Successful executives know well that the challenges which may at first seem insurmountable yield the sweetest rewards. And we agree. So we’re going to tackle such a challenge head on. In this article, we are going to talk about Generative AI and productivity without mentioning that one tool everyone is talking about!
As we go beyond the hype, we are exploring four tools that can take executive performance to the next level with Generative AI, enabling you to spend more time on what truly matters.
Built by Jina AI, Rationale is your decision-making companion. Tell the tool a decision you have been contemplating and it will come back to you with a list of Pros and Cons and a general recommendation on that topic. Below is an example of the Pros & Cons list.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Rationale can also help you put several options against each other (go fully remote, go hybrid, bring everyone back to the office, build a SWOT analysis, or create a casual chain (also known as decision tree).
As with all Generative AI tools, don’t necessarily take what it says for gospel, but we can’t help but feel it’s the second-best thing to having a strategist to help you plot your moves and foresee and pre-empt potential backlash from decisions you need to make.
Then comes Perplexity.ai, a tool that will remind you of the one you already know, but with two major differences.
First, the data is up to date, unlike the tool you already use, which is restricted to data up to 2021. And secondly, it actually offers you sources to back what it has to say and allows you to deep dive and validate for yourself what it is saying. Think Google Search adopting Generative AI rather than presenting you pages and pages of results.
The premise is relatively straightforward. You ask it a question, it provides you an answer with several sources that it used to firm the answer up, and you can either leave it at that, consult the sources, ask a follow-up question, or select among the suggested follow-up topics for you to explore further.
Tome is the presentation builder you never knew you needed. Give it a topic to write about and within seconds you will have a full-fledged presentation built for you, with a well-thought structure, a table of contents, illustrations to support your text. You can then take its initial draft and refine the messaging, positioning, and imagery (generated by Dall-E2).
To illustrate this point, we asked it to create a presentation on Generative AI technology for busy executives. It created an 8 pages deck as a starting point, and below is the conclusion slide (we have left it as generated).
The biggest downside to Tome, at time of writing is the inability to export the presentation, so you need to either present it straight from within Tome instead of PowerPoint/Google Slides or only use it as a very rough initial draft and build the presentation in your usual tool, taking on as much or as little inspiration as you see fit (that being said, don’t forget you can ask it to generate an entire new presentation if the first one doesn’t fit).
Like most Generative AI tools, the power of the output is in the input, or the prompt. For it to give you something meaningful, avoid giving it generic titles and instead be specific in terms of which side of an argument you fall on.
Midjourney is the most popular solution we cover in this article. As a matter of fact, it had a surge in popularity a few weeks before the one we promised not to mention. Midjourney is an incredibly powerful image generation tool and can create, in seconds, ultra-realist drawings or photography – its quality is so breathtaking, it actually won an art prize at the 2022 Colorado State Fair.
As an executive, Midjourney is your storytelling’s best kept secret. The clichéd sentence does say that an image is worth 1,000 words, but finding the right image is easier said than done. Often, the image doesn’t exist, and if it does, it doesn’t quite fit the aesthetic you are going for, or the overall tone of the brand it is meant to associate with.
That’s where Midjourney comes in. It is particularly impactful when you give more weight to an allegory, a metaphor, a hyperbole, or a well-placed irony with an impactful illustration. Illustrating your point by talking about “a house built on shaky grounds” or “the missing piece(s) of the puzzle” can help ensure your audience remembers your point for far longer.
Accessing Midjourney however may prove a bit more challenging than one would expect. To interact with it, you need to have access to Discord, a decentralised collaboration platform not too dissimilar to Microsoft Teams or Slack. Because Discord is decentralised, most IT departments will frown upon it, so you may need to enlist your personal device to generate the images for you.
An unexpected advantage of using Discord however, is that you get to see what other people are asking Midjourney to generate (you can retain privacy on paid plans, but the free version only allows you to post your “order” into a group chat). Seeing what other people are asking for and how they are structuring their prompts can serve as a powerful source of inspiration as well.
Finally, bear in mind that Midjourney may sometimes produce surprising results and make some design mistakes humans wouldn’t, such as, let’s say, getting wrong the number of fingers the typical human hand has!
The future of productivity is bright
Those four tools are just the tip of the iceberg as to the potential of Generative AI to support us to become more productive and, by extension, for our businesses to deliver more value for all its stakeholders.
Today we’ve uncovered how to make better informed decisions, shortcut the time to build a narrative (and associated presentation), and how to create more impactful illustrations to support our most important stories. But there are many more tools that can support, some can generate high-quality audio files from written text, and others can remove the background noise while you are on calls in a busy café, and now that those technologies are opening themselves up more to enable you to connect their algorithms to your own data the sky is, truly, the limit to what a savvy and forward-thinking executive will be able to achieve with Generative AI, with short to mid-term transformational impact well within reach.
Maybe it’s time to ask Rationale whether you should set up a team to explore the technology more, ask Perplexity for sources that would back your assumption, tome for a narrative and then Midjourney to help you give a larger-than-life imagery to your magnetic narrative to your business…