Technology now, more than ever, is moving at a rapid pace. Every morning I come across a new blog post or article about artificial intelligence that makes my head spin. As the CEO of Plural, keeping up with the latest developments and identifying how they can be translated to Plural’s commitment to innovation is challenging, fun and exciting. In this post, I’ll share how we constantly adapt our business, product and company to account for AI. I’ll also share strategies we’ve implemented to position ourselves for long-term success in this new age of AI.

How Will AI Change Businesses?

History has shown us that when a transformative technology is introduced, many existing businesses will die and new businesses and industries will emerge. I think this situation is a little different. Generative AI is without a doubt transformative, and many jobs, businesses and industries will end, but only if they refuse to adapt. Executives and entrepreneurs that leverage AI to transform and reinvent their business will be successful. Making those strategic decisions takes courage – there are inherent risks when disrupting yourself.

There are three general buckets to consider when thinking about how AI will change business as we know it:

  1. Operational Transformation: Outsource repetitive tasks to AI tools and bots. Processes that are not optimized can be identified, analyzed and improved. This might involve identifying redundancies, low technology utilization, or suboptimal workflows.
  2. Decision-Making Transformation: As a society, we’ve used data for millennia to help guide our decision making. We’ve gotten better and better at it. AI will allow us to quickly analyze larger volumes of data and extract subtle patterns. This will allow for more accurate predictions and better decisions.
  3. Product Development Transformation: AI will accelerate product development, leading to unprecedented innovation. This includes gathering new ideas, speeding up the time from idea to product, and gathering feedback and iterating.

Short-Term Strategies for AI Adoption

Identifying and acting on low-risk opportunities to implement AI-powered features is essential. It’s also necessary to invest in your team by fostering a culture of learning and AI adoption. Empowering your team to build and have that muscle will pay off for your organization. See below for my tips:

  • Educate and train your team on AI concepts, benefits and the potential impact of AI on their roles
  • Help them upskill and leverage AI tools for their roles
  • Encourage your employees to take time to learn about new AI-based products to help them do their jobs

You also need to set clear policies and norms – what’s okay to do using AI, and what’s not okay. Leaders aren’t going to get it right every time — we’re all learning! Critically thinking about AI and sharing those learnings with your stakeholders puts you on the right track.

Long-Term Strategies for AI Adoption

Crafting an internal philosophy and strategy that either puts your business in the driver’s seat of building the future or for the future is critical. Start by gaining a solid understanding of AI’s benefit and applications. Next, identifying areas within your business and industry where AI can be implemented. With this exercise, you can start laying the foundation that you’ll need to adapt and transform your business. Every business is unique, so how you think about AI should be unique and will help you reach business goals.

Balancing the Benefits and Risks of AI

The benefits of AI rival only its risks and unintended consequences – it’s as exciting as it is terrifying. The benefits of AI are obvious. We have the ability to not only access all of the information in the world, but we can pick out the sliver of information needed at the right time. Because of this, we’ll improve health outcomes, understand our environment better, create more wealth, and increase the pace of scientific breakthroughs.

But the risks and potential consequences (many of which we can’t even begin to predict), is what we all need to do a better job talking about. In my opinion, the biggest risk is losing a sense of what’s “real” and what’s AI generated, with the first big test being the upcoming US presidential election. As a society, we’ve been struggling for the last several years to agree on facts and truth. Adding unregulated AI-generated content and misinformation to the internet will only add fuel to the fire. At Plural, we spend a lot of time thinking about the negative consequences of AI to our domain of public policy. As a business leader or entrepreneur, you should be doing the same.

Adapting your business to the tidal wave of AI is a necessity. It can also be transformative if you’re willing to adapt, do the hard strategy work and experience some short-term pain for the long term payoff. Staying on top of everything that is new with AI seems like an impossible task. Investing in short-term wins while prioritizing the future is what will separate mediocre business leaders from excellent ones. This isn’t just about keeping up with the competition; it’s about leading the charge and shaping the future of your industry.