Leaning Into AI: Organizational Transformation
Now is the time for all businesses to begin exploring and adopting AI and applying it to organizational transformation. Here’s how to get started.
- By Nellie Wartoft
- October 26, 2023
The pace at which artificial intelligence has cemented itself into business operations is truly astounding. It is quickly becoming akin to basic hygiene -- no longer an option but necessary for effective business operations. Potential customers are asking about it, expecting it, and moving on if they do not find your business using it to empower products and services.
Businesses striving to keep up with the AI curve can easily make the mistake of seeing it simply as a new tool to enhance operations, which limits its usefulness dramatically. AI is not an add-on for making email more efficient or an engine that empowers more robust data analytics. AI should go beyond enhancing systems to drive organizational change.
Optimizing the impact of AI requires seeing it as more than technology to be integrated and more as a mentality that must be adopted and applied across an organization. AI is ushering in a new era in business in the same way other digital technologies have over the past several decades.
Customer service provides a great example of the transformative power of AI. Using AI to make chatbots smarter enhances the customer service process. However, using it to support human staff by summarizing questions that customers present, rapidly considering all past service they have received, and mapping out the best course of action in real time based on millions of data points completely transforms the process.
Now is the time for all businesses to begin leaning into AI and applying it to organizational transformation. Here are some key factors to consider in the early phases of AI adoption.
Start With Problems AI Can Solve
AI is being widely embraced in the business world because it is an amazing problem solver. It makes it easier to stay on budget, meet deadlines, and achieve high levels of quality. As your organization leans into AI, start by using it to solve real-world problems.
For example, if you are having a problem with product quality, machine vision systems that use AI can detect defects by analyzing product images -- even minute defects and inconsistencies that may be overlooked by human inspectors, and at a much faster pace.
Is your marketing failing to land consistently? AI can be used to segment your audience to engage more effectively. Statistics show that targeted marketing campaigns empowered by AI-driven segmentation result in a 62% increase in conversions and a 56% increase in revenue.
AI can also fix inventory issues. Providing AI with data on sales, supply chain movements, promotions, launches, and inventory levels allows it to perform predictive analyses. Essentially, AI can lower costs and streamline production by telling you what to order and when to order it.
AI can even assist a business in determining what problems it should focus on first. Its skill at data analytics can assist with identifying cost drivers that should be reduced or revenue opportunities that are being ignored. It can also conduct an analysis to identify competitive threats or set benchmarks.
Be Careful and Concise with Messaging
If AI is to truly drive organizational transformation, it must be embraced by the entire organization. To accomplish this, enterprises must use creative messaging that will engage employees and motivate them to embrace change.
The first component of messaging involves educating employees about AI. This can be tricky, as the media has made AI out to be a monster that will do away with 300 million jobs. Organizations must be able to address fears but not overpromise.
The truth is no one knows exactly how AI will impact the workforce. Digital transformation affected mostly transactional and administrative positions, but AI is now moving into the creative space, meaning its impact could cause wider ripples. Ultimately, the idea that some jobs will never be automated should not be a promise.
Ideal messaging will explain how AI is a tool for growth and empowerment. Help employees see what is in it for them. Leaning into AI will often involve integrating AI into existing workflows, which can require improving or expanding employee skills.
Optimize the effectiveness of skill improvement by leveraging modern tools for delivery. Old-school methods -- such as workshops or instructor-led classroom sessions -- will be ignored and ineffective. Utilize tools that allow for quick and convenient delivery and content that shows real-world use cases and practical tips.
Seeking organization-wide transformation will also require fine-tuning messaging to connect with each individual audience. Mass messaging leads to confusion. To be effective, messaging and training should be customized for each department.
A Final Word
AI is already transforming the business world. Now, individual organizations must decide if they will embrace the transformation by allowing it to reshape their organizations. By strategically leveraging AI-driven solutions and inspiring the organization to embrace them, organizations will find themselves on the leading edge of the AI revolution.
Nellie Wartoft is a Swedish entrepreneur who launched the social learning platform Tigerhall in 2019, revolutionizing how professionals learn from one another in the real world. Under her leadership, Tigerhall has quickly gained traction with users across 32 countries and employees in 12 markets. Tigerhall's customers include global Fortune 500 firms in technology, FMCG, professional services, and financial services.