three types of innovation

Chatbots Kill Ingenuity: Use Three Types of Innovation Instead

ChatGPT is an ingenuity killer that allows you to innovate. Innovation is applied ingenuity. Somebody turns an idea into an opportunity. ChatGPT, Bing, and other AI platforms recycle conventional wisdom, but they can free you from the mundane so you can innovate.

Why it Matters

Innovation is the lifeblood of your company. Complacency is the opposite, which is a business killer. Just ask Sears, Toys’R’Us, and Blockbuster. Chatbots deliver conventional wisdom authoritatively, making you comfortable with the smell of your own exhaust. Let the bots help you with routines so that you can devote more energy to innovation and leadership. Please don’t use them for coaching.

Three Types of Innovation

  • Revolutionary
  • Evolutionary
  • Opportunistic

Revolutionary and evolutionary require you to apply new or existing ideas in new ways that change the market. Opportunistic innovation occurs when you use existing ideas to take advantage of a particular situation.

Amazon used revolutionary innovation (a new idea) to upend retail shopping. Uber, by contrast, created a ride-hailing app to improve the sclerotic taxi industry — an evolutionary innovation. Designer masks, an opportunistic innovation, came about during COVID.   

Chatbots comb the internet to assemble answers to your questions. Algorithms search relevant content, weed out the crap, and deliver authoritative solutions. Their replies are thus subject to input bias — the garbage in, garbage out problem.

For contentious issues like COVID, abortion, and race, the person writing the algorithm is likely to privilege specific inputs and discount others. Voila! Welcome to confirmation bias, which is an innovation killer.

What Not to Use Chatbots For

Live coaching is among the worst Chatbot uses. HomeServe USA, a home repair service company, uses chatbots to live coach call center employees. While the customer speaks, the Chatbot gives the employee a steady stream of advice based on historically successful conversations and then evaluates the employee based on tone and keyword use.

Imagine trying to do something complicated, like hit a golfball or deal with an angry customer, while someone is constantly correcting you. Soon, you stop focusing on the task and fixate on the advice. Good coaches rarely give in-the-moment counsel because distraction kills performance.

What to Use Chatbots For

Handling routine matters is an excellent use for chatbots, freeing you and your employees to challenge conventional wisdom, develop new ideas, and apply them to grow your business. Fewer employees doing mechanical tasks reduces your payroll and allows people to play more productive roles in other companies.

Psychological safety is a foundation of innovation.

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