Artificial intelligence (AI) is coming—not in the self-aware, Terminator fashion, but rather in the fashion that allows managers to accomplish administrative tasks much faster. This is a good thing, if used correctly. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Vegard Kolbjørnsrud, Richard Amico, and Robert J. Thomas use survey data from 1,770 managers to outline five best practices for working with AI:
- Leave administration to AI.
- Focus on judgement work.
- Treat intelligent machines as “colleagues.”
- Work like a designer.
- Develop social skills and networks.
Better Governance Is Here
More than half of management time gets squandered on standard administrative tasks. One example would be scheduling employees’ hours and anticipating or reacting to changing employee availability. Another example includes that of simply writing up reports. Evolving AI will be able to automate all of these tasks so that managers can focus their man hours on more strategic work. In other words, managers will spend more time doing creative work and making judgements based upon a combination of data and human factors. And in turn, these judgements will be better informed than in the past because they will be supported by information yielded from AI.
AI becomes a less intimidating proposition in general when thought of as just another colleague helping to run the ship, a bit like Microsoft’s Cortana. And about managers working like designers, the authors relate this:
While managers’ own creative abilities are vital, perhaps even more important is their ability to harness others’ creativity. Manager-designers bring together diverse ideas into integrated, workable, and appealing solutions. They embed design thinking into the practices of their teams and organizations. A third of the managers in our survey identified creative thinking and experimentation as a key skill area they need to learn to stay successful as AI increasingly takes over administrative work.
The ease with which machines spit out potential solutions might cause people to forget that it is just as easy to talk to other people. This will make having tight communication networks all the more essential in the long run. Of course, software already exists that marries project governance with human factors, like Automated Project Office, so it would be wise for businesses to get started early on considering the options available to them.
You can view the original article here: https://hbr.org/2016/11/how-artificial-intelligence-will-redefine-management