Achievement Intelligence is the Essential Guardrail Needed to Honor Humanity with AI

Ellevate Network
3 min readAug 23, 2023

By: Caroline Dowd-Higgins

The benefit of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is taking shape with the aim of improving the lives of every person on the planet. In the world-of-work, AI is empowering users in every industry to increase sales, efficiency, and productivity. While there are clear business wins in doing and achieving more, the relentless focus on more is wreaking havoc on people and workplace cultures. Burnout, exhaustion, and overwhelm of workers is exacerbating depression, anxiety, and stress that leads to debilitating health and a revolving door of talent. This is not a sound business case for success, nor is it the right way to treat people.

I was featured on the HR Works podcast hosted by Josh Zygmont of SimplifyMedia to discuss Achievement Intelligence and what it means in practice. Listen here.

Achievement Intelligence is a new layer we must consider with AI to honor the humans doing the work optimized by technology.

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Imagine a world-of-work where:

  • Organizations focused on the highest quality of work instead of the highest quantity with mediocre outcomes — less can be more.
  • Sustainable cultures of wellbeing were celebrated and recruiting and retaining top talent was not a constant struggle.
  • We shifted the goal mindset to celebrate achievements, and were not always raising the bar to an unreachable level at the expense of worker wellbeing.
  • The busy brag and burning the candle at both ends were not applauded to feed work addiction (the only addiction we celebrate) to create healthy and vibrant work cultures.
  • We focused on living a life of vitality instead of constantly trying to mitigate burnout.

Many organizations are desperately trying to mitigate the burnout of their workforce, but they are addressing the wrong issue. It’s time to take a preventive approach and focus on living a life of vitality instead of only trying to address burnout.

[Related: How Innovation Starts with an Honest and Open Dialogue with Yourself]

Start by asking your people what they need. So many companies make top-down decisions without asking employees what they need to do their best work. Culture is not an HR project — it should be an all-play in an organization. This is a great time to reboot and focus on how to design cultures with the people in your organization that support flexibility, wellness at work, and psychological safety.

Success should be a shared vision, so each player understands their WHY and purpose in the organization, which leads to engagement and strong outcomes.

AI is here to stay, and it will grow. Let’s celebrate it as a tool to make life better. We must keep evolving — we are works in progress. We must help humans optimize AI without allowing it to overwhelm and impede outcomes and destroy wellbeing. Tap into the better angels of our nature and celebrate AI with the guard rails of Achievement Intelligence.

[Related: What You Need Now: Making the Digital Leap in Response to COVID-19 and Beyond]

Caroline Dowd-Higgins is passionate about unlocking the art-of-the-possible in her work with individuals and organizations as a certified executive coach, a best-selling author, a dynamic speaker, and sought-after consultant. Her new best-selling book, “Your Career Advantage: Overcome Challenges to Achieve a Rewarding Work Life,” is empowering people to enjoy their careers and love their lives. Caroline hosts the award winning podcast Your Working Life with listeners in 16 countries. Her celebrated TEDxWOMEN talk about reframing failure is available on YouTube. Follow her on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Originally published at on September 13, 2023.



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