I enjoyed presenting to over 300 leaders and changemakers at a recent event in Melbourne dedicated to the future of technology, innovation and work. No doubt this is one of my favourite topics, especially as it relates to Generative AI and its impact on how work gets done. I’ve captured the main points from my keynote here, including the six major challenges faced by leaders, and the five ‘no regret’ moves they can make to overcome these. I also cover a topical example of how Gen AI is already disrupting industries as a reminder to all of us that we need to proactively explore this new tech so we can disrupt with it, rather than be disrupted by it.
One of the biggest changes I have seen in recent months is the significant shift in Executive sentiment: all of a sudden, with the unprecedented and rapid advent of Gen AI, we have leaders’ full attention. This has been a truly awesome moment in my career, which started over a decade ago in data analytics when data and technology weren’t yet a priority.
In my role, I am in the very privileged position to speak with and listen to lots of different Board members and Execs around the world about data, technology and most recently Gen AI. So, what is keeping leaders awake at night?
In the past, I’ve heard leaders say in response to emerging technology, ‘We need another tech strategy’, or ‘We need an AI strategy’, or a Gen AI strategy. These days, I have seen an exciting shift in mindset, with leaders wanting to understand how they can drive their business strategy transformation, fuelled by Gen AI. They are asking how they can use Gen AI to do things differently – cheaper and faster. And also how to do different things, whether that’s creative innovation, developing new business models or designing new products and services. Simply put, leaders want to know how they can better execute their strategic choices so that they can confidently become the business they want to be.
Earlier this month, we saw how someone used Gen AI to create a song by Drake + THE WEEKND. A song that never existed before, but sounded just like something these rappers could have produced together. And it received 15 million views on TikTok almost instantly. It was incredible to witness – because it proffers a key moment in time that all industries can learn from.
The lesson is in thinking about what you would do. In this case, the song was taken down by streaming services because of copyright infringements. But the point is, what could you do differently with your business model with a little help from Gen AI?
I encourage you to think about whether there is a new business model you can unlock by using this new technology. What if Drake wants to collaborate with his fans, uploads a heap of sample songs, taught Gen AI key algo rhythms and co-created new music with his adoring public? It could create a new revenue stream.
Again, the point is that we shouldn’t just think about protecting our existing operating models, we need to think about potential new ones. As I mentioned earlier, your competitors are probably already doing things differently. We need to think about what defines your unique value – is it your equivalent to the joy of consuming songs produced by Drake alone, or could it be similar to the joy fans may also get in co-creating new songs?
AI won’t replace you, but an organisation that is using it will. On a closing note, here are some ‘no regret’ moves organisations can make to respond to the rapid advent of Gen AI:
On that note – where do you sit? Are you ready to be a disruptor with Gen AI, or will you risk being disrupted by it?