AI Transformation is a Change Management Issue

Implementing AI is as much a change management issue as it is a technological one. In “The AI Transformation Playbook, How to lead your company into the AI era”, Andrew Ng has developing internal and external communications as the fifth and final step. While no steps implementing AI are set in stone, communicating your intentions to transform to an AI-enabled enterprise is equally, if not more important, than any other steps in the typical AI transformation plan. However you communicate your AI transformation, you’ll need to account for how it will affect key stakeholders and ensure your messaging aligns with your vision. 

You may already be familiar with John Kotter’s work on transformation. If not, I recommend reading the article, “Leading Change, Why Transformation Efforts Fail.” Kotter provides eight steps to transforming your organization. We’re going to focus on step four: Communicating the vision. 

Within step four, Kotter notes what he calls Error 4: Undercommunicating the Vision by a Factor of Ten. He says transformation is impossible without credible communication; and lots of it. This communication needs to incorporate new growth opportunities and fairness to people whose jobs may be effected. 

Kotter points out executives who communicate well incorporate messages into all of their activities using all existing communications channels. It’s important to remember communication comes in both words and deeds. Kotter notes nothing undermines change more than the behavior of leadership that’s inconsistent with their words. 

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