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Welcome Aboard! Leveraging AI as Your Onboarding Partner

By Brendan Miller posted 12-08-2023 09:57


Please enjoy this blog post authored by Brendan Miller, Legal Innovation Consultant.

We’ve all been there.  You’re the newest member of a team.  You’ve joined a project in an area new to you.  Or, you have a new member joining your team.  The newness can be both exciting and daunting.  You want to learn—or help your new team member learn—as much as you can about your new role, your new team, perhaps even a new industry, market, or practice area.  And you want to learn efficiently.  But where do you start?  How do you find the relevant information and resources that will help you feel grounded in your new opportunity?  And how do you avoid feeling overwhelmed by the amount and complexity of the information that you need to digest?

Along comes GenAI.  We've all heard or learned a lot over the last year about GenAI use cases.  And there are many.  Most of those use cases involve some form of efficiently collecting, organizing, and presenting relevant information.  Why not use that power to help onboard yourself or a new team member to that next new team or project, and establish a common base of information to build on. 

Here are some ideas for your onboarding GenAI prompts, to get you started:

* [topic] = the new industry/ practice area/ topic of interest for onboarding

-GenAI Prompting Strategies.  Much has been written about the developing science and art of GenAI prompting; that topic is beyond the scope of this blog. But, with respect to the suggestions below, consider the following general prompting strategies:

-Engage in dialogue, rather than singular search and find.  GenAI prompts are most productive when framed as an iterative conversation with the platform, rather a singular search.  Start and continue a dialogue thread on the relevant topic.
-Use personas to explore different perspectives on your inquiry.  e.g. prompt the GenAI platform to respond from the perspective of a law firm practice group leader, in-house general counsel, CIO, marketer, developer, practice manager, etc.
-Request desired format for response.  Ask for a response in the format most useful to you: a list, a bulleted outline, a timeline, a ranked list, a narrative summary, a spreadsheet, a table, etc.
-Request citations.  Ask for citations for most every inquiry, which will—consequently—provide you a working bibliography of direct source reference material.

•    Summarize the top ten industry news stories over the last (year), relating to [topic].  Generate a quick synopsis of recent relevant developments that have made news within the industry. What are stakeholders discussing lately; what has drawn their attention or been on their minds?  Increase your awareness and become conversant on leading, relevant news stories.
•    Generate a glossary of key terms and concepts, including commonly used abbreviations, relating to [topic]. For newbies (and, sometimes even for more experienced team members), it can be helpful to ensure a common language and base of understanding, by generating a working glossary of key terms, and include commonly used abbreviations that are often used as short-hand among more veteran team members.
•    Summarize key strategic market trends over the last (year), relating to [topic].  What are relevant recent industry trends that have impacted the players in the relevant market?  How are these trends impacting, influencing, or guiding strategic plans in the near and longer term?
•    Summarize presentation topics on the agendas of key industry conferences during the last year, relating to [topic].  What are the key state, regional, national, or international trade or industry conferences in this space?  What are the hot topics on the agenda for discussion at these conferences?  This type of synopsis can provide a radar on hot topics in the industry. 
•    Summarize key documents relating to [topic].   Ask for, or provide your new team member(s) with key white papers, documents reflecting background information, or representative work product.  Upload the document(s) to the GenAI platform and prompt to: (1) summarize the document(s); (2) use the document summary to write a 500-word piece that explains the topic to beginners; and/or (3) convert the document summary into text for a presentation with one slide for each key point.
•   Summarize business models of key clients, using publicly available information.  If you’re engaging in an industry or market segment that is new to you, it can be helpful to get a birds’ eye view of clientele in the space.  Prompt the GenAI platform: (1) Using the 10-k and other public information, detail the business model for [Company X].  Include the following elements in the business model:  key value proposition, main customer segments, main channels, key resources, key activities, key partners, employee experience, operations model, and revenue model.

See further, BrainyActs #16, Josh Kubicki’s great GenAI newsletter for legal.

Two Important, Quick Reminders:  When considering the use of GenAI to facilitate onboarding: (1) be sure to understand and comply with GenAI usage policies within your organization, including but not limited to policies regarding uploading documents or information; and (2) GenAI can be a helpful supplement and enhancement to onboarding activities but, obviously, it does not replace core, personal onboarding elements!

Happy Onboarding!