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Creating a digital strategy playbook for the A(I)ges

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Creating a digital strategy playbook for the A(I)ges

Creating a digital strategy playbook for the A(I)ges

by Jennifer Johnson


If you’re like me, your life changed late last year when you logged into ChatGPT and experienced the power of Generative AI for the very first time.

I remember it like it was yesterday because I actually wrote a blog post about it. 

I asked it to do my job and it could. The AI rabbit hole opened, and JJ jumped in. Ten months later, GenAI is everywhere and growing at light speed.

Nearly every SaaS software company is integrating or has integrated Generative AI features into their platforms, and rich SDKs and APIs make it possible to integrate with AI easily at a technical level, pleasing custom developers who want to use the right tool for the right purpose.

The short story is that we are at the beginning of an AI Gold Rush, and everyone from the C-Suite to CTOs to HR on down is hoping to cash in.

The long story is much more complicated and merits the attention of every CEO, CTO, marketing executive and curious observer.

“Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.” – Theodore Levitt

I adore leadership guru Simon Sinek for his social media presence, his speaking style, and his life lessons.

If you follow him on LinkedIn, you know Simon has a phrase, “Start with the Why” that emphasizes the importance of starting any endeavor -- business, organization, or personal -- by identifying and articulating the core purpose or belief that drives it.

Why are you doing the “thing” in the first place?” Simon asks repeatedly. With AI, that is especially true. 

Before you start on your AI journey, ask yourself these 10 key questions:

  1. Why are you doing AI as an enterprise?
  2. What do you hope to accomplish?
  3. How do you define success?
  4. What is your data management strategy?
  5. What is your risk?
  6. What is the feasibility of what people are asking for?
  7. How is the technology going to be surfaced?
  8. Who is going manage it, monitor it, and be accountable for it?
  9. Who is going to right wrongs if they occur?
  10. How will corrective measures be taken?

Innovation Starts with Education

Author James Clear’s book Atomic Habits changed my life.

Clear believes the best way to learn a complex topic is to break it down into digestible chunks and dedicate time each day or week to absorbing those chunks. As you work through each chunk in a disciplined way, large, complex pictures start to come into focus one pixel at a time.

I believe this type of incremental learning mindset will help teams master AI, a complex topic with tons of moving parts that will each demand enterprise education and attention.

The models all do different things based on different audiences, so any training and enablement strategy must understand that reality for customized instruction and accommodate it.  Creative teams will need to know certain things about AI and developers will need to know other things. Same with HR and Talent Acquisition. Same with sales and marketing. AI education and enablement won’t be one size fits all because it can’t be.  

Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink. 

One more thing. That light you see in the corner of your eye on your Digital Operations dashboard is your AI Risk-o-meter and it is flashing red. AI demands a strategy that future proofs you against a legal landscape that is about to change (and change again and again and again) as it relates to things like copyright, privacy, and bias deterrence. 

Your strategy should not be overly complicated, but it must exist. Not having a strategy to deal with the legal repercussions with that your teams may do with AI borders on negligence considering the risks involved. The equation is simple to understand: Without a solid AI strategy, you won’t win.  With the right AI strategy, you can’t lose.

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