By Roger James Hamilton, Founder of the Genius Group
Leadership has always been about making complex decisions, managing teams successfully, and taking calculated risks. In today’s fast-paced and unpredictable business environment, leaders need to be more agile, adaptable, and tech-savvy, the question is how does AI fit in?
The rapid advances in AI offer both huge advantages to leaders – and potential problems. It offers the ability to achieve more in less time, at a lower cost and with high efficiency. However, to ignore the fact that it requires governance is short-sighted.
Everyone is talking about ChatGPT, but there is more to AI than the ability to generate information around specific subjects. As a leader AI can give you advantages at both the macro and micro levels.
With access to Big Data, AI powered tools can analyse vast amounts of data, identify patterns, and provide accurate predictions, giving your decision making an edge. Natural language processing (NLP) algorithms can analyse massive quantities of public opinion data to help leaders assess the risks and benefits of a particular action.
One of the key skills of a leader is inspired communication and, while AI cannot replace a leader, it can streamline communication channels. Creating means for information to be easily available, basic questions answered and support provided, using devices such as AI-powered chatbots, leaves the leader free to collaborate and create – doing only what they can do.
No leader is problem-free. Not only are there market trends to keep up with and to stay on the crest of the wave, but also there are many internal challenges that need to be negotiated. AI can provide the data, insights, and ideas that will fuel innovative solutions, faster, in more depth, and based on solid information.
On a macro level – AI can improve the overall performance of the organisation and the people within it. One of the roles of a good leader is to know how to get the best from their people.
When a leader is looking at continuous improvement, considering AI is not an option, it’s essential. AI offers opportunities in so many parts of the organisation.
Market analysis: Competitive analysis, community engagement, brand voice, new market generation, trend monitoring, and research can all be supported using AI.
Customer experience: A leader knows that the lifeblood of any organisation is the customer. AI can deliver many aspects of the customer experience delivering dynamic information that will build customer loyalty, identify new products and services, maintain engagement, create dynamic pricing, and provide predictive support services.
Streamlined processes: Installing the best AI systems in-house gives your teams the ability to not just do their job more efficiently but can also provide new ideas for them to develop and free them to focus on the activities that add value. In Society 5.0 the customer demands hi-tech and hi-touch, with AI picking up the slack your people are freed from the more routine tasks, and job satisfaction and customer service excellence soars.
Some issues have arisen where people or companies have not used AI mindfully. An example of this is when Samsung software engineers asked ChatGPT for advice on improving their software. ChatGPT gave them lots of useful ideas, but the engineers hadn’t considered that they were uploading proprietary code to a third party. Needless to say, this didn’t go down well with management, but, fortunately, they saw the advantages of AI and are developing their own AI tools for internal use.
Even tech giant Microsoft has had security breaches as a result of using AI.
Clearly, internal AI has advantages, not just security, but the ability to create AI that ‘thinks like us’. However, not every company has access to the resources to create bespoke AI tools.
Educate your team in discerning judgment and in exercising due diligence in relation to the material that AI generates. Remember that it is not an expert – it should be seen as an assistant who collects and manages information and data, but it’s the user who should ensure that the results generated are accurate.
The salutary tale to bear in mind is the lawyer in the USA, who used ChatGPT to write a brief – and didn’t check the references and case precedents, which turned out to have been invented by AI. The result was a $5,000 fine.
If you don’t embrace the advantages that AI offers business, you are in danger of preventing your organisation from achieving success at a competitive level. The secret of success is to lead by example and be comfortable with AI, and then to take responsibility for ensuring your teams use it in a way that is safe, responsible, and ethical.