By: Ilana Jucha
Blog 1 minute read

Considering leadership and strategy in AI adoption

October 18, 2022

Your AI adoption strategy needs to start from the top, with the right leadership at its helm. 

McKinsey reports that 43% of executives believe that lack of clear AI strategy results is a significant barrier to AI adoption. At the same time, 27% of executives believe that lack of ownership and commitment to AI is another prominent obstacle. 

A significant challenge arises when business leaders don’t understand how AI will fit into their business models. Whatsmore, when employees don’t feel the right support from management, they often have a hard time comprehending how AI will fit into their work. One issue that business leaders often face is that they look at the requirements of AI too narrowly. Talent and technology are essential parts to consider when you are implementing your strategy, but there are other crucial elements executives need to consider. Leaders must also look at other critical business functions such as culture and structure to adopt AI successfully. 

McKinsey further reports that while companies are more readily adopting AI today, they still have a way to understand how to scale the value of AI; only 17% of organizations that have enabled AI have mapped out what AI opportunities lie across the entire organization. 

With a lack of foresight into how AI will fit into the organization’s strategy, AI adoption will inevitably go bust. So what can be done to ensure AI strategy doesn’t fail? 

Becoming an AI leader

How to become an AI leader and define a clear strategy for AI adoption: 

Develop a culture of experimentation

Transforming the digital infrastructure of your organization is no easy feat; it requires a certain kind of culture to thrive. Developing a culture of innovation, creativity, and experimentation is key to guiding true digital leadership. Organizations need to embrace transparency and dismantle silo thinking. They need to look at their structure and see how they can adopt new ways of working and functioning to embrace experimentation.

Get to know the technical details

Harvard Business Review states that for business executives, one of their biggest concerns over AI is that they don’t have a robust understanding of these technologies. 

While you don’t need to go out and get a statistics degree to understand AI and ML, you should try and understand the work your data team does so that your business expectations are in line with what’s feasible.  

Develop your long-term strategy

What does AI look like for your organization in 5 years? 10 years? When setting out your AI strategy, don’t just outline your short-term goals; understand how AI will transform your business in the long term. AI strategy has the most substantial impact when AI applications are facilitated by a mix of skills, perspectives, and functions. Once you have a clear outline of where your business is heading, it’s essential to understand your top priorities. Emerging technologies such as AI will result in business models transforming swiftly and quickly. This means that while a clear roadmap needs to be developed, it’s important that that strategy remains flexible and adaptable. 

What is your potential ROI 

Investing in AI requires commitment and understanding the outcome of your technocial adoption. Calculating your potential ROI is key to ensuring you set a clear strategy for your AI strategy. AI ROI can be calculated in several ways depending on the objectives of your AI projects. Variables can include productivity, cost-savings, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, competitive advantage, and brand recognition, just to name a few. 

Final Thoughts

Organizational change always begins with leadership and strategy. Without the right mindset and approach, organizations that decide to adopt AI are at significant risk of failing. 

While a clear strategy for AI adoption is critical, rapid changes we regularly see in business today, means that strategy and business leaders need to be agile. 

When exemplary leadership is set forward, AI adoption will become incredibly successful. 

To learn more about how you can adopt AI successfully into organization, talk to us today