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change management

How Change Management Can Prepare Leaders for AI [Podcast Takeaways]

Change can be scary. It’s a well-known adage, one whose longevity can be attributed to its accuracy—but it’s not an excuse. AI and its industry applications grow by the day. Organizations who wish to compete in a shifting, technology-led business landscape must fully embrace the changes that are coming. 

In a recent podcast, Pandata CEO and AI Strategist Cal Al-Dhubaib discussed how today’s leaders can use change management principles—Understand, Plan, Implement, and Communicate—to prepare themselves for AI-powered disruption.

Here are four key takeaways from Cal’s conversation with speaker, author, and entrepreneur Scott J. Allen

1. Improve Your AI Literacy 

A common misconception is that AI equals automation. The first step in preparing to use AI in your organization is recognizing that AI is not intended to replace humans, but to augment repetitive tasks, enabling humans to focus on more impactful work. 

Leaders must improve their AI literacy to move past this and other common misunderstandings. 

Think of literacy in the context of the last 20 years. To become competitive in the workplace in the early 2000s, leaders needed to learn word processing skills. As new technologies became prevalent into the 2010s, that literacy had to expand to include data analytics, reporting, and dashboards. The next iteration of that cycle involves AI literacy. 

2. Recognize AI Needs to Be Boring 

Many individuals struggle to understand how the AI examples seen in the media today are solving real-life problems. Think of DALL-E 2, an image generation model, or GPT-3, which produces natural language: How are these models poised to help us in our day-to-day lives?

The truth?

These models probably won’t resolve the redundancies and inefficiencies we experience in our day jobs. To be practical, AI has to be boring. Deciding how to use the building blocks of AI to get there is where the vision of a prepared leader can go a long way.

3. Explore Specific Use Cases in Your Organization 

AI performs at its best when it’s strategized, designed, and developed for a specific use case. And as Cal mentions during the podcast, AI does two tasks incredibly well: recognize patterns and automate decisions. 

To best prepare your company for change, consider the AI opportunities in your organization. Ask yourself: Where could AI improve human-led tasks, automate resource-intensive tasks, or detect patterns? 

4. Lead with Vulnerability 

Being transparent with your organization and stakeholders is essential. Especially when it comes to communicating results, leading with vulnerability can help inspire the level of honesty needed to have difficult conversations. 

Vulnerable leaders can also contribute to a clearer understanding of the expectations and needs of the team. 

Interested in learning more about how change management can inspire AI-interested business leaders? Click here to hear the full podcast with Cal and Scott

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Contributor: Nicole Ponstingle McCaffrey is the COO at Pandata.