AI is here and will continue to be developed and implemented into the business world. Do you feel apprehensive about this? How can you and your organization prepare for the changes it brings? You must be innovation ready, and that is fostered through a great organizational culture.
Artificial Intelligence has been ingrained into our daily lives. Amazon has introduced Alexa into homes around the world. Before that, Apple put AI into our pockets by adding Siri to the iPhone.
AI is already involved in many businesses to at least some degree. It is crunching numbers, or performing mundane tasks that would take a human (or even multiple humans) ages to complete. However, as AI continues to grow and develop, its role in the workplace will become more and more prevalent.
What This Could Look Like
As Artificial Intelligence infiltrates the world of business, we may witness a large change in the way the workplace functions. A study by Microsoft found that 70% of workers would want AI to perform many of their tasks in order to decrease their workload. AI may become responsible for many of the things we find tedious or overwhelming in the workplace.
According to David De Cremer and Garry Kasparov in their article in the Harvard Business Review entitled “AI Should Augment Human Intelligence, Not Replace It”, the collaboration between humans and Artificial Intelligence will be the most productive model for business. They suggest that AI possesses one form of intelligence that is best put to work in a “closed management system” where the work is constantly unchanging and repetitive. Humans, on the other hand, possess the ability to imagine and anticipate future changes and deal with external factors that may alter their work. In their opinion, these two forms of intelligence working together would optimize the workplace.
What This Means For Your Organization
While the results of Microsoft’s study could be perceived as a sign that Artificial Intelligence will be readily accepted in the workplace, the study also determined that 49% of people are concerned that AI could replace their jobs. That is a large percentage of people who may have issues with the inclusion of AI in their day to day activities at work. You do not want AI to cause friction or distractions within your organization.
It seems essential then, to have both an organization and employees who are willing to embrace change. They must be innovation ready. They need to have the flexibility to deal with whatever changes AI may bring to the table as this transition happens. AI will assist with many of the more monotonous or repetitive tasks. But while it can lessen the burden, it cannot replace the human element that is required for so many aspects of an organization. Creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking are all important traits for both you and your employees to have, particularly when change is occurring.
How You Can Prepare
As a leader, it is your job to make sure that there is clear and transparent communication with your employees. It is important for you to understand their concerns and prepare them for what’s to come. Many leaders see Artificial Intelligence as a way to increase productivity and efficiency for their organization, while also decreasing the amount of work and stress for their employees. That same Microsoft study found that business leaders were two times more interested in using AI for that purpose, rather than as a means to reduce employee numbers. It suggests that AI could alleviate a lot of the “digital debt” many of us accumulate in the form of data and emails. This would free up employees to be more creative and to have a greater focus when problem-solving. For those within your organization who are apprehensive about AI, sharing this perspective is a great way to show them that AI is meant to make their lives easier, not displace them. Even with AI, your business will not sustain success without talented and capable humans being a part of it.
This is where the importance of culture and cultural alignment comes into play. An innovative organizational culture will be a key factor in helping your business transition into the era of AI. Everyone in your organization needs to be working in cohesion, both with each other and eventually with Artificial Intelligence. That will truly maximize the productivity and success of an organization that has adopted AI as part of its workforce. AI could introduce new wrinkles in the business world, but humans will still be the driving force behind what makes an organization a success. That is why culture is so important for your business now and in the future. If you’re uncertain about the state of your organizational culture or would like to learn more about it, take our free Cultural Assessment here. We shape, refresh, and fix your organizational culture so that your business can be innovative and successful.