The Evolving Role of AI in Business: Perspectives from Pendo’s Leader
In today’s episode of Tech Talks Daily, I had the privilege of hosting Todd Olson, CEO of Pendo, for a fascinating discussion that traverses the realms of product analytics, AI adoption, and digital customer experiences. Todd’s insights offer a deep dive into the evolving landscape where traditional companies increasingly identify as tech entities, requiring significant shifts in mindset and strategy.
Todd elaborates on how enterprises are undergoing a paradigm shift, moving from project-based work to embracing the agility and continuous iteration technology enables. This transition necessitates shorter cycle times in software development, allowing rapid user feedback and influencing subsequent releases. Todd underscores the importance of transitioning from a ‘project’ to a ‘product’ mentality, highlighting that software demands ongoing care and nurturing.
A critical aspect of our conversation revolves around the differing attitudes towards AI adoption in Europe and the United States. Todd points out that Europe tends to be more regulatory and cautious, particularly concerning privacy issues and AI accuracy, while the US often prioritizes innovation. He advises a measured approach to AI implementation, advocating for thorough testing and a gradual build-up of comfort based on proven results.
Integrating new technological roles into existing structures is another challenge that Todd addresses. He emphasizes the importance of blending internal and external hires for effective knowledge transfer, highlighting that internal employees understand the company and product while external hires bring specialized role knowledge.
Leadership communication around AI also emerges as a critical theme. Todd speaks to leaders’ need to clearly articulate the ‘why’ behind AI to ensure middle management buy-in, a group often focused on executing current plans.
Todd also touches on the crucial aspect of upskilling existing teams. He discusses the need to assess teams’ willingness to embrace failure and change, acknowledging that some level of attrition can be healthy for company transformation.
Lastly, we delve into the realm of digital customer experiences. Todd shares his belief in the power of empathy, achieved through self-use and observation, to ensure exceptional digital interactions. He provides insights into how observing user sessions can reveal critical pain points and drop-offs, ultimately enhancing the customer experience.