The Messy Middle of (my own) AI Adoption

Insights from MTLC’s Data Driven Approach for Customer Outcomes Conference

Last week, at MTLC’s Data Driven Approach for Customer Outcomes Hot Tech Topics conference, I had an insightful discussion with one of our members about AI tools, their adoption process, and the learning curves involved. The conversation was fitting for the conference theme.

Embracing the Messy Middle in AI Adoption

Kelly Ann McGrath, VP of Global Customer Success at Bullhorn, shared this quote about Bullhorn’s AI journey, highlighting the challenging intermediary stage,

People love to think about before and after. But most of the time, we are in the during phase, where we are learning, growing, making mistakes, and trying again. Embrace the messy middle. (Daily Jay via Calm app) 

This quote aptly set the tone for a conference filled with stories about the challenging middles from people working in customer data, customer success, and customer outcomes, including representatives from Bullhorn, CarGurus, Flywire, PagerDuty, Pega, and Progress. I found it thought-provoking, making me consider all the potential tools to discover and learn from. The conference’s overarching theme was that adopting a mindset open to the inevitable challenges and adjustments needed when implementing AI – rather than expecting a seamless plug-and-play experience – results in realistic expectations for individuals and their teams. 

The Importance of Experimentation and Adjustments

The speakers also emphasized that any significant technology adoption necessitates a potentially awkward period of experimentation and adjustments. So, with that in mind, I offer a few of the MTLC team’s favorite AI resources and tools for our business in the spirit of “this is how we work”. 

AI Resources and Tools

The Neuron Daily

This is a great newsletter, though with 425,000 subscribers, you probably already know about it. Their daily emails are well organized and informative, and I often click through on new tools they are sharing. It’s also a great way to stay informed about the business of AI companies. I discovered several of my favorite tools there, including: 


Claude is a great editor. It doesn’t rewrite your words, so you can put your original thoughts in there, and it will feed back to you some ideas you might deploy to improve it. It did a great job with some feedback on a cover letter I was helping on, and much faster than I could have, too. 


My personal favorite productivity planning tool. Their AI support pulls in data, meetings, and tasks from several different sources, suggests how long I might need to complete each one, and then sets up and prioritizes my day for me. It reminds me to plan a little bit each day and to write a wrap up when I’m done. And also helpfully points out when there’s just no way everything I need to do can fit in one day. 


Our team uses this tool by Rev, another favorite MTLC resource, to turn audio recordings from our programs and events into recaps and posts. You can see some recent recaps of Tech Runs Boston event and several Hot Tech Topic Conferences that our team developed with Temi support. 


I embedded this tool in my Chrome browser, and it gives me a comprehensive answer for anything I search. Many browsers and AI tools are available – choose one to sound just a little smarter and be just a little quicker on the draw with researched answers. 

Share Your AI Journey

I’m sure you likely have very different experiences to share depending on your role and organization. Tell me more about your messy middle in your AI journey. Where are you finding calm in the storm? What are you learning, and where are you headed next? I love new tools and will be eager to try your suggestions! 


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