Leadership and Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere all at once since the onset of ChatGPT and its competitors and is about to become even more imbedded in the background of everything we do, enabling everything we do.

Despite my very short sojourn into the tech world way back in 2000 when internet startsups began, I have never been a technical person. I have been what I call a “mucker,” knowing enough as a user to get by and do my job as leader, but I have worked to stay on top of trends through reading and research. I have always relied on strong technical expertise to help our leadership team navigate and proactively lead through the fast waters of technical advancement. Today, I still rely on specialists to help me in my business.

Enter this fast-moving conversation about AI. Honestly, I have not felt up to speed on the impact of AI, and I have discussed it with several clients to see how they are planning for this advancement. One area that I am encouraging leaders to look at is AI governance. What has struck me is how quickly organizations are jumping on the AI bandwagon without policies in place to manage it. There are many early adopters in organizations who are leading this movement. While adoption is a necessary and a valuable part of any technological change, there are always certain risks that need to be mitigated, preparation to be considered and, perhaps, a cautionary flag to be flown.

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Even though it is early days, now is the time for organizations to lay out some ground rules and create an AI governance framework. This will provide a roadmap not only regarding how AI is to be used and what type of information is being shared (for example, is any of the information proprietary or client sensitive? Has consent been obtained to share client information? etc.) but also will establish checks and balances to validate the information that is provided, ensuring it has data integrity and aligns with your business practices and business ethics.

The other important aspect that should be discussed, if it is not already, is how your organization can benefit from AI and how to leverage this new development. You may want to put a committee together to discuss not only its use but how to maximize its potential for your business.

There are lots of good resources on AI and how to create a governance framework.  For a good general understanding, I was referred to a book that was recommended by IMD to a client of mine completing his EMBA: Artificial Intelligence 101 by Lasse Rouhiainen.  I have been working my way through this and have recommended it to many others, mostly, because it makes a complex topic easier to understand using plain language.

If it’s not already, make sure AI is on your radar and on your leadership team’s radar. Spend some time reflecting on governance and how to capitalize on this opportunity in an ethical, transparent way.

If you would like to discuss leading through this technological change, reach out to me at sandi@soundleadership.ca.

Sandra Hokansson

Sandra Hokansson
Sandi Hokansson is a certified executive-level coach and principal of SoundLeadership. Reach her at sandi (at) soundleadership (dot) ca.

Sandra Hokansson

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