Leadership in the Era of Artificial Intelligence
The impact of Digital Transformation on Leadership is a hot topic, driven by innovations and disruptions in technology and largely shaped by the advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI). According to a 2019 study by Oracle and the research firm Future Workplace, 64% of workers would put their trust in a robot rather than their manager.
This startling statistic emphasizes the rising mistrust that workers feel for their managers and emphasizes how important it is for managers to develop into true leaders, capable of navigating the opportunities and challenges that AI presents. Hence, it is critical for leaders to adapt and change as Artificial Intelligence permeates the modern workplace if they want to stay relevant.
Technology can transform many things including leadership, as history shows. Historically, three distinct periods emerge when the study technological breakthroughs. At these junctures, interplay between technology and leadership mandated different leadership styles and attributes. These transitions did not replace leadership, but played a strong role in re-shaping leadership.
Even though it is tempting to assume that Artificial Intelligence can improve everything from productivity to brand loyalty, leadership requires conscious introspection on topics ranging from individual leader's mindset (mental models) to organizational constructs (strategy, design, etc.). Often, we fail to attribute due credit to leadership and the role it plays in technological breakthroughs. Retrospective into technological revolutions demonstrates that technology is a byproduct of leadership.
Today's era of Artificial Intelligence requires new leadership thinking, life-long learning and regenerative models. Leaders who want to succeed in this age should consciously balance the delicate interplay between their "artistic side" comprising of the entire battery of human emotions and the "architect side" comprising of the range of Artificial Intelligence tools to compensate, complement, and conquer our finite nature.
Leaders need a framework to consider how they can deploy technology to practice the art of leading, whilst considering the inhibitors that prevent them from leading. This framework will also provide a toolbox to appraise our reliance on Artificial Intelligence to execute such difficult tasks as exercising independent judgment and decision—making - the very activities that impart meaning and raison d'être to the leader's existence.
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Acknowledgements: Heather McLarnon