Blog | 05.09.2024

Empowering AI for Next-Level Leadership Development

At NWN Carousel, our people are our biggest competitive advantage. Investing in our leaders across the organization is essential for staying ahead. NWN Carousel’s second cohort of Empower, our emerging leadership development program, exemplifies this commitment. We support future leaders in the company to harness innovation and drive meaningful change. Over seven months, 14 leaders from across the company embarked on a transformative journey, guided by executive mentors and fueled by a passion for progress.

Exploring the Power of AI

The Empower program at NWN Carousel is designed to provide intensive mentorship and learning experiences to employees within the company who have been recognized for their hard work and for living out our core values. After an initial training period, the 14 participants were split into two cross-functional groups, with each team being assigned a focused business objective to investigate and develop a solution proposal.

The first team, known as the AI Innovators, delved into strategies to guide customers in maximizing utilization of NWN Carousel’s AI offerings. Their mission was to enhance customer experience and streamline processes through innovative AI solutions.

The second team, the AI Avengers, focused on optimizing internal systems and processes using AI technologies. Their goal was to drive operational efficiency and foster a culture of continuous improvement within the company.

Enhancing the Customer Experience

The AI Innovators started their project by pausing and listening to our current and potential customers. With the AI market and technologies evolving so rapidly, it was important for the team to understand where companies stand in their AI journey and identify specific areas within their technology stack that are ripe for effective AI integration. By gathering this valuable feedback in a survey, the AI Innovators gained insights that will help tailor our AI solutions to meet customers’ needs and goals more effectively.

“I have done leadership development programs before, but this one was way different. Getting to interact with leaders all over the organization allowed me to learn so much more about our organization as a whole. I am now able to use that knowledge to positively impact my team and the business,” said Lauren Gonzalez, Manager, Customer Success Center and an AI Innovator.

Optimizing Internal Processes

The AI Avengers focused on enhancing internal operations by developing a proof-of-concept Enterprise AI chatbot. The POC is currently trained on chat but can be trained on voice and image generation. During their final presentation, the AI Avengers demonstrated how having an internal AI tool trained on NWN Carousel data would allow us to streamline data flow of customer needs starting with the sales process, cascading through professional services implementation. However, this is just the start for application of this toolset. As the bot is trained on more data and features, the possibilities for automation of routine tasks and real-time assistance will drive efficiency and elevate the overall customer experience.

“The Empower program experience has shown me the incredible potential of collaborating with my colleagues to use AI in driving efficiency and innovation within our organization,” said David Wynn, Application Consultant and AI Avenger.

Insights from Executive Sponsors

Matt Curran, an executive sponsor of the Empower program, expressed great satisfaction with the program’s outcomes. “I thoroughly enjoyed working with this graduating class of candidates,” he said, “and was able to witness their passion for teamwork and solutions leading to real innovation,” Matt emphasized the importance of investing in these emerging leaders, highlighting the fresh perspectives and innovative approaches they bring to integrating AI into the company’s operations.

Chief Revenue Officer, Dan Tassone, echoed these sentiments, affirming the candidates’ strategic vision and forward-thinking outlook. “Their deep understanding of how AI can enhance our company’s operations and benefit our customers is a testament to their commitment to professional development and innovation,” Dan said. He emphasized the pivotal role these leaders play in moving the company towards new heights of success and maintaining leadership in cloud communications.

Embracing Change and Fostering Growth

Empower at NWN Carousel is more than just a training program. It’s a strategic initiative aimed at embracing change and fostering growth. By nurturing emerging leadership talent and exposing participants to the latest market disruptors like AI, NWN Carousel ensures its readiness to thrive in an ever-evolving market.

NWN Carousel’s Empower program exemplifies the company’s dedication to professional development, innovation, and excellence. By investing in its leaders and embracing transformative technologies like AI, NWN Carousel remains at the forefront of industry advancement. The success of this program underscores the importance of continuous learning and strategic leadership.

Watch Empower in Action

To witness the impact of NWN Carousel’s Empower program, we invite you to watch our video highlighting the journey!