People are people. They’re usually afraid of change. It’s mid-January, and for many, those New Year’s resolutions to lose weight or to lessen alcohol use have fallen by the wayside. Learning to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations is something that many people shy away from in their personal lives. Doing so translates into their professional lives too.
There are inherent challenges when we go outside our comfort zone, even if it means growth on the other side of your business. Hurdles include lack of funding, resistance, lack of knowledge or understanding, and overcoming cultural issues in your organization.
Companies change things when experiencing pain points hurting their business. Upper-level management must examine the root cause of the problem to get their “why” by conducting surveys or focus groups and having open and honest conversations with key stakeholders. Once the reasons behind the pain points are known, you can create the process to solve your company’s business problems with new technologies like AI.
One fundamental way to overcome challenges when implementing new technologies is to involve all stakeholders, not just management, in the decision-making process. This process can help ease buy-in and commitment and build trust. Management will need to provide training and resources to support adoption and implementation, including user guides and access to SMEs who can answer questions and provide ongoing support.
Another challenge to overcoming roadblocks in tech adoption is the need for more resources, including funding, staff, or equipment. Upper management needs to prioritize their initiatives and focus on low-hanging fruit that can generate the quickest ROI to build confidence. Also, companies can look for ways to leverage existing resources with their current tech stack or collaborate with other business units to defray costs.
Your company’s culture can inhibit innovation. New initiatives will likely fail if your organization lacks communication, trust, and empathy or employs a hierarchical management structure. To solve this, your organization can implement a decentralized command management style that encourages risk-taking and experimentation. To achieve this, business leaders can institute continuous improvement protocols, cross-functional team collaboration, or provide continued education for employee growth and development.
Now, when it comes to AI adoption, things can get messy. One, AI adoption is relatively new. Thus most need to be more knowledgeable about how it can benefit a business than other solutions. Therefore, leadership must emphasize educating and training their team members about AI’s capabilities and limitations.
Another reason why companies are hesitant to adopt AI is for fear of job loss. Employees could be part of the next round of layoffs by robots or software that can do their jobs efficiently at a fraction of the cost of the software. Management needs to educate their workforce that AI is a tool to augment their job capabilities, not replace them, to address this situation. In addition, management can cross-train affected employees in other areas of the organization to enhance one’s skillsets and capabilities.
Finally, organizations need to address the ethical and regulatory implications of AI. In a University of Southern California study, their findings show that upwards of 38 percent of AI facts contain bias. As AI becomes mainstream, companies must consider the inherent risks and ensure compliance with government rules and regulations.
Nothing is ever perfect with AI adoption. However, the positives significantly outweigh the negatives. As your organization’s leader, it’s up to you to adapt and overcome before it’s too late for your business.