In the age of artificial intelligence (AI), business success will increasingly depend on people and machines collaborating with each other.

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Wise leaders understand they have a starring role in the global drama that is unfolding between humans and Artificial Intelligence (AI). In Part 1, we talk about the gap  between business leaders’ investments in AI and their investments in training workers to use it. The Accenture study concludes that out of 1200 business leaders and 14,000 workers in companies using AI, “ 74% of executives say they plan to use AI to automate tasks but only 3% plan investments in reskilling the workforce.” This is the gap that needs leaders’ attention.It is collaboration between humans and intelligent machines that produces the most value – both for the business and the work force. “The full promise of AI depends on humans and machines working together to develop differentiated customer experiences and to create entirely new products, services and markets.”Unless leaders understand and commit to the exponential power of coupling humans with machines, they will “radically curtail their ability to deploy AI at scale.” In this gap, what are leaders overlooking? “Workers are also consumers. They already dictate grocery lists to Alexa and ask Siri for restaurant suggestions. They expect personalized services delivered by AI. So at work, why wouldn’t they anticipate that intelligent machines will continuously inform them and proactively uncover new insights that help them make their customers’ lives better? Business leaders must seize this opportunity: Their people not only want new skills. They are impatient to thrive in an intelligent enterprise that can disrupt markets and improve their working experience.” Three key actions for leaders Accenture suggests three key actions for leaders to “elevate their workforce to create new value through human-machine collaboration.”

1. Reimagine work from workforce planning to work planning.“While just over half of all employers acknowledge that getting human-machine collaboration right is critical to achieving their goals, few have adopted a systematic approach to unlock the value that lies at the intersection of people and intelligent machines. The principle is to move the spotlight from jobs to the nature of the work itself before preparing workers with the necessary skills.”

2. Pivot the workforce to areas that create new forms of value.“Executives should take immediate steps to pivot their workforce, but…resisting the pressure to capture only short-term market advantage. They need to create the mindset, acumen and agility that will be required to seize longer term, transformational opportunities. This means ensuring that the workforce can adapt to new customer markets, that organizational processes can flex accordingly, and that leadership is ready to champion a new culture.”

3. Scale up “new skilling” to work with intelligent machines.”To fill the new and reconfigured jobs of the intelligent enterprise, companies will need new approaches to training. ‘New Skilling’ programs must be rapid, flexible, tailored and large-scale to maximize the value humans and machines can create together.”

This study is worth reading in its entirety. AI, working in collaboration with humans, has the potential to dramatically change the way we work and live. Leaders must prepare their business and their work force to thrive in this new world.

Contact us and we can help you better understand how prepare your leadership and your workers to thrive in a human-machine environment.