Adi is the Founder & CEO of Sheba Consulting and a seasoned leader with 30+ years of experience growing businesses and leading change.
When the artificial intelligence (AI) breakthrough of ChatGPT took the world by storm in 2022, it created an undeniable buzz. My business swiftly embraced this technology, and before the year ended, AI was already an integral part of our everyday workflows.
However, it has become clear to me that this has not been the experience of all business owners. In fact, although AI holds the potential to revolutionize numerous industries, most businesses have not yet integrated it into their workflows, and some are not even planning to do so.
From recent discussions with business owners outside of my tech bubble, I’ve gathered that this is largely due to either apprehension about the changes it brings or fear of not knowing how to manage these changes.
That’s why I want to share some tips on how to make the AI journey smoother and more engaging for everyone involved. By sharing my experience of implementing AI in my own business, I hope to provide you with the confidence to do the same.
As a business leader, embracing changes in your company’s workflows is vital. Change can be challenging, but adopting AI has many advantages that can help your business thrive.
While you can wait until you have no choice but to incorporate AI into your business, it’s often better to take control of the inevitable changes impacting your industry and get ahead of it.
By embracing this change, you’re not only positioning your company to remain competitive but also setting a positive example for your employees. Your willingness to adapt can encourage them to be more open and flexible in the face of inevitable changes and therefore make your business more resilient.
The rapid progress of AI in fields like writing and design has sparked concerns about job replacement and its impact on creativity and the economy. As a leader, you should acknowledge and address these concerns through open and honest conversations.
In these conversations, it’s important to stress that AI is a tool that enhances abilities by automating repetitive tasks and freeing up time to focus on creative, strategic and high-value activities that require human expertise. For instance, writers can use AI for research, proofreading and generating initial drafts, allowing more time to craft compelling narratives, refine ideas and develop unique perspectives.
Emphasize that AI is an opportunity for growth and development, not a threat. Encourage others to view it as a partner that enhances their abilities and helps them perform their jobs more effectively.
Easing Into The Transition
Aside from encouraging the use of AI, you can ensure your team is equipped and informed on how to use it. Here are several tips to help you foster an environment of learning, open communication and support.
1. Learning. Balancing a busy schedule can make it difficult to explore the myriad AI tools launching daily, so I recommend enlisting your team’s help. Find educational resources like newsletters and LinkedIn groups for them to join and then have them report valuable findings to you. This can pay off big, as team members might find useful tools that otherwise might have gone under the radar. My own team helped me discover a groundbreaking tool that transformed client operations and resulted in unexpected cost savings.
2. Communication. Foster an open culture by establishing channels for employees to ask questions, share concerns and discuss AI experiences. Encourage collaborative exploration through team meetings or instant messaging groups, creating a show-and-tell environment for sharing new AI tools and insights.
3. Feedback. Welcome your team’s feedback to identify potential enhancements in your transformed workflows. My team once pointed out an underperforming AI tool, prompting me to adopt a vastly superior system which may have taken me much longer to realize otherwise. So, pay attention and adjust as needed.
Maintaining The Human Touch
To maintain the human element while using AI, teach it to generate content in your voice/style. Edit and revise its work to suit you and your company’s personality rather than accepting the results at face value. This ensures your communications and work maintain a personal touch, preventing everything from becoming robotic. Trust me—people will notice the difference.
Before you can do this, you must properly understand how AI works. Learn the right prompts, how it receives instructions, and its limitations. Choose the information you feed it carefully. By doing this, you can maintain a balance between AI and human input, ensuring the creativity and empathy of human work are maintained and leading to a more effective and harmonious work environment.
Compliance, Ethics And Accountability
Integrating AI also requires careful consideration of legal, ethical, and technical limitations. For example, blindly trusting AI-generated content can be risky since it may not always be accurate. As such, you should always do your due diligence and verify information before making any decisions based on it.
Compliance with data protection and privacy laws, ethical considerations and employment law are critical when implementing AI. If you, like most people, are no expert on these matters, consulting with an AI expert, such as a knowledgeable fractional chief technology officer, can provide valuable insights into navigating the AI implementation while helping you mitigate risks.
The possibilities of AI are truly mind-blowing, and the opportunities it presents are endless. Integrating AI into your business can be an exciting journey, one that has the potential to revolutionize your workflows and propel your business forward.
Although natural apprehensions come with AI, I don’t think we should ignore its amazing contributions; we must embrace its potential and think about where it will take us in the future. By taking a positive and proactive approach, you can set yourself up for success in business and all aspects of life.
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