I do love to read books, and if you are reading this article right now, it is pretty evident that you are into reading yourself as well. Recently, I was perusing through a book authored by a renowned American mystery thriller writer, Dan Brown, titled ‘Origin.’ The book is a jaw-dropping depiction of a world-famous atheist computer scientist getting murdered just as he is about to unearth the greatest mystery of the Universe.
Where do we come from? Where are we going?
And once again, Robert Langdon finds himself in a pickle, having to shoulder the responsibility of unraveling the truth behind these two intriguing questions in the very heart of Spain, Barcelona. The story revolves around some interesting characters, Winston being one of them. Winston is not a person, but an AI-powered software bot that closely resembles a human. It interacts, responds and feels in ways that bear an eerie similarity to his human counterparts. Only this time, he is the computer with reliable information published on variable sources across the Internet.
What really got me hooked was not how Winston functioned, but how he managed to help Robert and Ambra (his accomplice) escape from the murder scene and unveil the truth behind Edmond’s (atheist computer prodigy) message.
The Key Misconception
Many are of the opinion that artificial intelligence poses a real threat to human intelligence. If you want my two cents, it is an absurd notion because the purpose of AI is to augment, improve and assist human intelligence to delve deeper in to their different areas of expertise, by optimizing processes and yielding robust results. First of all, what you see in the movies is an art of fiction and not reality. The predictions of a sci-fi environment setup within a movie is a far cry from reality. An AI-powered computer can’t become evil; it makes the judgment call based on user-interaction and searching.
The concept of an AI-powered mindset is akin to that of Google. Isn’t Google already a user-friendly platform? Isn’t Facebook running along the same lines? Leveraging different crawlers and self-learning bots, these platforms are gathering an incredible amount of data on visitors using the platform. Based on this information, computer intellectually makes decisions which it feels is in the best interest of the user. However, the choice still indeed lies with the user whether they wish to follow the proposed action or not.
Competencies to Focus in an AI Driven World
However, there is no denying the fact that AI will call shots that can dramatically change the course of leadership. In an AI-driven era, leadership is projected to be more inclined towards the development of soft leadership skills. The effectiveness of leadership will significantly rely on elements such as curiosity, extraversion, and emotional stability, almost as much as it relies on a high IQ value.
As the new age is more bent towards introducing elements of engagement, adaptability, humility and pushing the vision forward, the old ideologies of deploying effective leadership will be rendered obsolete. Traits such as in-depth expertise, authoritative decisiveness, and short-term focus will relatively lose its charm in the days to come. But how will the course of leadership steer itself in the modern era? Let’s find out by understanding these new attributes of leadership in an AI-driven age.
A Submissive Attitude towards Learning
Learning is an important aspect and should never be stopped. But, in a futuristic AI driven age, the significance of learning about what you already know is equally important to getting drilled in things you are oblivious to. Leaders are burdened with tasks and responsibilities all the time. They often find themselves engulfed in the management and optimization of processes. In an AI driven world, such responsibilities will be obliterated, leaving your hands free to indulge in meaningful learning. It is necessary for a leader to understand that knowledge is the key here, but quick thinking and crisp decision-making will become the real driver for the future.
A good modern -ay example that I can quote is that of Nestle. The organization is investing in reverse engineering and allowing peers, team members and executives to bring innovative ideas to the table so they can leverage them for the future success of the business.
Vision Clarity Will Play a Significant Role
In order for an organization to thrive, vision plays a significant role. Without a clearly defined vision, an organization may experience massive hindrance in pushing itself forward. As the corporate world steps into an AI driven age, the need for a clear vision becomes all the more eminent. With more interactive and innovative technologies stepping into the market, it will become rather difficult for executive teams to analyze the direction that the organization’s vision and management teams are heading towards, in order to to nurture a harmony of understanding among subordinates.
Many leaders of today’s digital giants, such as Amazon, Tesla, Facebook, Tencent, Alibaba, and Google, have clearly articulated visions for their organizations, even in the face of huge short-term uncertainty.
Organizations Are Bound to Incorporate the Aspect of Adaptation
The concept of adaptation on an organizational scale translates into coming up with new and innovative ways, so that teams can tackle all incoming threats on the go. At an individual level, adaptability can be labeled as being open to new ideas, introducing new strategies, presenting more opportunities, or giving out opinions irrespective of bruising someone’s personal ego. Adaptation is not considered a healthy option, as it is all about changing the mindset of stakeholders and disrupting the organizational processes. But, in an AI driven age, adaptability will become mandatory. As competitors in the market are poised to introduce new approaches to reach out to their target market, CEOs will need all hands on deck, even the weakest.
Carlos Torres Vila, CEO of Bank BBVA, is a great example of someone who responded to industry disruption by fostering a transformative culture that encourages agility, flexibility, collaborative work, entrepreneurial spirit, and innovation.
So we often find ourselves wondering once again if our leadership is going to dramatically alter in the AI-driven age. And the answer is No. It will continue to be as we know it today, only with the introduction of some new innovative strategies. For instance, these days, leaders are more focused on sharpening their hard skills, but in an AI driven age, hard skills will simply dissolve and be managed by AI powered machines, giving them more room to groom their soft skills. This will give leaders the humility to allow other stakeholders to make their own contributions. This is bound to keep the leaders engaged, steadfast in their vision, and easily tackle challenges coming their way.
Becoming a leader is no easy task! Here are 10 Golden Rules of Becoming an Effective Leader.