Leadership – Using AI to Help Make Decisions

You may have heard buzz that artificial intelligence will change the way organizational leadership works. Perhaps you’ve seen it replace workers on the line or automate data analysis. Perhaps you’re a little threatened or intimidated by the thought that it could replace you as a leader. Don’t be. AI will help you, but it won’t replace you. No machine can replace the human qualities of leadership, the soft traits that make us each human beings.

How Artificial Intelligence Relates to Business

You’ve probably read reports automatically generated on the fly from big data collected on your brand’s social media or from its IoT devices like in-store coupon dispensers. You’ve likely seen it on the manufacturing floor, automating production through self-correcting robotic machinery. But, there are things you won’t see AI do.

AI doesn’t replace a human leader. It can aid you by contributing information, but your soft skills, it can’t replicate. Things a human can offer that a machine can’t include adaptability, constant engagement, humility, and vision.

Add to these traits the supplemental traits of curiosity, emotional stability, and extraversion to see the spectrum that agile leadership needs that a machine cannot replace. That means your business continues to need you. You need to learn how AI helps you make better decisions.

How to Use AI in Organizational Decision Making

Ego and information provide two key elements of decision-making that serve as bottlenecks. While we need the information to make the decisions, it often causes a non-strategic delay due to our ego’s need to cover every base and ensure the information is perfect before we make the “perfect” leadership decision. Artificial intelligence lets you remove the ego from the decision making process by providing all the necessary details without risking “choice paralysis” or “paralysis by analysis.”

As your business grows, so does your need for innovation. As your business and innovations grow in complexity, so does your need for information. Using AI combines autonomous learning and cognitive computing to provide analyzed intelligence that provides you with better information for making well-reasoned decisions. Start getting accustomed to using artificial intelligence by using three primary rules:

  • Start with mundane, low-risk information gathering tasks for AI
  • Use AI to form performance indicators
  • Use it as a tool to support your reasoning, not to replace it

Bringing it All Together

The key takeaway remains the same — AI, known in business buzz as management by algorithm — helps you. It can’t and won’t replace organizational leadership. It can augment your decision-making ability though.

Top executives need to analyze the how and why of what they delegate to determine what gets newly delegated to AI. Andrew Ng, chief scientist at Baidu, told Fortune that every company now needs a Chief AI Officer among its C-level suite. They’ll help you see how AI can save and make you money. It takes the guess-work and emotion out of analysis and provides you with pure statistical data. Businesses have already seen repeated evidence that not following the machine algorithms top choices losses them money.

Implementing AI helps your company in a few key areas:

  • Boosting customer service and experience
  • Boosting employee accuracy and productivity
  • Providing improved quality of service
  • Helping the C-suite understand and mitigate risk