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How Real Is Artificial Intelligence?

By Art van Bodegraven | 03/11/2018 | 10:12 AM

Please enjoy the thoughts and musings of our friend, supporter, and long-time contributor Art van Bodegraven Jr., who passed away on June 18, 2017. Art was a prolific writer and had amassed a collection of unpublished blog posts he had planned to run well into the future. To honor his memory, we will continue to post these remaining blogs as he had intended. If you’ve been a fan of The Art of Art blog, check out our tribute.


Real enough?  And, has AI infiltrated the ranks of HR professionals?.  If so, HR remains one of the last bastions of unthinking acceptance of received wisdom - and the lack of courage to act on it.

The sad truth is that AI is being applied to a number of people analytics, to parse qualities and trends - and attributes - that make for winning employees.

Putting aside the nuances of  human analytics, AI is now playing a role in hiring.  One may only hope that the professionals know what they are doing in this arena.  We have endured generations of testing, personality assessments, structured classification systems, and - the dreaded - job interview.  From those we know next door to nothing about how how skills match up with needs, especially in the 21st century, and mostly spend our time vaidating preconceived notions, chest-thumping, promoting the wonders of the prospective employer, and assessing how well the candidate is likely to perform on the job.

All pretty much useless - or worse.  Here's how AI is actually useful in a modern context, in predicting desired performance, and in unearthing, through data, analytics, and algorithms, likely success factors.

Forget Education.  People without any college have incresased over time, and some high-performers have not attended college at all.  But, they perform, as solid team players

Grit Matters; IQ Doesn't.  Lengthy studies of numerous factors identified a common thread of success.  It was not health, appearance, or intelligence; it was raw persistence and passion that made a genuine and measurable difference.

Experience Isn't Everything; It might Turn Out To Be Not Anything.  More studies have shown that mid-level college graduates with extracurricular activities outperform leaders and club presidents.  Every organization needs more team players and fewer stars.

Your Star Might Not Be Their Star.  Apparent success at the last job is a zero indicator of high performance at the new one.  Hours worked (results from focused effort) might be useful; once again, indicators of teamwork are much more powerful.

Ignore Facebook, Now And Forever.  A photo showing a drink is a far better representation than a SnapChat of drug useage or indications of bigotry.  Drinking, social, is acceptable; other behaviors can signal sub-par outcomes.

Leading organizations are using smart AI to sharpen the game their new hires can play; laggards are still playing toe in the water and testing/evaluating.  Guess who loses the end game, and guess who blames others for the failure.



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About Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven (1939 - 2017) was Managing Principal of the van Bodegraven Associates consultancy and Founding Principal of Discovery Executive Services, which develops and delivers supply chain educational programs. He was formerly Chair of the Supply Chain Group AG, Partner at The Progress Group LLC, Development Executive at CSCMP, Practice Leader with S4 Consulting, and a Managing Director in Coopers & Lybrand's consulting practice. Concentrating in supply chain management and logistics for over 20 years in his 50+ year business career, he has led ground-breaking strategic, operational, and educational projects for leading US and global clients. Art was principal co-author of DC Velocity's Basic Training monthly column for a decade, and was the principal co-author, with Ken Ackerman, of Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management, the definitive primer in the field. His popular blog, The Art of Art, has been a staple of DC Velocity's web site since its inception.


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