively communicate its seriousness and the means to keep it from spreading. This article lays out six easy steps for effective, next-level Post-Covid Crisis Communication for the Next Big Thing.
Communicating Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging
Covid-19 has shown us what it means to be isolated, disconnected and alone. As the post-pandemic world rebuilds itself, we will need to get serious about signaling our seriousness about diversity, inclusion and belonging to an ever-wider group of people. Visual communication is the key to speaking to us all; universally understood content that is highly effective and fits our new, digital context in lockdown.
Lessons from Mythology for Post-Covid Communication
As our world becomes ever more complicated and our way of life more fragile, we need the skills of the ancient Storyteller and the tools of the Epic and metaphor to deliver us the information we need to survive as a tribe, and to inspire, to align and to remind us of who we are. In the time of Covid-19 we are deep in an unfolding Epic of our own.