Empower And Elevate: Harnessing AI Without Knowing It All

AI is changing faster than ever, but if you want to step onto this fast-moving track, you probably don’t need to know as much as you think you do. Spark innovation by creating a space that gives smart, talented people the freedom to get real-world results from AI – while doing it safely, responsibly, and in line with your goals.

As a leader, do you know enough about AI to start using it with your team?

This isn’t a trick question!

You definitely don’t need to know everything about AI, and you probably don’t even need to know as much as you think you do.

Why? For two reasons.

Let me describe an experience that happened to me a few weeks ago …

I was engaged by a client to deliver the opening keynote at his leadership forum, sharing some ideas about what it takes to be a future-ready leader in their organisation. This client is keen to amplify and elevate leadership in his team, and he’s also very interested in digital, AI, and data. So another activity he had organised for the day was a ‘data hackathon’.

At the start of the day, before my keynote presentation, he introduced a group of university students who are currently studying AI and data science. One of his senior managers described a logistics problem in the organisation: trying to predict when equipment would need maintenance.

This was the problem the students were asked to solve. They were given access to all the data they needed, and then they worked away through the day to solve that problem.

I can’t tell you their exact solution. But typically, when this group works on problems, they might create an app, or a data dashboard, or some AI-powered software.

The point is: They solved the problem in a day!

In contrast, if the organisation had tried to solve it internally, it might have taken weeks months, sometimes even years to find a solution. You know what it’s like, right? There are endless meetings, many levels of review and approval, budget requests, and so on.

But in this case, they solved it in a day.

I’m sharing this to make two points. First, of course, it demonstrated how quickly people can solve a problem. Second, the leaders in that organisation – including my client – didn’t know how to solve the problem. But they created an environment where they empowered other people to solve it for them.

The same is true for you and your team, too.

You probably already have smart, enthusiastic, excited people who are interested in AI, data analytics, and digital solutions. All they need is permission, the space, and the resources to solve problems.

That’s why you don’t need to know everything about AI before you start AI projects. You need to know enough to ensure it’s done safely and responsibly. But after that, just start!

If that’s not enough to persuade you, also remember we don’t really know what AI projects will look like. The technology is so new that it’s difficult to predict. Along the way, the process will change, the methods will change, the technology will change, and maybe even your goals will change. But if you never start, you won’t be able to take advantage of these changes.

For more, join my next virtual masterclass for leaders, about common mistakes to avoid when you’re embarking on these AI projects. It’s free, public, and open to everybody. So please register and share with others in your team and your network.


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