Artificial Intelligence Requires a New Kind Of Leadership

AI is here and will continue to be developed and implemented into businesses globally. So what does this mean for senior executives? It requires a new kind of leader that will guide this evolution to help businesses gain a competitive advantage.

February 13, 2024 – Artificial intelligence will continue to be developed and implemented in the business world. However you may feel about this, you and your organization will need to prepare for the changes it brings, according to a recent report from Brainworks. The firm explains that your organization must be innovation-ready, and that is fostered through leadership.

A recent article from Keen Alignment points out that 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) much longer to complete. However, as AI continues to grow and develop, its role in the workplace will become more and more prevalent.

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 percent 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 ReviewAI 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.

While the results of the Microsoft study could be perceived as a sign that Artificial Intelligence will be readily accepted in the workplace, the study also determined that 49 percent 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.

Related: How HR Can Harness AI to Advance DE&I

It seems essential then to have both an organization and employees who are willing to embrace change. They must be innovation-ready, and 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 leaders and employees to have, particularly when change is occurring.

5 Key Steps to Navigating the Generative AI Revolution
Generative AI refers to artificial intelligence that enables users to quickly generate new content based on a variety of inputs. It is changing how business leaders go about their work. A new report from Russell Reynolds Associates explores key areas to help CEOs, boards, and senior technology leaders guide the impact of AI on their organizations.

“It is incumbent on leadership to make sure that there is clear and transparent communication with employees to understand their concerns and prepare them for what is to come,” the Brainworks report said. “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. The Microsoft study found that business leaders were two times more interested in using AI for that purpose than as a means to reduce employee numbers.”

Brainworks explains that this 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 employees to be more creative and to have a greater focus when problem-solving,” the study said. “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 leadership comes into play as a key factor in helping your business transition into the era of AI, according to the Brainworks report. “Everyone in your organization needs to be working in cohesion, both with each other and eventually with artificial intelligence,” the report said. “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 leadership is so important for your business now and in the future.”

Related: The Balance Between Using Artificial Intelligence and Authentic Intelligence to Find Talent

To incorporate AI, Brainworks notes that firms must shift quickly from old ways of thinking to a system that is more in tune with today’s world. “Given the complexity of this change, firms will need to recruit, interview, and screen candidates in a whole new way,” the report said. “A relationship with a recruiting firm that understands and stands for the demands of this new world is likely to produce the best results. An effective recruiting partner will partner with the company to identify the right combination of skill and experience to find the top candidates and to convey to them what the hiring company stands for.”

Leveraging AI for Executive Search Success

AI, with its ability to process vast amounts of data and identify patterns, has revolutionized various industries, and executive search is no exception. As search firms strive to navigate the ever-evolving talent landscape, integrating AI into their operations becomes paramount to drive success and growth. Speaking recently with search leaders, Hunt Scanlon Media delved into how AI can transform the executive search process, empowering firms to make data-driven decisions and find the best-fit candidates to lead their clients’ organizations into the future.

The Rise of Generative AI: Anticipating Fundamental Shifts in Work and Organizations
(September 20, 2023) In this episode of Talent Talks, Hunt Scanlon Media host Rob Adams is joined by Tony Leng, managing partner at H.I. Executive Consulting (H.I.E.C.). Tony draws upon his extensive experience as a CEO, as well as his financial background as a CPA and CA, and technical expertise gained from working with tech companies to delve deep and comprehend the nuanced needs of his clients as they establish their teams. In today’s podcast, we delve into the transformative impact of Generative AI on the organizational landscape where Tony provides invaluable insights into how businesses can proactively adapt to shifts in work dynamics and overall structure. Listen now!

According to industry experts, AI is reshaping the executive search industry by empowering firms with data-driven insights, accelerated candidate sourcing, and improved decision-making capabilities. “Embracing AI-driven solutions is no longer an option for executive search firms but a strategic imperative to thrive in a competitive talent market,” said an Aberdeen Strategy & Research report. “By leveraging AI effectively, executive search firms can revolutionize their approach, maximize their value proposition, and deliver exceptional leadership solutions that meet the evolving needs of their clients.”

According to a study by Korn Ferry, 63 percent of talent acquisition professionals agree that AI has improved their hiring efficiency, allowing them to make better decisions faster. As organizations recognize the potential of AI in executive search, some recruiters believe that this technology can become a key differentiator for forward-thinking firms looking to shape the future of talent acquisition. AI can forge new frontiers in executive search leadership recruitment, they say, and drive new levels of success for their clients and the organizations they serve.

Click here to read what executive search consultants are saying!

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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