Podcast with Pip Part 4
Pip shared her view on the importance of having a process owner so that the desired outcome will be achieved. She explains why people don't like to talk about problems but why problem identification is important to digital transformation. We have to harness the knowledge of the people who are currently performing tasks. Pip also shares her career advice on how to build a career in AI, digital and data. She believe one of the most important app is the choice of switching off. She also shared her favourite book.
[00:00:00] Andrew Liew Weida: Hi, everyone. Welcome to the AI of mankind show where I share anything interesting about mankind. I'm your host for this season. My name is Andrew Liew. I work across four Continents and 12 international cities. Also, I work in tech startups across a range of roles from selling products, making customer happy, figuring out fundraising, making finance tick, building teams and developing sticky product. Apart from building startups. I've also worked in fortune 500 companies as a chief data scientist or technologist or people leader. You can call me Jack of all trades or master of learning. I hope to make this podcast show [00:01:00] a great learning experience for us In each season, there is a series of interesting things where invite guests to share their views about their life and interests.
[00:01:09] Andrew Liew Weida: Now let the show begin.
[00:01:26] Andrew Liew Weida: In the previous episode, Pip shared her view on the importance of having a process owner so that the desired outcome will be achieved. She explains why people don't like to talk about problems but why is problem identification important to digital transformation. She also explain how AI leads to the rise of algorithmn management and how that impact autonomy, task significance and job complexity. This episode continue the part 4 conversation with Pip and Pip shared her career advice on how to build a career in AI , digital and data. Let's continue.
[00:01:54] Pip: But his domain is providing recommendations to clients is to analyze data and [00:02:00] provide recommendations to clients. So if. The computers take over this. It's a different. The key here is the control. Okay. In situation A, he had control. The AI, absolutely augmented his decision, without a doubt, it improved the quality of the advice he was able to provide clients. No doubt about it. It was augmenting, but it was allowing him control. He could choose what to use and what not to use. In the second scenario, he had no control whatsoever. And whether the technology can do it better or not is irrelevant it is the nature of the control that makes a difference. When we're talking about the augmentation, that's where we need to think about not what skills are we using. But what autonomy's all about. Can I make that decision? Is some decisions left with me? If they're not, then we'll lose people's engagement, we'll lose people's motivation. Control is key. Autonomy is key, main [00:03:00] being autonomy as an individual human being in a workplace, instead of being directed by what an algorithm says, both are augmentation, but the re impact on the human being is significantly different.
[00:03:14] Andrew Liew Weida: So this is very interesting because this is a very new insight throughout the many episodes that I interview a lot of people about the locus of control, giving them autonomy. And I don't think I even really think deep about it because a lot of times the conversation has always been is AI substituting or augmenting. If it's substituting, nobody likes it. . Let's be honest, like it takes away people's job people's likelihood, but of course, politicians, on the other hand, they wanna address the concerns that AI is good. Of course, AI is good because like take, for example the ATM machine before that you have to go to the bank to literally count the money now. Yeah. The mobile apps, you can literally transfer it and pay onto any system, right? You don't even need to go to the ATM machine. And so that frees up the time and the auto tele clerk becomes a financial planner, making more money, [00:04:00] creating more value. So that's where that transition from substitute to augmentation. Now you are adding onto that level of one level up. So if we want to get this guy to move to another job, where is augmented by AI and that's have to be upskilling. Now the question, the guy will be thinking, Hey, is this job gonna be substituted again? This first job gets substituted by AI. Then my boss introduced me to the second job, which AI is augmenting by the time I go to the second job is substituting again. And he will feel very stressed. I dunno. What do you think about that?
[00:04:33] Pip: Yeah, look, I do think people, the more they see the more they fear in many ways, if they're not involved the best way is to involve them. And I know it sounds a little trite involve people it's sort of change management 1 0 1 involve people in the change. But actually the most important thing, when we are looking at these new technologies, we have to harness the knowledge of the people who are currently performing the tasks where we taught . Let's say, take lungs [00:05:00] for example. And the images of lungs that work out is there a spot in the lung? And if there is a spot, it is likely to be the problem? Sure. We fed the information into a computer so that it's automated, but it started with human knowledge. It started with very deep human knowledge to be able to then codify it. And I think that, that for me is the most important part. If you think about RPA as the most basic, I think it's HR superpower actually, RPA is the unsung hero of HR and I'm not talking about intelligent RPA, just RPA. It's fantastic for what we do, but if you don't have the process owner, you might as well pack up and go home. You will never achieve what you need to without the process owner, that deep human insight into whatever it is that we are doing is necessary to apply this new technology. As a result, we need to monitor, RPA none of these are plug and play and walk away. They need the experts to be continually involved in it, to deal with exceptions [00:06:00] to monitor the tools and the outcomes. Yes, that is another string to their vote. That is an additional skill. It's not a replacement skillset. It's an additional skill set. And this is why I was saying as we look laterally to the skills that we are building, how do we do that so that we can incorporate the technology into what it is that we do on a daily basis. So I'm sure that some people are somewhat fearful. I'm sure there are Jill just that don't wanna know anything about technology. I think though that know, as we move forward, we all have to learn something about technology. We cannot continue in our roles, whatever our role is oblivious to technology. So it's an evolution. It's not suddenly we're gonna Chuck them all out. It's not like the Dopper the whole the tracking the airplanes and all of a sudden, overnight people lost their jobs. It's not the same. This technological evolution and adoption is different, I believe in a different trajectory than many that we've seen .
[00:06:54] Andrew Liew Weida: Now let's come to the next question: what is the best book that you read about digital [00:07:00] transformation and why?
[00:07:01] Pip: Yeah. It's actually one that was recommended by dr. Martin amazing guy still look back and with love on his classes. It was such a fabulous journey to be in his class. And he recommended a book called the structure of scientific revolutions. It was written by philosopher Thomas Khun. It's an oldie, but a goodie. Do you know the term paradigm shift? He's the one that came up with it. This book, if anyone is interested in paradigm shifts, you've gotta read this book. It's actually where it began. So, and it looked at how things changed, not just sort of the why of things changing and what is changing, but a much broader view of innovation and of the adoption of scientific innovations. Yeah. I'm not gonna try and paraphrase him. This is a very impactful book for its time and it continues to be, I think it's one of the top 50 red books in the world . And it is very difficult to paraphrase. It's not necessarily an easy read. I had to read it a couple of times. But anyone who is interested in the [00:08:00] term paradigm shift, where it comes from and what it truly means because we have of course abuse, the term has it's as it a brilliant book. It will, you will look at new technology in a very different way in terms of the rate of adoption and the impact of its adoption. Fascinating book.
[00:08:15] Andrew Liew Weida: I'll definitely put it on my, to read list: structure of scientific revolution.
[00:08:20] Pip: I'll lend you my version. (Everyone Laugh).. Okay. I'll have to read it a third time. I'm sure. Ah,
[00:08:26] Andrew Liew Weida: So , what is the number one software application that you use every day and why?
[00:08:31] Pip: There isn't one. There's so many that I use, but my favorite is just switching off. (Everyone laugh). But my favorite app, I guess, is the off button. It's a event could be classified as an app. And I know it sounds a little bit crazy. I'm really lucky to have a teenager boy who just leave the school and I get to see them using technology a lot and I realize that the real competitive advantage for individuals today is to be able to focus is [00:09:00] to put it away and focus. So for me, the off button pick up a book, read and imagine we just don't give our heads ourselves enough head space for that dreaming, for that imagination to be able to immerse in something like a book focus, lack of distraction, and to go offline and let our brains just flow. We just don't do that enough. That to me is the competitive advantage today.
[00:09:26] Andrew Liew Weida: I really believe in that this new app called the switch off button is really rev because like you mentioned, people need head space. People need focus, need just to be at peace with themselves, or to make sense of so many information that we're living today. It's way harder to be able to use the off button than to any apps. Everybody will tell you like WhatsApp pings almost every day. If I have a client pings your emails almost every day, I slack every day or teams every day, even zoom has this thing called the zoom fatigue even Citi bank, say [00:10:00] no Friday zoom .
[00:10:01] Pip: and if people are thinking, oh my God, I can't do that. Let's just start with a weekend. Start with some time on a weekend, like. Sunday morning or Saturday night or whatever it might be when you're really gonna be with friends or family, or you want some quiet time, just put that time aside and just don't even think about the phone. You'll find after some time it's actually easy to leave it behind. I don't need it less, but I'm able to maximize the value of my time without it more and that, and I think that take practice. I can't wait to pick it up at first and then cause I had it on dizzy and then I realized actually I need to switch it off.
[00:10:37] Andrew Liew Weida: Yeah. Even for me, these days, I've been trying to practice it to be very deliberate about. Okay. So coming back to the last two questions, the last second last question is like you have been in a very illustrious, wonderful adventure. I must really say the last 20 years and for any young people out there or even mid careers, just as looking to have the hope to have a [00:11:00] career in a long non-linear fashion, whether it's in digital or in HR, what are your top three tips for them?
[00:11:06] Pip: I love that. It really was a nonlinear journey is a wonderful experience. So for every time I added something, I started where I was. And I know that sounds a little bit silly, but the best place to start is where you are. I've only built upon what I've had. There's nothing that's sort of obsolete. There's been nothing that has been a waste of time. In terms of the learning and career options, I guess. So just start with where you are, if you are wondering where the best place to start, it's where you are now. Okay. And how, and therefore think about when you look at what to add, think of life, think of your experience, your journey, like a honeycomb. You might add a bit over the left side associated. So there's one period. I was adding a lot in mergers and acquisitions. There's a part around innovation. There's the part around ethics, there's a part around technologies. So [00:12:00] different pieces are added on at different times. It's not necessarily linear, and there's still HR at the core, but wherever you are, start where you are in the right place to start, which comes to the second part, just start! I remember some time ago and I had to lose weight and I'll be honest, I'm back there now, but nevermind. COVID powers. What are we gonna do? There was a day that I said I was just been making every excuse, not to exercise. And I just thought, just start don't. Stop making excuses, stop thinking. It's all gonna be perfect. If, and then I'm gonna no. Put your sneakers on right now and leave the house. And you know what? I know, it sounds really crazy, but just starting is also a competitive bunch, cuz many people in life just don't. We wait for the perfect moment or we wait for clarity. We wait for the answer what do I wanna be when I grow up? When I know then I'll do it. It's like, it doesn't work that way. [00:13:00] You just have to start. And that comes to the last one. Please do not wait for certainty of clarity. You will wait your whole life. You find it on the path, but you've gotta be on the journey. And it only makes sense. In hindsight, it's very hard for it to make sense, looking forward, to know what to do. You'll connect the dots later on. A lot of my dots sort of connect here. I keep wondering at what point do dots not connect? And they do so you trust the journey, trust yourself, trust the journey. Please do not wait for certainty of clarity move forward and the dots will connect themselves.
[00:13:37] Andrew Liew Weida: That's the same character that you have always shows like the let's give you a try that brave attitude. Just go ahead. Last but not least, I mean, very thankful that you have been on my show and we have so many audience out there who was listening. What is your ask from the audience that you wish to have or wish to know or wish to get connected?
[00:13:56] Pip: So if everybody listening, so what I wish for them. [00:14:00] Okay. What I wish for everybody listening today is that they embrace learning, but particularly if it's uncomfortable, you and in fact, absolutely. As if it's uncomfortable. I remember my time at SGInnovate. When I sort of sat there on one of those uncomfortable little stools thinking, I really hope no one asks me a question, even who am I? I dunno. I don't want to answer. We need to embrace learning and our discomfort that comes with learning something way beyond our comfort zone. So be please everyone, be bold, take control and embrace being uncomfortable. And the learning that comes along with it you will grow from the experience. That's what I hope everybody will.
[00:14:48] Andrew Liew Weida: What about yourself?
[00:14:50] Pip: Me?
[00:14:51] Andrew Liew Weida: Yes. What do you want from us?
[00:14:52] Pip: What I want from you guys? I'd love to hear people's experiences actually about learning. How they've either adopted technology. Got they've [00:15:00] learned particularly the bad side. I think sharing stories is really important when it comes to learning and discovering. And as we, as particularly as HR people, as we are sharing going along our journey, we are often looking for other people's experiences and we are hesitant to share because it's been a really hairy, not pretty journey, maybe not successful. And we don't wanna share because no one likes to share about failures for me, I would love to hear your story either of success or failure of how you've tried to adopt a certain technology. I don't wanna talk vendors that assert certain technology and what you've learned from the experience. Because I'd love to be able to bottle that and share it with the community. No, no names. It's okay. We'll hide. I respect everyone's confidentiality in that, but that's what I'd love to do to be able to. You share your story with me and give me the artistic license to share it with everybody else so we can all [00:16:00] benefit from what you have learned.
[00:16:01] Andrew Liew Weida: Wow, definitely. I mean for the folks out there as you mention, hear about the sincere ask from our dear PIP if you have any interesting questions or sharing, please follow her on LinkedIn or check out people Collider, I'll put it into my podcast page. Thank you so much. We have come to the end of the show .
[00:16:20] Andrew Liew Weida: Hi everyone, thanks for tuning into this episode. We have come to the end of part 4 with Pip and this is the end of the podcast series with Pip .
[00:16:27] Andrew Liew Weida: If this is the first time you are tuning in. Remember to subscribe to this show. If you have subscribed to this show and love this. Please share it with your friends, family, and acquaintances. See you later and see you soon.