Every leader has a hard time dealing with the stress that comes from uncertainty, increasing complexity, and fast change. All of these are a part of the business environment today, which is different enough from the one many of us grew up in to test our tried-and-true ways of leading.
Here, we want to talk about how some of these ideas relate to applications of AI (artificial intelligence) which we think will be used in the next generation of advanced data and analytics applications.
Leading with Inner Agility
Think about this real-world scene: When the new CEO of a UK manufacturer thought about the complex parts of his week, he felt angry. He kept thinking about the tension in several meetings with the executive team. He wanted to shake up the team and get some of its members, who were still fighting over old problems, to stop fighting and work together to solve the company’s real issues.
He also knew that a brute-force approach probably wouldn’t get very far or give the company the creative ideas it needed so badly to keep up with its fast-changing competitive environment. Instead, he took a deep breath, stopped blaming his team, and asked himself if he could break the deadlock by trying to solve the company’s problems in new ways.
By letting the AI team follow a path instead of a destination, the CEO’s original question, “How do we improve productivity?” became much more human “How are we working as a team, and why?” Based on these new facts, he asked the leaders in engineering and design to put together a team of people from different fields to rethink how people work together.
The team could reduce the time it takes to bring a new product to market by 10% and cut costs by 11% with the help of data scientists. But that wasn’t all the CEO did. He also asked his top managers to become more flexible during the event.
The team used to be split up, but they worked hard to build trust and listen to each other. Regular check-ins allowed them to stop, ask themselves, “What are we solving for?” and come up with new questions.
At first glance, AI seems to make things more complicated, but it can be a cure-all. Inner agility and artificial intelligence (AI) may seem like odd bedfellows. Still, when you look at essential facts about AI, you can see how it could help you lead with clarity, specificity, and creativity.
From what we’ve seen, AI for Managers can be a massive help to a leader who wants to be more flexible on the inside and encourage creative ways to change. When a CEO uses AI to solve the most challenging and complex strategic problems, he or she must use the same set of practices that make people more flexible on the inside rather than obedient on the outside.