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Preparing Business Leaders for the AI Revolution

Preparing Business Leaders for the AI Revolution

As the power of artificial intelligence (AI) becomes increasingly evident, business leaders are left with questions about how to navigate this transformative technology. While policy-level plans for the responsible and ethical development of AI are underway, leaders must also consider the growing role it will play within every sector of the economy.

The creation of the AI Advisory Council is a step in the right direction for harnessing the benefits of AI while ensuring its responsible use. However, it is imperative for senior leaders to drive the necessary change within their organizations. While IT departments have a role in advising and supporting the transition, top-down leadership and understanding are key.

To prepare for the AI revolution, business leaders must first recognize that AI is not a cure-all solution. It offers significant productivity gains but cannot solve every problem. They need to identify tangible opportunities where AI can improve efficiencies within their organizations.

Currently, AI is being used in manufacturing and supply chain management to automate tasks, enhance quality control, predict maintenance needs, optimize supply chains, and forecast demand. Furthermore, AI can improve decision-making and personalize the customer experience by analyzing large sets of data.

Leaders must take calculated risks with AI to determine how it can add value to their businesses. Testing different approaches will help define areas where AI can make a difference. Creating a culture of innovation is crucial, with leaders acting as role models in fostering collaboration and creativity among different teams and departments.

AI is not the only technology shaping the future; 5G, multicloud, and sustainability technologies will also play significant roles. The availability of talent with AI skills remains a challenge, and leaders must prioritize education and upskilling to fully benefit from AI.

With the World Economic Forum predicting the creation of 97 million AI-related jobs between 2022 and 2025, leaders should focus on cultivating skills across various job categories. For jobs threatened by automation, leaders should have plans in place to upskill employees.

By seizing the AI opportunity and leveraging its benefits, leaders can position their businesses for success. Empowering talent with the right skills and knowledge is crucial in overcoming barriers to AI adoption. As business leaders gather at the IMI National Leadership Conference, it is clear that acting now sets a strong foundation for the AI revolution.

Source: Shane O’Sullivan, Interim CEO of the Irish Management Institute.