← Return to Posts

Are You Ready for the AI Leap in Leadership?

April 17, 2024 Joe Mechlinski

Screenshot 2024-04-17 at 8.23.22 AM

Here we go…

It’s hard to read the label when you’re inside the jar, right?

I’ve always been drawn to this saying, because it checks us back into reality — our blind spots.

We’ve all got ’em. But let’s be crystal clear: when it comes to the seismic shifts happening in our world thanks to AI, turning a blind eye just won’t cut it.

Just two weeks ago, I wrote about the wave of layoffs sparked by automation.

And then, this story hits about Tyler Perry’s Studio:

 Screenshot 2024-04-17 at 8.24.33 AM

Just one of the many examples about to unfold as to what we’ve been talking about: this ain’t the first, and it sure as hell won’t be the last case of companies tapping into AI to slim down on headcount, save a stack of cash, and zip past competition like they’re standing still.

AI — Doom or Bloom?

Of course this can be scary, with some big “experts” predicting AI might shove as many as 40% of us out of jobs by 2030. But hey, this royal rumble with technology? It ain’t our first rodeo.

A piece in the Atlantic threw it back to 1910, when a big chunk of the U.S. — a third of its 92 million residents — 38 million workers — were farming the lands. Fast forward to 1950, and that number has dwindled to 10%. By 2010? A mere 2%, even as we’re churning out more food than ever.

Machines took the wheel; but instead of the apocalypse, what we got was a new chapter of efficiency and growth.

And let’s not forget, we’ve been hammering on about AI since 2017 — I gave this talk to more than 100 business leaders in DC about it.

It even made my “Underdog Predictions” for 2024, under the banner of ‘Less is More.’

And my new favorite author on the subject, Mustafa Suleyman, in his book “The Coming Wave,” describes the trajectory of AI as one of augmentation, not rivalry. It’s a call to arms for us to rethink how we innovate, lead, and tap into the boundless potential of humanity. Check out his version of empathetic AI, called Pi.

Screenshot 2024-04-17 at 8.25.11 AM

What We Crave the Most?

As we’re flung across the universe on this massive rock, the one thing we yearn for most is more time.

AI stands as the ultimate key to unlock that for organizations far and wide, provided we wield it with purpose.

“Time is money”

Imagine leveraging AI to not only streamline operations and automate mundane tasks but to fundamentally re-engineer the way we perceive and utilize time within our organizations. AI can be the great equalizer in the race against time, democratizing the ability to focus on what truly matters: innovation, creativity, and human connection.

The question we face is not whether we can afford to integrate AI into the fabric of our businesses but whether we can afford not to. In doing so, we unlock the potential to transform not only our operations but the very essence of how we work, live, and interact with the world around us.

AI can be the biggest unlock for any and every organization, assuming you are intentional.

💯 Real results -> in February alone, we helped our clients save 2,116 of meeting hours (more than 500/week) adding up to $2.4MM a year in savings, just by leveraging better tech, tools, and training with our platform Latch.

Ready for a 15-minute demo of how you can eliminate unnecessary weekly meetings?

Past Latch, what else can you do? Try building an AI-First Organization. This is what it looks like:

1. Cultivate an AI-Literate Leadership Team

Educate and Engage: Stay ahead by immersing yourself and your team in the latest AI trends, potentials, and applications specific to your industry. Commit to ongoing education through webinars, courses, and cutting-edge AI thought leadership. We have started an AI Slack channel and have been positioning resources near daily to get everyone up to speed.

Read More:
101 -> AI and Your Business: Unlocking Artificial Intelligence’s Potential
201 -> AI Best Productivity Tools
301 -> Deep Dive on AI

2. Identify Strategic Opportunities for AI Integration

Assess and Audit: Review current processes to pinpoint areas ripe for AI’s transformative touch — whether it’s enhancing efficiency, decision making, or unlocking new insights.

Start Small, Scale Smart: Kickoff with pilot projects that promise quick, visible wins. Use these early successes to garner support for wider AI integration.

Example #1: Witnessing a 252% increase in meeting times during the pandemic and anemic annual surveys, we created Latch — an AI-powered engagement platform that predated the ChatGPT buzz, illustrating our proactive approach to AI solutions.

Example #2: By using our new custom GPT, “SHIFT Data Analyst,” we saved our team more than 50 hours of time this past month with a project for a client. What could you do with 50 hours back?

Example #3: Look how Klarna just did this ⬇️ Screenshot 2024-04-17 at 8.25.51 AM

3. Foster a Culture of Innovation and Experimentation

Encourage Experimentation: Cultivate a workspace where experimenting with AI is not only welcomed but celebrated, recognizing each attempt, successful or not, is a valuable learning opportunity.

Embrace the FAFO Philosophy: Adopt a “Fuck Around and Find Out” attitude toward new AI tools and applications, encouraging your team to explore and innovate continuously.

Here are a few new tools we are exploring:

  1. Need some -> Awesome Chat GPT Prompts?
  2. Want help replying to your team? Check out our new partner, Personal.AI.
  3. Looking to get help with coding, check this Devin the 1st AI Software Engineer.
  4. AI vs Cold Calling.

4. Join Communities and Collaborate

Engage with AI Communities: Immerse yourself in AI forums, workshops, and conferences to exchange insights, stay on the cutting edge, and foster a collective knowledge base.

Collaborate for Innovation: Seek partnerships with AI research bodies, startups, and tech providers to co-create uniquely advantageous AI solutions.

  • If you are a founder, check out Hampton. The AI slack channel alone is worth it.
  • Lenny’s Newsletter is great, too.
  • Expert.ai has been one of our first and best collaborations to date.

5. Lead with a Vision for AI

Communicate Your Vision: Clearly articulate how AI can revolutionize your organization, aligning this transformative vision with your overarching business strategy and objectives.

Inspire Through Action: Champion AI-driven transformation by exemplifying commitment and innovation, motivating your entire team to embark on the AI journey together.

At SHIFT, we have the vision to increase everyone’s output by 50% in the next 12 months.

What’s your best case scenario with getting your team to be super users of AI?

If you don’t have one… I’m curious — what are your favorite AI tools right now?

Shoot me a note with your list and we’ll include you on our open mic Zoom call in the coming month where we’ll swap stories, learn, and gear up for the many AI waves ahead.

Keep FAFO 😆