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How to lead a team in the world of artificial intelligence

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As artificial intelligence (AI) and automation transform the world of work, leaders need to invest in critical thinking and analytical skills. This allows them to keep up with the rapid changes that come with AI and ensure that it remains relevant and effective in a world where machines are increasingly able to handle tasks.

While AI may be able to handle employee tasks and processes more efficiently, true leadership requires human intuition, creativity, and critical thinking. These are not areas where AI can currently intervene. In addition, leaders who are willing to devote their energy to understanding the human experience of their employees and who actively develop their own emotional intelligence are less concerned about the impact of AI on their industry, their employees, and their organizations.

For leaders wondering how to prepare for the world of AI, here are five things they can do right now to prepare for the impact of AI on them and their business.

Investing in skills and professional development

One of the most important things leaders can do is stay ahead of the curve by investing in their own professional development. This includes learning about developments in artificial intelligence and automation, as well as participating regularly in leadership development programmes.

Contemporary leaders do not have to have all the answers, because it is generally accepted that the business landscape is constantly changing and evolving. Leadership in a volatile, unpredictable, complex, and ambiguous environment requires leaders to ask questions no one else is asking in order to stay agile and stay ahead of the competition. In this context, the role of AI is to discover data and insights as instructed by its human counterparts.

Investing in an executive coaching program is a proven way to develop emotional intelligence in a leadership role. Engaging in this type of program can help leaders better understand how to lead the hearts and minds of their employees, now and in the future. A well-executed executive coaching program can also allow leaders to explore in depth how advances in AI technology can improve strategic decision-making challenges within a business.

Embrace diversity and inclusion

To combat the potential negative impact of AI, leaders must promote diversity and inclusion among their workforce. Hiring employees with diverse backgrounds and experiences can foster a culture of creativity and innovation that machines cannot replicate. To do this, leaders must approach their succession planning decisions with an open mind and commit to challenging the unconscious biases that may shape their organization’s culture.

By creating an inclusive culture where individual experiences can be shared, leaders can lay the foundation for open communication and collaboration to harness their team’s collective intelligence and drive innovation.

Rethink leadership models

Leaders also need to rethink traditional leadership models and find new ways to motivate and direct their employees. This can include building team-based structures, redesigning workspaces and processes to increase efficiency, and adopting agile methodologies to enhance flexibility and adaptability.

Previously, leaders had to focus on the people in their inner circle, and the physical interactions they could have with their team members provided them with immediate feedback about team cohesion. Remote working brings a new set of challenges, some that leaders have anticipated and others that are still emerging. In addition, the manner in which employees within the company have been promoted or trained for future leadership roles must be appropriate for the world of remote work.

Promote a culture of curiosity and experimentation

In a world where artificial intelligence and automation are constantly evolving, leaders must foster a culture of curiosity and experimentation. This includes encouraging employees to explore new ideas, take risks and learn from failures. This can be done by providing training in new technologies, encouraging experimentation and innovation, and facilitating cross-functional collaboration. By doing this, leaders can create an environment conducive to innovation and growth and help their employees adapt to the changes that AI brings.

Stay informed and open to finding ways to adapt

Leaders need to keep up with the latest developments in AI and automation. This includes keeping up with industry trends, attending conferences and seminars, and staying connected with other thought leaders in the field to understand the impact AI can have on employee morale and well-being, as well as creating a sense of purpose and meaning in their work. By being prepared to adapt to change, leaders can ensure that their organizations remain competitive and resilient in the face of technological disruption.

As the Covid-19 pandemic has shown, the only constant is change, and the speed with which it takes hold cannot always be predicted. Many of the leaders who resisted the remote work model during times of global lockdown have found that once the world moves again, their companies can no longer continue to compete with the world of mixed work.

Artificial intelligence presents a similar challenge. It’s been on the horizon for some time, but recent advances in technology mean those who don’t embrace the gains AI can make may have a hard time staying in the game.

In short, leaders need to realize that while AI may be able to automate tasks, it cannot replicate the human qualities that are essential for effective leadership. By raising skills, embracing diversity, rethinking leadership paradigms, and fostering a culture of curiosity and staying informed, leaders can prepare for the impact of AI and position their organizations to succeed in the digital age.

Translated article from the American magazine Forbes – Author: Shamila Meherban (Leadership, Team and Group Coach)

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