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How are leaders embracing AI?

Posted on 11.08.23 by Spyglass
Group photos of executives at the I Spy AI event

AI is both a cultural and technological force that can’t be ignored—especially by leaders.

As Wharton Prof Ethan Mollick puts it, “The only bad way to react to AI is to pretend it doesn’t change anything.” Fair enough, but what are the smartest ways for business leaders to engage— given that the technology, tools and policies are changing daily?

To offer up context and clarity (along with some killer craft cocktails), Spyglass recently hosted our second I Spy AI, an Executive Roundtable with AI guru, Tim Brunelle. Leaders from American Craft Council, C.H. Robinson, Mindset Consulting, Oasis Financial, Salo and TIGER 21 gathered to share stories and explore how their companies and narratives will need to shift in the age of generative AI.

AI is so “big” and complex that it can be tough to know where to start and how to integrate it into your current operations. For all of us who are grappling with the same uncertainty, here is a place to begin.


How to start—and stay connected—to AI

  1. Engage with it personally. Invest an hour a week, minimum, in using ChatGPT (here’s a quick start-up guide and primer) and other tools for work. Use it as an idea generator to start a first draft of a letter or article or to get “unstuck”. It really is as simple as diving in and exploring.
  2. Develop a buddy system. Pair early adopters in your organization with more cautious personalities. Have them hold each other accountable for continuing to learn—and for sharing what they’re uncovering.
  3. Empower your teams. Encourage teams to try to spend 15 minutes a day trying out AI tools that are relevant to them—and to think about AI as a new colleague that is there to support them.
  4. Create a task force. AI shouldn’t be relegated to one team or one department – because it will impact every role, at every level. If your organization doesn’t yet have a cross-functional AI task force, it needs one today. Their job is to quickly research and clarify strategies and risks of using AI across the organization. Ideally, this means they develop 3 to 4 short-term (less than 60 days) pilot efforts to test and learn, communicate their plans and seek input, and publish ongoing insights for the entire organization to learn from.


The time is now 

AI will continue to grow and evolve at an exponential pace in the future—so it’s critical that we orient ourselves, and start encouraging and enabling our teams to integrate AI wisely now. The goal? Finding the places and ways where it can provide immediate value to our businesses: streamlining flows, saving money, unlocking capacity and simplifying our lives


Intrigued? You should be! If you have more questions or would like to continue the conversation, we’d love to chat