Posted: 23 Feb. 2021

Superteams: Putting Artificial Intelligence into the workplace

In the final webinar of our 2020 Global Human Capital Trends series, Deloitte Partner Hamish Wilson facilitated a discussion on the chapter, 'Superteams: Putting Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the group'.

While AI has come up in the Human Capital Trends consistently over the last five years, this year's session focused on how AI can be integrated into teams to create "superteams" and produce transformative business results. Hamish highlighted the contrast to the conversation a couple of years ago where the focus was on the possibility of intelligent machines replacing jobs and an overall reduction in the number of jobs.

In the webinar we heard from two guest speakers; Deloitte Australia AI expert, Cam Pitt and Erin Greally, Transition Manager at New Zealand Police. Both Cam and Erin have vast experience in their roles and are particularly interested in the role of machines and technology in benefiting organisations and helping achieve business outcomes.

The webinar was introduced by Hamish Wilson, who discussed the change in language around AI over the last few years, with the conversation shifting from creating efficiencies by replacing jobs, to AI being integrated into job and teams to create superteams. He described superteams as having a focus on collaboration, supporting organisations in reinventing themselves and creating new value, while giving employees the opportunity to reinvent their careers.

This is a step further than 'automation', which focused on the substitution of humans with machines, or 'super jobs', which looked at enhancing or creating different jobs through the augmentation of humans and machines.

Some of the barriers to the success of superteams were the need to upskill and train teams and the cost of initially setting up that combination of humans and machines. This is part of the reason only 2% of respondents in the Trends Survey said their organisations are ready to address this trend and it seems many organisations are at a crossroads with AI, where they understand the value but need to redesign work in transformative ways to realise this value.

Cam Pitt went on to discuss that while AI has been around for some time and the value is widely recognised, a new emerging theme is the use of AI to improve organisational insights. He spoke about how currently organisations use AI mainly to improve consistency, quality and productivity; however, the next wave of value is coming from assisting workers to improve insights in order to create truly collaborative superteams.

We then turned to Erin Greally, who took us through the journey New Zealand Police have undertaken in developing and trialling their 'Electronic Life-like Assistant', Ella. Erin spoke about the process of developing Ella with the objective of complementing the police presence in the community and streamlining the process for those waiting at front counters around the country. She talked about using a mix of 26 different people in the design of Ella and some of the key functions, including welcoming visitors, collecting basic visitor details and providing information on useful topics.

Cam and Erin’s discussions provided context on the different ways AI is, and could potentially be, used in organisations to add value and create superteams.

You can watch a recording of this webinar, and the others in this series, here. Find out more about the 2020 Global Human Capital Trends here, and reach out to the Deloitte New Zealand team if you would like to talk about how we can support you in the future of work.

Get in touch

Hamish Wilson

Hamish Wilson

Partner - Consulting

I know that people have the greatest influence on the success of any organisation. Every major organisational change, whether it’s seeking to achieve strategic objectives, looking to reduce cost, retain customers or pursuing speed or flexibility within the business, impacts an organisation’s “people”. This is what motivates me! I enjoy working collaboratively with clients, sharing my expertise and experiences to help them solve their people-related challenges.

Rosa Cross

Rosa Cross

Consultant - Organisation Transformation

Rosa Cross is a Consultant in the Organisation Transformation team at Deloitte New Zealand.