Brianna White

Staff member
Jul 30, 2019
In the current phase of AI adoption within enterprises, leaders are now reviewing their early investments and integrations to measure and build on initial successes. By this stage, colleagues should be comfortable using AI to assist people and enhance process efficiency, aiming for higher quality outcomes with less effort.

However, it's crucial for organizations to consider not only the hard figures of the P&L but also the impact of new technologies and processes on their teams and talent. As with every evolution (and revolution), the initial excitement around new tools fades, and people find their own rhythm in using them. Simply put, without the right skills and culture in place, leaders won’t maximize the return on their AI investments. Culture always impacts how technology is used in practice.

Corporate culture and leadership—the "soft" but essential elements—play a significant role in supporting technology to prove its worth. The possibilities offered by even the best-executed AI technologies are only achievable with a well-integrated workforce, business processes, and agile leadership willing to listen to every part of a "three-body problem": AI/tech, people/skills, and culture/leadership. When viewed from this perspective, success becomes an equation: Success equals technology multiplied by the impact of the other components.

Take the Pulse—Regular Feedback is Key

Assuming that organizational leaders have developed a clear and sound strategy over the past couple of years to align AI investments with business objectives, and have made investments in either safe pilot schemes or transformational projects, it's time to go beyond finances and numbers. Leaders should check in on users and their expectations. Usage metrics alone don’t account for willing engagement versus grudging use. Understanding this difference can lead to better working experiences and stronger business outcomes.

Review the Impact of New Tools and Processes on Your People

  • Are the tools being used as expected?
  • How do employees feel about adoption?
  • Are they using the tools as intended, with data privacy and security in mind, or are they using workarounds that compromise robust policy?
Ask probing questions from a spirit of honest inquiry. AI, perhaps more than almost any other technology, may elicit a wide range of human reactions. Leaders and colleagues may disagree on priorities, and society and organizations could have different views on how best to use their technologies and people. Intellectuals and social commentators are often split into two camps: the "doomers" and AI "boomers." For these reasons, listening and communicating with stakeholders is crucial. Don’t consider the issue or people’s concerns settled when every factor involved is constantly evolving.

Key Points to Consider:
  1. Handle Changing Stakeholders and Review Processes: Stay adaptable and open to feedback from all stakeholders.
  2. Don’t Neglect Skills and Training: Ensure continuous learning and development to keep up with AI advancements.
  3. Success Equals Technology Plus Feedback, Processes, and Skills: Integrate technology with a strong feedback loop, efficient processes, and skilled personnel to achieve success.
By focusing on these areas, organizations can maximize their AI investments and drive meaningful, sustainable outcomes.

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