Mark Woods’ article highlights the “key advantages of AI, namely augmenting the capability of human capital and repurposing those experts to address higher order tasks. Staff Repurposing to insight-centric work, cognitive Augmentation coupled with (increased) Productivity at a task level through automation are at the heart of the Deep Learning revolution”…
The new opportunities arising from Repurposing, Augmentation & Productivity (RAP) will allow leaders to act differently and to reimagine both the aspirations of the business and how the organisation is designed to deliver on those aspirations.
The potential organisational consequences are four-fold:
1. Individual – From jobs to capabilities
Jobs are changing and this means different capabilities. The augmentation of tasks through AI, allows people to be more creative and undertake more ‘insight-centric’ work, this will mean a change in how people define what they are there to do. This is a shift in people’s roles so it is less about traditional job descriptions with specified tasks, and more about capability sets and levels of decision-making authority. This is already having an impact in diverse areas such as designing new buildings to the way in which law firms work. This enables the organisation to rapidly shift the focus of individuals to deliver new sets of objectives as and when required.
2. Teams – From managed teams to autonomous cross-functional teams
To release the creative potential of individuals whilst ensuring that they still build practical solutions that the organisation can deliver will mean the use of more autonomous cross-functional teams. This provides the opportunity for trade-offs to be considered and these trade-off to be made at pace. This is already happening in technology-based companies with new team structures (e.g. Spotify).
3. Leaders – From control to letting go
The way to get the most out of these teams will require leaders to shift from the more traditional control of tasks and people towards greater focus on the vision and values of the business, and providing the context and objectives for the employees to innovate and deliver. Leaders will act through and with others and the boundary between the leader and the teams will be less clear. This is starting to take place more frequently as organisations delayer and reorganise to remain competitive. There are many examples across retail, logistics and transportation and the supply chain.
4. Organisation – From managing today to increasing productivity and developing tomorrow
The opportunities for productivity gains through AI, combined with redefining how people work by AI augmentation, trigger more cross-functional working that can result in the need to reimagine the operating model of the business on how resources are managed and how decisions get made. Speed of response is critical and new operating models support end to end business processes. This enables businesses to operate more efficiently and enhance profits and margins. This works for organisations across sectors including re-imagined retail and technology providers.
It is critical for leadership teams to address not only the technological advantages of AI but also grasp the organisational consequences to enable the realisation of AI’s potential. OE Cam works in partnership with our clients to deliver solutions across all four organisational areas.