Leadership’s Role in Embracing the Impact of AI

AI and cognitive technologies are no longer considered a trend that will fade away, they are the next generation of technologies influencing our everyday lives both personally and professionally. The organization requires the right leaders who can transform and influence the workforce to embrace these new technologies. According to Laura Goodrich, co-founder of GWTNext, this can be achieved by “transforming the mindset of the workforce. We must understand the current mindset, to create the next mindset”.

Executive leaders and sponsors must take an active role so everyone will embrace the organizational journey. This is not always an easy task. During the introduction of AI technologies, there is a natural resistance to change or an uncomfortable feeling of not understanding the technology. Additionally, the workforce may have lingering concerns about replacing the results from the prior organizational transformation. Take time to acknowledge the value the workforce has accomplished to date and facilitate a conversation to address why these new technologies are needed. Then outline what the workforce can do to help shift into the next phase of the organizational journey.

Executive leaders and sponsors who do not understand AI technologies in their organization will become an obstacle for the organization to remain competitive.

Selecting the right leader is a critical step and often the most overlooked step in the process. If the executive leader or sponsor does not convey the right message, it can lead to further workforce confusion. On the other hand, if leadership doesn’t speak at all, that lack of messaging is also telling a story, but perhaps not the right kind of story; both create delays and more obstacles to overcome.

“Those who embrace the future, are the ones who will change it”, says Laura Goodrich, “being comfortable with not knowing what AI technologies are, is the first step to embracing AI technologies”.

Executive leaders and sponsors will need to move to the ‘front-seat’ to play a more direct and impactful role in influencing the workforce to embrace cognitive and AI technologies.

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