Adaptability in the Age of AI — Tracey Glenn Pashley

3 min readJun 18, 2024


Photo by Freepik

Every day, I listen to a podcast or read an article about how disruptive AI will be in every aspect of our lives. As an avid science fiction reader, I have been following developments and anticipating what is said to be the most significant technological and societal impact since the introduction of the Gutenberg printing press.

As with any disruptive technology, it will bring rapid changes, unanticipated gains, and disruptions across the globe. I believe in focusing on what I can control. What is that you ask? My actions and reactions to the changing world around me. For me, this encompasses how I lead and support others. This includes my mother, who thinks every customer service encounter is AI-driven, my teenage niece, who is navigating her future, and co-workers who worry about the future of work. I don’t have a crystal ball; what I can do is stay open and curious. I recently read a World Economic Forum article, Leading Through Disruption: Leaders Needs These Skills To Navigate The Future (October 2023). The article focuses on three skills to navigate the future.

Harness Adaptability

Faster. Faster and ever faster, we adjust to changes on multiple fronts. I agree with the article that adapting and embracing our shifting world is the only way to thrive. My father, who I consider wise in many ways, once told me, “Life is infinitely easier when you don’t swim against the current.” So, my work, whether in an office setting or supporting my family and friends, reminds me that change is inevitable. Like the Sufi tale, I don’t know if it’s good or bad, but instead, I resist letting news cycles determine how I respond to changes around me. Change is coming. Embrace it.

Embrace lifelong learning

I have had a circuitous route when it comes to work. I have followed my interests. I wholly own my choices and appreciate the rich experiences I continue to make. As a child of two generations of educators, I grew up with a love of learning and curiosity that has made a profound difference in who I am and how I see the world. While I can appreciate a good read and expose myself to new ideas, I find the being and doing of a thing more fulfilling. Taking on work that pushes me (sometimes kicking and screaming) and placing myself in situations that expose me to new ways of working have been life changing. Whether learning about blockchain technology or the art of shibori fabric dying, I am intensely curious, and the paths and connections I make are uniquely mine. One thing I know is that my time is always well-spent. I resist people telling me what I should want to learn or know. Instead, I seek counsel from those I admire and trust.

Build a culture of collaboration

I get help from my friends and colleagues. The best leaders I’ve worked for cultivate and encourage collaboration. This is no longer an option or “nice-to-have”; it is table stakes for an organization’s future success. My experience is that the road to growth and reaching my goals rests on my ability to listen to others and cultivate an environment that allows others to thrive and appreciate diversity. This includes offering a safe space for those with different viewpoints than with me. Together, we can take a breath (or several) and enjoy the journey.




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